What is Reflection?

What is the purpose of reflection?

Where do you put the reflections in your portfolio?

What makes a good artifact?

What are the stages of a portfolio artifact?

Where will I find preservice and inservice artifacts?

How to write a reflective statement

What makes a good reflective statement?

What is an excellent reflection?

Reflection as assessment?

How can you improve your written reflections?

How can you demonstrate and assess growth over time?

How can you assess your abilities to reflect?

What kind of reflections should I have at benchmark I or at acceptance into the teacher education program?

What kind of reflections should I have at benchmark II or prior to student teaching or mid-program review?

What kind of reflections should I have at benchmark III or at program completion?

What do I do with all my reflections and artfacts at program completion at benchmark III?

Tips on organizing your exit portfolio (this is a link)


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Authored by Sheri Klein, UW-Stout

How to write a reflective statement

Writing effective reflective statements will take time. Following this format can assist you to organize your thoughts and experiences in a way that results in more than descriptions and critical reflection on your teaching.

What standard(s) does the teaching experience address?

List what standard(s) the teaching experiences address.

What are the facts of this experience? Who was involved? What happened?

Include a description of the teaching event or activity with as many relevant details, such as, grade level, type of lesson and activities, number of students, focus of the lesson.

What helped to shape this experience and its outcomes?

Analyze the significant issues that emerged in the teaching experience and factors impacting the event to provide. Link art education, learning or curriculum theory. to your insights and analysis of the teaching experience. In analyzing a teaching experience, it may be helpful to beginning middle or end of lesson.  Each section may have its own particular issue.

What have I learned from this experience?
What was the meaning of this experience?

Discuss the outcome and meaning of the experience and artifact that you are selecting to represent this experience. Discuss areas for improvement in teaching and lessons learned (intended or unintended) based on the outcomes of the teaching experience.

What are my short and long-term goals for teaching based on this experience? What do I need to reach these goals? What new instights our teaching were gained?

Based on your analysis and synthesis of the teaching experience, formulate goals that are realistic, achievable and measureable.

What makes a good reflective statement?
The first level of reflection is observing and being attentive to that which is perceived. Further reflection requires that you look more closely, deeply, carefully and analytically.

A good reflectiive statement will:

  • Be a written or verbal narrative that is clear and concise
  • Include description, analysis, synthesis/judgement and goal setting
  • Address the artifact or experience represented
  • Contain both facts and feelings
  • Use bias-free language
  • Give insights into your experience and thinking about teaching and the teaching event or issue
  • Reveals your decision making process

What is an excellent reflection?

All of the above plus:

  • Relates your practice or experience to your understanding of learning and/or art education theories
  • Demonstrate your ability to link coursework to your practice
  • Give insights with examples as to how student learning has taken place or the standard has been met
  • Give insights with examples as to how you can build on this experience
  • Demonstrate your ability to project future goals (short & long term)

See the REFLECTION RUBRIC AND PORTFOLIO RUBRIC for evaluation criteria. Use the reflection rubric to assess your reflections so that you can improve your reflective thinking and writing.

Reflection as assessment

Reflection is the analysis of an event, thoughts, experiences, or insights into the impact of an experience or projected goals for the future. Research has clearly demonstrated that the effects of the reflection improve teaching (Danielson, 1996, p. 53). Reflection is not necessarily assessment. One can reflect on an experience without passing judgement. Reflection as assessment requires that you reach judgment and set appropriate future goals.

How can you get better at writing reflections?

Your reflections about your coursework, field experiences and teaching will change over time. What you reflected on in your freshman year may not be relevant for you as a senior due to your intellectual, emotional and pedagogical growth and-- practice in writing reflections.

  • Use the reflection worksheet and rubric as a guide to help you begin
  • Use the assessment rubric to self-evaluate your reflections
  • Use advisement for getting feedback from your faculty on your reflective skills

How can you demonstrate and assess growth over time?

As you continue to develop your critical self-assessment skills, and change your perspectives on art educational issues, philosophies and practices, you will want to review your past reflections.

The following are some suggested ways that you can assess your growth over time using your reflections:

  • Compare and contrast a recent and earlier philosophy of art education statement, classroom management statement, or a recent artifact, new painting with earlier painting. In your statement, demonstrate how your thinking has been extended and/or altered about this artifact or set of artifacts, what your influences are, and what your future goals are.

How can you assess your abilities to reflect?

As a reflective practitioner, it is important that you participate in the process of self-assessment of your reflective skills. The reflection rubric includes criteria and expectations for a beginning (freshman), intermediate (sophomore and junior) and advanced (senior) level preservice teacher. Teachers, advisors, and students can use this rubric.

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