Analysis of Student Learning and Reflection

Welcome to the home stretch of the Level 2 experience! Congratulations on implementing your two lessons. Two very important parts of the teaching process begins when the lesson itself is complete: analyzing student learning and reflecting on our teaching and the learning process. These are the final sections of the Level 2 Teacher Work Sample.

In the Analysis of Student Learning section, you describe and explain the extent to which the students met your learning goals. It is important to remember that you are writing not only for me but for an audience that was not present at your lessons (e.g., future employers) so you will need to clearly explain the evidence you have for your assertions. Avoid vague statements like, "the students really seemed to understand the lesson," and replace with observable evidence like, "The students were enthusiastic about the lesson: every student made at least one quality contribution to the class discussion, there were multiple volunteers for every question I asked, and no one had their head down." Be sure to explicitly address every learning goal and give clear evidence from your formal and informal assessments regarding student learning on the goal. You are also asked to reflect on the impact of your differentiation plan and whether it successfully assisted students in meeting your learning goals. Again, use concrete examples and brutal honesty in your explanation.

In the Reflection section, you are asked to

  • analyze the relationship between your instruction and student learning in order to improve teaching performance.
  • consider the impact of your motivation strategies and what you need to develop next in this area.
  • examine your classroom management strategies and impact and what you need to develop next in this area.
  • reflect on future growth and professional development needs.

This is a very important section that directly relates to the motto of the teacher education program: Educating for Reflective Practice. Some students have little difficulty with this complex task, while others struggle, and it seems that reflection is a skill expected but not always directly taught in the program.

At UNI, we believe the basis for quality reflection involves asking yourself a series of challenging questions that help you to compare what happened to an ideal, and then answering the questions with brutal honesty. A science teacher we know tells her students that in lab report discussions they must write, "three whys deep," meaning that once you have answered a question, you must ask yourself and answer, "why is that true?" then ask it twice more to help to reach truth.

The UNI Teacher Education Conceptual Framework states, "Irwin (1987) defined the reflective/analytic educator as one who makes teaching decisions on the basis of a conscious awareness and careful consideration of (1) the assumptions on which the decisions are based and (2) the technical, educational, and ethical consequences of those decisions. These decisions are made before, during, and after teaching actions. In order to make these decisions, the reflective/analytic [educator] must have an extensive knowledge of the content to be taught, pedagogical and theoretical options, characteristics of individual students, and the situational constraints in the classroom, school, and society in which they work. (p. 24)" This definition incorporates the work of such scholars as Dewey (1916, 1933, 1938), whom you have read about in your 3148 textbook and who founded the University of Chicago Laboratory School.

Remember that this section is about analysis and not description, so you don’t need to repeat what you have already stated earlier in the work sample. Also, don’t forget to reflect in the specific ways indicated, including analyzing which learning activities contributed most to student learning; and explaining one or two areas to target for further professional growth, and two professional development activities that will most likely help you develop in the areas you identified. You can read examples of other students' reflections on the L2TWS webpage, or see your Field Experience Coordinator for examples from students who completed the experience in previous semesters.