Reflective Practice: a Challenge to Generalize (RP5)

by Zhenya

I was honored to write a guest post on John Pfordresher’s blog about a week ago. 

It ended with the Directions for the next RP Challenge: look back at the description and analysis you provided and formulate generalizations about learning, teaching, communication, (personal and professional) awareness, etc. Are you surprised to see the generalizations you wrote? Have you had them for a long time or are they the result of that particular experience you had?

Here you can find both my Description and Analysis

I will now draw some generalizations, or beliefs, from the analysis I did, and will use my own quotes for collecting ‘evidence’.


Staying as polite and friendly as possible while listening to the others’ point of view, no matter what feelings or thoughts are interfering, is important to me (and even more so, is a sign of being professional)

Quote: ‘My choice was to listen and acknowledge the information I heard as a trainer for that course, and to stay polite with the people I was communicating.’

Decisions do not always depend on the people I am in direct communication with (and therefore my communication or sharing feelings does not always impact the decisions)

Quote: ‘Why were they giving us that information so late? Probably because they had not had it earlier; probably because not being trainers or educators themselves and they did not know how important it was for us trainers to have as much info as possible about the course participants numbers, etc.’

Speaking in L2 (especially with different L1s) might bring an extra level of communication challenge.

Quote: Maybe the main reason was language proficiency (and therefore the person who could speak English could only talk to us that day and time)

Learning (about) the training course participants as early before a course as possible ensures increased learning opportunities.

Quote: Perhaps I was curious about such things as why they had to agree to do two courses at the same time (using the same vacation period) and what goals they had for their own development, and if they needed to be on the course, if they had any choice at all, and how ready they were for this challenge, etc.

Rules and codes of conduct on a training course need to be clear, transparent and fair to all its participants to maximize learning.

Quote: I sensed that the whole situation simply did not look fair to [the those participants who had not been planning to miss and had to do all the hard work during the two intensive weeks literally spending ’9am-9pm’ time in class/on campus working on this course]

Also, I believe that caring for successful educational projects means being aware of what a training course involves and facilitating all the communication channels to ensure that learning has time and space to happen.


I was re-reading the comments section after the Analysis post and found a couple more beliefs (shared directly or ‘hidden’ between the lines) They are….

  • as a trainer, I need to be clear about the decision-making policy and agents and about my limits to have impact (especially in a different culture)

  • informing all the parties involved about what is important for the efficient course flow and result is needed at any stage and with any staff member (better to ‘double check’ than ignore or forget something)

  • learning and self-educating about the culture where the training is held is never underestimated, and requires patience and openness, and readiness to experience something unexpected


Well, those are my beliefs based on the experience and some thoughts afterwards. I am wondering if they make sense to you, if you share similar views, or if you see something in a different way? I am looking forward to your thoughts and comments!

Also, don’t forget to check several more posts where our #RPPLN bloggers are sharing their generalizations:

Anne HendlerHana Ticha, and Kate Makaryeva with her complete ELC. 

Thank you for reading and learning 🙂