University of Southern Indiana

Reflective Teacher Model

The Reflective Teacher Model is an undergraduate teacher education program based upon a philosophy of active and experiential learning and critical inquiry into underlying issues in education and society from multiple perspectives.


This philosophy emphasizes the development of the preservice teacher as a reflective practitioner who exhibits the following characteristics:

Reflective teachers are purposeful and active
Reflective teachers initiate instruction cognizant of the needs of the students as expressed through their experience. Reflective teachers aim instruction toward actions or convictions that resolve the questions, tensions, and perplexities that initiated the student's process of inquiry.

Reflective teachers are open to the individuality of students
Reflective teachers recognize that the social process of education is also personal, and that it cannot be coerced from others, but must be chosen by them.

Reflective teachers are sympathetic to the interests, needs, and insights of the students.
Reflective teachers enchance relationships with students by acknowledging students' capacity as reflective thinkers. Reflective teachers take seriously students' problems, hypotheses, and conclusions.

Reflective teachers are patient.
Reflective teachers know that it takes time for ideas to be developed, delineated, and evaluated. Reflective instruction may take days, weeks, or years to achieve its purpose.

Reflective teachers are flexible.
Reflective teachers allow for divergence and technological change. They seek to expand options rather than limit them. They consider alternative methods and points of view, and they are willing to change their mind.

Reflective teachers are tentative.
Reflective teachers explore, investigate, and grow. They are suspicious of their own conclusions because they know that they are learners.

Reflective teachers are self-regarding.
Reflective teachers take their own reasoning processes as part of their field of inquiry. They are conscious of their assumptions, logic, choices, priorities, and conclusions.

Reflective teachers look at ends as well as means.
Reflective teachers ponder how their decisions will affect the lives of the children they teach. They ask not only, "How can I do this better?" but also, "Why do I do this?"

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