Experiences on the part of pupils were just assumed leaving a fundamental fallacy in the methods of teaching and instructions. (Dewey, 2007, p. 128). Failures in teaching methods were ascribed to other factors social, cultural and environmental imbalances. While acknowledging and emphasising the importance of reflection, Dewey made some additional stress for the need of some basic traits and characters such as sincerity, involvement and responsibility. This opened a flood gate to make several reforms in teaching methods and models. Dewy’s steps of reflection emanating from perplexity to deciding on a plan of action could thus be considered the start of such endeavour.
(Van Manen, 1995, p. 34) Accepting the process of dialogue made teaching take a double way flow; that is, teaching is learning too. The Modular Programmes described by Manion et al (1996), with a stress on one-to-one discussion in planning pathways, setting targets and action planning are the typical ones of this interactive teaching methods. On realising that teaching is not simply giving away a sermon or lecturing, the teaching community began to aspire for professional efficiency. Reflective practices began to play an important role in education and pedagogy of teaching.
Although we can not be generic in comprising the entire field of ‘education’, the field of teaching invariably is supported by reflective practices. I have to be precise because the term education covers scientific fields that rely more on empirical evidences. Lack of empirically based theory underlying strategies to promote reflection and factors that influence its use in translating learning into practice in fields like health care may be the road block. (Lowe et al, 2007) But such blocks are not apparent in other fields of education.
Arts and pedagogy of teaching are in contrast nourished well by reflective practices. A PRE-ANALYSIS LOOK: Before analysing the reflective practices in teaching, it would be apt to go through a few definitions of ‘reflective thinking’. Reflective thinking is a thinking that is aware of its own assumptions and implications as well as being conscious of the reasons and evidence that support the conclusion. (Lipman, 2003, p. 26) John Dewey defined reflective thinking as “an active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it tends”(as cited in Renee J.
Martin, 1995, p. 167) Reid (1993) presents a motivational definition of reflective thinking as “a process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyze, evaluate and so inform learning about practice. ” Van Manen defines reflection in terms of a means of mental action that distances the person from events in order that they may be viewed in a more objective manner.