CHAPTER 3 CONCEPTUAL AND THEORETICAL UNDERPINNINGS
This study focused on the investigation of reflective teaching practices of secondary school pre-service teachers with regard to their experiences of reflective practices as an approach to professional development-reflective practitioners. It is informed by various bodies of research on professional development; including literature on teacher training. There is an extensive collection of literature which covers the issues of reflective practice in the teacher education programmes.
The literature of reflective teaching and learning gave important bits of knowledge in such manner, as the focal point of this investigation depends on the chosen conceptualizations and perspectives on the issue under investigation. The contemporary training initiatives push the significance of reflection in teacher education programmes. Numerous perspectives have their underlying foundations in reflective assumptions. In the reflective structure, reflection is thought to be the most imperative prerequisite in the expert principles for teacher training. Henceforth, one of the objectives of teacher training is to build up each pre-service teacher into a reflective teacher. A reflective teacher is defined as one who is a long-lasting student who sees each involvement as an open door for development, change, and advancement of comprehension (Hutchinson & Allen, 1997).
This chapter sets out the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of this research. The conceptual and theoretical frameworks can be portrayed as an arrangement of thoughts, suppositions and ideas requested in a way that educates us about the world, ourselves or a part of the real world (Landsberg, et al., 2005). In connection to research, a conceptual framework gives the researcher the focal point to see the world and gives clarifications about marvels (Merriam, 2001). The issue can be framed in various ways with the outcome that there are various conceptual and theoretical underpinnings for dealing reflective teaching practices.
The chapter reviews the writings concerning the meaning and nature of reflection, reflective practice, and reflective teaching. These ideas have been the aspects of discussions on the inscriptions within reflective teacher education programmes. The main purposes of reflective ideas are on what makes difference in quality teaching and preparation of good teachers by initial teacher education programmes. This section deals with the debates featured in the understanding of reflective teaching practices in teacher training. It begins with the different conceptualizations proposed to comprehend reflection and reflective teaching. As is common to characterize, there seems to be no universally acknowledged conceptualizations of reflection, reflective practices, and reflective teaching.
The review in section 3.2 examines the conceptualizations of reflection. The review in section 3.3 presents the understanding of the reflective practices, including the reflective models developed for teacher education and drives a synthesis of common features. Section 3.4 discusses the idea of reflective teaching in teacher education. In this examination, the investigation of reflective teaching practices of teacher training programmes in getting ready pre-service teachers for intelligent teaching as a method for guaranteeing quality instruction in Ethiopian secondary schools is grounded on constructivism theory of figuring out how to instruct. Finally, section 3.7 shows the conceptual framework of the study and section 3.8 gives the closing points of the chapter.
This section is aimed to give working meanings of the most frequent and common terminology. Hence, this study makes use of essential expressions persisted in the literature with the end goal to build up the main themes of the investigation.
Meanings of reflection
Characterizing the term reflection is one of the testing undertakings among researchers and analysts in the field of instruction. Nonetheless, in the present literature, the term reflection is being used to express an immense scope of works, going from basic reasoning about a solitary aspect of a lesson to thinking about the moral, ethical, mental, personal, social and political ramifications of teaching. The literature portrayals the various levels, procedures, or kinds, of reflection engaged with the advancement of reflective practice (Mcintosh, 2010; Bolton, 2010; Pollard, 2014; Sellars, 2014).
The term reflection and reflective idea have been contrastingly connected with critical incidences that include disparities, disappointments, practicing wisdom and making judgments, critical thinking and dealing the chronic uncertainties in connections to learners who build their own implications within a community of expert discourse (Dewey, 1933; Mezirow, 1990; Boud, 1999).
Boud, Keogh and Walker (1985:19) recognise how reflection and learning may be connected as:
… reflection is vital human activities, in which people recover their experience, consider it, think about it over and assess it. It is this working with an encounter that is imperative in learning. The ability to reflect is created in different stages in various individuals and it might be this capacity, which characterizes the individuals who gain viably as a matter of fact.
Dewey (1933)’s definition of reflection focuses on reflective thinking orientations of inquiry, reflection as a state of uncertainty, dithering, puzzlement, or mental trouble, in which thinking starts, additionally reflection is an active, industriousness and watchful thought of any conviction or assumed type of learning. Others go further to characterize reflection as a method for considering what one is doing; a process of contemplation with receptiveness to being changed, an ability to learn, a sense responsibility for putting forth a valiant effort (Jay, 2003; Tate & Sills, 2004). Furthermore, reflection is viewed as a mean of critical thinking, through which people put themselves into the occurrence and investigating to figure out it and deal it in different ways (Tate & Sills, 2004).
In addition, it is understood that the ultimate goal of reflection is to enable practitioners investigate and express what they are learning through their critical incidences so that both the learning and the training are enhanced. This implies that to become informed, deliberate and keen decision makers, pre-service teachers ought to be urged to scrutinize their very own actions. In this regard, the pre-service teachers’ inspection of their activities should incorporate the background experiences and rethink personal dispositions, presumptions, convictions, information, speculations, understandings and values in the light of the teaching involvement. In this manner, the pre-service teachers can process their encounters in various ways to explore their comprehension of what they are doing, why they are doing it; and the impact it has on themselves as well as other people (Boud, 1999:122-123).
The different originations evolving over several decades depict reflection as either an iterative procedure or a progression of taxonomies of reflection. Iterative process portrays reflection as a procedure that incorporates the reiteration of a progression of ventures so as to settle on a clinical choice (Dewey, 1933; Schön, 1983; Mezirow, 1990). Others represent reflection to happen hierarchically; dependent on a thought that is compared to echelon where it is usual to detect shallow strata of reflection, such as constant activity during practice, but increasingly hard to achieve the more profound levels, for example, higher reflection (Van Manen, 1977; Boud, et al., 1985; Larrivee, 2006).
Nature of reflection
The idea of reflection is tied in with discussing the attributes in terms of the general phases (Kiser, 1998). These general stages are:
1) Description (unbiased) of an experience.
2) Analysis as per important categories of learning.
3) Articulation of learning outcomes.
Accordingly, in reflection, the first phase is to review the circumstances, occasions and activities that occurred previously. It consisted of describing the experience of what a student did or plan to do and of how to approach something and it works. The analysis phase is structured into the categories of learning. When engaged in academic examination, student teachers look their incidences in light of particular concepts, exploring similarities and contrasts among theory and practice. In the investigation, the pre-service teachers think their sentiments, conjectures, potencies, shortcomings, attributes, handiness and feeling of way of life as they are faced and sometimes confronted by overhaul-learning experiences.
While looking at the reflection from the public point of view, pre-service teachers investigate deeds made and were interventions taken in light of ramifications for the benefit of everyone, think unconventional approaches and versions, identify components of supremacy and benefit, and analyze options for a present moment against long-term and should bring forth maintainable alterations. Presently, diversity is seen as a fourth category in which students identifies and analyses the sources and significance of assumptions or understandings in regards to those different from themselves or others and evaluates strategies for maximizing opportunities and minimizing challenges associated with those differences.
The articulating learning phase brings each reflection activity to a close and builds up a foundation for learners to convey the after-effects of the reflection process beyond the prompt experience, and enhancing the quality of future learning. Along these lines, the articulating learning process encourages them in perceiving what they have learned through reflection on experience, placing it in context, and communicating it concisely. In other words, reflection sustains practitioners think critically about pre-service teachers’ very own learning.
Processes of reflection
Reflection takes part in the process of conveying forward and backward among thinking and acting. However, the procedure may show up contrastingly in various situations. In general, processes of reflection can be classified as either an iterative process or as a series of dimensions of reflection. The iterative process represents a reflection procedure that incorporates the redundancy of a progression of steps with the end goal to decide (Schön, 1983; Mezirow, 1990). On the other hand, reflection occurs taxonomically based on a thought that reflection is compared to echelon where usually to find outward types of reflection, such as routine activity amid teaching, but more difficult to reach the higher order analyses, reflective teaching (Van Manen, 1977; Boud, 1985; Larrivee, 2008).
Reflection as an iterative process
Schön (1983) in his endeavour to characterize the modes of reflection distinguished reflections in action and reflection on action. He sets that it might be too demanding to even consider reflecting in the time given the various requests the teachers cope with and that reflection regularly requires a point of view of a meta-position, thinking after the move has made a place. For example, concentrating on finishing a lesson may divert from focusing on the manner in which a teacher cooperates with students (Larrivee, 2008).
Schön (1987) also talked about the possibility of two kinds of reflection: reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action, to which has been added a third type, reflection-for-action. Reflection-in-action describes the consistent checking by the teacher of the classroom situation. In this case, teachers react to occurrences, choose whether to change the action, and are cautious for chances to tackle troublesome issues. Reflection-on-action, on the other hand, is an improvisational ability that should be learned and after that ends up for better reflective teaching. Expert teachers modify and may even abandon their plans during a class, sometimes without being conscious of why they are doing so. A noteworthy advantage of reflection-in-action is that it can change teachers’ instructional behaviours almost instantly, and subsequently affects classroom dynamics (Knight, 2002; Ghaye, 2011).
Reflection-on-action happens in the wake of teaching has occurred. Reflecting-on-action enables practitioners to recollect the class and perhaps explore why certain things happened the manner in which they did. Reflection-on-action may also take the form of questioning presumptions, actions or dispositions, looking into solutions to teaching difficulties. Thus, scrutinizing one’s suspicions and mentalities should take place within a framework (Knight, 2002; Ghaye, 2011).
On the other hand, reflection-for-action is thinking about the idea instructional practice that one wishes to build up. It is additionally illustrated that reflection-for-action as the coveted outcome of reflection-in and reflection -on- action. It is conceivable that reflection-for-action is both more profitable and more accessible for beginning teachers, as new teachers cannot easily reflect-in-real life and does not yet have the expertise to examine their presuppositions by means of reflection-on action (Knight, 2002; Ghaye, 2011). Schön (1987) presumed that both reflecting on action and reflecting in action are comprehensive processes utilized by teachers to enhance classroom outcomes.
Schön’s universal description of reflection recognizes experts in numerous disciplines as intelligent professionals, but in recent times the job of the reflective expert has turned out to be huge in the teaching professions. He characterized a reflective teacher as an expert who can recognize fundamental professional issues, provoke plainly obvious realities, look for feedback, and use reflection for self-awareness (Schön, 1987).
On the other hand, Dewey gives a system that is entirely sequential and portrays the vigour of teacher’s reflection based on the deepness of the echelons of reflection reached. He sees reflection as dynamic, tenacious and cautious thought of any credence or assumed type of learning in the light of the grounds that hold up and the supplementary consequences to which it leads. This depicts reflection as a component of a bigger procedure with a learning experience. The premise of this process is that reflection is clearer, deeper, critical, expositorier, but difficult to reach, thus, less likely to be illustrated (Dewy, 1933).
Like Schön, Dewey suggested that reflective notion is incited by an occasion that actuates a condition of ambiguity, mystification or improbability. Dewey’s conceptions of reflection start with a condition of uncertainty because of difficulty in comprehending an event or taking care of an issue. This is analogous to Schön’s concept of revelation. As a result, the practitioner strives to recognize the scenery of the dilemma and attempts to clarify or understand the issue by supplying some evidences from the truth of the conclusion or conscious conceivable options. Next, the practitioner will expand the contemplations thoughts deductively and finally test the speculations through action. The dimensions discovered by Dewey are fundamentally the same as the procedure anticipated by Schön. The fundamental distinction between the two general rules is that Schön trusts that his developments are a piece of frequentative, whereas Dewey trusts that the processes will be segments of reflection with breadths of arrangement that do not really is monotonous or recurring (Dewy, 1933).
Furthermore, Boud (1985) portrays reflection as a non-exclusive term for those academic and affective activities in which practitioners draw in and look at their occurrences so as to prompt another comprehension and approval. In this sense, commitment and examination call for reverberation of ladders that at the end of the day base at another learning knowledge or wisdom. Boud (1985) additionally depicts reflection as both a consecutive process that contains hierarchaly presented sections of learning within the method.
The reflector should initially come back to the incident and recall the critical events or replay the underlying knowledge. This progression could be viewed the most essential form of reflection, yet as the reflector travels through the course of action, he/she might possibly encounter the steps that go more into the situation for knowing or development (Mezirow, 1990; Boud, et al., 1985).
The subsequent stride is taking care of an inclination which incorporates two sections: the usage of positive sentiments and reducing awkward emotions. Using positive emotions happens when the practitioner spotlights on the constructive events and finding out about the episode to advance proficient development. Evacuating impeding sentiments is indispensable for discerning thoughtfulness of dealings in such case the individual turns out to be perturbed or humiliated by an episode and cannot dig up beyond these negative sentiments he/she rules out improvement.
Boud’s third step is re-examining the incidence, which incorporates the classification of reflections illustrated as an affiliation, coordination, approval, and appropriation. Affiliation is the interfacing of thoughts and emotions which are a piece of the first occurrence and those which have happened during reflection with what the practitioner definitely discerns. It is more valuable to the reflector to have whatever number of the relationship as could reasonably be expected, in light of the fact that this will take into account the learning openings. Integration occurs when affiliations are handled and inspected. While association only perceives likeness, connection, or coordination takes place when the expert reaches inferences about the related events.
The last two elements of Boud’s system are more probably been seen in crucial reflectors than typical reflectors because of the requirement for profound attention and careful reflection. After the practitioner has experienced any or all of these stages, he or she will make results of reflection which could include another method for accomplishing, elucidating a matter, or building up another skill.
Mezirow (1990) also uses a linear process to portray reflection and differing echelons which incorporates standard activity, thoughtful action/comprehension, reflection, and critical reflection. Habitual action is what has been discovered previously and is the movement that expects practically no conscious thought. In like manner, reflection is the testing of specific beliefs or exploring different avenues regarding assumptions. Challenging the conventions and securitizing the validity of an old viewpoint implies one has turned out to be a reflective practitioner. In the event that an expert doesn’t take an interest in testing and addressing what he or she has always known to be valid, no reflective development can occur (Kember, et al., 2008).
Given the above descriptions and processes of reflection, researchers have tried to discover proof of reflections in teachers’ idea and discourse (Rodgers, 2002). Hatton and Smith (1995) used reflective writing texts as information from which to extract evidence of reflection on- and -in-action. The consequences of their investigation depict technical, descriptive, dialogic, critical, and contextual qualities of reflection are found in the teachers’ writing.
Reflection as a hierarchal process
Van Manen (1977) proposed a progressive depiction of three levels, to be a specific technical, practical, and critical reflection. The technical reflection is the genuinely prompt and assisted in contemplating utilization of capabilities where the professionals experience issues associating their classroom activities to overall goals and is concerned with the productivity and viability of intends to attain particular closures (Van Manen, 1977). The second type of reflection (descriptive) or engaging takes into consideration open examination of the methods, as well as of objectives as practitioners look at examine assumptions and associates them with actual learning outcomes (Eryaman, 2007). The third and arguably highest order of reflection engrosses both technical and practical stages. In addition, it calls for moral, ethical, socio-historical, and politico-cultural contemplations that are identified with activity and decisions about whether expert action is fair, just and conscious every person is equal.
The critical reflective teacher draws upon a more extensive scope of perspectives and is sufficiently adaptable to use and investigate innovative methods of operation in teaching (Hatton & Smith, 2006). In addition, reflection is a viable way to imagine the types of reflection for which pre-service teachers have been assessed previously (Hatton & Smith, 2006). On the other hand, Larrivee proposed various levels of reflection, namely pre-reflection, surface reflection, pedagogical reflection, and critical reflection (Larrivee, 2004; Larrivee, 2008).
At the pre-reflective or non-reflective level, beginning teachers respond to students and classroom circumstance mechanically without due consideration of elective reactions. They work with automatic responses ascribing responsibility of problems to students or others, seeing themselves as causalities of the scenery. They underestimate incidences and do not adjust their teaching in terms of students’ preferences and necessities (Larrivee, 2008).
At the level of surface reflection, teachers’ reflections centre around systems and strategies used to attain foreordained objectives. Teachers are bothered with what works in the classroom as opposed to with any thought of the value of such destinations as closures in themselves. At the level of theoretical reflection, teachers reflect on educational goals, the theories underlying approaches, and the connections between theoretical principles and practice. Teachers taking part in academic reflection endeavour to understand the hypothetical explanation behind classroom practice and to cultivate consistency between embraced premises (what they say, they do and accept) and methodologies being used (what they really do in the classroom) (Larrivee, 2008).
At the higher order reflection, teachers reflect on the moral and ethical repercussions of their classroom practices on students. It grips assessment of both personal and expert convictions. Thus, solitary reflection is an implanted dimension of critical reflection (Larrivee, 2008). Self-reflection focuses on looking at how one’s mind setting and worth, desires and suppositions, family engraving, and social conditioning influence students and their learning (Larrivee, 2005). Self-reflection entails an inward inspection of values and beliefs, exemplified in the statements teachers make and the prospects they own for students.
In view of a broad study of the relevant literature, the different notions evolving over several decades depict three distinct stages of reflection (Jay & Johnson, 2002; Farrell, 2004).
The three levels are:
1) a first level; concentrated on teaching capabilities, actions or aptitudes, generally considering teaching scenes as disengaged events;
2) a more advanced level; thinking about the methodology and coherent explanations behind the current practice;
3) a superior reflection; where teachers analyze the ethical, social and political outcomes of their teaching, thinking with the definitive reasons of schooling has been most utilized (Jay & Johnson, 2002; Farrell, 2004).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
DECLARATION BY THE STUDENT
LIST OF ABBREVATIONS AND ACRONYMS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 ORIENTATION
1.2. BACKGROUND TO THE RESEARCH
1.3 KEY CONCEPTS
1.4 PROBLEM STATEMENT AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
1.6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.7 VALIDITY OF QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH RESULTS
1.8 MEASURES FOR TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE QUALITATIVE RESULTS
1.9 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
1.10 CHAPTERS DIVISION
1.11 CLOSING REMARKS
CHAPTER TWO CONTEXTUAL FRAMEWORK
2.2 TRAINING OF SECONDARY SCHOOL PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS IN ETHIOPIA
2.3 THE TYPICAL INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT
2.4 APPLICATIONS AND BENEFITS OF REFLECTIVE TEACHING
2.5 A CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMMEMES IN ETHIOPIA
2.6 REFLECTIVE TEACHING AND RESEARCH IN THE 21st CENTURY
2.7 CLOSING REMARKS
CHAPTER 3 CONCEPTUAL AND THEORETICAL UNDERPINNINGS
3.2 CONCEPTUALIZING REFLECTION
3.3 UNDERSTANDING REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
3.4 UNDERSTANDING REFLECTIVE TEACHING
3.5 CONSTRUCTIVIST TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMMES: AN APPROACH TO REFLECTIVE TEACHING
3.6 CLOSING REMARKS
CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.2 RATIONALE FOR EMPRICAL RESEARCH
4.3 RESEARCH DESIGN
4.4 RESEARCH METHODS
4.5 QUALITY FRAMEWORKS FOR MIXED METHODS RESEARCH
4.6 MEASURES FOR TRUSTWORTHINESS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
4.7 ETHICAL MEASURES
4.8 CLOSING REMARKS
CHAPTER 5 DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
5.2 RESEARCH PROCESS
5.3 DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
5.5 CONCLUDING REMARKS
CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.2 SUMMARY OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
6.3 RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS
6.5 AVENUES FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
6.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
6.7 CONCLUDING REMARKS
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT