Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Interpreting Reflective Practice in TESOL

Document Type : Original Article


Brock University, Canada



Reflective practice (RP) has become popular in many professions as a mark of professional competence. With this increase in popularity, many different definitions have developed alongside the many different approaches that have been advanced with many different theoretical underpinnings attached to these approaches. This is also the case within the field of education where although most educators agree some form of reflection is desirable, there is still no agreement on what RP is or how it should be implemented. RP has also been fully embraced within the teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and unfortunately with the same lack of clarity as to what it is or how it can be implemented. One reason for this lack of clarity it that we seem to have forgotten where it originated and why it made a resurgence much later. In this paper I look back at two of the giants of the RP movement and then outline how I have interpreted their work and my own work in the implementation of RP for TESOL teachers. I also look to the future (reflect-for-action) of RP for TESOL teachers.