Becoming a Reflective Teacher

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Marzano Research Laboratory, 2012 - Education - 239 pages
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Becoming a Reflective Teacher is a practical guide for educators who wish to hone their teaching strategies. Just as successful athletes must identify personal strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and engage in focused practice to meet their goals, author and educator Robert Marzano asserts that teachers must also examine their practices, set growth goals, and use focused practice and feedback to successfully educate students and equip them with the tools to thrive academically.

In the latest edition to the Classroom Strategies Series, Marzano continues to present the most useful instructional research and theory-based strategies to help educators enhance student achievement. Specifically, Becoming a Reflective Teacher addresses how teachers can combine a model of effective instruction with goal setting, focused practice, focused feedback, and observations and discussions of teaching to improve their instructional practices. This book is based around the framework featured in The Art and Science of Teaching and includes a detailed compendium of over 270 strategies organized under forty-one elements of effective teaching. It also features comprehension questions at the end of each chapter, with answers in appendix A.

As with all books in the series, chapter 1 details the research and theory behind the book's topic. It includes a brief history of reflective practice and uses historical figures to show how such practice is critical to gaining expertise. This chapter also lays out the organization of the framework, featuring three categories of lesson segments, the related design questions, and the forty-one elements of effective teaching.

Chapter 2 breaks down these three categories of lesson segments (involving routine events, addressing content, and enacted on the spot) into the related design questions for each. For each question, the authors include a vignette showing how to apply the discussed elements in the classroom.

Chapter 3 discusses setting growth goals. This chapter shows readers how to conduct a self-audit to determine their level of competence for each of the forty-one elements of effective teaching. This chapter relates to appendix B, which includes measuring scales for each element. Chapter 3 also details how to create a personal profile using the framework so teachers can set clear goals each year.

Chapter 4 discusses engaging in focused practice. The authors show readers how to focus on specific steps of a strategy, develop fluency with a strategy, make adaptations to a strategy, and create a macrostrategy. The compendium, which details strategies for all forty-one elements of effective teaching, is a great resource for ideas.

Chapter 5 discusses receiving focused feedback. This chapter details how to create a reflection log in order to keep track of growth related to goals. It also shows teachers how to use video data, student survey data, and student achievement data to improve practice.

Chapter 6 breaks down the final element of reflective teaching: observing and discussing teaching. The authors briefly discuss three ways teachers might interact: (1) videos of other teachers, (2) coaching colleagues, and (3) instructional rounds. Coaching colleagues can help one another build their teaching practices by working together.

The compendium is a comprehensive list of strategies for reflective practice. It is meant to be used as an at-a-glance resource to build reflective teaching. For each of the forty-one elements, the authors include several ready-to-use strategies as well as a list of ways to incorporate technology into the element. The compendium includes its own table of contents to help readers easily find the strategy they wish to incorporate into their practice. There are also tabs throughout to designate which lesson segment the strategies are under.

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About the author (2012)

Robert J. Marzano, PhD, is cofounder and CEO of Marzano Research Laboratory in Englewood, Colorado. A leading researcher in education, he is a speaker, trainer, and author of more than 30 books and 150 articles.

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