Reflective Teaching as Self-Directed Professional Development: Building Practical or Work-related Knowledge

Mar. 10, 2010

Source: Professional Development in Education, Volume 36, Issue 1 & 2  March 2010, pages 325 – 338.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The broad purpose of this self-study is two-fold: first, to aid in redressing the lack of attention given to the professional development of teacher educators; and second, to forward the idea that teaching reflectively is not only an excellent framework through which self-directed professional development can be enacted, but it is also an effective form of self-directed professional development.

Specifically, the report shows how the author (by employing elements of reflective teaching in lectures and tutorials) built practical or work-related knowledge in how to encourage the participation of a language-minority student in classroom discussions, differentiated instruction and learning and collaboration with colleagues.


The author argues that although the study sought to promote self-directed professional development and the benefits of adopting this mode of development, some disadvantages are also addressed. For example, Craig (1999) states that it can be disadvantageous when an individual is not accustomed to being self-directed or is uncomfortable in setting and adhering to personal objectives, and would prefer to be given instruction by an instructor and additionally may need the synergism of a group. It was argued that, given appropriate support, such an individual could be encouraged to see and appreciate the value of engaging in self-directed professional development.

Finally, the author concludes that this is a self-study that critically discusses the personal experience of an individual teacher educator in a particular context. What might be necessary is a much closer look at the long-term consequences of employing self-directed professional development, facilitated via reflection, on the development of individual teacher educators and institutions.

Craig, R. (ed) (1999) The ASTD training and development handbook guide to human resource development (4th edn), McGraw Hill , New York.

Updated: Apr. 11, 2010