ReflectionReflection--onon--actionaction on teachers on teachers practicespracticesTeachers Training Seminar, Teachers Training Seminar, MallorcaMallorca 20032003
Fernando M. S. Alexandre
The teacherteacher is seen as essentially a meansmeans--endsendsbrokerbroker and teachingteaching is conceived as a technical technical exerciseexercise, an applied science, concerned with, and judged according to, the criteria of meansmeans--end end efficiencyefficiency.
Rational teachingRational teaching relies upon a range of meansmeans--enhancing devicesenhancing devices such as psychometric analysis, isolated technical competence, linear thinking and instrumental reason.
3An Educational Paradigm
Education is a delivery systemdelivery systemwithin which the worth of teacherteacher--operativesoperatives is defined entirely in terms of their possession of a prescribed set of skills or competencesskills or competences and professional beliefs require justification by technical-rational procedures of investigation.
4A Major ContradictionTeachers as inquirersand critical thinkers
Teachers: blurredbetween professionaland personal domains
?Standards forthe award of
Requirements forcourses of initialteacher training
Technocratically oriented curriculumfocussing on competencies
Approaches that tend to highlight teachingin terms of performance standards for
5Limits of Technical-Rationalism
Conflict of Values
6The Reflective Approach
Goes beyond the assumption which states the existence of a linear and
mechanical relation between teachers scientific and technical knowledge and
their classroom practices.
Involves thinking about ones teaching, an account of which will include use of such cognate terms as reasoning, and reasons, critical thinking and analysis, as well as planning and evaluating.
8Reflectivity - Different Approaches
Social Social reconstructionistreconstructionist - viewed as a political act which contributes towards or hinders the realisation of a more just and human society; the action is focused both on practice and on the social conditions in which they were developed.
9Reflective Teaching is not
identical to reasoning about teachingreasoning about teachingor analysing and evaluatinganalysing and evaluating ones teaching.
just any old example of thinking about thinking about what one is doingwhat one is doing.
Teachers as Decision MakersOnce teachers make decisions
9 Concerning educational outcomes9 Concerning the matter of education9 Concerning the manner of education
It is reasonable to expect a teacher to be able to justify his or her decisions and actions in the classroom - provide
good reasons or grounds for that course of action
He or she must think about what is taking place, what the options are, and so on, in a critical, analytic way
Teachers as Decision Makers
When there is a real problem When there is a real problem to be solvedto be solved
Teachers as Decision Makers
An empowered teacherempowered teacher is a reflective decision maker who finds joy in learning
and in investigatinginvestigating the teaching/learning process - one who views learning as
construction and teaching as a facilitating process to enhance and enrich
Reflective Action and PracticeReflective Action and Practice
A process that
Involves what the teacher does before entering the classroom, and retrospectively, after leaving the classroom.
Can be defined as a spiral, in which we begin with reflection-for-practice, move into reflection-in-practice, and then to reflection-on-practice (inevitably leading us back to reflection-for-practice in an ongoing process).
The Process of Reflective TeachingReflectReflect
Make provisionMake provision
ActActCollect dataCollect data
Analyse dataAnalyse data
Evaluate dataEvaluate data
(Pollard, 2002: 16)
Being a Reflective Teacher
Is a process structured around three main elements: cognitive (knowledge that teachers need), critical (moral and ethical aspects), and narrative (teachers accounts of their own experiences).
A few examplesA few examples(Pollard, 2002)(Pollard, 2002)
Knowing Ourselves as TeachersAimAim: to analyse dimensions of our selves.Evidence and reflectionEvidence and reflection: think of specific and memorable incidents in which you were centrally involved. Try to identify the most prominent characteristics of your self which they reveal. It may be helpful to situate your reflection (e.g. as a parent, as a child, as a pupil, as a trainee, as a teacher). It would probably be beneficial to do this exercise with a friend. It could help you to deepen your understandings, share and explain your perceptions, whilst providing mutual support.
Students Perceptions of Teachers
AimAim: to find out students criteria for a good teacher.Evidence and reflectionEvidence and reflection: hold a discussion (with the whole class, or in small groups which can then report back to the whole class) on what makes a good teacher. Perhaps the discussion could be couched in terms of suggestions for a trainee on how to become a good teacher. Discussions with students on such a topic must obviously be handled very carefully and only with the agreement of any teachers who are involved.
Relationships: Teachers PerspectivesAimAim: to monitor and place in perspective our own feeling on classroom relationships.Evidence and reflectionEvidence and reflection: probably the best way to do this is by keeping a diary, not an elaborate one, but simply a personal statement of how things have gone and how we felt. It is very common for such reflections to focus in more detail on particular disciplinary issues or on interaction with specific individuals. It should be written with awareness of ethical issues and the feelings of other classroom participants. Diary-keeping supplies a document which can be of great value in reviewing events.
Learning ProcessAimAim: to consider the influence and strengths of different learning approaches when applied to students learning and school practice.Evidence and reflectionEvidence and reflection: review a selection of major learning situations and teaching methods, which your class has experienced during a school day. Note each learning situation, each teaching approach and then consider the psychological rationale for its use. Consider if you are drawing effectively on the strengths of each approach. Does this activity have any implications for the repertoire of teaching strategiesthat you use?
Developing an Official CurriculumAimAim: to examine statements of aims and values presented in national documentation.Evidence and reflectionEvidence and reflection: are aims and values stated within the national curriculum documentation at your disposal? If so, are the aims consistently supported by the stated underlying values? What vision of an education system do you derive from reading these statements? If not, can you derive some of the core aims and values from an examination of the curriculum advice presented in the documentation? Do they reflect your own views?
Developing an Official Curriculum (2)
AimAim: to consider the influence of views of knowledge on a part of a national curriculum.Evidence and reflectionEvidence and reflection: this is a potentially large activity which needs to be scaled down and made specific. We suggest that you study the official, national documentation of a single subject - history or geography are often good choices. Consider, how is knowledge viewed? Is it seen as an established body of subject content and skills to be transferredor as something to be created?
Behaviour: the UnexpectedAimAim: to monitor responses to a classroom crisis.Evidence and reflectionEvidence and reflection: after a crisis has arisen, a diary-type account of it and of how it was handled could be written. This might describe the event, and also reflect the feelings which were experienced as the events unfolded. It might be valuable to encourage students to record and talk about a similar account and reflection after the event, so that you can gain an insight into why they behaved as they did. Did you minimize disturbance? Did you maximize reassurance? Did you make appropriate judgements on how to act?
Beyond Classroom ReflectionAimAim: to consider micro-politics in school.Evidence and reflectionEvidence and reflection: thinking of a school in which you have worked, reflect on the various groups of staff and their perspectives and actions within the school. What relationships exist between these groups? Thinking of a significant incident or event, what variations were there in the responses of different individuals and groups? What strategiesdoes the leadership team use in managing the different positions? To what extent do you feel that the culture of the school is affected by the influence which particular groups or individuals exert?