Reflective practice

“A number of writers have pointed out the benefits of reflection for teachers (see Kottkamp, 1990; Rudney & Guillaume, 1990; Pultorack, 1993; Leahy & Corcoram, 1996; Risko et al., 2002; Florez, 2003; Pedro, 2005). Based on the writings of various researchers, five main types of reflection have been identified for pre-service teachers:

1. Question and modify personal aims, beliefs, assumptions and actions.

2. Confront and solve personal and professional obstacles.

3. Apply the implications to the local historical, social, political and cultural context.

4. Consider the students’ specific educational needs.

5. Review and change personal instructional goals, methods and resources.

The first type of reflection focuses on the teacher’s self-examination of aims, beliefs, assumptions and actions (Pollard & Tann, 1987). This is premised on the belief that the teacher’s own experiences and knowledge are essential to reflection (Schön, 1983, 1987). This process of self-evaluation requires the teacher t be open-minded. Dewey (1933) views open-mindedness as the freedom from prejudice, partisanship and other such habits which close the  mind, and the willingness to consider multiple or novel ideas. Secondly, the teacher should be able to confront and solve his or her personal and professional obstacles. This is linked to Dewey’s (1933) idea of whole-heartedness which refers to the genuine enthusiasm to channel one’s mental, emotional, and physical resources to resolve a problem. It is essential for teachers to examine, frame and attempt to solve the dilemmas of classroom practice (Zeichner & Liston, 1996). In particular, negative experiences and issues of concern are useful in triggering deliberate and constructive reflection (Boyd & Fales, 1983; Boud et al, 1985; Atkins & Murphy, 1993). The third type of reflection concerns the social, moral and political implications of teaching and learning (Zeichner & Liston, 1987, 1996; Valli, 1993). An awareness of these implications will enable the reflective teacher to modify his or her actions in order to be more effective and skilful in teaching (Fulmer, 1993; Arrendondo et al., 1995). The fourth type of reflection focuses on the unique educational and emotional needs of students (Pollard & Tann, 1987). A reflective teacher is one who modifies his or her skills in response to the students’ needs (Darling-Hammond, 2000). This enables the teachers to thoughtfully examine conditions and attitudes which hinder or promote student achievement. An awareness of the challenges faced by the students will guide the teacher in identifying, analysing and solving the complex problems that characterize classroom thinking (Spalding & Wilson, 2002). Finally a reflective teacher is one who constantly reviews and changes his or her instructional goals, methods and materials. This is associated with Dewey’s (1933) intellectual responsibility, defined as the consideration of the consequences of any proposed plan and the willingness to adopt these consequences (Spalding & Wilson, 2002). Such reflection empowers the teacher to connect the [-p.485] insights gained from the reflective process to changes they are making in the classroom (Farrell, 1998).” (pp484-485)

Ref. Charlene Tan (2006) Philosophical reflections from the silver screen: using films to promote reflection in pre-service teachers’ Reflective Practice 7(4)Nov., pp483-497 Reference is made to: Arredondo, D et al (1995) Pushing the envelope in supervision, Educational Leadership, 53(3), 74-78. Atkins, S & Murphy, K (1993) Reflection: a review of the literature, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 18, 1188-1192 Baker, K & Kemper, J (2004) Discussion of the conflicting philosophies of romanticism and realism in Dead Poets Society. Available online at Boud, D et al. (Eds) (1985) Reflection: turning experience into learning (London, Kogan Page). Boyd, E & Fale, A (1983) Reflective learning: key to learning from experience, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 23(2), 99-117. Bringle, R & Hatcher, J (1999) Reflection in service-learning: making meaning of experience, Educational Horizons, 77, 179-185 Darling-Hammond, L (2000) How teacher education matters, Journal of Teacher Education 51(3), 166-173 Dewey, J (1933) How we think: a restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process (New York DC Heath & Company) Farrell, T (1998) Reflective teaching: the principles and practices, Forum, 36(4), 10-17 Florez, MC (2003) Reflective teaching practice in adult ESL settings. Available online at Guest, M (1997) Film dynamics in the English language classroom, in Proceedings of the sixth international symposium on English teaching (Taipei, English Teachers Association), 171-182 Holden, W (2000) Making the most of movies: keeping film response journals, Modern English Teacher, 9(2), 40-46 Holly, ML (1989) Writing to grow (Portsmouth, Heinemann) Kent, O (1987) Student journals and the goals of philosophy, in T Fulwiler (Ed) The Journal book (Portsmouth, Heinemann) Kottkamp, RB (1990) Means for facilitating reflection, Education and Urban Society, 22(2), 182-203 Leahy, R and Corcoran, CA (1996) Encouraging reflective practitioners: connecting classrooom to fieldwork, Journal of Research and Development in Education 29(2), 104-114 Lonergan, J (1994) Video in language teaching (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press) Norton, JN (1997) Locus of control and reflective thinking in preservice reachers. Education, Spring. Available online at Pedro, JY (2005) Reflection in teacher education: exploring pre-service teachers’ meanings of reflective practice, Reflective Practice, 6(1), 49-66 Pultorak, L (1993) Facilitating reflective thought in novice teachers, Journal of Teacher Education, 44, 288-295 Redfern, E (1995) Profiles, portfolios and reflective practice, Part 2, Professional Update, p10 Risko, VJ & Vuukelich, C & Roskos K (2002) Preparing teachers for reflective practice: intentions, contraditctions, and possibilites, Language Arts 80(2), 134-144 Rudney, G and Guillaume A (1990) Reflective teaching for student teachers, The Teacher Educator25(3), 13-20 Schön DA (1983) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action (New York, Basic Books) Schön, DA (1987) Educating the reflective practitioner: towards a new design of teaching and learning in the professions (San Francisco, Jossey-Bass) Spalding, E and Wilson, A (2002) Demistifying reflection: a study of pedagogical strategies that encourage reflective journal writing, Teachers College Record, 104, 1393-1421 Valli, L (1993) Reconsidering technical and reflective concepts in teacher education, Action in Teacher Education 15(2), 35-44 Wilkinson, J (1999) Implementing reflective practice, Nursing Standard, 13(21), 36-40 Zeichner, K & Liston D (9187) Teaching student teachers to reflect, Harvard Educational Review 57, 23-48 Zeichner, K & Liston, D (1996) Reflective teaching: an introduction (Mahwah, Lawrence ERlbaum Associates)


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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