Ongoing self-reflection of your practice provides useful insight that should fuel the process of self discovery and teaching improvement. Below are two forms of reflection. These could be useful to your teaching overall, not just within food and nutrition.
To support reflection of your food and nutrition teaching specifically, you could use the Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition in primary schools audit documents, as a guide. These provide room for your personal reflection, as well as follow-up actions. The audit documents can be accessed below.
Keep a journal, blog or note in a digital diary to provide insight into what you do and develop your self-awareness.
You are encouraged to reflect on each experience (e.g. webinar, course) and consider how you can apply what you have learned in the classroom.
Ongoing reflection includes:
- analysing the pupils’ learning, responses and reactions;
- increasing your knowledge and understanding of your pupils, their attitudes, difficulties and potential, what they need, what helps or hinders their learning, what motivates or demotivates them;
- developing your knowledge and understanding of resources, teaching approaches and the forms of assessment available to you.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What do you expect to learn and become more confident and competent at doing, as a result of this professional learning experience?
- Where do you feel you could do better if you knew more? For example, supporting those with additional needs, or more appropriate assessment and monitoring strategies.
- What do you need to know and be able to do before you plan and teach?
- What aspect of your teaching would you like to improve, feel clearer and/or more confident about?
- Is there an area where the pupils need more help, in order to do better, and where you need more help in order to understand their difficulties?
- What can you do that will provide you with information and insight into what pupils need and how they learn, along with ideas about resources and methods that will motivate, support, and challenge them?
Looking back over a period of time on the TPFN programme (for example, at least six months), review the Food teaching in primary schools: A framework of knowledge and skills and Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition in primary schools as well as your audit and development activities.
Write a summary that answers the following questions:
- How do you know your pupils are learning?
- What do your Schemes of Work/Learning say about your teaching style?
- How has your teaching changed in the last six months to two years? (This will be different, depending on your career stage.) Are these changes for the better? How can you tell?
- Have your own professional values and beliefs changed? If so, how have they developed?
- How has your own learning from professional development and training impacted upon your teaching? How might this affect future classroom practice?
The bottom line
- Your involvement in the TPFN programme is to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to teach high quality food and nutrition lessons and inspire you to champion a whole school approach to food. Has it? If so, how? If not, why?
- The aim of the programme is to build your confidence and competence in teaching food and nutrition.
Has it? If so, how - what can you do now that you could not do before? If not, why - what have been the barriers to your development?
Reflection is a basic part of teaching and learning. It aims to make you more aware of your own professional knowledge and action by ‘challenging assumptions of everyday practice and critically evaluating practitioners’ own responses to practice situations’ (Finlay, 2008).
Use the audit documents below to reflect on your teaching and learning around the different aspects of food and nutrition education. There is also space for follow-up actions.
Read the document below to find out more about how reflection, reflective thinking and reflective practice can help you become an even better primary practitioner.
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