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Transforming University Teaching through Reflective Practice

Improving Learning Strategies in Education

Discussant Information

Dr. Fongkong Mungal

Author Information:

Mervin E. Chisholm
The University of the West Indies, Mona or

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 1
Date: 1st June, 2015
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Over the last three decades or so, important new initiatives have been introduced into undergraduate education. These initiatives point to the fact that there is a cadre of higher education professionals interested in the transformation of approaches to teaching and learning (Chisholm, 2007; O?Banion, 1997; Wingspread Group on Higher Education, 1993). ?Some are also interested in thoroughgoing transformation of the organizational structure of institutions of higher education. Many of these initiatives hold out great promise for real advances in student learning and even for changing the culture of higher education (Barr & Tagg, 1995; Smith, 2004). This paper reports on a case study research project to determine how reflection on teaching assisted university teachers to improve their teaching at a University in Kingston, Jamaica. Semi- structured interviews with five faculty members ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?completing a Certificate in University Teaching and Learning programme were done. The following research questions guided the study:? 1. How did you the experience of reflection component of the programme? 2. What role did the critical friends play in your reflection and learning? Allen?s (1991) concept of reflective thinking in professional programmes and practice was used as the conceptual framework. Analysis of the data was continuous and on-going using standard qualitative approaches. Findings suggested that the participants? experiences were multifaceted and multi-layered. Learning by doing was enhanced by reflection in-action and reflection-on-action. There was general agreement that teaching must be embraced as ethical activity. The importance of pedagogical support space and critical friends in professional development were underscored.