American Sociological Association

Sociology, Teaching, and Reflective Practice: Using Writing to Improve

The scholarly literature on teaching sociology contains relatively little about improving courses from one semester to the next. In this article, I describe a method for continual teaching improvement that is based on writing, the well-established practice of teacher reflection, and classical sociological principles. This method was developed through the analysis of nine semesters of autoethnographic data that I collected in the form of daily reflective notes. The benefits of this sociologically informed reflective practice include grounding evaluations of individual class periods and entire courses in empirical data, becoming more efficient with course preparation, providing one with a stronger sense of mastery as a teacher, and developing as a sociologist by using the classroom as a key site for engaging in praxis. This practice can help teachers refine individual courses, improve as an instructor in an overall sense and more deeply connect sociology to the scholarship of teaching and learning.


David Purcell





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