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Literature Review


Submitted By harieljune
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2.0 Introduction

This chapter reviews the body of literature that is relevant to the research objectives. Since the main focus of the study is on the importance of guided reflection and reflective training to promote student teachers’ critical reflective thinking, it therefore, seeks to address the underlying premise of reflective practice, the defining terms as well as the related studies so far in the area of interest.
2.1 A Perspective of Effective Teaching
The concept of effective teaching underpins the goal of this research study. According to Arends (1994, p. 9), effective teaching is defined by four sets of attributes namely knowledge-base, repertoire, reflection and life-long learning. These four attributes of an effective teacher are illustrated as follows: * Effective teachers have control of knowledge bases on teaching and learning and use this knowledge to guide the science and art of their practice. * Effective teachers command a repertoire of best teaching practices (models, strategies, procedures) and can use these to instruct children in classrooms and to work with adults in the school setting. * Effective teachers have the dispositions and skills to approach all aspects of their work in a reflective, collegial, and problem-solving manner. * Effective teachers view learning to teach as a lifelong process and have dispositions and skills for working toward improving their own teaching as well as improving schools. (Arends , 1998, p. 9)


Lifelong learning

Knowledge base

Adapted from Arends (1998)
Figure 2.1 A view of effective teaching
As shown in the above attributes, Arends (1998) argues that it is pertinent that effective teachers should have a control over a knowledge base that guides what they do as teachers, both in and out of the classroom. Thus, it is only essential for those learning to teach to understand what is meant by knowledge bases for teaching. Some important concerns on the knowledge base for teaching to the beginning teacher are related to ‘What does it mean to have a knowledge base about teaching and what domains of knowledge are most relevant?’ and ‘How do teachers access and use knowledge?’. These concerns can be addressed rightfully through the means of reflection where teachers and student teachers reflect to identify problems emerging in their classrooms and schools through ‘reflection-in-action’ and ‘reflection-on-action’ (Schon, 1983/1987).

In relation to this knowledge base, Stuart, Akyeampong & Croft (2009) make a distinction between propositional and practical forms of teachers’ knowledge.
Propositional knowledge is usually public, and often published; it is written down as statements (propositions) about facts, principles, theories, research findings, and so on. It is also known as ‘received knowledge’(Wallace,1991) because students often just ‘received it from tutors or books, and partly because it is treated as ‘received wisdom’ and accepted uncritically.

Schulman (1987) has identified seven categories of domains of knowledge for teachers : 1. Content knowledge (what to teach) * Knowledge of the particular subjects to be taught e.g. mathematics, English, history

2. Pedagogical content knowledge (how to teach it effectively) * Special amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely the province of teachers; their own special form of professional understanding

3. General pedagogical knowledge (about classroom management, assessment, lesson planning, etc.) * With special reference to those board principles and strategies of classroom management and organization that that appear to transcend subject matter

4. Knowledge of learners and their characteristics (about child development, educational psychology)

5. Knowledge of educational context ( relations of school and society, educational sociology) * Ranging from the workings of the group or classroom, to the governance and financing of school districts, to the character of communities and cultures

6. Curriculum knowledge (about school curriculum) * With particular grasp of the materials and programmes that serve as ‘ tools of the trade’ for teachers

7. Knowledge of educational aims and values (policies, philosophies)

According to Reagan, Case & Brubacher (2000), these categories of knowledge are deemed necessary for successful reflective teaching practice. It is important to note that although all teachers, whether novice or expert, will have similar bodies of knowledge at their disposal, the organisation and structuring of this knowledge may differ radically. Studies revealed that expert teachers are able to deal with changes in lesson plans and problematic classroom situations far more successfully than beginning teachers but this development can be encouraged and supported by reflective practice. Therefore, although good teaching practice does indeed depend on a strong experiential base, reflective practice can help us speed up the development of such an experiential base in new teachers.

Practical knowledge, on the contrary, is often private and difficult to express in statements. Every teacher possesses this knowledge of teaching derived from practical and personal experiences and sometimes called ‘wisdom of practice’. Others describe it as tacit knowledge because it is deeply personal and hard to put into words. Through experience, teachers are able to develop insights about their work that go beyond simply by applying the prescribed rules and strategies of teaching. As this experience continues, teachers who have formed the habit of reflecting on their practice develop a range of personal teaching strategies and tactics which they constantly adapt in the teaching. They build on lessons that were successful and learn from the failures (Stuart et al., 2009). In short, this developed concept of reflective practice helps them to decide efficiently what teaching approaches are most likely to help understand a particular concept.

In the same vein, Kyriacou (1993, p. 5) in defining essential teaching skills as discrete and coherent activities by teachers which foster pupil learning, has also discerned three important elements of teaching skills as follows: 1. Knowledge, comprising the teacher’s knowledge about the subject, pupils, curriculum, teaching methods, the influence on teaching and learning of other factors, and knowledge about one’s own teaching skills. 2. Decision-making, comprising the thinking and decision-making which occurs before, during and after a lesson, concerning how best to achieve the educational outcomes intended. 3. Action, comprising the overt behaviour by teachers undertaken to foster pupil learning.

According to Kyriacou (1993, p. 8), essential teaching skills involved in contributing to successful classroom practice can be identified and described as follows. 1. Planning and preparation: the skills involved in selecting the educational aims and learning outcomes intended for a lesson and how best to achieve these 2. Lesson presentation: the skills involved in successfully engaging pupils in the learning experience, particularly in relation to the quality of instruction. 3. Lesson management: the skills involve in managing and organising the learning activities taking place during the lesson to maintain pupils’ attention, interest and involvement. 4. Classroom climate: the skills involved in establishing and maintaining positive attitudes and motivation by pupils towards the lesson. 5. Discipline: the skills involved in maintaining good order and dealing with any pupil misbehaviour which occurs. 6. Assessing pupils’ progress: the skills involved in assessing pupils’ progress covering both formative and summative purposes of assessment. 7. Reflection and evaluation : the skills involved in evaluating one’s own current teaching practice in order to improve further practice.

It should be borne in mind that there is clearly an interplay between the seven above-mentioned areas, so that the skills exercised in one area may simultaneously contribute to another area. However, for the purpose of this research, since reflection and evaluation is given the focus, hence, the skills of reflection are detailed as follows. * lessons are evaluated to inform future planning and practice * current practice is regularly considered with a view to identifying aspects for useful development

* the teacher regularly reviews whether his or her time and effort can be organised to better effect

* the teacher regularly reviews the strategies and techniques he or she uses to deal with sources of stress

Based on the above perspectives of effective teaching skills, it is indeed evident now that reflection is inherent in a teacher’s job. According to Kryriacou, all teachers spend a great deal of time reflecting about and evaluating how well they are performing their work, both with particular regard to their classroom teaching and with regard to other aspects of their work in general. Reflection enables teachers and student teachers to diagnose and understand their classroom contexts and students’ learning better, develop a rationale for their teaching and take informed actions and make sound decisions in the classroom (Al-Issa, 2002). It is believed that this could pave the way for new comprehensions of purposes, subject matter, students, teaching and self as well as consolidate new understandings and learning (Shulman, 1987). As such, there is in fact a need to develop a quality of critically thinking about our own performance in the classroom, often referred to as ‘reflective teaching’ (Calderhead, 1989; Pollard and Tann, 1987; Schon,1983, Korthagen, 1998) and widely advocated as needing to be fostered and encouraged as part of teachers’ normal practice and professional development.

Danielson’s (2011) framework for teaching (revised edition) identifies aspects of a teacher’s responsibilities that empirical studies have demonstrated as promoting improved student learning. Danielson divides the complex activity of teaching into four domains of teaching responsibility: (1) planning and preparation, (2) the classroom environment, (3) instruction, and (4) professional responsibilities. The domain of professional responsibilities constitutes reflecting on teaching which encompasses the teacher’s thinking that follows any instructional event, an analysis of the many decisions made both in planning and implementation of a lesson. By considering these elements in light of the impact they had on student learning, teachers can determine where to focus their efforts in making revisions, and what aspects of the instruction they will continue in future lessons. Teachers may reflect on their practice through collegial conversations, journal writing, examining student work, informal observations and conversations with students, or simply thinking about their teaching. Danielson stresses that reflecting with accuracy, specificity and ability to use what has been learned in future teaching is a learned skill, hence, mentors, coaches and supervisors can help teachers acquire and develop the skill of reflecting on teaching through supportive and deep questioning. Over time, this way of thinking and analyzing instruction through the lens of student learning becomes a habit of mind, leading to improvement in teaching and learning.

2.2 Reflection and Reflective Practice
2.2.1 Reflection and Reflective Practice Defined

Though many scholars provide historical and conceptual reviews of how reflection has been used in teacher education, the field lacks consensus on defining or even describing reflection among teachers ( Boud, Keogh, & Walker, 1985; Calderhead, 1989; Fendler, 2003; Hatton & Smith, 1995; LaBoskey, 1994; Rodgers, 2002). Variations of views revolve around a range of issues pertaining to the content, the process of reflection, the preconditions for reflection and the product of reflection (Hatton & Smith, 1995). Dewey (1910, in Roberts, 1999) defines reflection as “active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it tends”. As for Valli ( 1992), reflection is the ability to stand apart from the self in order to examine critically one’s actions and the context of those actions. The purpose of such a stance is to facilitate conviction based on professional knowledge rather than simply functioning because of habit, tradition, or impulse.

In the premise of reflective practice, Richards and Lockhart (1994) defines reflection as when teachers and student teachers “collect data about teaching, examine their attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, and teaching practices and use the information obtained as a basis for critical reflection about teaching. However, Zeichner and Liston (1996: 6) perceive the concept of reflection from a more social-oriented view in that reflective teaching involves “ a recognition, examination and rumination over the implications of one’s beliefs, experiences, attitudes, knowledge and values as well the opportunities and constraints provided by the social conditions in which the teacher works”.
Several principles guide a process by which teachers can become reflective. Dewey (1933) considered the following principles as the starting point of reflection: i. The issue upon which the teacher reflects must occur in the social context where the teaching occurs. ii. The teacher must be interested in the problem to be resolved. iii. The issue must be ‘owned’ by the teacher; that is, derived from his/ her own practice. iv. Reflection on the issue involves problem solving from the teaching situation in which the teacher is located. v. Ownership of the identified issue and its solution is vested in the teacher. vi. The teachers’ ideas need to be tested through the practice of teaching. vii. Ideas about teaching, once tested through practice, must lead to some course of action. viii. Hence, reflective actions may be transformed into new understanding and redefined practice in teaching. ix. Reflective actions should give rise to new understanding and changes in teaching.
The above principles illustrate Dewey’s conceptualisation of experienced teachers, not novice or beginning teachers and thus, this could create a certain degree of tension on how we can provide effective reflective learning opportunities for student teachers before entering the arena of actual teaching.
According to Larivee (2006), reflective teaching, reflective thinking, reflective inquiry, reflection and reflective practice are often used interchangeably, although there are some slight distinctions. The term reflective practice is viewed by Larivee (2006, p.4) as “ the culmination of all other forms of reflection in that it is undertaken not solely to revisit the past but to guide future actions.” She further adds that the term ‘practice’ refers to one repertoire of knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and skills in specific areas of performance in which for teachers, these areas encompasses managing the classroom, designing instruction, establishing assessment strategies and interacting with students, colleagues and parents.

In their book “Reflective Practice for Educators: Improving Schooling through Professional Development, Osterman and Kottkamp(1993/ 2004) espouse that reflective practice is more than just a powerful approach to professional development but it is an integrated way of thinking and acting focused on learning and behavioural change. It is about individuals working to improve organizations through improving themselves. They further add that RP is based on the beliefs that organizational change begins with us, that unless we change behaviours, organizations will not change. The obstacles of change in fact lie in unexamined assumptions guiding our stable behavioural patterns. As such, it is a must that in order to create change, we examine our own behaviours carefully, bring unexamined assumptions to awareness, and consciously self-monitor both our behaviours and our assumptions.

Cruickshank and Applegate (1981) defines RP as a process that help teachers think about what happened, why it happened, and what else could have been done to reach their goals or aims, whereas for Schon (1987), it is a dialogue of thinking and doing through which one becomes more skilled. These views are supported by Barlett (1990), who points out that becoming a reflective practitioner involves moving beyond a primary concern with instructional techniques and ‘how to’ questions and asking ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions that regard instructions and managerial techniques not as ends in themselves, but part of broader educational purposes. In the same vein, Osterman and Kottkamp(1993/2004) view RP as a means by which practitioners can develop a greater self-awareness about the nature and impact of their performance and hence create opportunities for professional growth and development. This self-awareness is essential for behavioural change, whereby one must examine one’s own behaviour carefully, bring unexamined assumptions to awareness, and consciously self-monitor both one’s behaviour and assumptions. To achieve this level of consciousness, however, is not an easy task because theories-in use (so deeply ingrained in one’s consciousness and they are not easily changed) are not easily articulated. Schon (1983) explained that professional knowledge is grounded in professional experience : ‘competent practitioners usually know more than they can say. They exhibit a kind of knowing in action, most of which is tacit.

For Pennington (1992: 47), reflective practice is defined as “deliberating on experience, and that of mirroring experience.” She also makes an extension of this idea to reflective learning in which she relates “reflection is viewed as the input for development while also reflection is viewed as the output of development.” Pennington further proposes that developing a reflective orientation as a means for (1) improving classroom processes and outcomes, and (2) developing confident, self-motivated teachers and learners.”
2.2.2 What is Critical Reflection?
Brookfield (1995) clarifies that ‘reflection is not, by definition, critical’. He posits that for reflections to become critical they need to serve two distinctive purposes. “The first is to understand how considerations of power undergird, frame and distort so many educational processes and interaction while the second is “to question assumptions and practices that seem to make our teaching lives easier but that actually end up working against our own best long term interests”(p.8).
Brookfield outlines six reasons on the importance of learning critical reflection as follows : * It helps teachers take informed actions i.e. actions that are based on assumptions that have been carefully and critically investigated. An informed action is one that has a good chance of achieving the consequences intended. * It helps teachers develop their rationale for practice. By doing so, this would indirectly gain better students’ confidence in them as well as establish their credibility with students. * It helps teachers avoid self-laceration, as such, learn to stop blaming themselves for whatever that happens in their classrooms and develop a more accurate understanding of the cultural and political limits to their ability to convert resistance into enthusiasm. * It keeps teachers emotionally grounded in that they are aware that * It enlivens teachers’ classrooms by making their classes challenging, interesting and stimulating for students. * It increases democratic trust.

2.2.3 Models of Reflective Practice

The review of models of reflective practice is informed by Osterman and Kottkamp’s (1993) conceptual framework underlying reflective practice and Pollard’s (2008) and Taggart’s (2005) model of reflective teaching and reflective thinking. On the other hand, Wallace’s (1991) model of reflective practice has been found appropriate as a conceptual framework for this research as it is based on the assumption that teachers develop professional competence through reflecting on their own practice.

According to Osterman and Kottkamp (1993), to understand how reflective practice facilitates behavioural change, we need to understand more of the conceptual framework and rationale behind it.
In reflective practice, observable behaviour which includes our decisions, actions and the way we act is governed by personal action theories. These ‘theories’ are linked closely with daily existence and experience whereby they are simply ideas and assumptions we hold about how things should and do work (p.8). There are two distinct types of personal action theories: espoused theories and theories-in-use which are key to understanding behavioural stability and change (Osterman & Kottkamp, 1993/2004).

Espoused theories. Espoused theories are simply what we are able to say we think and believe and have two distinct characteristics:
i. They exist at a conscious level, and ii. they change with relative ease in response to new information and ideas (p.9).
Individuals’ espoused theories change as they emerge from professional development and graduate course and able to articulate new ideas and understandings. And because espoused theories reflect conscious ideas, intentions and beliefs, to find out what they are, it can be done through questions we ask. These responses will likely indicate the individual’s broad range of information and belief acquire through experience and education.
Contrary to our belief that espoused theories guide our actions, it is not often the case. According to Osterman and Kottkamp (1993/ 2004), as the dotted lines in Figure 2.2 shows, espoused theories do not directly influence behaviour. Actions are often inconsistent with intentions, and new ideas do not always lead to new behaviours.
Theories-in-use. These theories are not only different but are elusive and difficult to identify yet far more powerful in influencing how we act. In much the same way that genetic structure influences our physiological development, these theories contain the assumptions and beliefs that actually guide our behaviour. The solid line in Figure 2.2 illustrates the direct relationship between theories-in-use and behaviour. In contrast to espoused theories –existing at conscious level and easily changes, theories-in-use have distinctly opposite characteristics:
i. They are so deeply ingrained in our consciousness, hence, are not easily articulated and ii. they are not so easily changed.
According to Osterman and Kottkamp (1993/2004), theories-in-use build up and solidify over along period of time through acculturation and are reinforced by ongoing experience in the culture which explains why they are so difficult to know consciously and not easily altered.

Information Espoused Theories

Organizational Outcomes
c Theories-in-use
Culture, Habit c Figure 2.2 A Conceptual Framework Underlying Reflective Practice (Osterman & Kottkamp, 1993/2004) |

On the other hand, Pollard (2008, p.17) has identified that reflective teaching is applied in a cyclical or spiralling process, in which teachers monitor, evaluate and revise their own practice continuously. In this reflective teaching process, teachers are principally expected to plan, make provision and act. Reflective teachers also need to monitor, observe and collect data on their own whereby this evidence then needs to be critically analysed and evaluated for sharing and making decisions. Finally, this would then allow the teacher to revise his or her classroom policies, plans and provisions before beginning the process again. According to Pollard, this model, simple and comprehensive, demonstrates a dynamic process intended to lead towards higher-quality standards of teaching. Figure 2.3 The process of reflective teaching (Pollard, 2008)
Taggarts’(2005) model of reflective thinking also exemplifies a cyclical process approach to reflective thinking as espoused by Dewey (1933), Eby and Kujawa (1994), Puggart and Johnson (1990) and Schon (1983).

Figure 2.4 Reflective Thinking Model (Taggart, 2005)
As illustrated in Figure 2.3, the first step to reflective thinking involves a problem. Such problem is referred to as a felt difficulty according to Dewey while Schon uses the term problematic situation to identify the initial step of reflection in action (as cited in Taggart, 2005). The second step would be to frame and reframe the problem by taking a step back from the problem and seeing from a third-person perspective. This process, according to Eby and Kujawa (as cited in Taggart, 2005) can be divided into components of observation, reflection, data gathering and consideration of moral principles to provide the mental picture of the thought processes used by a reflective practitioner to define a problem. As for and schema, they are likened to past events “to make sense of the problem and to search for possible solutions in the reflective thinkers’ repertoire” (p. 6). After having searched for routine solutions to a possibly nonroutine situation or has devised possible solutions based on reasoning through similar past experiences, predictions are made and possible solutions generated. Then, subsequent observation and further experimentations are carried out systematically and also judgements made relative to the level of success of the intervention.
Evaluation as the next step involves a review of the implementation process and the consequences of the solution. The solution is either accepted or rejected depending on whether it is successful or not. If successful, it may be stored for subsequent retrieval in similar situations, if not, the problem may be reframed and the process is then repeated.
Reflective Practice Model for Educational/ Professional Development
Wallace (1991) demonstrates a reflective practice model of educational/ professional development in which the basic premise underlying this approach consists of what teachers know consists of (at least) experiential knowledge and the received knowledge of the field (ibid.,p.14-15).

* Received knowledge : “ the vocabulary of the subject and the matching concepts, research findings, theories and skills which are widely accepted as being part of the necessary intellectual content of the profession ...” (ibid.) – in other words, it is related to all the knowledge of the subject matter gained during the student-teacher’s methodology lessons. * Experiential knowledge: concerns the “knowledge-in-action by practice of the profession” (ibid.) – in other words, it is about the knowledge which is developed by the trainees throughout their teaching practice.
Wallace’s Reflective Model is applicable to both pre-service and in-service education. The model is separated it into three stages:
The pre-training: It must be acknowledged that the person who has decided to embark on professional education does not enter the progamme with a ‘clean-slate’ mind. He has, at least, some pre-training knowledge about teaching which is amassed from schooling days. 1. The professional development: It is the stage of professional education or development through theory and practice. 2. The professional competence: It is the ultimate goal of this model is to increase professional competence. Wallace presents the Reflective Model as a cyclical process in which the student teachers are engaged throughout their teaching experience. This sort of cycle aims for continuous improvement and the development of personal theories of action. There is an expectation that the student-teachers have acquired some knowledge of teaching whilst being students and during the development of their teaching programme. Once the student-teachers have the opportunity to enter the classroom environment, they discover the actual framework of teaching and become aware of the different classroom situations. Thus, they start recalling about their practice teaching, how some experienced teachers deal with those situations, and also, how they themselves could manage them. So, they make some decisions and think about possible actions they could apply to their context. Or sometimes they simply reflect upon their classroom activities to evaluate their professional performance. This practice of reflection then helps them to figure out both the positive as well as the negative side of their teaching strategy. That means reflection helps them to address various future professional dilemmas by recalling and evaluating past experiences. Figure 2.6 shows a graphical representation of Wallace’s Reflective Model of professional education or development.

Received knowledge

Student teachers’ existing conceptual schemata of mental constructs



Experiential knowledge


(Professional/ Development

Figure 2.5 Reflective Practice Model of Professional Education/ Development (Wallace, 1991)

According to Bailey, Curtis and Nunan (2000), although both experiential and received knowledge are key components of teachers’ expertise, teachers still face a problem of blending the two types of knowledge. He points out teachers often find it difficult to incorporate the received knowledge of the field into their daily lessons and at the same time not realizing they often use their experiential knowledge to make decisions. This problem could be more prevalent for pre-service student teachers in blending these two types of knowledge than those and experience teachers. Based on this premise, the researcher has identified the need to teach these student teachers to consciously reflect on their lessons by suggesting a special intervention programme which will take the form of a reflective training to expose them to a systematic process of reflection. Therefore, the researcher intends to adapt the Reflective Practice Model of Professional Education/ Development to bridge this gap to enable these student teachers to effectively use their reflective skills and ultimately lead them to become more effective teachers through reflective teaching. Figure 2.6 shows the conceptual framework of this research study adapted from Wallace’s reflective practice model.

Conceptual Framework of Research (Draft)

Received knowledge
Student Teacher’s existing conceptual schemata @ mental constructs

(Reflective Practice)

Experiential knowledge STAGE 2

Figure 2.6 Conceptual Framework of the Reflective Practice Model adapted from Wallace (1991
2.2.3 Types/ Levels of Reflections
The literature of reflective practice shows that the term ‘reflection’ is used to describe a diverse forms of practices as well as the multitude of meanings it conveys as it is absorbed into the teaching fraternity. The literature also illustrates numerous phases, levels, stages, types or dimensions of reflection. It is found that various definitions which revolves a few decades mostly depict three common levels of reflections (Van Manen, 1977; Day, 1993; Jay & Johnson, 2002; Larrivee, 2004; Farrell, 2004). Based on all these descriptions of the various levels, the ultimate aim that one can achieve is the critical reflection which this study is set to promote.
According to Larrivee (2006), these three levels are: * the lowest or initial level focused on teaching functions, actions or skills, generally considering teaching episodes as isolated events. * A more advanced or intermediate level considering the theory and rationale for current practice. * A higher order where teachers examine the ethical, social and political consequences of their teaching, grappling with the ultimate purposes of schooling.
Larrivee (2006) also highlights that despite the much discussion of the many different types and degrees of discussion, there is yet any generally accepted terminology to define the various levels in the development of reflective practice.
Larrivee’s conceptual framework which she proposes represents a continuum of multiple levels adopting the terminology of surface reflection, pedagogical reflection, critical reflection and self-reflection is relevant to the current study while engaging student teachers in the reflective training programme. The researcher finds it useful as the framework is further guided by several teaching related questions for each level of reflection.

Surface Reflection
At the surface reflection, the focus is on strategies and methods used to reach predetermined goals. Teacher are concerned with what works in the classroom to keep students quiet and to maintain order, rather than with any consideration of the value of such goals as ends in themselves. The term surface reflection is preferred by this author to depict a broader scope in this category. This level is commonly referred to as technical for Van Manen while Jay and Johnson call it descriptive (ibid.).
Pedagogical Reflection
At this level of reflection, teachers tend to reflect on educational goals, the theories underlying approaches and the connections between theory and practice. Larrivee (2006) explains that the term pedagogical is preferred as it is a more inclusive, merging all of the other concepts to indicate a higher level of reflection based on application of teaching knowledge, theory and/or research. Additionally, teachers engaging in pedagogical reflection would seek to understand the theoretically basis for classroom practice and to foster consistency between espoused theory (what they say they do and believe) and theory-in-use (what they actually do).
Critical Reflection
Hatton and Smith (1995) define critical reflection as involving reason giving for decisions or events which takes account of the broader historical, social and/ or political contexts. Larrivee (2006), on the other hand, states that teachers at this level reflect on the moral and ethical implications and consequences of classroom practices on students as well extend their considerations to issues beyond the classroom to include democratic ideals. She further adds that critically reflective teachers usually strive to become fully conscious of the range of consequences of their actions. Facing ethical dilemmas is inevitable in many teachers’ lives as even routine evaluative assessment of students’ work can also be partly an ethical decision in that lack of opportunity to learn and impact on self-concept are inherent considerations (p. 12). This view is aligned with Hatton and Smith’s (1995, p.35) point that the concept of critical reflection involves “making judgments about whether professional activity is equitable, just, and respectful of persons or not”.
More often than not, critical reflection is considered a higher-order level of reflection. Critical reflection adds the following dimensions: * Questioning of underlying assumptions, biases, and values one brings to bear on their teaching. * Conscious consideration of ethical implications and consequences of practices on students and their learning. * Examination of how instructional and other classroom practices contribute to social equity and to the establishment of just society. * Extended awareness beyond immediate instructional circumstances to include caring about democratic foundation and encouraging socially responsible actions.
(ibid., p.12)
The term critical reflection has the most consensus in the literature as a level of reflection examining the ethical, social and political consequences of one’s teaching (Van Manen, 1977; Gore and Zeichner, 1987; Adler, 1991; Smith, 1992).
On the other hand, Ghaye (2011) has attempted to reframe the term ‘critical reflection’. In justifying his argument on the term which has become a buzzword recently, Ghaye makes a distinction between creative and critical thinking. Ghaye sees ‘creative thinking as the ability to generate new ideas and to see things with fresh eyes while critical thinking is the ability to judge the worthiness of these ideas and fresh ways of seeing... critical thinking is the yang to creative thinking’s yin. An important role for critical thinking (or critical reflection) is to be analytical. By this I mean it serves the important function of probing, questioning and puttting ideas under pressure. Second, it has a role in helping us to come to decisions and to make judgements. In other words, it helps us determine which ideas are worth pursuing, Finally, critical thinking helps to be selective, it helps us narrow down long lists of ideas, possibilities and options, it helps us makes choices... (p. 127)
The concept of self-reflection has received a considerable amount of debate with some including it in the spectrum of critical reflection while some differentiated it as reflexive, as opposed to reflective. Nonetheless, the dimension of dialogue with oneself have been conceived by Hatton and Smith (1995) as dialogic, Valli (1992) as personalistic, and York-Barr, Sommers,, Ghere and Montie (2001) as reflection-within. According to Larrivee, self-reflection focuses on examining how one’s beliefs and values, expectations and assumptions, family imprinting and cultural conditioning impact students’ learning, Based on the grounds that understanding oneself is a prerequisite condition to understanding others, self-reflection warrant distinction by itself.
“The capacity for self-reflection is a distinguishing attribute of reflective practitioners for it entails deep examination of values and beliefs, embodied in the assumptions teachers make and the expectations they have for students. Teachers behaviour is driven by beliefs about students’ capacity and willingness to learn, by assumptions about the behaviour of students; especially those from different ethnic and social backgrounds, and by expectations formulated on the basis of the teachers’ own value system.”
(Larrivee, 2006, p. 13)
Through the practice of self-reflection teachers will learn to 1) slow down their thinking and reasoning process to become more aware of how they perceive and react to students and 2) bring to the surface some of their unconscious ways of responding to students (ibid.). This skill of self-reflection is necessary even for student teachers to enable them to become ‘more interactive participants in their classroom encounters’ (ibid). Surface Reflection | Pedagogical Reflection | Critical Reflection | Self-reflection | Did I spend too much time on groupwork today? How can I keep students on-task? Did I have enough (too many) activities? How can I get students to pay better attention? | How can I improve learning for all my students? How can I build in better accountability for cooperative learning tasks? Am I giving my students the opportunity to develop decision-making skills? What else can I do to help students make connections to prior knowledge? Is there a better way to accomplish this goal? | Do all students in my class have daily opportunities to be successful? Who is being included and who is being excluded in this classroom practice? How might the ways I group students affect individual student’s opportunity for success? Does this classroom practice promote equity? Do I have practices that differentially favour particular groups of students (e.g., males, females)? | In what ways might I be modeling disrespect? What is keeping me from trying to build a relationship with Pam? Are there things I am doing that inhibit student self-management? Why am I so intolerant of Adam’s inappropriate behavior? |

Levels of Reflection and Typical Questions to be asked

(Adapted from : Larrivee, 2006)

2.3 Issues in Reflective Practice

Calderhead and Shorrock (1997) highlighted that recent studies of reflective teaching have considered what the cognitive, affective and behavioural components of reflection might be: what are the skills, knowledge bases, attitudes and predispositions that make reflection possible and how might these be facilitated amongst teachers at different stages in their career? Some questions raised are : Do student teachers need to be taught how to reflect and is this different from the support needed by more experienced teachers in their reflection?; Do STs need to have a basic mastery of teaching before reflection on practice is actually possible? Researchers and teacher educators have also focused on the content of reflection: is all content an equally appropriate subject for reflection, and how does one prioritized the subject matter for reflection? (Calderhead and Gates, 1993)

According to Calderhead and Shorrock (1997), enthusiasm for reflective teaching has led to much experimentation in teacher education (Clift, Houston and Pugach, 1990; Valli, 1992, in Calderhead Shorrock, 1997) and the development of a wide range of techniques and approaches to encourage and foster reflection in both preservice and inservice courses. Techniques such as journal writing, action research, and research evidence and empirically derived theory have been used to provide alternative conceptual frameworks for the analysis of practice, as well as the development of certain principles of training and defined roles of the trainers that relate to the overall ‘reflective’ philosophy and organisation of a course.
However, they further argue that the implementation of reflective teacher education has not been without its difficulties. Creating a course that helps student teachers to become more analytical about their practice and to take charge of their own professional development poses several inherent dilemmas. This then leads to further concerns on the tremendous challenges in meeting the goals of reflective teaching which are indeed ambitious –
“ what is reasonable to achieve in preservice education and what can only be achieved in the much longer term? How does a teacher education institution foster reflection when in schools much greater importance is attached to immediate, spontaneous action than to reflection and evaluation? Does reflective teaching require a particular supportive, collaborative ethos in school in order for the efforts of teacher educators to be effective? The development of RP in preservice and inservice courses has not proved easy ...” (Calderhead & Shorrock, 1997, p. 17)

Osterman and Kottkamp (1993) argued that if the purpose of RP is to enhance awareness of our thoughts and action, then, how do we begin in this process of reflection? How we begin to develop a critical awareness about our own professional practice? Where do we start?
Another problem as highlighted by Akbari (2007) is the disregard for critical aspects of teaching. He argued that reflective teaching need to have a moral dimension, since teachers are asked to constantly thinking about themselves as practitioners and consider the social, ethical consequences of what they do. Reflection, in its purely cognitive sense, will not be responsive to the improvement of human society, as envisioned by Dewey. He reiterated this by quoting Zeichner and Liston (1996), “if a teacher never questions the goals and the values that guide his or her work, the context in which he or she teaches, or never examines his or his assumptions, then it is our belief that this individual is not engage in reflecting teaching” (p.1)
Hrevnack (2011) highlighted some impediments to the development of reflection in aspiring teachers. He noted that although ‘reflection’ is acknowledged as an important skill to be developed in student teachers, many teacher education courses still do little to rigorously developed it. Additionally, another impediment to the development of the reflective process is the disconnect between theory (what the aspiring teacher learns from the lecturers) and practice (what the aspiring teacher learns from his/ her teaching mentor) (Kaufmann, 1992). Thus, according to Darling-Hammond (2006), if the quality of teacher education programmes is to improve, it is necessary to incorporated college courses with field based experiences through the use of integrated teaching strategies. Farcas, Johnson & Foleno (2000) noted that new teachers felt that they had too much theory in college and not enough of the practical information necessary to meet the everyday challenges of teaching.
Hrevnack (2011) had observed the lack of coherence which is most acute for prospective teachers when engaging in their first field experience. He reiterated that many of them when asked to keep a ‘journal’, most of these logs are often a ‘chronological diary of observed events and lack meaningful analysis and reflection’ (p. 83). ‘The problem is that when the aspiring teachers present personal response ‘journals’ ... they believe that they have actually engaged in ‘reflective thinking’ (ibid.).

In a recent study conducted by Stellar (2012) on the role of reflective practice on effecting teachers and change, she argues that the most powerful, durable and effective agents of educational change are in fact, the teachers and not the policy makers, the curriculum developers or even the education authorities themselves. It further contends that the teachers’ individual capacities for reflective practice and the development of self knowledge is paramount for effective educational changes. However, these aspects of teacher development have, historically, been largely overlooked in the preparation and promotion of effective teachers. The emphasis has been more explicitly focused on the development and demonstration of teachers’ understanding of content knowledge and the associated pedagogies and in their capacities to understand their students as individual constructors of knowledge in diverse social contexts. Stellar (2012) further asserts that in order for teachers to become a professional practitioner and effective in this Information age, ‘they must have the willingness and the cognitive capacities to recognise ethical dilemmas and examine their own perspectives on the issues they face critically and analytically and this requires regular, authentic reflection (p. 461).

Collin et al. (2013) in drawing a critical portrait of RP in initial teacher training, highlighted that the quality of reflection should not be measured by the ‘level’ that the teacher attains, but rather by the number of ‘levels’ that the teacher uses in practice (p.110).

2.3.1 Possible Factors Affecting Critical Reflection
Rogers (2001) identified from his systematic review of the literature, different factors that may affect critical reflection:
i. situation/ experience on which the students reflect; ii. characteristics of the learner; iii. techniques to foster reflection; iv. different contextual conditions (feedback, interaction, autonomy); and
v. approach to reflection.

In line with the purpose of this research study, techniques to foster reflection and approach to reflection will be stressed upon. Approaches to reflection
Rogers (2001) reveals a number of common components that can be identified through the analysis of various approaches to reflection. In most of the approaches analysed, the process of reflection begins with the identification of a problem and the gathering of additional information. This follows with a plan and the decision to act and finally with taking a further action. Roger (2001) also identifies differences in approaches to supporting the process of reflection. For example, in terms of number of steps ( for each different approach) varies from zero to eight. For some, the steps in a reflection process is considered sequential, while for others, they contend that the steps of a reflective process need not subscribe to any particular order.
Linear approach to reflection
Non-linear approach to reflection (not complete)

2.4 Reflection and Teacher Education In Malaysia (to be discussed later)
2.5 Guided Reflection and Reflective Practice : Recent studies
As many teacher education programmes as well as many professional educators worldwide continue to pursue reflective practice as an important element of professional preparation, there is also a growing interest on how these educators can help beginning educators develop skills of reflective practice and acquire initial experience (Russell, 2005; Seban, 2009; Roberts, 1998; Moon, 2004)

Russell (2005) states that the absence of any clear argument about what reflective practice is and how we recognize it could actually explains why it is not clear how to teach it. Osterman and Kottkamp (1993) argued that if the purpose of RP is to enhance awareness of our thoughts and action, then, how do we begin in this process of reflection? How we begin to develop a critical awareness about our own professional practice? Where do we start? For them, reflective practice is a challenging, demanding and often trying process that is most successful as a collaborative effort. In the context of teacher education, this means that to develop reflective practice among student teachers, there must be a concerted effort for collaboration not only between the supervising lecturers and the student teachers but also with the cooperating teachers through various modes of reflections e.g. conferencing, feedback and video recording sessions.
Several recent studies explored the notion of guided reflections by employing different approaches and techniques with many exhibiting positive and successful outcomes. Among them is a very recent research conducted by Hrevnack (2011) employing the use of guided reflective observation and analysis. According to Hrevnack (2011), true reflection should be guided by an analysis rooted in sound educational principles. He argued that accepted pedagogy and sound educational theory need to serve as the foundation by which practice is evaluated and this knowledge, prior to field experiences, provides a framework that would enable the aspiring teachers to intelligently reflect on the field observation. As such, he proposed the use of ‘The Guided Reflective Observation and Analysis Model which utilized the theory learned in the university as a vehicle for thoughtful considerations of practices observed in the classroom to develop reflective thinking in aspiring teachers. The findings of his study showed that the guided observation approach has helped to bridge the gap between theory and practice through the use of ‘real life’ case studies upon classroom observations. Utilizing this methodology, the college instructor has the opportunity to guide the development of true reflective thinking based upon sound educational principles and theories. In other words, the utilization of the Guided Reflective Observation and Analysis Model has enabled aspiring teachers to successfully analyse the learning/ classroom environment in light of educational theory.

Collaborative Analysis of Reflection on the Field Observation Utilizing Structured Prompts
Application of Theory Through Structured Responses (Collaboration between Students and University Instructor)
Elements Essential to Effective Classroom Management (Theory and Application)
Elements Essential to the Delivery of Instruction (Theory and Application)
Field Observation C
University Setting B
University Setting A
Field Observation C
University Setting B
University Setting A

Field Observation C
University Setting B
University Setting A

University Setting D
Field Observation C
University Setting B
University Setting A

Further University Instruction Based on Syllabus and Documented Student Needs
Figure 2.4 Guided Reflection Observation and Analysis Model (Hrevnack, 2011)

A study conducted by Husu, Toom and Patrikainen (2008) investigated the quality of teacher reflection in its guided forms. The researchers have attempted to develop a conceptual account of how the procedures of guided reflection can contribute towards the development of their professional knowledge. This study has proposed a practical model ( Figure 2.5) for conducting guided reflection in practice by utilizing the stimulated recall method and the hot-cool system framework (used in Metcalfe & Mischel’s study, as cited in Husu et al, 2008). However, the critical incidents and their analysis occupy a central position in this model. The goal of this procedure is to foster teachers’ ability to reflect on teaching and

Figure 2.5 The procedure of guided reflection ( Husu, Patrikainen & Toom, 2007)

thereby on their professional development both attitudinally and functionally. They argued that as teachers reflect on their work, it is essential to become conscious of the factors that have an effect on their professional development. Husu et al (2008) , citing Tripp (1994, p.71) reminds us that a teachers’ professional practice is not only determined by each individual’ values, beliefs, and personal experiences, but also by the social and material conditions of the teacher’s professional existence. The whole procedure of this study calls for a videotape, an interview, and reflective discussion all used to promote reflection. The results showed that student teachers in the study reported professional growth as a result of implementing the procedures of guided reflection in their teaching practicum. Similarly to Hrevneck (2011), they have also managed to capture the importance of bridging theory and practice through the conceptualization of reflective practice.
Critique the methodology... critical reflection, is there training given prior to the study?

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