Minding the Gap: Comparing Student and Instructor Experiences with Critical Reflection

Keywords: critical reflection, SoTL, student perspectives, faculty perspectives, pedagogy, instructor perceptions

Abstract

Critical reflection (CR) is regarded as essential for learning in higher education. Many instructors want students to reflect deeply and critically, but lament perceived deficiencies in students’ value and understanding of CR. This qualitative study explored four undergraduate courses across disciplines to appraise how instructors' perceptions of CR compared to the perceptions of their students. We uncovered similarities and differences in how instructors and students define, engage, identify, and value CR. Our findings reveal tensions around how to explain CR to students, and around different methods and meanings across disciplines and contexts with implications for practice. The findings suggest that although facilitating CR remains a challenging and often-nebulous endeavor, both instructors and students value the process and the gap may not be as insurmountable as commonly perceived. 

Author Biographies

Bridget Arend, University of Denver

Bridget Arend is Adjunct Faculty and former Executive Director, Office of Teaching and Learning, at the University of Denver (USA).

Beth Archer-Kuhn

Beth Archer-Kuhn, PhD, is Associate Professor with the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary, in Calgary, Alberta (CAN).

Kazuko Hiramatsu

Kazuko Hiramatsu is an Associate Professor of Linguistics in the English Department at the University of Michigan-Flint (USA).

Chris Ostrowdun

Christopher Ostrowdun is a PhD Candidate in Learning Sciences at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary (CAN)

Janel Seeley

 Janel Seeley is the Director of the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Wyoming (USA).

Adrian Jones

Adrian Jones teaches Ottoman and Russian history at La Trobe University in Melbourne (AUS).

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Published
2021-03-07
How to Cite
Arend, Bridget, Beth Archer-Kuhn, Kazuko Hiramatsu, Chris Ostrowdun, Janel Seeley, and Adrian Jones. 2021. “Minding the Gap: Comparing Student and Instructor Experiences With Critical Reflection”. Teaching & Learning Inquiry 9 (1), 317-32. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.9.1.21.
Section
ICWG Special Section