Dewey we nurture and teach. (p. 229) According

Dewey (1933) considers
reflection not only as a way of emancipating
from merely impulsive and routine activity in teaching
but also as a way of professional development in teaching. To him, reflection, as
one of the most significant characteristics of a teacher, has a great impact on
the quality of schools and instruction (Dewey, 1933). Schön (1987), one of the
other prominent scholars in the area of reflection, states that novice teachers
can enhance their practice through reflection if it takes place throughout the
teaching process. Similarly, Day
(1999b), acknowledging the significance of reflection for teaching, argues
that:

 

Without routinely engaging in reflective
practice, it is unlikely that we will be able to understand the effects of our
motivations, prejudices, and aspirations upon the ways in which we create,
manage, receive, sift, and evaluate knowledge; and as importantly, the ways in
which we are influencing the lives, directions, and achievements of those whom
we nurture and teach. (p. 229)

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According to the literature, reflection can
occur in three forms: reflection-in-action (in the mid of the
action), reflection-on-action (after the event), and reflection-for-action
(before the action) (Farrell, 2012). Reflection in any type is thought of as the process of
learning through and from experience to obtain fresh insights into
self and practice (Finlay, 2008; Schön 1983, 1987). Procedurally, reflection entails a looking
forward to what teachers want to achieve, as well as a casting backward to see
where they have achieved. It involves individuals in critically appraising their
own responses to practice situations (Finlay, 2008), and makes them take more
responsibility for their actions (Farrell, 1998).

Reflection either intuitive or systematic makes it
possible for teachers to see what is visible to others but a mystery
to themselves; it raises teachers’ awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, unraveling
perplexity during teaching (Christodoulou, 2010; Salmani Nodoushan,
2011). Without such awareness, professional
growth of teacher might not be sufficient. Since
most of what teachers learn is gained through their in-class
experiences, reflective practice plays a crucial role in helping the teachers
to promote their profession (Day, 1993); as Osterman (1990) postulates “professional growth often
depends not merely on developing new ideas or theories of action by reflection,
but on eliminating or modifying those old ideas that have been
shaping behavior” (p. 135). Reflection as a process of scrutiny helps teachers better understand and
extend their professional activity, systematize,
and construct professional knowledge (Poom-Valickis &
Mathews, 2013).

Reflective practice empowers teachers to critically analyze and