Educators doing Moon Ball Pirates activity

What is RoP?

Reflecting on Practice is a professional learning program meticulously designed to build participants’ understanding of, experiences with, and integration of best practices in informal science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning environments.

It is devised for institutions to implement with their own staff and volunteers, at their own pace. This program is not intended as a blueprint for how to teach. Reflecting on Practice is an opportunity for practitioners of all levels of experience to learn from one another, develop a shared language to support learning, and exchange ideas on their practice.

The goal of the program is to advance the informal STEM education field by cultivating communities of learners among its professionals. The program has three primary objectives:

  • To build shared language and understanding among professionals by relating research to practice.
  • To engage practitioners in habits of reflection, including observing their own teaching, as a means to develop their practice and make it public.
  • To nurture a tradition of continued professional learning among participants, and thereby build a professional learning community.


RoP Modules-indev

The program is modular. Each module focuses on a topic relevant and critical to the informal educators’ practice. Each module is comprised of 3 to 4 sessions that are each about 2.5 hours in duration.

Interactive Sessions engage participants in activities and discussions on learning and teaching—drawing from their experiences and integrating research from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, education, and sociology. There are two types:

  • Core Content provides essential concepts, activities and discussions about learning and teaching in informal environments.
  • Advanced Study builds on the Core Content within the module, with additional ideas and activities to deepen understanding.

Reflection Sessions designate time and space for participants to reflect on their practice through observations and feedback from colleagues—experience profound change in their teaching habits and mindsets. There is one type:

  • Video Reflection provides opportunities to share practice though watching and discussing video with the community—a hallmark of the Reflecting on Practice program

How does RoP impact educator practice?

Education coordinators share how RoP has impacted their everyday practice and brought a culture of reflection to Coastal Bend Bays and Estuary Program Nueces Delta Preserve. Learn more about RoP by watching our other videos on our Youtube channel.


    • Session 1: Learning Beliefs, Behaviors and Goals
    • Session 2: Effective Reflective Practice
    • Session 3: Nature and Practices of Science

    • Session 1: How People Learn
    • Session 2: Learners’ Prior Knowledge
    • Session 3: Whole-Community Video Reflection on Prior knowledge
    • Session 4: Critical-Friendship Video Reflections on Prior Knowledge

    • Session 1: Talking to Learn
    • Session 2: Facilitating Conversations
    • Session 3: Whole-Community Video Reflection on Learning Conversations
    • Session 4: Critical-Friendship Video Reflections on Learning Conversations

    • Session 1: Teaching with Objects
    • Session 2: Designing Learning Experiences
    • Session 3: Whole-Community Video Reflection on Objects and Design
    • Session 4: Critical-Friendship Video Reflections on Objects and Design

Intrigued about Reflecting on Practice™?

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Interested in the RoP Coaching Workshop?

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Wonder who leads the community?

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