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The quizzical reaction of my colleagues made me realize that my construction of the issue was different from theirs. After more dialogue, I realized that my frame of reference was what I later called a sociological perspective, while theirs was a psychological perspective Valli and Taylor, What type of school or classroom problem mattered to them?

My colleagues, on the other hand, had a more psychological perspective. They focused on the nature or quality of reflection: did we have evidence that inquiry-oriented teacher education programs improved student thinking? That programs increased the complexity and sophistication of their reflective processes? In this chapter I explore the question of reflectivity by examining how seven teacher education programs in the United States deal with these content and quality issues. I am looking primarily for commonalities, characteristics which programs mutually share; other authors have closely examined program differences see Valli, The cases were chosen because they represent a range of institutions in the United States which have given serious attention to program development and about which written materials were available.

Some programs are organized 11 Linda Valli generically across grade and content areas; others maintain the traditional divisions between elementary and secondary preparation. Many have received state or federal grants and all represent attempts to incorporate reflection throughout professional preparation rather than in just a few courses or field experiences.

This programmatic level of intervention stands in marked contrast to attempts generally made to teach reflection. In a review of inquiry-oriented teacher education, Tom uses few examples which incorporate reflection throughout the various components of the professional education sequence. Instead, his examples come from particular strategies devised to promote reflection, from individual foundations or methods courses whose instructors choose to implement reflection, or from advocacy literature in which authors argue for some type of inquiry orientation in the preparation of teachers.

Yet this piecemeal approach generally fails to influence the perspectives of teacher candidates. For that type of impact, a more intense, coherent framework is necessary Zeichner, Such schemata building can only be accomplished over time in programs which reinforce and build upon prior learning in a coherent and systematic manner. Before proceeding, one concept important to the content and quality of reflective teaching needs to be introduced, the concept of a technical orientation to teaching.

As used in the reflection literature, the term technical has actually developed dual meanings which have not been explicitly identified or separated. The first construction of technical has implications for the content or scope of reflection, the second for the equality of reflection. In the first construction, technical refers to the means of accomplishing a particular goal.

Conceptualizing Reflection in Teacher Development

They address the means or procedures for delivering education while leaving important questions about the purposes, values and goals of schooling unexamined. In this sense of technical, the scope of reflection is restricted to the means of managing classrooms and delivering instruction. Technically reflective teachers would be concerned with such questions as: Was the class under control? Am I moving through the curriculum in a timely fashion? They would not question whether the curriculum was worth getting through or what harm certain behavioral techniques might cause.

As Grimmett et al. Teachers are urged to conform their practice to generalizations from empirical research Grimmett, ; Tom and Valli, At times, as in state-mandated evaluation, this takes the form of reflecting on rules of practice. Under this meaning of technical, quality of reflection would be simply determined by the ability to match teaching behavior to the established codes. As we shall see, neither of these uses of technical has predominately guided the development of the teacher education programs described in this chapter.

Instead, the cases I analysed could be described as deliberative and dialectical modes of reflection Grimmett et al, It is similar to what McCarthy et al. In dialectical reflection, externally-derived knowledge about teaching is less important. Instead, reflection is more personally grounded and is used to apprehend and transform experience.

More will be said about these approaches to reflection in the next two sections. After examining the content and quality of reflection in the seven programs, I look at these two concepts in relation to one another and then explore what aspects of reflection are missing from the programs. The chapter ends with a cautionary note about instructional strategies. Tom specifies four arenas of the teaching situation, arranged by degrees of comprehensiveness, which can be subjected to doubt, inquiry and reflection.

Moving from the small to the large, these arenas are the teachinglearning process, subject matter knowledge, political and ethical principles underlying teaching, and educational institutions within their broad social context. The content they specify for reflection is instruction, instructional design, individual differences, group processes and dynamics, research on teaching, learning, motivation, effective teaching behaviors, discipline and classroom organization.

The Masters Certification program at the University of Maryland, for example, has identified four arenas of inquiry as: research on teaching on effective psychology, models of teaching and research on effective schools McCaleb, Borko, and Arends, The Reflective Inquiry Teacher Education RITE program at the University of Houston asks students to analyze different classroom management styles by having them record teacher time allocation, student time on task, and studentteacher interaction patterns Clift, Houston, and McCarthy, Given the difficulties beginning teachers have with discipline and classroom disorder Veenman, , this focus on the teaching-learning process is not surprising.

Secondary emphasis is placed on the broader arenas—ethical principles and social context—by including such topics as normative influences on schooling, cultural diversity and social forces which impinge on teacher decision-making. The Academically Talented Teacher Education Program ATTEP at Kent State University teaches students to use psychological, sociological and critical modes of inquiry to question teaching practice, make reasoned choices, and engage in complex problemsolving Applegate and Shaklee, Inquiry into Learning is guided by a psychological perspective, Research in Teaching by a sociological perspective, and Inquiry into Schooling by a critical perspective.

A number of universities explicitly incorporate critical inquiry through which students must reflect on social and ethical aspects of schooling. At the University of Maryland, which has had a strong orientation toward research on teaching, a shift toward a more radical critique of schooling is underway.

Teaching Reflective Learning in Higher Education

Stating that programs have a primary and secondary emphasis, however, as though they deal with these issues as separate content areas, is misleading. But the programs do not do this. They include the broader arenas by relating them to the teaching-learning process. They teach students that instructional decisions are context dependent and that educational practice must be related 14 Reflective Teacher Education Programs to normative questions about the purpose and goals of schooling.


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The program deliberately includes different levels of reflection technical, clinical, personal and critical to help prospective teachers relate these functions and develop their thinking Putnam and Grant, Personal reflection, for instance, helps teacher candidates develop a professional sense of self and use that knowledge to create humane classroom environments. So reflection on issues of teaching and learning does not occur in a vacuum but within broader questions of purposes, goals, values and constraints. In these programs, the teaching-learning process is best depicted not on one end of a continuum, but rather as a small circle within the larger circles of ethical principles and social institutions.

This connection removes these programs from a strictly technical orientation to teacher preparation since reflection focuses on more than just the instrumental means of instructional delivery. The focus here is on reflection for selfenlightenment: confronting the self to examine feelings and emotions about teaching, students and the school setting McCarthy, et al.

This theme suggests a strong developmental perspective: the personal construction of meaning in becoming a teacher. It is an example of the dialectical mode of reflection mentioned earlier. In this mode of reflection, official research knowledge as a guide to action is de-emphasized. Rather, students are urged to draw upon personal knowledge to transform or reconstruct their experience.

This psychological orientation to reflection is rooted in the conceptual development work of Perry , Kitchener and King , and others which indicates that considerable growth in thinking occurs during the college years. They do not explicitly try to move students from dualistic right or wrong to relativistic levels of thinking.

Rather, they use more modest indicators directly related to program goals and strategies such as avoiding unthinking conformity, analyzing a problem from multiple perspectives, and using new evidence to reassess professional judgments. Like content for reflection, where the teaching-learning process was the main emphasis, one predominent theme emerged from analyzing what program developers consider to be quality of reflection.

They are all ways of problematizing this relation. What counts as quality of reflection is the ability to make the relationship between theory and practice problematic. As mentioned earlier, using research knowledge to guide practice in a straightforward way is not valued by these programs.

The programs present a more complex view of the knowledge-practice relation. They are taught that decision-making is dependent upon interrelationships among principles from various disciplines and that teacher decisions must balance competing demands and expectations placed on the school: demands, for example, that simultaneously promote academic learning, personal and social responsibility, and appreciation for diverse learners. In a program which emphasizes research and developing scholar teachers, students are taught the need for dialogue between theory and practice and the importance of not blindly translating research into a set of recipes and formulas McCaleb, Borko, and Arends, They are encouraged to avoid unthinking conformity and the unexamined adoption of research findings.

Distinction is made between research findings the way things work in general and practice the uniqueness of each classroom setting and event. A number of universities explicitly frame their programs within 16 Reflective Teacher Education Programs contextual questions of the goals of schooling.

And as a final example, the University of New Hampshire program encourages cooperating teachers to study and use alternative models of supervision based on adult development theory. So instead of being technical, the relation between theory and practice embedded in these cases is what Grimmett et al. Contrasted with a technical mode of knowing which directs action through reflection on research-based knowledge, the deliberative and dialectical modes view the purpose of reflection in a more complex light: as informing action by deliberation on competing views or as transforming action by reconstructing personal experience.

This does not mean, however, that research-based knowledge is discounted and only common sense and personal experience is used as a source for reflective practice. On the contrary, the programs described here place considerable, albeit different, degrees of emphasis on the knowledge base s for teaching. In one program, research is one of three interrelated themes. In others, it is specified as the content for reflection. Teacher educators in these programs seem to be wrestling 17 Linda Valli with the dilemma of how to balance or relate research knowledge with personal knowledge.

Discussion Because of the conversation I mentioned at the beginning of this paper about reflective evidence, I began this analysis expecting to find some programs which valued or primarily attended to either the content of student reflection or the quality of their reflection. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this is not the case. Each program attends to both aspects of reflection and, from the materials I had, it was hard to determine if one is more highly valued than the other.

This might be because, as I came to discover, the distinction between quality and content of reflection is not as absolute as I originally thought. As mentioned earlier, the self as developing professional is an additional arena. When students use deliberative or dialectical rather than technical modes of reflection to interrogate issues within the various arenas, they are examining not just the arenas but the relation between theory and practice as well. The minor theme of self as developing professional also emerged from the analysis. The major themes represent a deliberative mode of reflection; the minor theme represents a dialectical mode.

Under content of reflection the one arena of the problematic which received little attention is subject matter knowledge. The programs did not problematize subject matter knowledge in this way. Two absences were identified under the quality of reflection: reflective attitudes, and intuition or emotions. Although programs might consider reflective attitudes to be tacit goals of their programs, only two explicitly articulate their significance.

One program discusses the importance of instilling in students the attitude that learning to teach is a life-long process; another 18 Reflective Teacher Education Programs emphasizes the importance of fostering the desire for continuous professional growth. Given the long-standing literature on reflection being more than a set of skills, it is surprising that this is not a more dominant theme.

Perhaps the amorphous nature of attitudes and the difficulty of developing or changing attitudes accounts for the relatively slight attention given this area. Emphasizing the role of emotions and intuition in reflectivity is another missing area. Although one program mentions the art of teaching, only one uses the term intuition and encourages students to use both intellectual and emotional resources in reflecting on the meaning and effect of their teaching.

Other programs seem to value strict rationality, omitting intuition and emotions entirely see Ross, Johnson, and Smith, Conclusion Before concluding, one other dimension, the process of reflection, bears mentioning as a major, valued focus. Written descriptions of the programs have considerable detail on the strategies used to foster reflection.

The three primary strategies used across the programs are journal-keeping, seminar dialogues, and action research projects. While specifying the strategies used to develop reflective orientations is essential if program goals are to be realized, a potential danger resides in valuing, or over-valuing, process. A process focus could detract from more central questions of the purpose, content and quality of reflection. How to get students to reflect can take on a life of its own, can become the programmatic goal. What students reflect on can become immaterial.

Racial tension as a school issue, for instance, could become no more or less worthy of reflection than field trips or homework assignments. Quality of reflection could also be neglected if instructional strategies are not explicitly derived from program goals. Should process become the dominant concern, programs would become technical, in the most limited sense of that orientation, since they would focus more on the instrumental means than on the normative ends of teacher preparation. Furthermore, many of these strategies are now so common that they could easily be used non-reflectively, apart from any unified image of a reflective teacher, theoretical position, or conceptual framework.

So while the programs discussed in this chapter have clear teacher images, specified knowledge bases, and detailed expectations for reflective quality, instructional strategies could inadvertently become the guiding force of programs, ultimately undermining their coherence, unless they are carefully linked to these more central aspects of reflection. One outcome of the conference was the publication of Renee Clift, W.

For full case description as well as six critique chapters see L. Valli While these seven programs have all made initial attempts to answer these questions, much is still uncertain. We know more about how students function in their preparation years than in their beginning years of teaching. He advocates a focus on following scripted lessons and practising classroom routines during the preservice years, leaving the development of more complex skills such as decision-making and priority-setting to somewhere around the third year of teaching. Using the concept of traditions of reflective teaching practice to critique the chapters, Zeichner came to a somewhat different conclusion.

He argues that although some programs incorporate an emphasis on the social context of schooling, a social efficiency orientation is dominant. I believe that the differences in these two analyses result from several factors: a giving more or less weight to the various pieces of evidence, b using different analytic categories or lenses, and c defining categories differently e.

For instance, Zeichner includes deliberative approaches within his social efficiency tradition while Grimmett et al. Sparks-Langer sees it as critical, and Zeichner calls it mostly developmentalist. Since programs have histories and are constantly changing, no one claims that they are pure types. These analytic differences, then, are not totally surprising. While Liston and Zeichner argue that one particular reform tradition should influence the direction of change in teacher education, Tom argues that a synthesis of reform traditions would be better.

A paper prepared for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans. Handbook of research on teacher education, New York: MacMillan, pp. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

Ross, D. TOM, A. As the Assistant Director of the Stanford Teacher Education Program my incentives were both practical and theoretical. I wanted to support the design and implementation of a reflective teacher education program and to evaluate and interpret the results of those efforts. The three bodies of literature that seemed most relevant to my concerns were: 1 discussions of the definition of reflection, particularly as it relates to teaching; 2 research on the structure and outcome of reflective teacher education programs; and 3 research and theory about learners and the learning process for groups and individuals see LaBoskey, What I discovered was that the meaning of reflection was not consistent among the theoreticians, researchers, or teacher educators who employed the term.

I also found no single definition which seemed comprehensive enough to embrace all features potentially relevant to reflective teacher education.

Conceptualising Reflection In Teacher Development : James Calderhead :

Thus, before I began systematically to investigate particular program structures and their outcomes, I needed to formulate my own conceptual framework. In this chapter I will describe first the definition which guided my initial studies. This conceptualization provides one comprehensive definition of reflection in preservice teacher education that can serve as guide for both practice and research. The review suggested, first, that novices do not enter teacher education programs as blank 23 Vicki Kubler LaBoskey Figure 2. After many years in classrooms, they have ideas about what teachers do.

But these ideas were derived from a student perspective, not a teacher perspective, and thus are very likely to be inaccurate, inappropriate, or incomplete. Such misconceptions may distort or block any new information presented in the teacher education program. Consequently, teacher educators need to consider the potential influence of student preconceptions on the reflective activities and programs they design and implement. Second, the review indicated that not all prospective teachers enter teacher education programs with the same views.

Students vary in their preintervention beliefs, particularly in the degree of orientation toward growth and inquiry. Perhaps only those who begin closer to the pedagogical end of the continuum can benefit from a reflective education program. They may not have the clear vision of what teaching is all about that the experienced Pedagogical Thinker does, but they seem to be headed in the right direction.

On the other hand, it may be that though the common-sense thinking of many preservice teachers is difficult to change, it is not impossible. Though their initial thought processes may differ from Alert Novices or Pedagogical Thinkers, Common-sense Thinkers can become more like the others over time. Attention is turned, then, to the creation of programs and experiences capable of developing and encouraging reflection in student teachers with varying original preconceptions and modes of thinking.

Third, the review of the literature also suggested what some of the critical features of such programs and experiences may be. The individual must suspend judgment in this effort to diagnose accurately the situation. Once the problem has been defined, the person entertains a variety of suggestions as to how the problem might be solved. The implications of each proposal are explored through a reasoning process that selects relevant facts as evidence and applies appropriate principles to the interpretation of that data. When the results of the analysis show that one idea seems to account for the presenting conditions whereas the others 25 Vicki Kubler LaBoskey do not, a tempered judgment can be made, terminating that particular act of reflection.

One problem with this model is that it tends to over-emphasize the procedures of logical thinking. Though the stages do help to focus attention on potential aspects of the general process, they are not all necessary to each act of reflection. Any of the stages may be carried out reflectively or unreflectively.

At any rate, teacher education programs may do well to provide novices with instruction and practice in the procedures and attitudes of reflective thinking. When novices engage in this reflective process, they must reflect about something; there is a content to their reflection. One problem with this conceptualization is that it implies a hierarchy that devalues the practical.

For any instance of reflection, each category is as important as the other. Because each is consequential, however, none should be entirely overlooked by the novice. They may reflect about one issue or more than one issue at a time and these issues can be from the same or different categories. The reflection may also include a consideration of the relationship between issues within or across categories. The implication is that teacher education programs should give attention to the nature and breadth of the topics requested and encouraged by their reflective assignments.

In addition, the review of the literature indicated that the content of reflection is influenced by the conditions of reflection. For any technique, the details, as they appear in particular situations, need attention and monitoring. Finally, there were suggestions as to the outcomes of reflection in teacher education. If one aim of reflective teacher education programs is to help preservice teachers become reflective teachers, then one objective of the activities should be to teach the novices what it means to be reflective and how one goes about reflecting.

Students can, therefore, gain new understandings about the skills and attitudes necessary for engaging in the reflective process. As they carry out these assignments, they will be 26 A Conceptual Framework for Reflection in Preservice Teacher Education reflecting upon some educational issue, idea or dilemma about which they may gain new insight. Thus, novices stand to acquire from their acts of reflection new comprehensions about an educational topic and about the process of reflection itself. In summary, this conceptual framework conceives of reflection in preservice teacher education as an effort to transform any naive or problematic conceptions about teaching and learning held by entering students into those more conducive to pedagogical thinking.

In the design and implementation of reflective teacher education programs, the process, content and conditions of reflective activity deserve consideration. But the preconceptions of student teachers differ and one way in which they may differ is in their degree of inquiry orientation.

Those who enter with a fairly strong inquiry orientation I have called Alert Novices and those without Commonsense Thinkers. The same reflective activities are likely to be engaged in differently by these two groups, affecting the nature and content of any new comprehensions about topic and process that result from the enterprise. The studies I have undertaken have been designed to test and refine various aspects of this definition. In particular I have tried to shed some light on the controversy about what reflection is and whether or not it can be taught by comparing the reflective processes and attitudes of prospective teachers with more and less initial reflective orientations.

In the course of analyzing the results and returning to the literature for reconsideration, the framework has undergone several iterations, each incorporating more subtle distinctions and specific descriptors.

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Calderhead proposes that such a process may be a promising means for accomplishing the task: It is suggested that through an understanding of how student teachers do think about practice, why they think as they do, the substance of their thinking, how their thinking is affected by alternative course designs and how attempts to change their ways of thinking have been influential, we may develop an improved understanding of the nature and potential of reflection. As I developed, through data analysis, an understanding of the thought processes of the student teacher participants, I was able to refine my definition of reflection.

This had particular impact upon my depiction of preliminary student orientations the conceptualizations of Common-sense Thinkers and Alert Novices and of the potential outcomes of reflection. The emerging patterns also revealed a need to incorporate more of the specifics already present in the literature. Therefore, changes were made to include direct treatment of each of four particular dimensions: purpose, context, procedure and content. As can be seen by comparing this with the original framework in Figure 1.

This term refers to situations where an inividual displays reflective thinking, or not, in response to an indirect question or circumstance. This is in contrast to situations where reflectivity is more explicitly structured into the requirements of the task, such as journal writing or action research. Individuals obtaining the lowest scores, the Common-sense Thinkers, and those with the highest scores, the Alert Novices, are then selected to be the subjects.

Over the course of the preservice year a variety of data is gathered, such as pre- and post-questionnaires, audiotaped and transcribed interviews of student teachers and their supervisors, freewrite reactions to various educational experiences, professional journals, and course papers and projects. An example of the latter is an assignment I have called a case investigation. A case investigation is less rigorous and less extensive than a case study, but follows the same basic pattern.

Thus, a case investigator is required to set a problem, gather data, analyze the data, and interpret the data for the purposes of reaching some conclusions about the problem set. All stages are then reported in a written document. I have used case investigations frequently in my work because they map well onto my notion of reflectivity and thus hold promise for both the promotion of reflective thinking and the documentation of those efforts. The data from all these sources are then analyzed through case studies to discover patterns of reflective processes and attitudes for the comparison groups and the individuals within those groups.

In one major study I conducted in the main source of data was a series of three different case investigations students produced during the first three-quarters of their preservice year. The case investigations were rated as Reflective, Unreflective, or Indeterminate using detailed sets of scoring criteria.

The results of this study were fourfold. First, the case investigation scores tended to support the position that initial reflectivity is resistant to change; 78 per cent of the cases written by Alert Novices were rated as Reflective in contrast to 22 per cent of the Common-sense Thinker cases. Second, within case scores were explored. Although certain features of case assignments seemed to be generally beneficial, the case structure alone was not as important as the interaction between the case and the person. Third, the case studies of each participant revealed differences in the thinking of individuals within and across groups.

The Alert Novices were more likely than the Common-sense Thinkers to be guided by a strong belief, e. In addition, results seemed to indicate that half of the Common-sense Thinkers were unreflective because of a cognitive inability and the other half because of an emotional interference. Thus, both ability and attitude appear to be necessary for reflective thinking. It is this conceptualization that I will now describe by poinitng out the changes between it and the original conceptual framework.

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