Four Lenses: Evaluation Resources

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences encourages its teachers to engage in critical reflection on evidence about teaching and students' learning and to read the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Evaluation of Teaching Policy. This website offers tools to support a rich range of evaluation practices. These are collected below under Stephen Brookfield's four lenses for critical reflection (self, student, peer and scholarly literature). Brookfield's lenses, or perspectives, range from systematic self-reflection, to reflecting on student feedback, to engaging in peer observation or review, and learning from scholarly literature. Click here for a short synopsis of Brookfield's Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher (1995).

Using the Four Lenses

Each of these Four Lenses offers tools and practices to support good and excellent teaching. The Faculty asks teachers to engage in reflection, using at least one tool from the student lens and one from the self lens as a minimum practice. Teachers should document the process each semester using the Faculty's Critical Reflection Pro Forma or a format of their own choosing.

Teachers striving for excellence may wish to engage more deeply with a range of evidence, using not only student and self lenses but other tools and lenses as needed. Follow the links below to read more about various methods of reflection and to access a selection of reflective exercises. The exercises contained on this website are examples and can be adapted to suit your needs.

  • Self Lens: Teachers may focus on their experiences as a teacher in order to reveal aspects of their pedagogy that may need adjustment or strengthening.
  • Student Lens: Engaging with student views of the learning environment can lead to more responsive teaching. Evaluations, assessments, journals, focus groups and/or interviews can each provide cues to improve teaching and learning.
  • Peer Lens: Peers can highlight hidden habits in teaching practice, and also provide innovative solutions to teaching problems. Further, colleagues can be inspirational and provide support and solidarity.
  • Literature Lens: Teaching theory provides the vocabulary for teaching practice, and offers different ways to view and understand your teaching. Here you'll find ways to utilise scholarly literature in your teaching and critical reflection.