In-Depth Guide to Reflective Practice in Teaching

Communications Team
Dec 15, 2022
Learning, School

Teaching is a highly accomplished process, and teachers must implement self evaluation or reflection to make the teaching and learning process smooth and effective. Reflective practice in teaching leads to having multiple solutions with a broader perspective. 

Reflective teaching practice can be used in both primary and secondary settings of Indian schools in UAE. With reflective teaching teachers can become empowered decision makers, engaging in systematic reflection of their work by writing, thinking, and talking about their teachings, observing their own acts and others teachings

What is Reflective Practice in Teaching?

Reflective practice in teaching is a process through which teachers reflect on their practices of teaching and examine the overall effectiveness of their teaching delivery and assessment approaches. It involves reviewing their personal beliefs of teaching and using reflective practices in order to analyze and deliver information with the ultimate goal of generating feedback.

What are the Main Types of Reflective Teaching Practice? - H2

Based on some of earlier research, there are 3 main types of reflective practice: reflection-in-action, reflection-on-action, and reflection-for-action.

1. Reflection-in-action

This type of reflective teaching practice for teachers takes place while the teacher is inside the classroom. The teacher starts observing everything in class as it is happening. While teaching, he/ she realizes what is working and what is not working in both the teaching and learning process.

2. Reflection-on-action

One of the types of reflective practice is reflection-on-action. It takes place after the teaching session has ended. The teacher reflects on their teaching in the classroom and finds ways to improve the teaching process.

3. Reflection-for-action

This type of reflective teaching too takes place after the teaching is over. But this is a longer and more critical process. In reflection-for-action, the teacher looks back at the information that is gathered in the classroom so that they can improve the teaching methods to provide a satisfactory learning process to the students.

What is the Importance of Reflective Teaching in Education?

Reflective teaching in education is a process of self- observation and self- assessment. Through reflective teaching in schools, teachers can explore and discover their practices and ideas, which can make them more proficient and skilled in teaching.

Teachers who engage in reflective practice of teaching develop a deeper understanding of their teaching, are able to assess their professional growth, can develop informed decision-making skills, and become proactive and confident in their teaching methodologies.

Top 7 Benefits of Reflective Teaching in Schools

Here are some benefits associated with reflective practice in teaching:

1. Leads to Professional Development

Reflective teaching practices allow teachers to explore extensive thought processes and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Simple reflective practice in education such as analyzing classroom sessions and conducting SWOT analysis can help them improve their teaching methodologies, eventually playing a vital role in their professional development.

2. Boost Teacher-Student Relationship

Employing different reflective teaching strategies can help to analyze each students’ performance, needs and behavior, while learning more about their personalities and traits. Such information can prove to be very beneficial to your overall teaching experience, both in the short and long term. 

3. Boost Classroom Democracy

With a democratic classroom environment you can interact more freely with your students, raise problems, and deliver knowledge much easier. When there is incorporation of democracy in the classroom environment it promotes more school admission in Abu Dhabi

This is because parents appreciate the fact that democracy in the classroom environment makes it easier for students to open discussions with teachers or among themselves which is essential for the growth of children. 

4. Boost Engagement in Class

Students hate dull lessons, as much as their teachers do. If it is a less than inspiring lesson, students can provide productive feedback to their teachers, by using reflective learning diaries to express their ideas or suggestions. Students are more likely to understand difficult subjects if they are active in the learning process.

5. Develop Critical Thinking and Coping Skills

Reflective learning can help improve skills in students such as problem  solving and challenges. Most students face different challenges in their attempts to learn new lessons, concepts, subjects, etc. Using reflection will improve their problem solving abilities and stimulate their analytical skills and cognitive thinking. 

6. Enhance Student Motivation

One of the benefits of reflective teaching in schools is that it enhances student motivation. Motivation is the motor of students in school and is very important to students. Students who lack motivation sometimes exhibit poor performance and encounter problems with their learning acquisition. 

7. Improve Overall Effectiveness

Teachers who encourage the students to form a learning group may find that the overall experience is much more effective if students include reflection as part of their routine.

Learning groups create peer forums to share their thoughts, process new information, and encourage teacher student interaction in a controlled learning environment. This activity enhances the development of critical thinking and analytical skills. 

7 Reflection Activities for Teachers

1. Observations

The teacher can complete a pre-observation lesson plan, and for the post-lesson they would complete a reflection form. All the forms involved should encourage and directly prompt teaching reflection. These observations should then be discussed with the observer, be it a peer or a manager. 

The advantage of this is that the teacher has had to think and reflect about past experiences and identify areas to improve upon, and then within the classroom, they work on these areas, before reflecting again and get specific and objective feedback on those areas. 

2. Peer observations

Pair yourself with a teacher who is particularly strong in the area you think needs improvement so that they can watch and learn. The observed teacher would ask the peer to work on the areas that they identified as ones to work on, thus making it a two-way process, with both the observed and the observing teacher benefitting from the process.

3. Teaching Diary

After each lesson write down what you did in the classroom and how the class went – for example: what went well and what was badly done, did the students achieve the set goals, what could be done better next time?

Importantly, you must ask why these things happen and once you identify the reasons you can begin to think about what ways to do it differently and improve on those areas. 

4. Recorded Lessons

Recording lessons can be an effective way to analyze your performance. With modern technology, it is relatively easy to implement in school classrooms. Apart from serving as a great record of your teaching, you will also be able to notice things about yourself that you are probably not even aware of, which is a good thing.

5. Board Photo

Students now prefer taking pictures of whatever is written on the board so it saves them time. Given that students take notes in this way, this puts more pressure on the teacher to ensure their board work is up to scratch. Thus, it can be a good idea to click photos of your board work for later analysis. 

6. Student Feedback

Involve your students as their feedback and observations are as valid as your own. Reflecting with classroom students and getting their feedback ensures that it will be more student focused. This can be done using post-it notes, through a questionnaire or asking the students to keep their own learning diary and reflecting on how they felt in the lesson.

7. Shared Planning

Planning lessons with teaching colleagues is a simple and great way to improve teaching as it allows you to combine your strengths and best practices for creating better lessons. Shared planning also means adapting your colleagues’ lessons or getting a colleague to check your teaching lesson plan.

What are the Examples of Reflective Teaching Practice?

Reflective practice includes self-assessment, consideration of student evaluations, classroom observations, or exploration of educational research. Examples of reflective teaching may include observing other teachers, reading about how to improve yourself, taking notes on your own teaching practice, and asking for feedback from your students to achieve self-improvement.


The importance of reflective teaching in education is that it can improve performance for both teachers and students. Teachers can use the techniques to analyze students' behavior and identify potential weaknesses and strengths in their teaching methods. When students provide individual feedback on their learning process, teachers can better understand which methods work and which ones need improvement.

Reflective practice in education helps to become a better teacher who engages the students more and consistently improves their lesson plans for better teaching.

By analyzing different aspects such as teacher talking time or student collaboration, you can measure your success.


What are Reflective Teaching Strategies?

Build reflective practice time into your work, Move towards ‘How’ instead of ‘Why’, use reflection tools such as a diary or recording, be iterative and review what you have done as a result of the teaching reflection.

What are the 4 steps to Reflective Teaching Practice?

1. Self-questioning

2. Experimenting with new ideas

3. Discussing with other colleagues and students

4. Observations and feedback

How Teachers can Develop Reflective Practice in Schools?

By collecting information about what goes on in the class, and by analyzing and evaluating this information, teachers can identify and explore their own practices and underlying beliefs. 

Are there any Principles for Reflective Teaching Practice in Education?

Reflect on one's teaching beliefs  and practices to maximize self-awareness and continual improvement.

What is the Difference Between Reflective Teaching and Reflective Learning?

Reflective teaching involves using reflection techniques to convey, analyze, and deliver information, with the goal of generating feedback. 

Reflective learning involves looking back at an idea or a past experience and critically analyzing the event to learn from them and turn the surface learning into deep learning.

Communications Team

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