Professional Learning Program

Reflecting on Practice

Reflecting on Practice is a professional learning program meticulously designed to build participants’ understanding of, experiences with, and integration of best practices in informal science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning environments. It is devised for institutions to implement with their own staff and volunteers, at their own pace. This program is not intended as a blueprint for how to teach. Reflecting on Practice is an opportunity for practitioners of all levels of experience to learn from one another, develop a shared language to support learning, and exchange ideas on their practice.

Learning is an active process: four teachers are standing together discussing this topic on a poster

What is RoP?

The goal of the program is to advance the informal STEM education field by cultivating communities of learners among its professionals.

Overview

The goal of the program is to advance the informal STEM education field by cultivating communities of learners among its professionals. The program has three primary objectives:

  • To build shared language and understanding among professionals by relating research to practice.
  • To engage practitioners in habits of reflection, including observing their own teaching, as a means to develop their practice and make it public.
  • To nurture a tradition of continued professional learning among participants, and thereby build a professional learning community.

Module Overviews

How does RoP impact your practice?

Education coordinators share how Reflecting on Practice has impacted their practice and brought a culture of reflecting to Coastal Bend Bays and Estuary Program Nueces Delta Preserve.

Reflecting on Practice makes a difference

RoP Educators often mentioned four major beneficial outcomes from participating in Reflecting on Practice:

  • Developed a shared understanding and common language of high quality teaching and learning.
  • Created changes in habits of thinking about their actions and connections to research.
  • Provided opportunities to gain professional skills and recognition.
  • Cultivated an institutional community and learning culture.

RoP Facilitators shared how implementing Reflecting on Practice was valuable on multiple levels:

  • For themselves, gained leadership skills as an RoP Facilitator to advance their career within the institution and in the informal learning field.
  • For their staff and co-workers, tapped into shared expertise and be part of building a culture of learning and reflection at their institution.
  • For the institution, it benefited from consistent, top-notch, learning-based visitor experiences across the organization.

How and why the Reflecting on Practice program is effective

Four aspects of an educator’s practice are demonstrably changed by the Reflecting on Practice program (Tran, Werner-Avidon, & Newton, 2013):

  • Behavior—how educators interact with learners
  • Thinking—educators’ thoughtfulness about their actions and understanding of research
  • Language—how educators talk about their practice
  • Participation—how educators engage in their work inside and outside their institutions

View our YouTube channel to hear testimonials from Institutions engaging in the program.

How do I learn more about Reflecting on Practice and its assets?

Reflecting on Practice was created, written, and developed for dissemination by Lynn Uyen Tran and Catherine Halversen at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley through funding from the National Science Foundation (DRL#1612515) and Institute for Museum & Library Services (MP-00-09-0002-09).

Program Curriculum

Reflecting on Practice is published by Routledge and is available for purchase.

Contact

Lynn Tran or Sarah Pedemonte at the Lawrence Hall of Science can provide you with additional information about Reflecting on Practice.