User:Carl Boettiger/Notebook/Teaching/2010/10/18

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Graduate Teaching Community -- reflections on teaching

Haven't made a lot of entries in this notebook as I'm not teaching regularly at the moment, though am still attending meetings of the Graduate Teaching Community, a record of which can be found on our GTC blog. But today in GTC we are thinking about reflections on teaching, and starting with a little bit of journaling, so this seemed like a good place to do it.

Cass and Karolyn have started us off writing on a few pre-reflection questions:

  • What are my learning goals for this lesson/course/class?

Often I emphasize problem solving, while I feel my students tend to emphasize factual content as the goal, and de-value problem solving ability. It is this latter perception that I'm most challenged by, and how to change it. The other challenge I think on most is student ownership of content. Not sure I can really define that, I guess it's a feeling of mastery, or perhaps just familiarity with the content that's the goal.

  • What do I want to improve about my own teaching today?


  • What assumptions do I have about my students when they enter my classroom? How do these assumptions affect my interactions with them, and what and how I teach?

Notes from the rest of the session

  • Cycle: Prepare, Enact, Reflect.
  • Terminology: Procedural Reflection (what happened?) vs Task Analysis (what worked?) vs Critical Reflection (so what impact?). (see Peter Ademie, Tyrone Howard)
  • Reflection usually starts with teacher, then curriculum, then student. (i.e. early evaluation focuses on my handwriting on the blackboard, much more experienced teachers reflect on assumptions about student).

Different Kinds of Reflection

  • Discussion of Lesson Study process. Informational video. Basically, large numbers of teachers watch students learn. Began in Japan. Evaluates the lesson itself, not the teacher.
  • Sharing practices:
    • Karolyn: Asks for questions / comments on index cards from students.
    • Cass: Online teaching journal. Reflect soon after works best!
    • Robert (in abstentia) blue book responses -- students write comments about what is working, he writes back in their notebooks.

Resources at the UC Davis Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning