Do reflective teachers teach better?

There is very little empirical evidence on the connection between teacher reflection and the quality of teaching. However, a caring teacher may simply have an advantage in terms of teaching quality and engagement.
This new study examines the connection between teachers’ personal development (reflection), their commitment and the quality of teaching.

Why is this important?
At a time when more is required of educators, it’s not just about theoretical skills. The study by Huang et al. The study, conducted in 2023 among 998 teachers in northeast China, shows a significant connection between proactive personal development and better teaching quality.

So how does the relationship between teacher proactivity improve engagement and teaching quality?

Teaching quality refers to the characteristics of teachers’ teaching behavior in relation to student learning and motivation.

Engagement refers to a person’s “positive, fulfilling, work-related mindset” toward teaching and the degree to which individuals experience their work with energy and are willing to invest more time and effort.

Personal Development Initiative ((referred to as PGIs in the study) are people who are actively and on their own initiative interested in self-reflection and not reactive.
teachers rated:

cognitive involvement,
emotional involvement,
social engagement with the students and,
social engagement with colleagues.
These conceptual models were reviewed against instructional quality; classroom management, cognitive activation and climate support.

This research highlights the importance of teachers’ proactivity to their teaching performance.

To support teachers, the research recommends that schools and teacher training days provide new approaches to help teachers become proactive rather than reactive.

“Social learning” is a term used and I learn from it in schools where principals meet with their teachers to discuss teaching and learning on a regular basis; the opportunity to learn from each other in the allotted time.

Improving your teaching is not just about taking advantage of internal professional development, but also about attending events, reading books and researching; write independently of the employer and contribute to the profession.

Questions for Teachers
How often do you actively look for better teaching methods?
What resources outside of the school environment could help you in your development?
How do you integrate cognitive, emotional and social engagement into your teaching?
How proactive are you in understanding and implementing the latest educational research?
Could your teaching benefit from more personal reflection?
The quality of teacher teaching is fundamental to student learning and development. Personal reflection is strongly associated with a supportive school environment, cognitive activation and behavior management…

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