In the previous blogs we focused on the interpersonal skills that the mentor or mentor teacher should posses in his or her repertoire. Now we will turn to a new topic, the importance of reflection.
Good mentoring like good teaching requires reflection, the careful and systematic analysis of one’s professional practices. Here are three additional definitions for reflection.
Christine Canning1 (1991) defines reflection as“… the process by which teachers get in touch with their own voice.”
Donald A. Schön2 (1983) defines reflection as “... the practice or act of analyzing our actions, decisions, or products by focusing on our process of achieving them. Reflection-on-action is reflection on practice, and on one's actions and thoughts, undertaken after the practice is completed. Reflection-in-action is reflection on phenomena, and on one's spontaneous ways of thinking and acting in the midst of action. A third type of reflection, reflection-for-action, is the desired outcome of both previous types of reflection. We undertake reflection, not so much to revisit the past or to become aware of the metacognitive process one is experiencing ... but to guide future action.”
JoEllen Killion and Guy R. Todnem3 (1991) view reflection as an opportunity to “develop context-specific theories that further our own understanding of our work, and generate knowledge to inform future practice.”
1 Canning, C. (1991). What Teachers Say about Reflection. Educational Leadership, 48(6), 18-21.
2 Schön, D. A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner. New York, NY: Basic Books.
3 Killion, J. P. & Todnem, G.R. (1991). A Process for Personal Theory Building. Educational Leadership, 48(6),14.
On the next blog post we will discuss the importance of reflection.