Thinking About Teaching and Learning: A Reflective Journey
The objective of this study is to explore strategies to improve teaching and learning experience so that students develop higher-order thinking skills. The theoretical framework is based on Dewey’s (The Educational Forum, 50(3), 241–252, 1986) theory of human experience and education as well as Schon’s (Harvard Business Review, 62, 58–62, 1984) reflective practitioner. Hence, Schon’s reflective practitioner is about teaching, whereas Dewey’s theory of human experience and education is about learning. This is the first cycle of an action research, qualitative longitudinal study where students were surveyed at three stages: first, in the middle of the semester while they are still learning; second, right after they have taken the final exam; and third, after 5 years. Narrative inquiry and phenomenology are used as methodology for analysis. Findings indicated that students are not interested to learn because they don’t think it’s important for them to understand the course. This is because they can memorize and cram before the exam and get good grades. In addition, the result indicated that former students realize they lack the ability to solve problems. Thus, they are not able to apply what they have learned in university to their jobs. However, findings indicated that if they forget certain facts, they can always look it up on the Internet; but the most important thing that they value is the soft skills that they barely develop during university years. Therefore, it is imperative for educators to incorporate higher-order thinking skills so that students can develop the ability to handle issues and apply the skills in their work.
KeywordsTeaching and learning Reflective practice Narrative inquiry Phenomenology Action research
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