By Michael Hilkemeijer
Reflection plays a very important part in the development of student ICT capability throughout the integration of ICT in the curriculum. However, for teachers it is all about taking responsibility for the use of ICT in the classroom and their professional growth. It is important that teachers do reflect on practices and take the appropriate steps to improve them.
As teachers you should encourage students to reflect critically and evaluate their own work with ICT, so to must teachers. It must involve determining which parts of the lesson went well and which ones were less successful. From here, they can make the adjustments and plan for better lessons accordingly. For this to occur, they need to look deeper into the practices ask the questions as to why a particular approach was a success or failure. Classroom reflection such as this is said to promote thinking about classroom activities and the beliefs associated with those actions (Kennewell et al., 2000). Clarifying existing ideas about teaching helps to forge new ideas or modify old ones.
A powerful reflection involves carrying out action research. That is, the approach where teachers are required to take a more rigorous look at the quality of their teaching and learning. For judgments here to be made, evidence such as the following in relation to classroom activity needs to be taken into account:
- Lesson plans and schemes of work;
- Comments from observing teachers;
- A diary of classroom activity;
- The results of students’ class and homework and;
- The results of examinations.
The following questions can be used as a guide (Kennewell et al., 2000, p189).
- To what extent am I catering for the abilities of all the students in the class?
- Are students able to build on prior learning?
- Have I considered common misconceptions associated with this topic?
- Are the students able to use what they have learnt in new situation?
- Did the students appreciate that they were making progress?
- Did the students improve their confidence in the subject and the image they have of themselves as a learner of the subject?
- Did the students develop good habits of work, including perseverance and a concern for correctness?
- Did the students use their initiative, exercise imagination and think for themselves?
Other question include:
- How was the ICT activity integrated into the normal running of the classroom? What skills did I need in order for the ICT activity to succeed?
- How did I ensure that all students had access to the ICT activity? What were the learning outcomes for the students in ICT?
- What assessment opportunities were there?
- How does this experience add to my understanding of teaching ICT capability in literacy development?
- What will I do next time?
Just like students, teachers must reflect on their teaching and learning with ICT. Reflection will lead to learning of better ways to help students develop their capabilities in ICT.