ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Nurture critical reflection to achieve equity

By Ceri B. Dean, Robin Wisniewski and Francesca Lopez
December 2022
One of the key components of developing as a culturally responsive teacher is engaging in critical reflection. Through critical reflection, teachers deepen understanding of their own cultural identity and how their beliefs and assumptions, which reflect that identity, influence their thoughts and actions regarding students. Critical reflection also helps teachers expand awareness and understanding of other cultural perspectives and dismantle racism. Many states’ teacher evaluation instruments include a component related to teacher reflection. But often, teachers reflect on a surface level, which results in little examination or challenge to the teacher’s underlying assumptions about teaching and learning and only short-term changes in practice (Larrivee, 2008). By comparison, critical reflection requires that teachers recognize the assumptions and premises behind their beliefs and call commonly held beliefs

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Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. Jossey-Bass.

Hidalgo, N. (1993). Multicultural teacher introspection. In T. Perry & J. Fraser (Eds.), Freedom’s plow: Teaching in the multicultural classroom. Routledge.

Larrivee, B. (2008). Development of a tool to access teachers’ level of reflective practice. Reflective Practice, 9, 341-360.

Ceri dean 2
Ceri B. Dean ( is president of Dean Education Consulting.
Robin Wisniewski ( is director of education systems improvement at RTI International.

Francesca Lopez ( is Waterbury Chair in Equity Pedagogy and professor of education at Penn State College of Education.

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