Pedagogical reflection and practice is the latest publication by three authors who have considerable experience and notable careers, characterised by underlining and publicising the connections between educational theory and practice. An approach that, while may not surprise people from other fields, is not common in the world of pedagogy.
It is true that, in recent times, the need to link theory-reflection-research with praxis, experience and contextualisation has been demanded in many educational innovation projects. This, however, has not been translated into concrete pedagogical proposals. Hence the value of the present work. Hence the value of this work.
The book we discuss here is divided into three chapters. In the first, Toni Colom considers the theory of science and the theory of education from an epistemological perspective. He provides a systematic overview of this debate, embodied in the proposals by Mario Bunge and Karl Popper, through which he delves into the complexity of education from a preferably qualitative approach. This enables him to respond to what escapes logical linearity. In other words, he is oriented towards a singular, unfathomable, and unknown self-organisation, with the various contributions of Humberto Maturana and Edgar Morin, among others. The author reminds us that education is hazardous and complex. Therefore, educational realities must be approached with an open and undefined structure of knowledge. All of this leads us to the current debate about the possible innovations that will have to be implemented when tools such as ChatGPT or similar are present in classrooms. We will
have to explore the dimension of what is “undefined” in the broadest extent of the concept, creating opportunities for challenges that are hard to predict.
Afterwards, Colom proceeds to bring all of the discourse about the origin and evolution of the theory of education towards its material existence, towards its practical application, both in regards to the material objects through which we teach and to the individuals who are at the centre of this process (without them, there is no education, as the author reminds us). Furthermore, in order to be able to advance, this practice must be based on critical reflection, on moral-axiological criteria that address teachers in their day-to-day work. We are also reminded that pedagogical practice starts from a technological foundation to locate this practical-reflexive orientation in the interests of a pragmatic instrumentalization. At this point, James and Dewey are mentioned as some of the authors who represent this basis.
In the second chapter, Gonzalo Vázquez takes up Colom’s idea of technological reason . He suggests that the link between theory and practice is to be found in the principles and strategies implemented in different learning situations. For example, in the use of experiences (as a Deweyian concept) and/or simulations to be able to reach the desired transference, put in place and increased in a variety of educational settings through this technology. All of this is with the basic idea of incorporating processes of dialogue (internal and external) through observation, on condition that it is supported and corrected by critical, informed reflection. The author places particular emphasis on how emotions, both individual and group, contribute as a fundamental part of learning processes, underlining their undoubted impact in deep learning. Therefore, it is vitally important to be able to put in place the conditions, both inter-
nal and external, for self-knowledge.
It is on self-knowledge that the author bases the idea of maturity and cognitive equilibrium. This is of special interest for training our future teachers, individuals who encounter the dilemmas typical of this changing and sometimes bleak society. One example of this is the current debate over artificial intelligence, which brings us closer to what is unplanned, to what has not yet happened. Having a new, privileged window, even if it exceeds human cognition in speed on many levels, elicits as much wonder as insecurity. However, it is another element for shaping principles and strategies between educational theory and mindful, effective, and rigorous practice. As Vázquez notes, educational action presents the two faces of Janus: it is at, the same time, structuring and unbalancing, although we would add that it is also vibrant.
The proposal closes with a third chapter which focusses on what its author, Jaume Sarramona, calls the “materialisation of educational action”. The fact is that theory contributes (as it should) to transforming reality, to making each student’s learning possible from his or her own context and uniqueness. The author meticulously addresses and expands the materialisation of theory as “form”, presenting the meaningful elements that comprise the action of professionalism in teachers. And with this intent, he positions the activity of didactic planning as the heart of school educational practice.
It is strongly recommended that teachers with little experience and also those with most expertise carefully read all of the key elements that must be taken into account in classroom planning, which the author spells out and, more notably, how all of them are given a sequenced time and space throughout the educational process.
Sarramona analyses the extent to which planning is a sign of professionalism in teachers. He follows the principles of prediction and precaution, but also included the artistic and creative aspect, in order to be able to give way to the necessary capacity for flexibility that continuous learning requires. Planning and, at the same time, being flexible in order to be able to approach the purposes of education. In this way, the questions of why we have to educate and what we educate for can be answered. Planning and flexibility to personalise learning with a variety of strategies and resources that the author offers with clear summary schemes, based on practical formulations and advice with various resources.
Evaluation is shown to be a process that cuts across all of the planned didactic sequence. This evaluation’s main objective is to help students in their process of self-regulation. This evaluation must be at the heart of the rhythm and style of all learning, requiring teachers to construct instruments for systematic observation that make it possible to measure results and verify the fitness of the educational materialisation as proposed and implemented.
Toni J. Colom, J. Sarramona, and G. Vázquez offer us wise pages in this joint book that combine theoretical knowledge and a practice-based outlook, a valuable tool for current and future teachers, as well as for the people who train them.
Dr Isabel Alvarez i Canovas and Dr Joana Ferrer i Miquel
Citación recomendada | Recommended citation
Alvarez i Canovas, I.,
Ferrer i Miquel, J.
Colom, T., Sarramona, J. & Vázquez, G. (2023). Reflexión y práctica pedagógica [Pedagogical reflection and practice]. Horsori. 154 pp..
Revista Española de Pedagogía, 82(287).
Palabras clave | Keywords