Stage 5 – Reflection

Stage 5 – Reflection


Barbara Larrivee (2000) states that to become a critically reflective teacher we need to encompass both the capacity for critical inquiry and self-reflection.

Why reflect?

“…once teachers come to understand the how and why of what they do and have done, they can then take steps that will carry them along the path to better teaching.”  (Farrell, 2004)

As teachers we are always trying to improve our practice and the learning of our students, in doing so we engage with critical reflection. 

It is useful at this point to reflect back to why you carried out the SoTL project in the first place. 

  • What motivated me to pick this topic?
  • What was I hoping to achieve?

During your investigation there may have been times when things went well and times when they did not, why was this?  Think about what actually occurred.  Were any issues raised as a result of the project?

At the end of the project it is essential to reflect on the outcomes and results of the project.  Did the project achieve what you wanted it to?  Why or why not?  How does the work compare with similar work, or develop previous work?  With the benefit of hindsight, what would you do differently if carrying out a similar project?  How could the work be furthered and/or improved in future projects?  In what ways could the support of student learning be improved still further? You may also find it useful to discuss this with peers in order to benefit from their views.

As with the other stages explained previously it is useful to remember how the project could be assessed.  Glassick, Huber, & Maerof (1997) suggest that scholarly work “… should be accompanied by reflective critique.  In discovery, integration, application, or teaching, the scholar thinks about his or her work, seeks the opinions of others, and develops his or her learning over time.”

  1. Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work?
  2. Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to her or his critique?
  3. Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work?'

Glassick, C.E., Huber, M. T., and Maeroff, G. I. (1997). Scholarship assessed: A special report on faculty evaluation.  Presentation to Fifth AAHE Conference on Faculty Roles and Rewards, San Diego, California, January 18, 1997.  Available here.

Farrell T. S. C. (2004).  Reflective Practice in Action: 80 Reflection Breaks for Busy Teachers.  Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.

Larrivee B. (2000). Transforming Practice: becoming the critically reflective teacher.  Reflective Practice, 1:3, 293 – 307.