Self evaluation and reflection

One of the main points regularly brought out by HMIe is the need for ALL teachers and students to self evaluate and reflect as a matter of course rather than on the odd occasion whence comes a moon that is blue.

Now many of us DO reflect after each lesson and make quick notes about what went well, what went horribly wrong and how to sort it. Reflection is, of course, no good unless we learn something from it. If we are ALL learners now then perhaps we should be teaching our kids how to reflect in greater detail? I want to think about reflection first. Self evaluation is something I do with end of year surveys with my kids and so on and will be expanded another time.

Currently I only really teach reflection as part of the W2 Personal Writing aspects of the Standard Grade folio writing and also in case they find a good question on the exam paper that asks them to write about ‘their thoughts and feelings’. The trouble is most teenagers are happy to write about their thoughts and feelings but on bebo or facebook and not at school! They discuss their problems but don’t want ‘the olds’ joining in. The Reflective Cycle below is one example of what we should be asking our students to do.

But is this a good model or should we be trying to get them to really get down and dirty (without going too far down!)

I am torn between setting up an online journal or offline diary such as (iDDairy). There are also sites such as Memiary where you can leave 5 thoughts for the day about what you’ve done and your feelings. I remember a teacher at Grangemouth High who has had success with journals which also cover writing notes and ideas that they can re-use in another essay for example. Or should we just use jotters? iPhones or other phone applications are available but not all students have them.

Decisions. Decisions.  Any thoughts?


  1. The professional dialogue
    I think an important aspect of the self reflection process is peer mentoring.
    A perspective from outside your own thoughts and perspective by someone you trust.

  2. What are your feeder primaries doing in this area with their pupils? If they already keep learning logs or similar perhaps there is something there to build on?

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