Category Archives: Reflection and improvement
The devil is in the detail
Sometimes we think we have a profound understanding of teaching, when actually our ideas are so vague and abstract that they are practically meaningless. For example, we might think that we have a deep understanding of teaching because we have … Continue reading
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Teaching failures, blunders and catastrophes: learning from our mistakes
I recently organised a panel session on teaching failures. Three teaching award winners—Roslyn Kemp, Anthony Robins and Clinton Golding—shared some major failures in their teaching with a group of c.25 academics, and then we discussed what we might learn from … Continue reading
Digging deeper: How do I tell where to drill?
When we write academically, one of our main tasks is to deeply explore the topics we write about. It is not enough to present a superficial overview, so we need to drill deep. Yet it is often difficult to judge … Continue reading
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My student complains I don’t give enough feedback, but I give lots of feedback!
Here is my reflective, diagnostic process for figuring out what to do when I face situations like this. My initial analysis of the situation: Although my feedback practices normally work for my students, they aren’t working for this student. I … Continue reading
That’s a good question
Sometimes in a seminar, lecture or discussion, if we don’t know the topic we feel like we can’t really participate or engage. We might know nothing about postmodern accounts of learning, for example, or the learning styles of accounting students, … Continue reading
Let me be clear! How can I tell when I need to clarify my writing?
I taught a workshop for supervisors recently about assisting your students to write. I said that one reason why our students write badly is because they cannot tell whether their writing is good enough. When they read their own writing … Continue reading
Ah-ha! Reflective insights about teaching
We need to reflect about our teaching to improve, but how common is it for reflection to lead to ‘ah-ha!’ moments about our teaching? There seems to be an assumption that reflection should lead to profound, transformative insights. This is … Continue reading
Writing my teaching philosophy: abstract claims and concrete illustrations
Sometimes a teaching philosophy is too abstract: “I believe in a student-centred approach and I adopt this in all my teaching. I attempt to create a safe space so learners can blossom.” These can be important claims about you and … Continue reading
Refining my reflections
Here is an example of my reflective thought process from rough reflections to more and more clear, elaborated and insightful reflections. This process normally happens very quickly, but I have deliberately slowed it down to show you how I think … Continue reading
Learning to teach by reflecting on your teaching
How do we learn to teach? We begin as novices to teaching in the sense that we have not taught before. But even then, we are not total novices as we have all experienced being taught. From these experiences we … Continue reading