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From Dewey’s legacy to Schon’s epistemology of practice : reconceptualizing reflective teacher education Yang, Chʻang 1997

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FROM DEWEY'S LEGACY TO S C H O N ' S EPISTEMOLOGY OP P R A C T I C E R E C O N C E P T U A L I Z I N G R E F L E C T I V E TEACHER EDUCATION b y CHANG YANG M . E d . , Q u e e n ' s U n i v e r s i t y , 1990 A T H E S I S SUBMITTED IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE F A C U L T Y OF GRADUATE S T U D I E S D e p a r t m e n t o f E d u c a t i o n a l S t u d i e s ( S o c i a l F o u n d a t i o n s o f E d u c a t i o n a l P o l i c y ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d < THE U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA M a r c h 1997 ° C h a n g Y a n g , 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T It has been suggested that "the ultimate j u s t i f i c a t i o n for curricular decision making in professional education i s normative: a conception of a set of desirable understandings, s k i l l s , and dispositions" (Tom and V a l l i , 1990, p. 389). But, normative considerations alone are not sufficient as a rational ground for programmatic deliberations. Teacher education program development needs also the support of some adequate understanding of professional knowledge for teaching (PKT), or professional knowing, and learning to teach. As Soltis (1981) persuades us, "the more adequate of our grasp of what we understand as *knowledge', the more we can consciously, responsibly, and morally play the role of an educator" (p. 104). Program development in teacher education has traditionally been guided by fragmented thinking that takes PKT as something external to those who are learning to teach. The task of teacher education i s to pass on or provide access to research findings and academic scholarship and/or intellectual s k i l l s , including the what and how of reflective practice/teaching/inquiry in the current Reflective Teacher Education (RTE) movement. It i s argued in this study that an adequate epistemological grounding should be indispensable to any (alternative) orientation towards teacher education. The widespread interest in RTE i s often attributed to Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry and/or Schon's epistemology of practice. But i t i s waiting to be explored whether the theses advanced by Schon and Dewey, respectively, could provide adequate theoretical underpinnings for establishing RTE as an alternative i i orientation towards teacher education. This study finds Schon's epistemology of practice to be inadequate for providing an epistemological foundation for professional education programs. The model i s inconsequential to teacher education program development due to i t s internal conceptual d i f f i c u l t i e s , i t s dichotomous tendency towards the relationship between theory and practice, and i t s narrow focus on the world of practice. Dewey's thesis i s pertinent to teacher education today not because i t might entail a prescription of reflective practice. Rather, i t offers theoretical implications that help to bring the issues of knowledge (PKT), inquiry (learning to teach), and action (teaching) intimately together. In light of Dewey's thesis, the problem of knowledge in teacher education should be seen as a problem of prospective teachers constructing their PKT through an on-going inquiry into teaching so as to be able to act in an intelligent manner in the classroom. Teacher education programs should be designed to assist prospective teachers in taking better control and direction of their inquiry. To guide their own practice, program developers and teacher educators should ask themselves: What i s professional knowledge for teaching? How are professional knowing and learning accounted for? What i s the role of theoretical studies and practical experience in learning to teach? What should and can be done to ensure that the learning opportunities provided in a pre-service teacher education program w i l l contribute to, not hinder or block, prospective teachers' professional growth? i i i CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents iv Acknowledgement v i INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I THE PURSUIT OF PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE FOR TEACHING: AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW 10 A General Framework 12 Normal School Teacher Training 16 Moral Character Building Acquisition of Subject Matter Knowledge Growing Presence of Pedagogical Theory Teacher Education on the University Campus 24 The Impulse of the Liberal Education Tradition The Search for a Sci e n t i f i c basis of Teacher Education Diffusion of Professional Knowledge for Teaching Summary 42 CHAPTER II REFLECTIVE TEACHER EDUCATION: REFRAMING THE PROBLEM 45 The Social and Intellectual Background 51 The Problem of Meaning 57 Reframe the Problem 65 The Concept of Reflection 71 Reflection as Retrospective Thinking Reflection as C r i t i c a l Analysis Practical D i f f i c u l t i e s of RTE 81 Summary 86 CHAPTER III Schon'S EPISTEMOLOGY OF PRACTICE 89 Schon's Epistemology of Practice 90 Schon's Model of Professional Knowing C r i t i c a l Assessment of Schon's Epistemology of Practice 97 Schon's Conceptual D i f f i c u l t i e s Schon's Disposition towards the Theory/Practice Relationship Schon's Narrow Focus on the World of Practice A Schdnean Model of Teacher Education? 131 Summary 137 CHAPTER IV — DEWEY'S THEORY OF REFLECTIVE INQUIRY 139 Dewey's Approach Towards the Problem of Knowledge 143 Dewey's Theory of Reflective Inquiry 147 Reception of Dewey's Theory of Reflective Inquiry 153 Some Further Notes 160 What i s "an indeterminate/doubtful situation"? Prior Knowledge iv Outcome or Ends-in-view of Reflective inquiry The Knower and the Known Method Summary 185 CHAPTER V — RECONCEPTUALIZING REFLECTIVE TEACHER EDUCATION 190 Understanding Learning to Teach 194 Developing a Harmonious, Unified Conceptual Map of Teaching Subjectivity vs. Objectivity Nagel Thomas's Position Modified Programmatic Provision 213 Theoretical Studies Practical Experience Summary 240 CONCLUSION 242 BIBLIOGRAPHY 256 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENT T h i s s t u d y w o u l d n o t b e p o s s i b l e w i t h o u t D r . M . E l l i o t t t a k i n g up t h e s u p e r v i s o r y r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a n d t h e j o i n t e f f o r t o f D r . P . C o u r t e n a y - H a 1 1 a n d D r . G . E r i c k s o n o n t h e t h e s i s c o m m i t t e e . I am v e r y g r a t e f u l t o D r . E l l i o t t f o r h i s r e s p o n s i v e n e s s a n d f o r b e i n g g e n e r o u s w i t h h i s t i m e a n d e x p e r t i s e . H i s g u i d a n c e a n d g e n t l e p e r s u a s i o n h a v e b e e n c r u c i a l i n s h a p i n g u p t h e o v e r a l l f r a m e w o r k a n d o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h i s s t u d y a n d b r i n g i n g i t t o i t s s u c c e s s f u l c o m p l e t i o n . M a n y t h a n k s g o t o D r . C o u r t e n a y - H a l l , w h o , i n s p i t e o f h e r h e a l t h c o n d i t i o n s , h a s c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e s t u d y w i t h h e r c a r e f u l r e a d i n g s a n d c r i t i c a l c o m m e n t a r i e s . I h a v e b e n e f i t e d a g r e a t d e a l f r o m t h e many d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h h e r b e f o r e t h e s t u d y was u n d e r i t s way a n d t h r o u g h o u t i t s e n t i r e c o u r s e . T h a n k s a r e e x t e n d e d t o D r . E r i c k s o n f o r s h a r i n g h i s e x p e r t k n o w l e d g e i n t e a c h e r e d u c a t i o n a n d i n o t h e r r e l e v a n t a r e a s o f r e s e a r c h a n d s c h o l a r s h i p . H i s many h e l p f u l s u g g e s t i o n s f o r t h e i m p r o v e m e n t o f t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h i s s t u d y a r e g r e a t l y a p p r e c i a t e d . I w i s h a l s o t o e x p r e s s my g r a t i t u d e t o D r . P r a t t , D r . C a m p b e l l , M r . a n d M r s . H i l l , a n d many o f t h e i r c o l l e a g u e s a t Q u e e n ' s U n i v e r s i t y F a c u l t y o f E d u c a t i o n . T h r o u g h o u t t h e s e d i f f i c u l t a n d y e t v e r y r e w a r d i n g y e a r s o f a c a d e m i c p u r s u i t , t h e y h a v e g i v e n me c o n t i n u i n g e n c o u r a g e m e n t a n d h e l p , f o r w h i c h I am f o r e v e r g r a t e f u l . v i INTRODUCTION This study concerns the perplexing phenomenon of reflective teacher education (RTE). RTE i s an interesting subject worth studying for several reasons. F i r s t , since the early 1980s, RTE has been promoted as an alternative approach towards teachers 7 i n i t i a l preparation and in-service professional development (Calderhead and Gates, 1993; C l i f t , Houston, and Pugach, 1990; V a l l i , 1992a). Second, i t enjoys great popularity within the teacher education community at both institutional and personal levels. It i s said that nowadays "one can hardly read an ar t i c l e about teaching without mention of reflection" (Richardson, 1990, p. 3) and "there i s not a single teacher educator who would say that he or she i s not concerned about preparing teachers who are reflective" (Gore and Zeichner, 1991, p. 120). Third, the popularity of RTE has not been accompanied by a clear, shared sense of what counts as RTE. The conceptual status of RTE as an alternative orientation towards teacher education has been contested (Cohen, 1991; Feiman-Nemser, 1990; Munby and Russell, 1993). Can this alternative approach towards teacher education be sustained? Or, are teacher educators bound to be disillusioned with i t sooner or later? To understand RTE and contemplate i t s prospects, teacher educators should be willing, as the poet says, to go back to "where we started and know the place for the f i r s t time." This study takes the view that the fundamental purpose of teacher education institutions i s to assist prospective teachers in their effort to develop their professional knowledge for 1 teaching (PKT). It follows that understanding of PKT in the context of prospective teachers learning to teach should be paramount to the development of teacher education programs, no matter what label the programs are given. To understand PKT in the context of institutionalized teacher education, three basic questions should be considered. The f i r s t question concerns meaning. What i s PKT? Is i t represented in the form of observable behaviour patterns of the Master Teacher, or educational research findings and scholarship, or the stories teachers t e l l , or a combination of these three, or something else? The second question i s more of a practical matter. What kind of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s should pre- and i n -service programs provide to assist prospective teachers and teachers on the job in their effort to develop PKT? The third question concerns the epistemological and moral understanding of professional knowing and learning that conjoins a particular conception of PKT. Are professional knowing and learning to teach a matter of a person receiving what i s known and the program developer(s) thought to be necessary and/or useful for practice? Or i s i t a person developing his/her PKT through inquiry, with the help of others? By making expli c i t the hidden presumptions about PKT and learning to teach in teacher education program development, I believe, teacher educators shall be in a better position to consider the rational ground of their programmatic deliberations. These issues together help put the phenomenon of RTE into perspective. In this study, PKT i s viewed in direct connection to responsible and intelligent conduct of teaching at the personal 2 l e v e l . PKT stands f o r the kind of knowledge that teachers r e l y on i n teaching and i s understood as a comprehensive, h o l i s t i c e n t i t y composed of many aspects or components, moral and e t h i c a l , s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l , p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l , cognitive and emotive, p u b l i c and personal, t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l , generalized and context-dependent, l i n g u i s t i c and behavioral, formal and i n t u i t i v e , subject matter and pedagogical, etc. Each of these aspects/components could be treated as i f i t constituted an independent e n t i t y . I t i s unthinkable, however, that teachers could be teaching i n a p r o f e s s i o n a l l y competent manner without knowing t h e i r moral and e t h i c a l commitment, f o r instance. Nor should anyone (be permitted to) teach i n the classroom without knowing s u f f i c i e n t l y well the subject matter involved. The h o l i s t i c notion of PKT i s adopted i n recognition that responsible and competent teaching p r a c t i c e e x i s t s . I t leads us to contemplating how prospective teachers, and teachers on the job as well, come to know what they know so that they w i l l be able to teach i n a p r o f e s s i o n a l l y competent manner. In teacher education program development, the h o l i s t i c notion of PKT should also force teacher educators to rethink the r o l e of those conventional forms of educational knowledge i n learning to teach, namely, educational research findings, academic scholarship i n the contributing d i s c i p l i n e s of education, as well as the s t o r i e s teachers t e l l . With the h i s t o r i a n s ' advice that "we cannot understand a s i t u a t i o n i n l i f e without some perception of where i t f i t s i nto a continuing process or whether i t has happened before" (Tosh, 1991, p. 1), I place the phenomenon of RTE along the h i s t o r i c a l 3 continuum of program development in teacher education. The study starts in Chapter I with an excursion into the pursuit of PKT in program development in the brief history of institutionalized teacher education. This excursion i s intended to highlight the fragmentation of PKT in program development within different h i s t o r i c a l times and to illuminate the conditions that led to the current widespread interest in RTE. The sudden popularity of RTE since the early 1980s can be seen as a welcome sign of efforts for positive change in teacher education. However, the relevant literature indicates that there i s a lack of conceptual c l a r i t y or rather a shared sense of what RTE i s . This lack of conceptual c l a r i t y has in turn given rise to expressed concerns over the conceptual status of RTE as an alternative approach towards teachers 7 i n i t i a l preparation and in-service professional development. Analysis in Chapter II w i l l show that beyond the multiple conceptions of RTE, what i s actually being advocated are program goals with strong ideological and p o l i t i c a l implications. The epistemological issues concerning PKT and learning to teach that I believe to be fundamental to teacher education program development are largely missing and in their place, there i s the idea of reflection serving as a desirable end and the means for achieving that end at the same time (Bullough, 1989a). The connection between reflective inquiry/exercises and prospective teachers' development of PKT has not been made clear. The widespread interest in RTE has often been attributed to the systematic theorizing by two American scholars, John Dewey and Donald A. Schon, on "reflective thinking" and "reflective 4 practice," respectively. Both address the question of knowing in relation to human conduct, but from quite different angles, as my later discussions w i l l show. My familiarity with the relevant literature suggests to me that the connection between the many different versions of RTE and these theoretical sources i s rather superficial. It i s waiting to be explored whether the theses advanced by Schon and Dewey respectively entail the kind of theoretical implications for sustaining RTE as an alternative orientation and engendering change in the current thinking as well as practice of teacher education. With the publication of his two books on practitioners' reflective practice in the 1980s, Schon has been praised for his contribution to our understanding of professional knowing in and of practice. My reading of Schon's work suggests, however, that Schon has at best renovated the problem-solving model of professional practice with the emphasis on problem framing that has been neglected in the Technical Rationality model. I argue in Chapter III that Schon's epistemology of practice cannot provide the theoretical underpinnings for the development of teacher education programs. Teacher education i s fundamentally about a person developing knowledge for teaching or a person learning to become a competent teacher. It i s reasonable to assert that RTE programs, or any other form of teacher education, need a theory that offers a plausible account of what i s involved in a person developing PKT and becoming an experienced practitioner of teaching. Schon's thesis gives an account of competent practitioners' knowing in and of practice in terms of a process of reflection-in-action. 5 I t does not explore how competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s come to know what they know that enables them to act the way they do. Where does professional a r t i s t r y come from? Besides, as a s o c i a l p r a c t i c e , teaching i s i n t e n t i o n a l and purposive, but human i n t e n t i o n a l i t y does not seem to have a prominent place i n Schon's model of professional knowing. John Dewey was a monumental figu r e i n American h i s t o r y . I t i s said that i n the works and l i f e of Dewey that the American philosophy of pragmatism was brought to " i t s highest l e v e l of sophisticated a r t i c u l a t i o n and engaged elaboration" (West, 1989, p. 69). The f a c t that generations of scholars since Dewey's time have devoted themselves to studying h i s writings and to defending or attacking h i s philosophical and educational ideas a t t e s t s the si g n i f i c a n c e and influence of Dewey's i n t e l l e c t u a l legacy. Dewey devoted a great part of h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e to the problem of knowledge i n r e l a t i o n to human conduct. The theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry/ a robust epistemological t h e s i s , was the centrepiece of his i n t e l l e c t u a l legacy. However, as Adler (1991) observes, Although John Dewey's arguments fo r educating the r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r s are c i t e d by many educators today, Dewey's ideas have not consistently been a part of the dominant discourse on teacher education i n the twentieth century, (p. 146) I f e e l i t rather odd that proponents of RTE should have been unable to f i n d i n Dewey's work anything more profound than a few frequently made references, f o r instance, the d i s t i n c t i o n between routine action and r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e , the r e q u i s i t e attitudes of r e f l e c t i v e thinking, and the oft-quoted d e f i n i t i o n of r e f l e c t i v e thought - "Active, p e r s i s t e n t , and c a r e f u l 6 consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support i t and the further conclusions to which i t tends constitutes reflective thought" (Dewey, 1933, p. 9). It should be interesting to note that in explicating his thesis, Schon (1992) claims to have developed his own version of Dewey's "reflective thought." But he does not discuss how his version differs from Dewey's original ideas or i f his version entails any significant theoretical advance from Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry. What would Richardson (1990) be alluding to when observing that "when Schon's Reflective Practitioner struck the consciousness of educationists in the mid-1980s, i t was not always as a re-embracing of Dewey's notion, but as the discovery of a new concept" (p. 3)? The fact that Dewey l e f t behind a robust epistemological theory i t s e l f does not however speak of the pertinence of evoking and bringing the theory into the discourse of teacher education today. Broadly speaking, the significance of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry to the present context of teacher education can be seen in that i t i s an important part of "a wealth of materials, insights, and analyses" the pragmatists (Pierce, James, Dewey) l e f t behind them that are "pertinent to and often anticipating current advances in philosophy" (Thayer, 1982, p. 11). More specifically, the discussion in Chapter IV w i l l help to show that by revisiting Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry, teacher educators can substantiate the simplistic connection already made between Dewey's ideas and bring their current effort to reform or improve teacher education to more f r u i t f u l results. 7 In Dewey's th e s i s , r e f l e c t i v e inquiry s i g n i f i e s a d e l i b e r a t e , purposive human conduct to seek and acquire knowledge f o r i n t e l l i g e n t human action. This understanding of knowledge, inquiry, and action i n unison, I believe, can be brought to bear d i r e c t l y upon the issues of PKT and learning to teach, thereby providing the needed epistemological foundation f o r teacher education program development. An a l t e r n a t i v e o r i e n t a t i o n of teacher education informed by Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry w i l l be discussed i n Chapter V. The phenomenon of RTE i s a manifestation of major programmatic del i b e r a t i o n s currently undertaken i n teacher education. Since many d i f f e r e n t conceptions of RTE e x i s t within s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n a l contexts, there i s a need, perhaps, f o r a c l e a r e r sense of what RTE means. However, i t i s important to keep i n mind that when t r y i n g to resolve the conceptual d i f f i c u l t y of RTE, we should not lose sight of the f a c t that the fundamental task f o r teacher education programs i s to a s s i s t i n prospective teachers' development of PKT. In other words, RTE must be b u i l t upon an adequate understanding of PKT and learning. As S o l t i s (1981) persuades us, the more adequate our grasp of what we understand as "knowledge," the more we can consciously, responsibly, and morally play the r o l e of educator, (p. 104) I cannot f o r e t e l l how the Deweyan or i e n t a t i o n of teacher education outlined i n t h i s study may eventually be turned into p r a c t i c e at both i n s t i t u t i o n a l and personal l e v e l s . Teacher education i s ultimately a p r a c t i c a l endeavour c a r r i e d out within s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n a l settings and by p a r t i c i p a n t s occupying d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l and i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n s . I t i s my hope that 8 t h i s s t u d y w i l l c o n t r i b u t e (1) t o t h e c u r r e n t d i s c o u r s e o n t e a c h e r e d u c a t i o n r e f o r m ; (2) t o t h e g e n e r a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f p r o s p e c t i v e t e a c h e r s ' d e v e l o p m e n t o f P K T ; a n d 3) t o t h e r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a r a t i o n a l f o u n d a t i o n u p o n w h i c h t h e l e g i t i m a c y a n d n e c e s s i t y o f t e a c h e r e d u c a t i o n c a n b e f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e d . 9 C h a p t e r I: THE PURSUIT OF P R O F E S S I O N A L KNOWLEDGE FOR T E A C H I N G : AN H I S T O R I C A L OVERVIEW Classroom teaching from kindergarten to advanced studies in university i s a purposive, dynamic, and complex form of professional practice. The kind of knowledge that enables a teacher to teach in a professionally competent manner i s likewise a very intricate and complex matter. As such, i t defies attempts to give a precise definition of PKT from a single disciplinary perspective which would be appropriate for guiding program development in teacher education. Scheffler (1966) states that The conclusion often drawn in educational theory i s that we must f i r s t decide what the correct definition of xman' i s , and that then practical educational consequences w i l l only need to be inferred by us through the application of pure logic. This picture i s , however, wrong not only in postulating a simple deductive implication between definitions of human nature and practical educational consequences, but also in f a i l i n g to take account of [the fact that] there are an indefinite number of alternative definitions of *man,' indefinitely many ways of dimensionalizing his structure and capacities, a l l equally accurate. To choose one such dimensionalization on the basis of i t s accuracy and to proceed to read off curricular counterparts to each dimension, as i s often done, i s to beg the whole question, (pp. 33-34) I take Scheffler's use of the term *dimension' to mean, in the ordinary sense, xaspect' or %factors' (Greenbaum and Whitcut, 1988, p. 207). Like the notion of man, PKT also has many aspects or involves many factors. When we look at some selective aspects or factors, we get a fragmented view. In talking about fragmented views of PKT, I refer to views that are considered to be legitimate, and debatable, within specific disciplinary boundaries of research and theorizing. There are philosophical, sociological, and psychological views of 10 PKT, for instance. From the vantage point of research and theorizing and also in consideration of the sub-divisions within the disciplines, fragmented views are inevitable. Educational research and theorizing are largely driven by those interests in the selection and emphasis of certain aspects of PKT. However, when i t comes to the development of teacher preparation programs, i t should be obvious that fragmented views of PKT cannot provide adequate theoretical underpinnings without, as Scheffler suggests, begging the whole question. When fragmented views, those emphasizing moral standard, or subject matter, or behaviour, or research findings and scholarship, as I w i l l discuss later on, are taken to underlie program development, teacher education w i l l not be able to accomplish i t s essential task. One single fragmented view leaves out too much. Having a number of fragmented views may destroy the coherence and cohesiveness of a program. Fragmented views from a variety of intellectual sources may not necessarily be complimentary to each other and contribute to a comprehensive, overarching view. They may conflict and in effect mitigate each other's potential influence on practice. In the worst scenario, a program b u i l t upon poorly conceived, unexamined views of PKT may even be detrimental rather than contributive to prospective teachers' professional growth. For developing a cohesive and coherent program of teacher education, a h o l i s t i c view of PKT i s needed. Fortunately, such a view has long been available, imbedded in Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry. It takes some effort to recover and introduce i t into the current discourse on RTE and 11 teacher education reform. Although the academic literature on teacher education abounds, conceptions of PKT and assumptions about prospective teachers that underlie program development do not usually get ex p l i c i t l y stated, let alone c r i t i c a l l y examined. Those implicit conceptions can nevertheless be discerned from the available literature on the various espoused ideals of teacher education as well as the concrete institutional arrangements and pedagogical practices at different h i s t o r i c a l times. This chapter i s devoted to a brief h i s t o r i c a l survey of the fragmented views of PKT that underlie program development in teacher education. I start this hist o r i c a l excursion with the assertion that a teacher education program necessarily presumes some conception(s) of PKT and assumption(s) about prospective teachers for whom the program i s designed. Therefore, serious considerations of the epistemological understanding of PKT and learning to teach should always be a central component to programmatic deliberations. By highlighting the shifting emphases on the different aspects of PKT in program development in the brief history of institutionalized teacher education, I try to illuminate the current RTE movement against that histor i c a l background and at the same time shed some light on the direction of present and future programmatic deliberations in this f i e l d . A General Framework Two familiar themes, the relationship between theory and practice and dominant views of teacher/teaching, w i l l provide the main 12 focus for the excursion into the continuing pursuit of PKT in teacher education program development. The theory-practice relationship has been a central concern to institutionalized teacher education as long as i t has existed. Recent discussions on PKT (e.g., Carter, 1990; Fenstermacher, 1994; Tom and V a l l i , 1990) make i t amply clear that different understandings of and approaches towards the theory-practice relationship in teacher education are dependent upon the different meanings that are ascribed to PKT. Tom and V a l l i (1990), for instance, have identified four epistemological traditions of PKT — Positivist, Interpretive, C r i t i c a l , and Craft. With the p o s i t i v i s t tradition, PKT takes the form of propositional statements of generalizations, laws, principles, and rules governing human behaviour. The source of PKT i s s c i e n t i f i c research and academic theorizing. With the interpretive tradition, PKT i s associated with the researcher's interpretive understanding of educational phenomena situated in hist o r i c a l , social, cultural, and p o l i t i c a l contexts, with the recognition that understanding i s rooted in the researcher's own conceptual system. It i s not clear though what form PKT takes in the interpretive tradition. With the c r i t i c a l tradition, attention i s focused on values embedded in educational practice. Efforts are made to put the conventional forms of educational knowledge into c r i t i c a l perspectives of the principles of democracy and of power relationships. Knowledge becomes the object of cr i t i c i s m in terms of i t s role in society. The craft tradition, on the other hand, associates PKT with common sense, folklore, experience, and 13 practical wisdom that practitioners of teaching rely on in their respective fiel d s of practice. Practitioners' practical knowledge i s said by some to take a narrative form. Furthermore, some argue that teachers' PKT i s t a c i t and intuitive, embedded in their actions. Tom and V a l l i do not discuss how conceptions of PKT rooted in different epistemological traditions may provide the rational ground for the construction of a teacher preparation program. They concede that "the ultimate j u s t i f i c a t i o n for curricular decision making in professional education i s normative: a conception of a set of desirable understandings, s k i l l s , and dispositions" (p. 389). It i s doubtful, though, that normative considerations about program provision would not need to be informed by some kind of epistemological understanding of PKT and learning to teach. To be rational about programmatic deliberations, I believe, i t i s necessary to assess the implicit epistemological understanding in which a teacher education program i s grounded. As i s well known, there are conflicting claims about the value of theory in teaching and learning to teach. But common sense t e l l s us that the usefulness of a thing does not reside in the thing i t s e l f . A pen i s useful for writing and i t i s useless for opening a lock. Atomic energy i s useful in a variety of ways in modern l i f e but extremely harmful when i t i s used as a weapon of massive destructive power. Likewise, the value of theoretical knowledge depends on the uses to which i t i s put. A proper relationship between theory and practice in teacher education cannot therefore be meaningfully established without considering 14 what use theoretical knowledge, with i t s nature properly understood, can be put to in helping prospective teachers to develop their PKT. Simply staking out a position on the putative value of theory or projecting different linkages between theory and practice w i l l unlikely lead to the kind of practical educational consequences that we desire nor w i l l i t have much constructive effect on the current practice of teacher education. My own observation suggests that three different factors may contribute to the persistence of the problematic theory-practice relationship in teacher education: (1) theory i s studied for i t s own sake ignoring the questions and demands of practice; (2) theory i s taken selectively, based on questionable c r i t e r i a , to reside over practice, to dictate or guide or inform practice; and (3) theory i s expected to provide ready-made solutions to problem situations arising in practice. What has been referred to as the "implicit/personal/practical/working theory" already imbedded in teaching and learning to teach i s generally ignored (Carr and Kemmis, 1986; Clark, 1988; English, 1994; Eraut, 1994; Polanyi, 1958, 1966; Scheffler, 1991). If this observation i s correct, i t w i l l be reasonable to suggest that a proper relationship between theory and practice in teacher education should be formed on the basis of a clear understanding of the nature as well as use of theory in the context of teaching and learning to teach. I w i l l return to the theory-practice relationship in Chapter V. The other theme i s that the dominant mode of teacher education program development tends to be closely related to the mainstream conceptions of the teacher/teaching at a given h i s t o r i c a l time (Joyce, 1975). Conceptions of the teacher and 15 teaching are often manifest in the commonly accepted metaphors, such as the teacher as a guardian, moral agent, care-giver, gardener, disciplinarian, knowledge dispenser, decision-maker, f a c i l i t a t o r , diagnostician, reflective practitioner, and even stranger, enemy, or what have you. Most conceptions of the teacher and teaching, i f not a l l , tend to project an ideal destination of a burdened, career-long intellectual journey of a l l teachers, of which i n i t i a l preparation constitutes a crucial stage. Conceptions of learning to teach and views of prospective teachers, on the other hand, t e l l us the conditions of those who embark on the journey, where they begin, and what route they are taking. Then comes the question of what help they may need, which in turn helps to determine the role of the teacher educator. In other words, i t i s who prospective teachers are and what they already know rather than who they should become and what they ought to know that w i l l actually underpin the provision of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s in teacher preparation. But what does the history of teacher education t e l l us in these regards? Normal School Teacher Training Moral Character Building When institutionalized teacher training came into existence in North America in the early 19th century, schooling was s t i l l very much a part of a communal l i f e organized and controlled by different religious denominations in various local communities. Common Schools set up for the general public had several defined 16 purposes: to indoctrinate the minds of the pupils with the values of the dominant religion; to shape their moral character and c i v i l behaviour; and to develop some rudimentary literacy s k i l l s . Schools were to provide the youngsters with "sufficient education to understand an order, and not so much to question i t " (quoted in Ginsberg, 1988, p. 114). The teacher "was expected to embody the standard virtues and community values and, at the same time, to mete out stern discipline to the unruly and dull-witted" (Kliebard, 1986, p. 1). There i s clear h i s t o r i c a l evidence that in the early days of Normal School teacher training, PKT was conceived to a large extent on the basis of the religious and moral values cherished in the local communities, since school teaching was the means whereby those values were i n s t i l l e d into the younger generation (e.g., Altenbaugh and Underwood, 1990; Brubacher, 1966; Cole, 1959; De Landsheere, 1985; Dikshit, 1969; Goodlad, 1990; Herbst, 1989; Urban, 1990). As Goodlad (1990) observes in his Teachers for Our Schools f [Normal schools] were aligned with the lower, common schools — not with secondary, l e t alone higher education. Their mission had much more to do with fostering character and morality in line with religious orthodoxy than with fostering intellectual curiosity and independence. The extant knowledge of pedagogy, such as i t was, embraced l i t t l e more than helpful hints on controlling and managing children, handling classroom routines, and the li k e . (p. 71) The rise of the modern State and growing urbanization as a result of rapid industrialization in 19th century North America brought a new form of social structure and governance. Education, for a long time the responsibility of the family and church, became a public a f f a i r . A nation-wide public school system took i t s shape 17 and, viewed from a c r i t i c a l perspective, functioned as a State apparatus for indoctrinating the "[young] people" with the ideology of "patriotism," "good l i f e , " and "a better society" which emphasized "harmony, law, and order" and for controlling as well as reforming "the unreasonable, savage, and disreputable at a l l social levels, but especially among the poor" (Prentice, 1977, p. 183). Teacher training, accordingly, had i t s mission "to implant in [the trainees] the habits, s k i l l s , and the character structure appropriate to the morally forceful teacher" (Curtis, 1988, p. 246). "Good moral character" served as a handy cover-up for p o l i t i c a l consciousness and comportment (Curtis, 1992; Prentice, 1977, 1983). The metaphor of the teacher as a moral agent seemed to be most f i t t i n g at that time. The preoccupation with "moral character building" expressed i t s e l f most forcefully in the "hidden curriculum" of the early Normal School teacher training, in the harsh discipline and r i g i d regulations (entry requirements, rules of conduct, class schedule, sex segregation, reading of the Bible, attendance at Sunday church service, etc.) that the trainees must s t r i c t l y follow without exception (in the Canadian context, see Fiorino, 1978; Fleming, 1971-72; LaZerte, 1950; P h i l l i p s , 1957; The Centennial Committee of Toronto Normal School, 1947). P h i l l i p s (1957), for instance, records a case in which a female student was expelled from her normal school training for witnessing but f a i l i n g to report an incident of a male student poking his slate pencil at another female student s i t t i n g next to him to attract her attention. Normal schools were of course not religious seminaries. PKT 18 in those days also had two other essential elements — rudimentary literacy s k i l l s and methods of teaching which were referred to as "schoolkeeping." A minimum level of literacy was a prerequisite for entry to teacher training and teaching methods were mostly learned, ostensively, through observation and imitation of the Master Teacher's classroom behaviour. Teacher training programs were short and involved, on the pedagogical side, mainly a review of the subjects taught in the elementary school and some supervised teaching practice. There was l i t t l e room in those programs for serious studies of educational and pedagogical theories advanced by generations of great thinkers since antiquity (see Curtis and Boultwood, 1965; Messenger, 1931; Meyer, 1975; Monroe, 1907). What might pass in those days for "schoolkeeping" or principles and art of teaching would seem more li k e l y conventional wisdom grounded in the personal experience of the Normal School principal and his instructional assistants or teaching staff (e.g., Harper, 1935, Chapter VIII; C l i f f o r d and Guthrie, 1988, pp. 74-79). Acquisition of Subject Matter Knowledge The 19th century saw the rapid advancement of both natural and social sciences in the Western World. The impact of the ever accelerating science and technology development swept far and wide and penetrated every sphere of human l i f e . In education, academic subjects and specialties proliferated (Clark, 1987). The pervasiveness of science was such that even philosophy, once the "crown of a l l disciplines," had to give way to science subjects in the school curriculum (Hare, 1975; Ringer, 1992). In 19 teaching, the overall concern with "moral character building" was replaced by a more immediate concern with "acquisition and transmission of content knowledge." The metaphor of the teacher as a knowledge dispenser came to overshadow the metaphor of the teacher as a moral agent. Towards the end of the 19th century, i t was typical of a teacher training curriculum to consist of a wide range of academic subjects in consonance with what was taught in the Common School, such as, in the case of Toronto Normal School: The Elements and Philosophy of Grammar, Orthography, Composition, Art of Reading, Rudiments of logic, Geography (Mathematical, Physical, and Po l i t i c a l ) with rudiments of the use of the Globes, Elements of General History, Linear Drawing, Mulhauser's system of Writing, Rudiments of Trigonometry/ with a view to Land Surveying with the theodolite, Art of Teaching, with daily Teaching in the Model School, mode of teaching the National School Books, Science and Practice of Arithmetic, including the use of the Logarithm tables, Algebra as far as Quadratic Equations, the Progression, and the Binomial theorem, inclusive; Geometry, six books of Euclid; Heat, E l e c t r i c i t y , Galvanism, and Magnetism; Mechanics, Hydro-statics, Pneumatics, Animal and Vegetable Physiology (with special reference to the laws of health, and practical observations on the Ventilation and Temperature of School Houses), Elements of Astronomy, Agricultural Chemistry, and Music. (Althouse, 1929, p. 29) Although professional studies had been an established component in the teacher training program despite the fact that adequate and sufficient pedagogical materials on teaching were s t i l l wanting, overriding concerns with teacher trainees' inadequate preparation in academic subject matter knowledge nonetheless often defeated serious efforts in that regard. Althouse (1929) noted in the case of the Toronto Normal School that The majority of the students, although they had actually been teaching school, were far below modern high school standards in general information, and the 20 f i r s t duty of the Normal Schools was to supply the background of a l i b e r a l education. That the training school undertook any s t r i c t l y professional work at a l l is a tribute to the patience of the staff and to the energy of the students, (p. 29) In the United States, Edwards, president of the I l l i n o i s State Normal University, had a more elaborate explanation for the emphasis on academic preparation in his institution, Sometimes a theory has f i r s t been established as to what such an institution should be, and the great purpose therefore i s to shape things in conformity to that theory. Perhaps the central point of the theory i s that the purpose of the school i s to prepare teachers. Hence i t i s logically inferred that i t must teach nothing but the science of education. ... But every practical man knows that in a l l communities there are many i l l - q u a l i f i e d teachers. They need instruction not only in the philosophy of Education, but also in the rudiments of arithmetic and the English language. They are employed by scores and hundreds in every state in the Union. When they are collected in any number in a normal school, what shall be done for them? ... The wise course of this Normal University i s to receive these unfinished teachers and hold them as long as possible. Let help be given them wherever i t i s needed, whether in the knowledge of the subjects to be taught, or of the science and art of imparting instruction. It i s wise to do this because they are teachers in fact, and w i l l be, whether qualified or not. Every particle of culture imparted to them w i l l be so much clear gain for the schools. This course, the Normal University has endeavoured to pursue. Not forgetting the high ideal of Normal instruction; i t has nevertheless laboured to take hold of the actual problems about i t . Its methods have been shaped to meet the necessities every-where apparent. It has endeavoured to stand at the nexus between the highest philosophy of Education and the daily needs of our common schools, (quoted in Harper, 1935, p. 118) In some cases, Normal Schools even had l i t t l e to do with their presumed professional goal of teacher training and were run rather for the purpose of providing publicly supported post-elementary education concentrating on academic studies (Agnew, 1924; Altenbaugh and Underwood, 1990; Herbst, 1980, 1989). Agnew (1924) argued in his doctoral dissertation on the administration 21 of professional schools for teachers, That professional schools for teachers should be devoted s t r i c t l y to their designated aim i s a principle long accepted in theory but i t has never been universally accepted in practice. Educators have yielded too easily to expediency. If at times in the past these schools were j u s t i f i e d in serving educational needs other than that of training teachers, there are now no adequate grounds for continuing the practice, (p. 61) Nevertheless, rea l i t y was clearly far more compelling than good argumentation. "The proper work of the Normal School cannot be performed unless the mastery of the subjects has f i r s t been obtained" (Edwards, 1965, p. 76). Growing Presence of Pedagogical Theory The most significant change in regard to PKT in teacher education could be said to have taken place in the early 20th century when education had eventually established i t s e l f as a multi-discipline f i e l d of academic inquiry and was brought under the influence of many great scholars of the time who shared a genuine concern, i f not agreement in their views, about education and i t s role in modern society. With the development in human psychology and sociology, instruction in child psychology and pedagogical theory from sociological perspectives became a staple component of the teacher education curriculum. The emphasis in professional preparation for teaching began to lean towards the pedagogical aspects of teaching, especially "the importance of understanding the nature of children: their interests, their capacities for learning, their limitations, and the ways in which one child differed from others" (Woodring, 1983, p. 89). Informed by various intellectual traditions, the booming 22 a c t i v i t y of disciplined inquiries of educational phenomena since the turn of the 20th century has been a mixed blessing for teacher education. While scholarly efforts carrying on the various intellectual traditions have helped enrich and diversify modern-day thinking about education, teaching, and learning, the development of knowledge about education and *educational phenomena' began to have a dynamism of i t s own which could sustain momentum almost independent of the development of practice. The specialist fields were sufficiently advanced to pose their own intellectual problems and capable of keeping a growing army of researchers occupied. (Carr and Kemmis, 1986, pp. 11-12) Herbst (1989) asserts that this splintering of educational scholarship into small specialties was a result of professionalization among teacher educators rather than a response to the needs of the public schools and their teachers, (p. 182) As theorists and educational researchers distance themselves from educational practice and develop more and more diversified and sophisticated ways of studying, in a detached manner, their chosen educational phenomena, PKT has become increasingly fragmented and infused with different, and often conflicting, views and ideas. Johnson (1987) makes an astute comparison between the medical practice in the 19th century and the practice of education today: "in medicine, sects were destroyed by science; in education, science has bred sects" (p. 233)(for more recent discussions on the divisiveness of educational inquiry see Clark, 1987, 1989; Gage, 1989). Take educational psychology for example. By 1940 most of the authors of textbooks on educational psychology had become convinced that they must present a variety of psychological theories — behaviouristic, association theories, Gestalt, and psychoanalytical interpretations including those of Jung and Adler as 23 well as of Freud. But educational psychologists, l i k e other psychologists, found i t impossible to integrate these conflicting points of view into a single system. As a result, textbooks in educational psychology became eclectic, presenting conflicting theories of child development, learning, motivation, and emotion, and leaving i t to students to achieve an integration which the professors and the textbook writers had failed to achieve. (Woodring, 1975, p. 15) The consequential effect of the fragmentation of PKT has been that different kinds of theory about education, schooling, teaching, and learning vie for inclusion in the teacher education curriculum, thereby intensifying the tension between theory and practice. The emphasis on acquisition of academic subject matter knowledge and general or domain-specific teaching methods plus a period of practice teaching persisted with the customary program pattern of teacher preparation for several decades during which Normal Schools f u l f i l l e d their h i s t o r i c a l mission and gave way to teachers colleges. Teachers colleges enjoyed a short l i f e span, allegedly due to their r i g i d i t y and ineffectiveness, but perhaps more to their lack of institutional prestige. The responsibility of teacher education was eventually conferred upon university Faculties/Schools/Departments of Education. The transition was by no means smooth and at least on the part of the university community the change was received with anguish and resistance rather than enthusiasm. The anguish persists to this day, though not necessarily as pronounced (Clark, 1987; C l i f f o r d and Guthrie, 1988; Herbst, 1989; Schneider, 1987; Stamp, 1982; Thomas, 1990). Teacher Education on the University campus Teacher education on the university campus differs from i t s 24 predecessors with i t s discipline and research-based foundational approach (Clifford and Guthrie, 1988). This approach can be linked to two sets of different and yet closely related presumptions about PKT. One set of the presumptions associated PKT with the ideal of the l i b e r a l education tradition (see Borrowman, 1965; Hirst, 1972; and criticisms of Hirst's position by Martin, 1985; Pearson, 1989) and the other with the enduring dream of grounding the art of teaching on a s c i e n t i f i c basis. The Impulse of the Liberal Education Tradition Whereas Normal School teacher training was compelled to put an emphasis on the acquisition of content knowledge so as to meet the practical demands of teaching in the classroom, university-based teacher education i s f i r s t and foremost immersed in the culture of the l i b e r a l education tradition. Although general education and subject matter specialization are s t i l l considered to be part of teacher education, PKT i s no longer limited to subject matter content knowledge to be taught in elementary and secondary school classrooms plus some methods of teaching. The ascription of "education" instead of "training" to teacher preparation i s highly suggestive of the l i b e r a l tradition. Scheffler's (1968) personal conviction i s representative of the l i b e r a l sentiment towards university-based teacher education, The preparation of teachers in a university setting... offers the special opportunity to develop a broader conception. Beyond a teacher's knowledge of his subject and his practice in the art of teaching under super-vision, he needs to be helped, I am convinced, to relate his work in suitable manner to the family of scholarly and research disciplines represented by the university at large, (p. 2) 25 A Canadian teacher echoed this l i b e r a l education sentiment with the following statement, The education of prospective teachers should take place on a university campus, so that even when the requirements for c e r t i f i c a t i o n are of less than degree standard, young teachers are at least exposed to the excitement and the ferment of a university; so that they are working and learning in an atmosphere of books and inquiry; so that they are stimulated to go on with their formal education; so that they are aware of the existence of many disciplines; and so that they may rub off the edges of their inexperience against minds sharper and more tempered than their own. (Shack, 1965, p. 23) C r i t i c s of Canadian teacher education, however, tersely retort that "the requirement of a university degree meant ... that teachers were now better educated, although not necessarily better trained" (Tomkins, 1986, p. 421). Around the middle of this century, teacher education in North America came under severe attack, mostly from the l i b e r a l education camp. Convinced that "scholarship rather than pedagogy should have precedence in the education and c e r t i f i c a t i o n of teachers" (Power, 1991, p. 293), Counts (1965), in the company of other able c r i t i c s such as Bestor (1953), Conant (1963), and Koerner (1963), lamented the inadequacy of teacher education of the time that The familiar curricular pattern of orientation courses, subject matter courses, observation courses, and practice teaching assignments i s but a conglomeration of precepts and practices inherited from the more limited environment of a former day. No matter how much science in the way of s t a t i s t i c a l summaries, surveys by experts, and correlational studies i s applied to this type of curriculum, the best result obtainable can be only a minor refinement added to something fundamentally inadequate. (Counts, 1965, pp. 221-222) Today, there are s t i l l places around the world where the major concern of teacher education remains with prospective teachers' 26 general education and subject matter specialization. Many reform proposals and the latest scathing reports on the i l l i b e r a l teacher education on the university campus in the United States are testimonial to the exacerbating concerns towards the declining influence of the l i b e r a l education tradition in North American teacher preparation (e.g., Buchmann, 1984; Ducharme, 1987; the Holmes Group, 1986; Kramer, 1990; Tom, 1991). Few w i l l doubt the desirability of requiring both secondary and elementary school teachers to obtain a solid background of general education and subject matter specialization through a four-year university l i b e r a l arts and science program. Buchmann (1984) puts the matter most straightforwardly that "while no degree of mastery of teaching s k i l l s can overcome lack of content knowledge, given content knowledge, we have something that we can teach" (p. 31). But, mandating the completion of a four-year undergraduate arts or science program as a prerequisite or integral component of teachers' professional preparation requires the p o l i t i c a l w i l l on the part of the relevant educational authority and necessary social and economic conditions. It i s not an issue that can be resolved by an intellectual debate amongst concerned teacher educators themselves. I w i l l not further belabour this point. It i s generally accepted nowadays that l i b e r a l education and specialization in one or two teachable subject areas make up only part of PKT. It does no justice to teaching as a professional practice to equate l i b e r a l education with teachers' professional preparation. The point has long been made clear: To argue for the best professional training i s in no 27 sense to derogate the value of l i b e r a l education. Teachers should be l i b e r a l l y educated and well-grounded in the subjects they teach. It i s equally necessary that they be we11-acquainted with the accumulated knowledge and experience of the teaching profession and the disciplines on which i t rests, sensitive to the hi s t o r i c a l and philosophical setting in which the school operates, and aware of the social and p o l i t i c a l significance of the educational establishment in which they serve, (quoted in MaCarthy, 1970, p. 9) The Search for a Scienti f i c Basis of Teacher Education The difference between studying phenomena of classroom teaching s c i e n t i f i c a l l y and grounding teaching and teacher preparation on a s c i e n t i f i c basis should not be d i f f i c u l t to see, i f not already obvious. To me, s c i e n t i f i c studies and academic theorizing of teaching are mainly concerned with understanding the various phenomena of interest to the person(s) who study them. Sci e n t i f i c studies in general are aimed at establishing a relational logical structure of the educational phenomena under investigation, to advance theoretical knowledge. Intellectual curiosity and disciplinary interests provide the major source of motivation for s c i e n t i f i c studies of teaching. This i s not to say that s c i e n t i f i c studies of teaching cannot be undertaken with the intention of helping improve classroom teaching in some specific areas of concern, or finding something useful, i f not immediately usable, for the teacher. Whether or not such a practical goal of educational research and theorizing can be f u l f i l l e d i s a matter open to debate. The idea of grounding teaching and teacher preparation on a broadly conceived s c i e n t i f i c base, on the other hand, not only i s dependent upon results of disciplinary inquiries and educational 28 research but also assumes that i t i s desirable and possible to do so. Teacher educators who ascribe to the s c i e n t i f i c notion of PKT regard results of systematic inquiries in the disciplines of education and educational research as the most reliable and authentic intellectual sources. They believe that only these sources w i l l supply the requisite and desirable dispositions, values, perspectives, knowledge and s k i l l s , concepts as well as v a l i d factual information for building a rational foundation for the practice of teaching. One feels here what Borrowman (1965) refers to as "the l i b e r a l impulse in professional education." Walton (1962) offered a very concise statement in this regard, The knowledge and information that a teacher would derive from this part of professional education [theoretical studies] may or may not make him a more effective classroom teacher in any immediately obvious way. However, the teacher who has had this preparation may reasonably be expected to have more sophistication in identifying the problems of the schools, in the selection of subject matter for teaching, and in analyzing the current controversies about the aims and methods of education; and he should be a more effective and intelligent participant in policy decisions, (p. 22) Teacher educators who have a strong conviction in the s c i e n t i f i c knowledge derived from empirical research on teaching and learning appear to be more assertive than their colleagues working in the foundational disciplines. B.O. Smith (1983), for instance, argues that teaching, l i k e p o l i t i c a l and economic behaviour, i s a natural phenomenon to be studied in i t s own right. This does not mean that academic pedagogy i s irrelevant to the study of education, but i t does mean that effective teaching behaviour does not consist of mere deductions from the concepts of philosophy and psychology, (p. 141) It i s stated unambiguously in the Report of The Bicentennial 29 Commission on Education for the Profession of Teaching of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (Howsam, Corrigan, Denemark, and Nash, 1976) that The Commission asserts that effective teachers gain understanding and control of classroom events mainly through theoretical and empirical knowledge ... [and] proposes not that a l l teachers be researchers but that professional programs develop the teacher's capacity to understand and consult appropriate research before making instructional decisions, (p. 88) The empirical research-based approach towards PKT found i t s most exp l i c i t expression in the Competence/Performance-Based Teacher Education (CBTE/PBTE) movement prevalent in the late 1960s and 1970s (see DeVault, Anderson, and Dickson, 1973; Gage and Winne, 1974; Haberman and Stinnett, 1973; Hall and Jones, 1976; Houston, 1974: Houston and Howsam, 1972). In response to the increasing social and p o l i t i c a l demands for institutional accountability in the aftermath of the Sputnik shock, CBTE/PBTE proponents asserted that "knowledge alone i s inadequate; knowledge must be employed in overt action" (Houston, 1974, p. 7). For both teacher evaluation and teacher preparation, PKT was represented in sets of pre-specified, observable, and measurable discrete teaching behaviours that were shown to correlate with student achievement on standardized tests. Effective teaching behaviours were identified by educational researchers employing a quantitative psycho-metric measurement methodology imported from behaviouristic psychology. Zumwalt (1982) summarizes the CBTE/PBTE research base as follows: Process-product research yields information on what teacher behaviours correlate with student outcomes, usually defined as performance on standardized achievement tests. If improved performance on tests i s one's goal, process-product research can indicate 30 behaviours that may contribute to achievement gains. The indicated behaviours are those the researcher decides to study, their sp e c i f i c i t y depends on how the investigator operationalized the independent variables (for example, teacher warmth, verbal praise), and the presence or absence of information about mediating variables (for example, student involvement) depends on. the research design u t i l i z e d , (p. 219) If certain teacher behaviours were shown to be "causally" linked to student achievement, i t would seem reasonable that teacher education should aim at helping prospective teachers to acquire such behaviours. At the core of CBTE/PBTE programs were a set of learning objectives that are stated so that their accomplishment can be observed in the form of specified learner behaviours or knowledge. Minimum levels of achievement of these objectives are established as a criterion of success. Learning a c t i v i t i e s are geared to assist each student in acquiring at least the minimum levels of competence. ... [CBTE/PBTE programs] frequently use "modules" as delivery systems for instruction. ... A module usually focuses on a single competency or discrete set of competencies, and the a b i l i t y to demonstrate these competencies satis f i e s the requirements of the module, whether the learner performs the module's enabling a c t i v i t i e s or not. (Hall and Jones, 1976, pp. 10-11) While cognitive and affective objectives were generally not missing from CBTE/PBTE programs, the insurmountable d i f f i c u l t y involved in stating such learning objectives in behavioral terms and in observing and measuring learning outcomes in these domains tended to detract serious attention and effort away from them (Houston, 1974). Many proponents of CBTE/PBTE were well aware of the inherent theoretical and methodological weaknesses in the process-product research base. They pointed to the danger of single-minded dependence upon the findings of teaching effectiveness studies and cautioned against hasty or forced implementation of programs designed on the principles derived from the process-product 31 research base. Some nevertheless expressed the optimism that they were genuinely i n sight of the theoretical principles, the operational measures, and even the developmental technology for moving into a performance-based method of appraising teaching.... The day i s s t i l l quite a long way off, but i t i s no longer wishful thinking to foresee a performance-based system for the ce r t i f i c a t i o n of teachers. (Peck and Tucker, 1973, p. 971) When that day f i n a l l y arrived, said Gage (1978), teaching and teacher education would no more be l e f t "at the mercy of powerful and passionate writers who s h i f t educational thinking ever more err a t i c a l l y with their manifestos" (p. 41). Gage professed the belief that more solidly established bases for change i n teacher education — in the application of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge about teaching — can lead to a happier history. Teacher education should rise to a wholly new level as the s c i e n t i f i c basis of the art of teaching becomes stronger, (pp. 43-44) However, the dream of grounding the art of teaching on a s c i e n t i f i c base has t i l l this day proven to be much easier to imagine than to realize despite, and perhaps, ironically, also due to, the proliferation of academic theorizing and educational research (see Kaestle, 1993). The narrow conception of PKT as sets of pre-specified, overt teaching behaviours i s now generally considered to be inadequate for teacher education (Broudy, 1984; Doyle, 1978, 1990; Fenstermacher, 1978, 1986; Goodlad, 1990; Goodlad, Soder, and Sirotnik, 1990; Heath and Nielson, 1974; Liston and Zeichner, 1991; Nash, 1970; Richardson, 1990; Shulman, 1986a; Tom, 1984; Zumwalt, 1982). CBTE/PBTE eventually receded from the centre stage of teacher education after dominating the scene for about two decades. 32 Towards the late 1970s, concerns over the limitations of the behaviouristic model of educational research and the d i f f i c u l t i e s involved in transferring research findings into educational practice led research on teaching to a major s h i f t away from the observational and correlational studies of teaching behaviour. Many educational researchers have turned to investigate the thinking processes involved in teaching and learning from the perspectives of cognitive science (Clark and Peterson, 1986; Clark and Yinger, 1977; Corno and Edlstein, 1987; Day, Pope, and Denicolo, 1990; Halkes and Olson, 1984; Mitchell and Marland, 1989; Ornstein, 1985; Peterson, 1988; Shavelson, 1983; Shavelson and Stern, 1981; Solas, 1992). Metaphors of the teacher as a c l i n i c a l diagnostician, information processor, decision maker, planner, and problem solver have become very common in the educational literature. In reporting on their research on teacher thinking or cognition, educational researchers, with a few exceptions (Bromme and Brophy, 1986; Floden and Klinzing, 1990), have however become less assertive about the connection between their research findings and the practice of teaching and teacher preparation (Clark, 1988; Clark and Lampert, 1986; Lampert and Clark, 1990; McNamara, 1990; Shavelson, 1988). Clark and Lampert (1986), for instance, state that the role of research on teacher thinking i s to help teachers understand practice, rather than to dictate practice to them. Therefore, we do not look to research on teacher thinking for prescriptions of how teachers ought to think or how novices ought to be trained. ... Research on teacher thinking does not provide particular answers or solutions to how teacher educators ought to address these issues [of teaching], but rather serves to point out where we had best put 33 our most creative energy, (p. 30) It has been suggested that instead of prescribing rules of conduct, research findings on teacher thinking should enable teacher educators to ask the right questions about teacher preparation (Clark, 1988) and be used "in constructing, challenging, or changing the way policy makers and practitioners think about problems" (Shavelson, 1988, p. 4). Diffusion of Professional Knowledge for Teaching With the behaviouristic conception of PKT largely in disfavour and educational researchers in general disclaiming direct connections between research and the practice of teaching and teacher preparation, the question of PKT has become an urgent issue in the current discourse on teacher education reform. Calls for institutional accountability and educational reform intensify the sense of urgency in finding an adequate answer to the classic question of "what knowledge is of most worth" (Spencer, 1859) for teacher education. "If there i s knowledge, our [teacher educators in higher education settings] role i s secure. If there i s not, our role i s highly problematic, 1 1 said Gideonse (1989, p. 17). Various attempts have been made to address the question of PKT and to identify i t s content for teacher preparation ( D i l l and Associates, 1990; Feiman-Nemser, 1990; Gideonse, 1989; Reynolds, 1989; Schrag, 1992a; Shulman, 1986b, 1987a; D.C. Smith, 1983; Tom and V a l l i , 1990). On the one hand, several different categories have been advanced in which knowledge i s linked with various intellectual traditions. Schrag (1992a) categorizes views about 34 educational knowledge into six traditions — the apprenticeship, the philosophical, the rhetorical, the s c i e n t i f i c , the mystical, and the psycho-therapeutic. Feiman-Nemser (1990) has identified five conceptual orientations of teacher education curricula — the academic, the technical, the practical, the personal, and the c r i t i c a l / s o c i a l . Tom and V a l l i (1990), already mentioned in the beginning of the chapter, have discussed four epistemological traditions — po s i t i v i s t , interpretive, c r i t i c a l , and craft. Smith (1983), D i l l and associates (1990), and Reynolds (1989), on the other hand, have brought together expert views from different perspectives to identify and demonstrate an extant knowledge base which would provide "essential knowledge" for beginning educators. Whereas these authors convey a shared belief i n the existence of a knowledge base of teaching, i t i s quite clear that they are not unanimous in regard to i t s content. For Smith, the knowledge base of teaching consists mainly of "a substantial body of dependable c l i n i c a l knowledge from process-product and experimental studies" (p. 141). In the case of D i l l and associates, the knowledge base i s expanded to include four general categories: (1) results of classroom instructional research; (2) psychological knowledge about human development (developmental psychology); (3) knowledge from particular disciplinary perspectives; and (4) the moral dimensions of teaching. According to Reynolds (1989), the knowledge base for the beginning teacher covers a much wider range of topical areas where, i t i s claimed, well-confirmed knowledge and standards for judging such knowledge have been made available by research. Gideonse (1989), after making some brief notes on several 35 different ways of categorizing PKT, l i s t s a number of intellectual sources pertinent to teacher education programs. These include "Experimental research; Authority; Observation; Personal experience; Collective experience or wisdom of practice; Logic; Second-order scholarship; Design; Imagination; Revelation; and Intuition" (pp. 10-11). Only three of these sources, namely, Scholarship, Research, and Practice (perhaps also confirmed by research), are chosen to provide the knowledge base for teacher education. Knowledge i s to be used as instructional content, rationale for program development and curricular decisions at different levels, and guidance for pedagogical practices i n teacher education. In Shulman's scheme, teachers' professional knowledge consists of "content knowledge; general pedagogical knowledge; curriculum knowledge; pedagogical content knowledge; knowledge of learners and their characteristics; knowledge of educational contexts; and knowledge of educational ends, purposes, and values, and their philosophical and hi s t o r i c a l grounds." Formal scholarship, educational materials and structure, research, and the wisdom of practice are identified as the sources for the knowledge base. What distinguishes Shulman's scheme of PKT from others i s i t s emphasis on the pedagogical reasoning that supports the teaching of content knowledge at the classroom level. Where understanding and transmission of content knowledge i s of concern, PKT comes under three broad categories — subject-matter knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and curriculum knowledge. These are in turn represented in the forms of 36 propositional knowledge (principles, maxims, and norms), case knowledge, and strategic knowledge. Shulman (1987a) states that Our current "blueprint" for the knowledge base of teaching has many cel l s or categories with only the most rudimentary place-holders, much like the chemist's periodic table of a century ago. (p. 12) This analogy may sound assuring and stimulating to those who take i t to be their task to discover or produce knowledge for teacher education. From a constructivist point of view, however, one i s on a sol i d ground to object to the presumption lurking underneath Shulman's analogy that PKT i s something waiting out there for researchers to discover, refine, disseminate, package, and eventually transmit to prospective teachers in their preparation programs for future application. The different views, categories, and schemes of PKT entail different conceptual orientations and epistemological assumptions for teacher education program development. However, differences aside, these categories and schemes pertain to a Spectator's View of PKT, a view distanced from the hidden, enacted curriculum, where fundamental philosophical and conceptual questions are yet to be resolved (Geer and Gideonse, 1992; Kohli, 1995) and where claims about the impact of policy i n i t i a t i v e s and practical endeavour in teacher education on individual prospective teachers' belief systems of teaching and teaching performance remain to be substantiated (Feiman-Nemser, 1990). Transcending this conglomerate of scholarly views on "what knowledge i s of most worth" for teacher education i s the belief that "transmission of this knowledge base to teachers [and 37 prospective teachers] w i l l increase the quality of teaching" (Koehler, 1983, p. 3). This belief poses an interesting contradistinction to one of the major tenets of the current RTE movement — "make the relationship between theory and practice problematic" ( V a l l i , 1993, p. 16). The diffusion of PKT in teacher education indicates that the very notion of PKT i s in need of c l a r i f i c a t i o n or re c t i f i c a t i o n (see Fenstermacher, 1994 and Greene, 1994 for their contrastive philosophical discussions on knowledge and educational research). The p o s i t i v i s t , the interpretivist, and the c r i t i c a l theorist each use the concept of knowledge to refer to something different and argue accordingly about what a proper relationship there i s or ought to be between theory and practice. It i s hard to see how each of the three w i l l come to agree on "what knowledge i s of most worth" to those who teach and those who are learning to teach (see Carr and Kemmis, 1986; Overgaard, 1994). It i s interesting to note that Gideonse's (1989) advocacy of knowledge-based teacher education has been accompanied by some cautious notes to draw teacher educators' attention to the dynamic and active process of knowing and the need to exercise judgment on what knowledge to use and how to use i t in teacher education. Gideonse states that The sources of knowledge... are also the sources of error. The views of leading researchers and scholars diverge or conflict. The images of teaching advocated by some scholars may be perceived as excessively narrow, hopelessly romantic, or professionally unwise. There are, in short, no neat, unassailable prescriptions forthcoming from the knowledge bases of teaching and teacher education. There are instead evidence, reasoned propositions, and alternative conceptualizations to be sifted, weighed, and selectively framed into coherent programs of study, (p. 38 16) Where contentions and controversies regarding PKT remain to be resolved, the literature indicates that teacher education i s operationalized with a variety of innovative curricula within a universal pattern of disparate program components — General Pedagogical Studies (e.g., Introduction to School and Teaching, Principles of Teaching, etc.); Foundational Studies; Curriculum and Instruction (generic and domain specific teaching methods); Special Studies (teaching-related areas of individual needs and interests); and Practice Teaching — as a result of intra-institutional compromise (Cruickshank, 1985; DeVitis and Sola, 1990; Feiman-Nemser, 1990; Howey and Zimpher, 1989). Upon a closer look, these alternative models, approaches and orientations either suggest some general or specific way(s) of preparing teachers (Competence, Reflective Practice, or Micro-Teaching) or program orientations (liberal, analytical, artistry, etc.); social and p o l i t i c a l agendas (cultural pluralism and social change); personal growth (empowerment; role acquisition); or sources of intellectual guidance and instructional material for curriculum decisions (research-based or experience-based). It i s reasonable to expect that each and every one of the models, approaches, and orientations, whether in practice or s t i l l i n blueprint, w i l l be grounded on a more or less coherent conception of PKT with a compatible view of the persons learning to teach, a conception that entails an account of professional knowing and learning to teach which should be capable of guiding pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s across the program (Feiman-Nemser, 1990). Yet, presuppositions about PKT and about prospective teachers for 39 whom different kinds of preparation programs are designed tend to remain hidden rather than e x p l i c i t l y stated. Haberman and Stinnett (1973) observed twenty years ago that In practice, we claim that the special interests of faculty add up to the programs l i s t e d in catalogues; in truth, the programs are disparate pieces consisting of whatever individual faculty choose to teach. Any college program i s actually a conglomeration of talks by individual faculty on their favourite topics. In professional schools this dilemma cannot be ignored, since relevance to real socio-educational problems i s an obvious public concern, (p. 140) It seems to me that Haberman and Stinnett's observation i s s t i l l pertinent today, The various aspects of PKT emphasized in the university-based teacher education programs d i f f e r from those that featured prominently in the teacher training programs of earlier times. The obvious differences do not however affect the taken-for-granted notion of PKT as something codifiable and transportable that resides in sources external to those who are learning to teach, i f not to those already teaching. It i s to be discovered by researchers and theorists dwelling in the academic world. Practitioners of teaching and those aspiring to become teachers are consumers of received knowledge. Guided by the taken-for-granted views of PKT, teacher educators have been burdened with the unyielding problems of identifying, codifying, selecting, and packaging , luseful H or "essential" knowledge for the teacher education curriculum. They are also faced with the equally unyielding problems of transmission and transfer of the knowledge they prescribe. These problems are d i f f i c u l t to resolve because of the perceived irrelevance and inapplicability of prescribed knowledge to the 40 particular demands of practice as well as the pervasive influence of socialization in the schools. University-based teacher education no doubt provides a unique institutional, communal setting (both on and off campus) for learning to teach, but by no means ideal. What needs to be made clear i s what kinds of opportunities for intellectual growth are, and indeed should be, provided and how intellectual growth is secured in this very unique setting. A better understanding of how prospective teachers actually (are helped to) learn to teach within particular preparation programs i s needed. The lack of i t w i l l continue to lend credence to general scepticism towards university-based teacher education (Haberman, 1971) and support to the c a l l for a complete redesign of teacher education (Goodlad, 1991). We must not mistake the issue here to be merely a matter of empirical evidence showing the actual long and short term effectiveness of any particular teacher education programs. Nor i s i t a matter of which place would be better to house teacher education, the school or the university. It i s more important to be clear about the rational ground upon which programmatic and pedagogical decisions are made. University-based teacher education has been described as "a cult practice — with wide differences among schools of education and professors, unable to evaluate or replicate specific practice" (Houston, Haberman, and Sikula, 1989, p. 22), which "muddles along with neither a clear sense of mission nor coherent program" (Goodlad, 1990, p. 269), and as "a conspicuous example of practice without theory" l i k e "ships that have passed in the night for too long" (Sprinthall and Sprinthall, 1987, p. 36), 41 " f a i t h f u l l y but mindlessly following prescriptions about what and how to teach" (The Holmes Group, 1986). University-based teacher education has even been compared unfavourably with Normal School teacher training. It has been suggested that Unlike modern-day schools of education, with their fragmented mission and defensive posture, normal schools knew that their major purpose was to serve the profession by educating practitioners. They "formed" their students more effectively than the large university schools and departments of education that replaced them.... The Normal-school curriculum gave exp l i c i t attention to pedagogical training and supervised practice, and practice schools, at least in the stronger normal schools, fostered close t i e s between theory and practice. (Feiman-Nemser, 1990, p. 214) A loss much greater than "a clear sense of mission" and "a close relationship between preparation and teaching" has been underscored by Goodlad 7s (1990) observation that "[there is] much less attention to and agreement on the moral requisite" (p. 71) in teacher education today. Echoing earlier criticisms of Normal School teacher training, these charges should lead us to examine the implicit understanding of PKT and learning to teach that underlies teacher education program development. Gideonse (1989) argues that to the extent that we perceive of knowledge as substance, as a thing, as portable, we encourage an essentially static, acquisitive, even materialistic view of knowledge. This circumstance does an essential disservice to our purposes, to professional practice, and to the aim we seek to serve by engaging in teacher education's "professional project." (p. 13) Summary In this chapter, I have discussed the fragmentation of PKT in 42 program development in the brief history of teacher education. In the days of Normal School teacher training, there was a sh i f t of focus from "moral character building" to "subject matter mastery" and rule-of-thumb procedures of classroom instruction. Since the university took up the responsibility of teacher education, the notion of PKT has become more and more fragmented and contentious as a result of the fragmentation of disciplinary inquiries grounded in different intellectual traditions. The account presented in this chapter does not purport to be a thorough investigation of the history of teacher education program development. I do not suppose that the constant metamorphosis of teacher education program development within varying institutional contexts necessarily follows the kind of h i s t o r i c a l progression projected i n this chapter. I hope, however, that this brief account does help to show in i t s own limited way the fragmentation of PKT as reflected in the prominent features of teacher education program development at different h i s t o r i c a l times and their practical consequences. I tend to think that the question of "what knowledge i s of most worth" for teacher education has somehow misled programmatic deliberations about i n i t i a l teacher preparation, for the question has been pursued outside the context of prospective teachers learning to teach. Today, theories of education, schooling, teaching, and learning articulated in "a polyglot of educational languages" (Johnson, 1987) abound and metaphors of the teacher are numerous. The problems that teacher educators have to deal with are, at least in my view, not so much with how to derive from research 43 more and better theories of teaching and learning and find better metaphors of the teacher. What Dewey (1929) said in his The Quest for Certainty in regard to the problem of knowledge in relation to human conduct mirrors well the perplexity confronting teacher education today. Man has never had such a varied body of knowledge in his possession before, and probably never before has he been so uncertain and so perplexed as to what his knowledge means, what i t points to in action and i n consequences, (pp. 296-97) Since the early 1980s, there has been a general dissatisfaction with past efforts in finding authentic and/or useful knowledge for teaching and teacher education; teacher education program development has turned to the notion of "reflection" (Richardson, 1990; V a l l i , 1992). But what i s RTE? And more importantly, as an alternative approach towards teacher preparation, how well i s i t theoretically grounded in terms of the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach? Haberman and Stinnett (1973) has made the point forcefully, If we continue to act on unexamined assumptions, fantasy w i l l continue to serve as program rationale. Our elaborate institutional mechanism (the university) helps us to make believe we are engaged in reasonable behaviour directed at socially useful ends. Such delusions are not a l l e v i l ; they sustain us in a complex world of powerful forces, (p. 133) I w i l l now turn to the fuzzy phenomenon of RTE. 44 C h a p t e r I I : R E F L E C T I V E TEACHER E D U C A T I O N : REFRAMING T H E PROBLEM Teacher education in North America has been in a state of ferment for change in the past several decades. In his Models for the Preparation of America's Teachers. Cruickshank (1985) introduces 22 curricular innovations from various sources. Also recorded in that book are several innovative instructional strategies, one of which i s called the Reflective Teaching method developed at Ohio State University in the late 1970s. According to Cruickshank, the RT method i s a form of on-campus, laboratory-clinical experience that combined many features of other instructional alternatives but would offer a different outcome.... In essence, RT i s an effort to increase teacher wisdom by engaging preservice students in controlled, on-campus teaching where their behaviour i s observable and measurable and where their teaching can be examined and thought about in ways that w i l l enhance subsequent performance, (p. 97) This particular instructional method had reportedly received positive evaluation from both prospective teachers and teacher educators who had had direct experience with i t . Yet, l i k e most of the innovative curricula introduced in Cruickshank's book, i t did not seem to have much influence beyond i t s particular institutional setting. One wonders i f i t had ever occurred to those who developed the RT method that reflective teaching would soon become a household term of many different meanings and a popular theme of program development in teacher education. Several years later, especially after the publication of Schon's (1983, 1987) two books on practitioners' reflective practice, the notion of reflective practice/teaching/inquiry has suddenly captured the imagination of many teacher education 45 program developers and teacher educators. Reflective practice/ teaching/inquiry has become a very popular topic in the current discourse on teachers' i n i t i a l preparation and continuing professional development at both the theoretical and practical as well as institutional and personal levels (e.g., Bullough, 1989a; Calderhead, 1989; Calderhead and Gates, 1993a; C l i f t et a l . , 1990; Cruickshank, 1987; Furlong and Maynard, 1995; Goodman, 1984; Gore, 1987; Grant, 1984; Grimmett and Erickson, 1988; Hatton and Smith, 1995; LaBoskey, 1993, 1994; Russell and Munby, 1992; Schon, 1991; Stewart, 1994; V a l l i , 1992a; Waxman, 1988; Zeichner and Tabachnick, 1991). The widespread enthusiasm for reflective teacher education (RTE) at both institutional programmatic and personal pedagogical levels has, however, not been accompanied by a clear, shared sense of what counts as RTE across the larger teacher education community. Tom (1985), for instance, observes that in the growing body of literature on inquiry-oriented teacher education, "the parameters for what counts as inquiry teacher education are fuzzy. The definition of this paradigm i s less clear than are the definitions for other paradigms" (p. 36), such as the Normal School Apprenticeship model of teacher training and the behaviouristic model of Competence/Performance-Based teacher education dominant in the 1960s and 1970s. Houston, C l i f t , and Sikula (1989) draw our attention to the lack of a common professional language in teacher education with the following observation that The literature i s f i l l e d with different terms for the same concept and the same term for different concepts. Reflective inquiry, the latest organizing concept in 46 teacher education, has many definitions. ... Two conclusions can be drawn from the variety of definitions. F i r s t , the nuances among different terms are often subtle. But subtle or not, the different names refer to different conceptions of what i s meant by reflective inquiry, although these meanings are not always clearly distinguishable, (p. 21) The lack of conceptual c l a r i t y or a shared sense of RTE can be viewed both positively and negatively. On the positive side, the fact that teacher educators have different views of RTE could be considered a good thing. As Tom (1992) puts i t , In this context of ferment and possible realignment of the intellectual traditions within teacher education, we should not be surprised that debate and discord surround the topic of reflective teaching and teacher education. On the contrary, the absence of confusion and contention would be cause for alarm, as such a development would suggest a lack of insight on our part of the massive changes which seem to be occurring in how we view the nature of teaching and teacher education, (ix) The other side of the coin i s when RTE comes to be taken to mean what one wishes, i t s proponents face the consequence of confusing themselves and others in articulating what i t i s that they as individuals located within particular institutions and as members of a larger collective enterprise are trying to accomplish. As Houston and C l i f t (1990) point out, In education we tend to act like Humpty Dumpty, manufacturing new terms and defining other terms to meet our own specific conceptions. This leads to confusion about the meaning of certain terms and to inarticulateness and lack of precise communication among professional educators. It may also lead to confusion among our students, sending an unintended message that professional education i s more interested in the rhetoric of quality than in the quality of practice, (p. 210) The lack of conceptual c l a r i t y has given rise to expressed concerns over the prospect of using the reflective approach to guide present and future programmatic deliberations in teacher 47 education (Bullough, 1989a; Calderhead, 1989; Cohen, 1991; Day, 1993; Feiman-Nemser, 1990; Furlong and Maynard, 1995; Hatton and Smith, 1995; Munby and Russell, 1993; O'Donoghue and Brooker, 1996; Richardson, 1990). In this chapter, I w i l l f i r s t look at the meanings of RTE through a number of recent attempts of conceptual c l a r i f i c a t i o n in the literature (Grimmett, 1989; Grimmett, MacKinnon, Erickson and Riecken, 1990; Hatton and Smith, 1995; Louden, 1991, 1992; Sparks-Langer and Colton, 1991; Zeichner, 1983, 1992) and the key concept of reflection. I w i l l argue that, i f RTE i s to be sustained as an alternative conceptual orientation towards teacher education, more needs to be done than c l a r i f y i n g what RTE means to different people. It w i l l be necessary to probe the phenomenon along the epistemological line, linking the phenomenon with issues of PKT and learning to teach that are central to teacher education program development. In their effort to c l a r i f y RTE, scholars employ different theoretical frameworks. Conceptual c l a r i t y i s generally achieved by way of gathering and sorting out the extant meanings of RTE into a categorical scheme of one kind or another that the analyst chooses to use. Such analyses are beneficial i n so far as they each in their own way help make the perplexing phenomenon easier to comprehend within a manageable number of meaning categories. Yet, conceptual c l a r i f i c a t i o n by way of sorting out the various meanings of RTE into different categories at best carves out the conceptual boundaries of one view from another. If we allow that the various conceptions of RTE are the results of careful and well-meaning considerations supported by 48 ideological commitments as well as personal beliefs and interest, the question of what RTE means beyond specific institutional contexts w i l l hardly ever dissipate. The recognition that there i s the lack of a common professional language w i l l unlikely be persuasive enough for the diverse teacher education community to adopt a shared notion of RTE. The phenomenon may be looked at in a different way. We may take the term "reflective teacher education" to denote a general category of teacher education programs. Subsumed under this general category are particular cases b u i l t on the different meanings or conceptions of reflective teaching/practice/inquiry (for descriptions of different RTE programs, see C l i f t et a l . , 1988; V a l l i , 1992a; Zeichner and Liston, 1987). These particular cases are a l l subsumed under the same general category but cannot be reduced to one another. A paral l e l example i s that under the general category of university students we have the subcategories of undergraduate students and graduate students. The subcategory of undergraduate students cannot be reduced to the subcategory of graduate students or vice versa, but both are subsumed under the category of university students. What teacher educators need to do i s to find some way to determine which programs that currently bear the t i t l e of RTE could be reasonably excluded from this general category. However, in order to exclude a particular program from the general category of RTE, proponents of RTE must find a way to draw the parameters of the category. They must, furthermore, convince their colleagues why this alternative orientation i s preferable to others. 49 The parameters of RTE might be drawn in terms of value, since meaning and value are hardly ever separate from each other. As a matter of fact, the literature indicates that extant conceptions of RTE can often be identified with e x p l i c i t value commitments. The trouble i s that debate over value in general has a tendency to last with the participants arguing against one another at cross-purposes f a i l i n g to reach a common ground. In any form of social practice, the fact of l i f e i s that decisions have to be made as ri s i n g situations demand and they are always made within a particular social or institutional context and from a certain position and value commitment. The broader the context and the more diverse the participants, the more l i k e l y there w i l l be differences in understanding and practice as well as disputes over what should be done and what would be a better way of doing i t . Teacher educators in general profess to uphold the democratic principles of justice, equality, and freedom. It i s hard to judge whether those who associate reflective teaching with the more or less technical matters of pedagogy abide by the democratic principles less firmly than those who focus on the social and cultural issues. There i s yet another way of thinking about the puzzling phenomenon of RTE, which I believe could help avoid ideological tangling. We should, a la Schon, try to reframe the problem. Instead of wrestling with the question of meaning, l e t us probe the phenomenon in terms of i t s epistemological support. As RTE is taken by many to be an alternative approach towards teachers' i n i t i a l preparation and in-service professional development, i t is pertinent to raise questions about the epistemological 50 grounding of RTE: What kind of a conception of PKT i s employed in the development of RTE programs? How are professional knowing and learning to teach accounted for in RTE? Furthermore, what kind of epistemological understanding of PKT and learning to teach would be required to sustain RTE as a viable alternative orientation towards teacher education? The Social and Intellectual Background of Reflective Teacher Education Before I survey the meanings of RTE, I w i l l b r i e f l y outline the social and intellectual background against which RTE emerged. The following observation i s based on two general accounts of the emergence of RTE provided by Richardson (1990) and V a l l i (1992b) as well as on my own reading of the relevant literature. In the previous chapter, I have drawn from the literature a sketchy picture of teacher education on the contemporary North American scene. In short, in the institutional front of teacher education i n the 1970s and 80s, general dissatisfaction with the behaviouristic model of Competence/Performance-Based teacher education compelled teacher educators to search for new approaches towards teachers' i n i t i a l preparation and continuing professional development. At the same time, demands for institutional accountability and educational reform in the 1980s drew c r i t i c a l attention to the status quo of teacher education institutions. Fundamental changes had to take place in teacher education, even though, for many reasons, they are too slow to come by. The current widespread interest in RTE can be seen as a manifestation of the programmatic responses of the teacher 51 education community to the internal and external pressures for positive change within a broader context of educational reform over the last two decades. In retrospect, the adoption of reflection and i t s derivative terms as an organizing theme in teacher education program development seems quite natural. Teacher education i s generally considered to be a f i e l d of practical endeavour. It draws intellectual input from the contributing disciplines of philosophy, history, psychology, sociology of education, and other less entrenched fields of academic inquiry. Reflection, l i k e many other ideas current or past, was not an indigenous invention of the teacher education community. Its popular acceptance in teacher education can be linked to the canonical scholarship of the contributing disciplines and the new developments in the various fields of educational inquiry. In educational philosophy, one witnesses the declining influence of traditional epistemological positions on educational research and knowledge rooted in the philosophy of positivism, sometimes indiscriminately (Phillips, 1983; Schrag, 1992b). The ambitious project of building up the enterprise of social and educational research by emulating the model of physical sciences has now by and large been considered to be naive and i l l -conceived from the very beginning. Smith (1989), among many others, asserts that "social and psychological laws are unavailable to us and what are presently xpassed o f f as law-like statements are most often only thinly disguised tautologies" (p. 12). Brown (1987) puts i t even more succinctly that "those earlier thinkers believed that both science and philosophy 52 provide certain knowledge of necessary truths. We must conclude that neither do" (p. 230). In the various fields of social practice, there i s wide-spread disillusionment in the instrumental value of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge grounded in logical empiricism to bring forth handy solutions to social and educational problems and directives for policy and decision making in professional practice (Lindblom and Cohen, 1979; Schon, 1983, 1987). In debating against the po s i t i v i s t tradition of educational research and knowledge, many educational theorists and researchers emphasize the contextual nature of professional knowledge and the pa r t i c u l a r i s t i c demands of problematic situations that c a l l for and would give r i s e to the kind of knowledge by way of practical reasoning that could help meet such demands (Connelly and Clandinin, 1985; Grimmett and MacKinnon, 1992; Leinhardt, 1990; Schon, 1983, 1987; Schwab, 1970; van Manen, 1977). Development in the philosophy of education has also led to new ways of thinking about the linkage between theoretical knowledge and educational practice. Fenstermacher (1986), for instance, contends that "when i t i s argued that research has benefit for practice, the criterion of benefit should be the improvement of practical arguments in the minds of teachers and other practitioners" (p. 44). This view recognizes that teaching i s not a matter of teachers applying technical solutions derived from theoretical knowledge to pre-determined problems in the classroom. Pedagogical decision making depends on the teacher's practical reasoning. In sociology of education, c r i t i c a l theorists focus their 53 critiques on the traditional conceptions of knowledge and pedagogy. Their analyses bring to the surface the p o l i t i c a l nature of educational knowledge and the power relations lying behind i t s selection, organization, and transmission in the schooling process (e.g., Apple, 1979; Aronowitz and Giroux, 1985; Bernstein, 1977; Young, 1971). Aronowitz and Giroux (1985) argue that the discourse of educational theory can be understood as a form of knowledge that legitimates and reproduces forms of social l i f e . . . . an eminently p o l i t i c a l discourse that emerges from and characterizes an expression of struggle over what forms of authority, orders of representation, forms of moral regulation, and versions of the past and future should be legitimated, passed on, and debated within specific pedagogical sites. A l l educational theories and discourse are ideologies that have an intimate relation to questions of power, (p. 32) Where teachers are of concern, Aronowitz and Giroux argue that the rhetoric from both the l e f t and right camps of educational reform treats teachers as "obedient c i v i l servants d u t i f u l l y carrying out the dictates of others" (pp. 26-27). But teachers, l i k e any other intelligent human beings, draw upon their own intelligence, judgement, and experience in their practice. They are knowledgeable, active agents of educational change, and therefore must be treated as such in the broad program of social and educational reform. The current movement of teacher empowerment has no doubt been greatly fuelled by the radical critiques of the status quo of the educational enterprise. The f i e l d of educational psychology i t s e l f can be said to have taken on a "paradigm s h i f t " of i t s own in the past decades. The dominance of behaviourism in educational research and program development has given way to cognitive science after "the work of 54 Piaget, which had been well known to educators during the 1930s, was recovered" (Woodring, 1975, p. 7). Knowing and learning, for a long time described and explained in terms of behaviour modification through conditioning or controlled stimulus-and-response exercises, have now come to be accounted for in terms of the workings (and reconstruction) of schematic mental structures of the learner interacting with the environment (e.g., Anderson, 1977, 1984; Rumelhart, 1980; Vosniadou and Brewer, 1987). Concurrent with the theoretical advances in the contributing disciplines, new research programs designed from a variety of philosophical, sociological, and psychological perspectives have been conducted to explore teachers' professional knowledge (e.g., Eisner, 1985; chapters 1, 3, 13, 17, 21 in Handbook of Research in Teacher Education edited by Houston, 1990; chapters I, II, III in Handbook of Research on Teaching edited by Wittrock, 1986). The idea of a reflective approach appears to signify that new efforts are being made to meet the internal and external demands for positive change. It purports to have i t s intellectual roots in the contributing disciplines to teacher education, for i t could be linked with the constructivist epistemology in philosophy, schema theory in cognitive psychology, feminist scholarship, c r i t i c a l theory in sociology, etc. It has also been linked to the p o l i t i c a l movement of teacher empowerment, to teachers' struggle for autonomy, improved professional status, and better working conditions against the trends of increasing bureaucratic control of education in Western countries (Calderhead and Gates, 1993b). It i s thus not d i f f i c u l t to understand why reflection has been adopted in many 55 teacher education institutions as a guiding principle or organizing theme of teacher preparation programs. Neither i s i t d i f f i c u l t to understand why RTE has been promoted as a viable alternative approach towards teacher education. V a l l i (1992b) expresses the optimism about RTE in the following statement, The convergence of interest in teacher thinking and r e f l e c t i v i t y by scholars ranging from cognitive psychologists to c r i t i c a l theorists suggests a broad based and long-term commitment to understanding and fostering reflective practice.... reflective approaches to teacher preparation hold out the promise of a new cadre of teachers ready to be active partners in school renewal — teachers who can make wise classroom decisions and who can help define the direction of schooling as we approach the start of a new century, (xiv) My use of the words "appears," "purports," and "seems" in drawing the possible connection between RTE and the various intellectual sources i s deliberate. They are suggestive that RTE i s in fact not as well grounded epistemologically and conceptually as i t should and can be. The following discussion w i l l make i t clear that i t s linkage to the various intellectual sources, more specifically, i t s linkage to the epistemological theses advanced by Schon and Dewey, respectively, i s rather superficial. A number of analyses of RTE programs have raised serious misgivings about the dubious theoretical grounds upon which such programs are b u i l t (Calderhead, 1989, 1992; Cohen, 1991; Munby and Russell, 1993; Tom, 1991; V a l l i , 1992a; Zeichner, 1987a). Calderhead (1989), for instance, remarks that whether any of the proposed models of reflective teaching, however, offer very adequate conceptions of professional learning as i t occurs in classrooms, or of how i t might occur, i s largely unassessed. Evidence cited in support of particular models i s often anecdotal, and one can readily cite examples to refute as to support their applicability to r e a l - l i f e 56 classroom practice, (p. 45) A look at the recent attempts of conceptual c l a r i f i c a t i o n with regard to the meaning of RTE and the concept of reflection in use w i l l help substantiate the c r i t i c a l appraisal of RTE. The Problem of Meaning McDiarmid and Ball (1988) once used the fairy tale Many Moons as an analogy to i n i t i a t e their discussion on the issue of teacher knowledge. In that fairy tale, the sick l i t t l e princess i s asked what w i l l make her well and she says, "the moon." The king then summons his royal advisors and each of these offers a different description of the moon in terms of shape, size, location, and substance. The court jester observes, "The moon must be just as large and far away as each person thinks i t i s . " Finally, i t i s the court jester who has made a golden chain with a tiny golden moon shaped to the princess's own image of the moon, "a l i t t l e smaller than my thumbnail ... and not as high as the big tree outside my window." The golden chain brings the princess back to health again. This f a i r y tale also befits our discussion on the phenomenon of RTE. I t has been repeatedly pointed out that RTE exists in a plethora of idiosyncratic conceptualizations of reflective practice/teaching/inquiry that one comes across i n the relevant academic journal articles, conference papers, books, and program descriptions within particular institutional settings. The diverse perspectives in the current discourse on reflection in teacher education have been well captured in Hayon's (1990) 57 mapping syntax: A reflection level of (analysis/synthesis/judgment) with an orientation of (theory/practice/values) and a style of (technical rationality/reflection in action) at a time of (post-active/intra-active) within a content knowledge (subject-matter/pedagogical content/ curriculum) in a form of (proposition/case/strategy) used (intuitively/formally) w i l l yield a reflection profile of type X. (p. 68) But the relevant literature indicates that in most cases, conceptual c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the RTE phenomenon has often been attempted with analytical frameworks that are in close l i n e with van Manen's (1977) discussion on curriculum theorizing, which i s largely based on the notion of "knowledge-constitutive interests" (Habermas, 1972). Reflection, according to van Manen, may take place at three different levels — the practical/technical, the s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l , and the moral/ethical. At the practical/technical level, reflection i s mainly concerned with mastery and application of technical means in achieving given educational ends. At the next, s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l level, reflection i s directed at an interpretive understanding of the meanings of educational experience and choices of action within a particular social and institutional context. At a s t i l l higher, moral/ethical level, reflection i s manifest in the c r i t i c a l interrogation of the worthwhileness of educational ends on the basis of the democratic ideals of justice, equality, and freedom. Louden (1991, 1992) employs in his analysis of RTE the distinctions Habermas (1972) makes between the interests of the empirical-analytic inquiry in natural sciences, the interests of the hermeneutic-historical inquiry in interpretive sciences, and 58 the interests of the emancipatory inquiry in c r i t i c a l sciences. Habermas associates each of the forms of enquiry with a cognitive interest: empirical-analytic enquiry with technical control by discovering rule-like regulations in an objective world; historical-hermeneutic sciences with practical control through understanding and communication; and c r i t i c a l sciences with emancipation through c r i t i c a l reflection on the conditions of social l i f e . (Louden, 1991, p. 150) Louden makes a slight variation to the Habermasian framework by separating the practical, the hermeneutic-historical interpretive inquiry, into what he c a l l s the personal interest and the problematic interest. This allows him to relate reflection to attaining "personal meaning of action situations" and to "problem-solving" in professional work respectively. From a different angle, Grimmett (1989), Grimmett et a l . (1990) have attempted to c l a r i f y "the confusing terrain" of RTE in view of the role of knowledge in the development of teacher education programs. They identify three distinctive perspectives in which reflective practice i s understood as a) instrumental mediating action; b) deliberation of competing views of teaching; and c) reconstruction of experience. As instrumental mediating action, reflection i s concerned with teachers trying to bring research findings or theoretical knowledge to bear upon their practice, to direct or control practice. In this perspective, knowledge tends to be restricted to what i s produced and prescribed by an external source of authority, with l i t t l e consideration given to the particular classroom contexts i n which teaching actually occurs. As deliberation of competing views of teaching, reflection occurs in the specific contexts of educational events in the form 59 of teachers "deliberateing] between and among competing views of teaching and examines each in light of the consequences of the action i t entails" (Grimmett et a l . , 1990, p. 26). Here, the notion of knowledge i s no longer restricted to research findings and academic scholarship. Research and academic theorizing are considered to be among several sources of knowledge, and a source of competing views of teaching. Theoretical knowledge i s said to inform, rather than direct, practice. As reconstruction of experience, reflection leads teachers to a) reinterpret problematic situations they have experienced; b) transform their self images as a teacher and restructure their personal knowledge of teaching within the social and cultural context of their practice; and c) examine the taken-for-granted assumptions about teaching, about the social, p o l i t i c a l , and cultural conditions that distort and constrain educational goals and pedagogical practices. "In this view of the reflective process, knowledge i s seen as emergent and often depicted as being metaphorical in nature" (Grimmett et a l . , 1990, p. 27). Zeichner (1983, 1992) places his discussion of RTE against the background of educational reform in North America. Zeichner identifies four traditions of educational reform in the North American context — the academic tradition, the social efficiency tradition, the developmentalist tradition, and the so c i a l -reconstruct ionist tradition (see also Liston and Zeichner, 1991). The academic tradition emphasizes the i n t r i n s i c value of li b e r a l education in teacher preparation and the importance of teachers mastering the subject matter knowledge they teach. Included also in the academic tradition i s the recent advocacy on 60 teachers' pedagogical reasoning and the transformation of subject matter knowledge involved in the teaching of content knowledge (see Shulman, 1986b, 1987a; Wilson, Shulman, and Richert, 1987). The social efficiency tradition, on the other hand, i s mainly concerned with achieving instructional effectiveness by way of conforming teaching behaviour to standard teaching s k i l l s and competencies. Effective teaching s k i l l s and competencies are established through empirical research that measures particular teaching behaviours in relation to student achievements on standardized testing. This tradition may also be understood in the sense of teachers deliberating about and making choices among the available alternatives and drawing upon various sources of intelligence, research, personal experience, values, and intuition in teaching. The developmentalist tradition presumes that human development follows i t s natural order, which should provide the basis for pedagogical decision making. When this tradition i s translated into the practice of teacher preparation, the focus of attention may be given to helping prospective teachers to understand the principles and process of child and adolescent development in terms of cognition, social awareness, morality, language, and mental as well as physical well-being. With the knowledge of child and adolescent development in their mind as working principles, i t i s assumed, prospective teachers w i l l be better able to make informed decisions in planning and carrying out teaching a c t i v i t i e s to produce the intended student learning outcomes. As learning to teach i s also believed by some to follow a 61 natural order (see Burden, 1986; Fuller and Bown, 1975), teacher preparation may also j u s t i f i a b l y opt to focus on addressing the developmental needs of prospective teachers as they progress through various stages towards personal professional maturity. It i s not clear, though, (a) how individual prospective teachers' developmental needs are to be identified and addressed at the programmatic level, (b) how prospective teachers may develop from one stage to the next of their professional growth, and (c) what teacher educators can do to help f a c i l i t a t e prospective teachers' transition from the i n i t i a l stage to the next. Finally, advocates of the social-reconstructionist tradition embody educational reform in a much broader project of social reconstruction, the building of a more just and humane society. To help achieve this broad social goal, teacher education should involve prospective teachers in interrogating their own personal beliefs, values and assumptions about teaching as well as the social conditions in which their future professional practice i s situated. Teacher preparation in this tradition centres around substantive issues of gender, race, and class. It i s focused on interrogating the extent to which the underlying societal and institutional norms/values get played out and how inequity i s established and maintained. It involves a commitment to collaborative modes of learning, the development of communities of learning. Not directly concerned with what differing ends RTE i s intended to achieve, Sparks-Langer and Colton (1991) have highlighted three elements of reflection — the cognitive, the c r i t i c a l , and teacher narratives. The cognitive element links 62 reflection to research on teachers' professional knowledge and teacher thinking in terms of cognitive structures called schemata. Schemata are constructed through experience in the classroom world of teaching and learning. Schemata enable teachers to comprehend teaching situations and make appropriate pedagogical decisions where they are called for. The c r i t i c a l element can be understood in two different ways. It can be linked to Schon's conception of reflective practice, which focuses on the practitioner's reflection-in-action in resolving problematic situations in professional practice. Reflective action may involve questioning the goals to be attained, alternate actions to be taken, and consequences that would ensue. This Schonean conception of reflective action i s considered to be more inclined towards resolving problems of a technical nature, thereby neglecting those broad social and moral issues pervasive in professional practice. The c r i t i c a l element can also associate reflection with c r i t i c a l theory that emphasizes the moral and ethical aspects of teaching and schooling. C r i t i c a l reflection i s directed at examining personally held, socially constructed beliefs about teaching and schooling, understanding the relationship between knowledge and power, and bringing about educational change as part of a broader p o l i t i c a l project of social reconstruction. The conception of c r i t i c a l reflection i s consistent with the social reconstructionist tradition in Zeichner's conceptual c l a r i f i c a t i o n scheme. The narrative element of reflection speaks of teachers' own interpretations of the complex teaching contexts in which they 63 make pedagogical decisions. As teachers tend to articulate their understanding and interpretation of teaching situations and events through narrative construction rather than in the form of propositional statements, teachers' narratives provide a unique access to their own professional reasoning. Teachers are said to gain deeper understandings of their educational experiences through reconstructing their narratives. In promoting the idea of reflective practice/teaching/ inquiry, teacher educators frequently refer to the distinction Dewey made between routine action and reflective action. The distinction, i t seems to me, has somehow been stretched and twisted into the presupposition that reflective practice i s something that only experienced practitioners are capable of, not neophytes and novices. It i s believed that once the c r i t i c a l attributes of reflective practice are identified, we w i l l then be better able to distinguish reflective teachers from their unreflective colleagues, and to prepare prospective teachers to be reflective practitioners. For instance, Copeland, Birmingham, Cruz, and Lewin (1993) have identified twelve c r i t i c a l attributes of reflective practice in teaching, which are grouped into four clusters — problem, solution, testing solution, and learning. (1) Reflection i s initiated with the reflective teacher identifying "a problem derived from a concrete situation," which i s meaningful to the teacher "as one of import for successful teaching and learning in that context." (2) The reflective teacher then generates tentative solutions that are "grounded in theories, assumptions, or research findings e x p l i c i t l y held or understood by the 64 practitioner." In generating solutions to the identified problem, the reflective teacher c r i t i c a l l y examines "his/her own professional action and i t s link to target action in others" and anticipating the solutions "to have positive consequences in terms of student learning." (3) The reflective teacher then moves on to select and implement one solution among the several that have been generated and evaluate the solution against the actual outcome. (4) Finally, the reflective teacher not only solves problems but also, as a result, enhances his/her own understanding of the context in which problems occurred. Reframe the Problem The several conceptual analyses presented above in a summary fashion have in one way or another helped to make the perplexing phenomenon of RTE easier to comprehend by f i t t i n g the many different conceptions into a manageable number of meaning categories. However, when we look at the descriptions of RTE programs, a close f i t i s not that easy to find between the meaning categories and the programs. Take the seven RTE programs presented in V a l l i ' s Reflective Teacher Education: Cases and Critiques for instance. The five-year teacher education program at the University of New Hampshire focuses on building "communities of inquiry and support" for the benefit of increasing common understanding and shared responsibility among a l l those involved in preparing prospective teachers to become reflective decision makers. The PROTEACH program at the University of Florida has reportedly been 65 developed around an evolving definition of reflection. The program puts an emphasis on enabling prospective teachers to c r i t i c a l l y examine their personal theories of teaching through narrative autobiographical writing and develop the a b i l i t y to make rational and ethical choices and to assume responsibility for those choices. Both the Masters Certification program at the University of Maryland and the Multiple Perspectives program at Michigan State University are designed to help prospective teachers develop a theoretical knowledge-base and a repertoire of effective teaching strategies and routine. Reflection i s a necessary and important goal because i t appropriates the theoretical knowledge-base and the repertoire into the complex environment of classroom teaching. The program at the Catholic University of America shares the same idea of a theoretical knowledge-base as a pre-condition for reflective teaching and of taking reflection as a means for bridging theory and practice. It also emphasizes the development of the a b i l i t y to examine c r i t i c a l l y one's actions and the context of those actions in different areas of schooling at different levels of reflection. At Kent State University, the Academically Talented Teacher Education program aims at stimulating teacher candidates' conceptual development in increased levels of complexity and f l e x i b i l i t y in the formation of a reflective style. Prospective teachers are provided with different views of knowledge and teaching and are encouraged to examine and challenge those views as well as their own from c r i t i c a l perspectives. The discussions on the perplexing phenomenon of RTE in terms 66 of meaning do expose some common ground — a) Reflective teaching/practice/inquiry i s taken as a goal of different foci in different programs in different teacher education institutions; b) Reflective exercises in the programs commonly mean engaging in different forms of analysis; and c) the development of a theoretical knowledge-base i s thought to be a prerequisite for reflective practice/teaching/inquiry. For the sake of understanding the perplexing phenomenon of RTE, categorical distinctions such as technical interest, situational understanding, and c r i t i c a l interrogation of broader social and moral issues may be necessary and helpful. However, when we think of teaching and learning to teach, we make a serious mistake to treat the distinctions as each standing for an independent entity. Technical interest presupposes a value judgment of what i s good and necessary and i t has both practical and moral consequences. Selection and application of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge i n practice would involve an element of situational understanding and c r i t i c a l analysis. As a matter of fact, arguments against technical interest are often targeted at i t s narrow scope and the i n a b i l i t y of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge to offer ready-made solutions to emerging problems in practice. That technical interest represents too narrow a view of professional practice does not make situational understanding or social criticism a broader view. It i s unequivocal that social practice depends on situational understanding and criticism in determining what problems there are and how to resolve them. But i t i s doubtful that situational understanding and social c r i t i c i s m involved in 67 educational practice could be sustained without the input of sc i e n t i f i c knowledge and scholarship on the one hand. On the other hand, i t seems to me that resolution of problems w i l l rely on available means, s c i e n t i f i c and/or practical. Teaching involves subject matter knowledge, pedagogical reasoning, understanding of the students, some level of technical proficiency (perhaps), personal meaning and self image, problem solving, personal growth, deliberation about alternative actions in view of their consequences, among other things. This i s what makes teaching complex and a lengthy period of preparation for i t necessary. I t i s not d i f f i c u l t to arrive at the conclusion that the different foci of reflection should be brought together into a cohesive and coherent program instead of separate programs each emphasizing something different. This synthesis i s not only desirable but also achievable, as I w i l l show later on from the perspective of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry. It has been asserted earlier that programmatic deliberations in teacher education require the support of a sound, defensible epistemological understanding of PKT and learning to teach. Whether teaching i s reflective practice or something else, i t has to be informed by some kind of knowledge. Talking about teaching as reflective practice does not make the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach irrelevant. But serious efforts to probe the epistemological understanding of PKT and learning to teach that informs the various kinds of programmatic deliberations in the RTE movement are not evident in the conceptual analyses and the program descriptions recounted above. It i s d i f f i c u l t to discern from these analyses and program descriptions whether any 68 new understanding of PKT and learning to teach has been advanced with the terms "reflective practice/reflective practitioners" substituting "teaching/teachers." When the notion of knowledge does get involved, in the case of Grimmett (1989), Grimmett et a l . , (1990), i t s meaning shifts with the different foci of reflection. The epistemological understanding that supports the stated role of knowledge in the development of teacher education programs in each of the three perspectives they have identified i s l e f t unassessed. There i s no further discussion on questions such as: In what sense can research findings and theoretical knowledge be acquired and applied? On what ground(s) do teachers and prospective teachers base their deliberations and choices among competing versions of good teaching? What enables teachers and prospective teachers to transform their experience? Does knowledge from external sources have a role to play in the transformation of practice? In contrast to the diverse foci of RTE, learning to teach remains confined to acquiring what i s thought to be necessary or useful knowledge, including the what and how of reflection, for directing or informing or transforming practice. In their reviews of different models of RTE programs, Cohen (1991), Munby and Russell (1993) have expressed their concern over the tendency in teacher education to treat reflection as a matter of pedagogical technique. Munby and Russell contend that "the structure and successes of programs reported in V a l l i ' s book are not necessarily to be attributed to the conceptual power of reflection but to i t s p o l i t i c a l power" (p. 438) . The seven RTE programs presented in V a l l i ' s book are described in terms of 69 their structure, history of development, knowledge base, relevant pedagogical practices, and evaluation. There i s l i t t l e discussion on how reflection leads to prospective teachers' development of their PKT. Nor i s there anything said about the epistemological understanding of PKT and learning to teach that underpins those programs. In Zeichner's (1987a) observation, most inquiry-oriented teacher educators have sought to prepare more reflective teachers by altering specific courses or program components within an overall program context which remains unchanged, (p. 567) In many cases, a program emphasis i s put on developing a theoretical knowledge base for reflective thinking and practice. The idea of developing a theoretical knowledge base to enable prospective teachers to reflect on their experience i s appealing. But the confidence in the sources from which theoretical knowledge can be drawn for developing the knowledge base has not been accompanied by a clear sense of the nature of theoretical knowledge and how that knowledge may be internalized and later applied in the practice of teaching. Ironically, according to V a l l i (1993), "what counts as quality of reflection i s the ab i l i t y to make the relationship between theory and practice problematic" (p. 16). Feiman-Nemser (1990) suggests in her discussion on the structural and conceptual alternatives in teacher education that An orientation refers to a set of ideas about the goals of teacher preparation and the means for achieving them. Ideally, a conceptual orientation includes a view of teaching and learning and a theory about learning to teach. Such ideas should give direction to the practical a c t i v i t i e s of teacher preparation such as program planning, course development, instruction, supervision, and evaluation, (p. 220) On the observation that many programs of different conceptual 70 orientations endorse the goal of reflection, Feiman-Nemser concludes that "reflective teacher education i s not a distinct programmatic emphasis but rather a generic professional disposition" (p. 221). A quick look at the concept of reflection in the literature on RTE w i l l support Feiman-Nemser's conclusion. The Concept of Reflection With reflective practice/teaching/inquiry variously interpreted set as a desirable goal to achieve in teacher education, the next question in order would be: By what means can this goal be achieved? The answer to the question l i e s with the concept of reflection. Bullough (1989a) observes that in RTE, at one and the same time [reflective practice] represents an end to be sought (the reflective teacher, professional, or practitioner — someone who i s disposed to and able to reflect) and a means for achieving the end (reflection). (p. 15) But how can reflection help teacher educators and prospective teachers to achieve the goal of teacher education? Does the concept of reflection as i t i s used in RTE carry any significant epistemological implications? Like RTE, the term reflection has been used in different ways. The following are a random sample of the many definitions of reflection I have come across in the literature on RTE: Reflection: This i s what a teacher does when he or she looks back at the teaching and learning that has occurred, and reconstructs, reenacts, and/or recaptures the events, the emotions, and the accomplishments. It i s that set of processes through which a professional learns from experience. (Shulman, 1987a, p. 19) Although there are several meanings associated with "reflective teaching" and "reflective thinking" current in educational literature, our work draws principally 71 upon only one: the notion that reflection involves the reconstruction of experience — for instance, when a practitioner assigns new significance to events, or identifies and attends to features of a practice situation that were previously ignored. (MacKinnon and Erickson, 1988, pp. 113-114) Reflection i s the practice or act of analyzing our actions, decisions, or products by focusing on our process of achieving them.... a process that encompasses a l l time designations, past, present, and future simultaneously.... While examining our past actions and our present actions, we generate knowledge that w i l l inform our future actions. (Killion and Todnen, 1991, p. 15) [Reflection is] systematic enquiry into one's own practice to improve that practice and to deepen one's understanding of i t . (Mclntyre, 1993, p. 43) Reflection in preservice teacher education [is] an effort to transform any naive or problematic conceptions about teaching and learning held by entering students into those more conducive to pedagogical thinking. (LaBoskey, 1993, p. 27) Reflection in the context of learning i s a generic term for those intellectual and affective a c t i v i t i e s in which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to new understandings and appreciations, (quoted in LaBoskey, 1994, p. 5) C r i t i c a l reflection i s not only practitioners enquiry into practitioners' practices; i t involves a form of critique which i s also capable of analyzing and challenging the institutional structures in which practitioners work.... To speak of c r i t i c a l reflection i s not merely to speak of * c r i t i c a l thinking'. To reflect c r i t i c a l l y i s to locate oneself in an action frame, to locate oneself in the history of a situation, to participate in a social activity, and to take sides on issues. (Kemmis, 1987, p. 75) [University of Florida PROTEACH program] Reflection i s defined ... as a way of thinking about educational matters that involves the a b i l i t y to make rational and ethical choices and to assume responsibility for those choices. ( V a l l i , 1992a, p. 28) [University of Maryland Masters Certification Program] Operationalized [reflection] means: (1) taking action (sometimes routine); (2) reflecting (thinking back, analyzing) upon that action (what happened, why, what i t meant); (3) i f resolution i s not reached, moving on to a higher level of reflective or c r i t i c a l thought 72 (multiple causes, conflicting goals, larger moral or ethical conflicts); and (4) coming up with alternative actions and thus continuing the cycle, (p. 51) The Catholic University program i s influenced by the work of Berlak and Berlak who define reflection as the a b i l i t y to stand apart from the self in order to examine c r i t i c a l l y one's actions and the context of those actions, (p. 100) [University of Houston Reflective Inquiry Teacher Education program] Reflection i s defined as the disposition and a b i l i t y to consider education as the result of many social, p o l i t i c a l , and individual factors accompanied by an understanding of the need to base subsequent action on careful analysis of the results of such inquiry, (p. 127) These definitions of reflection d i f f e r i n their respective syntactic structures and in the images of reflection they each may help bring forth. The differences may be significant from a certain vantage-point but are of no immediate concern to me. I would li k e to draw attention to the common features that these academic definitions share. F i r s t of a l l , some of the definitions of reflection refer either to a process or to an outcome in the context of teaching. To Shulman, reflection i s "[a teacher] reconstructs, reenacts, and/or recaptures the events, the emotions, and the accomplishments." With MacKinnon and Erickson, reflection occurs when "a practitioner assigns new significance to events, or identifies and attends to features of a practice situation that were previously ignored." Reflection may also be used to denote an a b i l i t y and disposition for making c r i t i c a l judgment or a particular stance that should be taken in thinking about teaching events. In Kemmis' definition, "To reflect c r i t i c a l l y i s to locate oneself in an action frame, to locate oneself in the history of a 73 situation, to participate in a social activity, and to take sides on issues." In the context of learning to teach, reflection may mean "an effort to transform any naive or problematic conceptions about teaching and learning" or "intellectual and affective a c t i v i t i e s of transforming personal beliefs." It may denote an intended goal, "the disposition and a b i l i t y to make sound educational choices" that a particular RTE program aims at developing in the prospective teachers. When used in the verb sense, reflection appears to have two principle characterizations — thinking in retrospect and c r i t i c a l analysis. Reflection i s often associated with past events of teaching. Teachers reflect on some particular past events of teaching to give a new meaning to the events or arrive at a better understanding of them. Reflection means, l i t e r a l l y , retrospective thinking. Reflection i s also synonymous to the term analysis. To reflect on something i s to analyze that something c r i t i c a l l y . What (and how it) i s analyzed can vary from an individual person's preconceptions, beliefs, and values in connection to some particular teaching events or to the general or specific social and institutional contexts of teaching. It could also be focused on the classroom application of technical means derived from educational research. These definitions do not make i t clear though how reflection defined in one way or another f i t s into the overall picture of teaching as a professional practice or the process of learning to become a (competent) teacher, especially at the i n i t i a l stage of professional development. Nor do these definitions indicate ways 74 in which evidence might be garnered to show that reflection indeed leads to improved practice and that, where prospective teachers are concerned, their reflection contributes to the development of the disposition and a b i l i t y to teach. The many discussions, proposals, and descriptions of reflective teacher education programs make i t amply clear that the guiding concept of reflection has been employed as a seemingly neutral term in ways that "disguise a vast number of conceptual variations, with a range of alternative implications for the organization and design of teacher education courses" (Calderhead, 1989, p. 43). "In the hands of some theorists, the act of reflection i s r i f e with p o l i t i c a l implications. For others, i t s usefulness as a strategy derives from the very fact of i t s value-neutrality" (Cohen, 1991, p. 573). We thus find reflection among those mixed concepts (Wilson, 1963), which do more than describe possible ways of acting. They connote dispositions and actions seen as praiseworthy, not in the sense of being noble or inspired but sensible and down-to-earth.... [and] bind one unwittingly to assumptions and entailments ... about knowledge, the ends and nature of action, and sources of value. (Buchmann, 1993, pp. 82-83) These definitions suggest that reflection i s a good thing either as a goal to attain or a means for attaining goals. Teachers are said to increase their understanding of teaching by reflecting on their practice. It seems to follow that to develop their PKT, prospective teachers must reflect on their experience. Learning to teach therefore should require reflection, although i t i s not clear (1) whether or not prospective teachers already have the capacity for reflection, (2) what exactly they should reflect on, (3) how they should reflect on i t , and (4) whether reflection 75 leads to the fulfilment of the intended goal of learning to teach. It should be obvioUs that taking reflection as a means to an end or an end in i t s e l f does not constitute a theoretical ground for program development. Perhaps, when trying to say something different about reflection, proponents of RTE could benefit from the advice that we should pay attention to the distinctions already made in ordinary language (Austin, 1961). In i t s ordinary use, reflection i s often used in the sense of projecting a mirror image, as in " we saw the reflection of the moon in the lake." Reflection can also be used to denote serious, purposive, and focused thinking. The second college edition of Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (Guralnik, 1972) has the following entry, Reflection n. 4. a) the fixing of the mind on some subject; serious thought; contemplation b) the result of such thought; ideas or conclusion, esp. i f expressed in words, (p. 1193) reflective adj. suggests an orderly, often analytical turning over in the mind with the aim of reaching some definite understanding, (p. 1053) reflect v i . 4. to think seriously; contemplate (on or upon). Reflection i s not the random and aimless kind of thinking. Reflection i s thinking a person engaged in with the aim of understanding what i s being reflected upon. To ref l e c t i s to think about or contemplate on a subject seriously to reach some definite understanding. Academicians, teachers, and prospective teachers are a l l capable of thinking seriously about teaching. There i s no doubt about that. The important question to be addressed at the programmatic level in teacher education i s how 76 prospective teachers can, with the help of teacher educators, better control and direct their thinking in their effort to develop PKT. Reflection as Retrospective Thinking There i s a tendency in the current discourse on RTE and in the academic literature elsewhere to treat reflection as thinking in retrospect. It i s concerned with some past events. Something happens and you reflect on i t so as to understand i t better. In some sense, reflection as retrospective thinking does denote a way of getting to know things. Indeed, human learning often appears to follow the process neatly captured in the t i t l e of Dennison and Kirk's (1990) recent book on experiential learning Do. Review. Learn. Apply. A teacher teaches a lesson, reflects on some aspects of i t and, as a result, learns something from i t . The teacher then applies the new knowledge to future lessons. The same would apply in learning to teach. Prospective teachers do some practice teaching and then reflect, either i n solitude or with their supervising teachers or their peers, on some events or episodes of their practice teaching. By reflecting on their experience, prospective teachers develop their PKT. The ordinary sense of reflection i s suggestive, however, that we can think seriously not only about past events but also about what i s happening at present and what we intend to make happen in the future. The fact i s that teachers, and practitioners in any other fields of professional practice, do a lo t of serious thinking before they go into their respective practice settings. Teachers plan their lessons for an entire 77 school year, for the coming month, for next week, for tomorrow. Lesson planning requires a lot of serious thinking that i s not retrospective but rather prospective. Thinking about what I have done or has happened to me in the past may often get involved in thinking about what I am going to do, but thinking about what I am going to do requires much more than simply reflecting upon some prior experience. I think that the essence of professional preparation i s really in thinking about what one intends to accomplish and how one would be able to accomplish i t , not what has been done or has happened. Reflection as retrospective thinking has i t s pedagogical value but pales in significance when compared with the careful, responsible deliberations that precede intelligent action. What i s more, we cannot assume that thinking seriously about past experience w i l l always contribute to the development of prospective teachers' PKT. In the f i n a l analysis, the development of PKT depends on what i s being seriously thought about and how the serious thinking i s done and for what purpose. What prompts teachers to reflect on past events of teaching? What enables teachers to reflect? How may teachers arrive at a new or better understanding of what they reflect on? How may the newly arrived understanding of past events contribute to the improvement of future practice? Neither the conceptual analyses nor the definitions of reflection can help us answer those questions. Practically speaking, a teacher education program typically consists of four major components — Foundational Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, Relevant Areas of Study, and the 78 Teaching Practicum. Each component i s subdivided into different courses of study taught by individual faculty members who d i f f e r from one another in as many ways as we can think of. One major d i f f i c u l t y in program development in teacher education has been how to achieve thematic cohesion and coherence (Barnes, 1989). Reflection understood as thinking in retrospect about some past events taking place in the context of practice teaching implies that teacher preparation would have to start with prospective teachers teaching in the classroom so that they could have something to reflect on. Program cohesion and coherence could be achieved by turning Foundational Studies, Curriculum Studies, and courses in other areas of study into a venue for prospective teachers to reflect on their practicum experience. Many have, however, argued against sequencing teacher education in the manner of practice-theory-practice based upon the consideration that the powerful influence of socialization in the schools may have a negative impact on prospective teachers' professional growth (Buchmann and Schwille, 1983; Feiman-Nemser, 1983; Johnston, 1994; Zeichner and Gore, 1990). I would l i k e to raise a different kind of concern here. I think that to be responsible for the welfare of the students who w i l l be directly affected by prospective teachers' practice teaching and the welfare of prospective teachers themselves, some preparation should be required before practice teaching. I am not suggesting that the current practice of "theory f i r s t , and practice second" should be maintained, though. What i s needed in teacher education i s a better understanding of the role of theoretical knowledge and practical experience in learning to teach. I w i l l 79 return to this in Chapter V. Reflection as C r i t i c a l Analysis Reflection i s also often used in the sense of c r i t i c a l analysis. It has been suggested that current definitions of reflection are strongly influenced by the Western cultural heritage, which emphasizes analysis and problem-solving as opposed to negotiation, contemplation or enlightenment. ... an analytical method that stresses objectivity and emotional detachment. (Houston and C l i f t , 1990, p. 211) Analysis may help save us from the paradox of preparation without reflection and practice teaching without preparation. In each and every program component, prospective teachers w i l l be involved in reflecting about or analyzing, for instance, educational concepts, issues of gender, race, and class in education, their own educational experiences, values, beliefs, interests, and preconceptions about teaching and learning, the social and institutional conditions under which teachers teach and students learn, research findings on human development and effective means of instruction as well as what happens in the practicum setting. We should be aware, though, that reflection here i s treated as a pedagogical means, i t i s something for prospective teachers to do. There i s nothing disputable about c r i t i c a l reflection guided by the democratic principles of justice, equity, and freedom. I believe i t i s necessary to have prospective teachers think about issues of gender, race, and class in education and the social and institutional conditions under which they w i l l work. I also believe that there cannot be intelligent action 80 without an adequate understanding of the particular action context, even though I find the phrase "an action context" very hard to pin down since i t has been used very l i b e r a l l y i n the educational literature. If teaching could be legitimately considered to have a technical aspect, there should then be some room in the i n i t i a l teacher preparation for prospective teachers to acquire minimum technical proficiency, . However, when we turn around to think about the development of a coherent and cohesive teacher education program, we know that i t i s not enough to assert the value of c r i t i c a l analysis, irrespective of what should get analyzed and how. A strong commitment to reflection from a particular value position alone does not provide a sufficient theoretical ground for RTE programs. A compromise between value positions w i l l not be helpful either. We must, among other things, make sure that the underlying rationale of different levels or foc i of reflection do not mitigate the influence of one another. We must also make sure that analysis in each and every component area of study w i l l contribute to the overall goal of prospective teachers' development of PKT. But how? Analysis, l i k e retrospective thinking, has i t s pedagogical value, but w i l l not fare any better as an organizing theme for the development of RTE programs. Practical D i f f i c u l t i e s of RTE Disagreement on what ends to achieve in teacher preparation aside, advocates of RTE seem to be quite unanimous in believing in the instrumental value of reflection. What complicates the matter i s that in order for prospective teachers to realize the 81 instrumental value of reflection in achieving the chosen ends of their professional preparation, they must in the f i r s t place be capable of engaging in reflection. If reflection denotes the most important outcome of an RTE program and i f prospective teachers already have the capability of reflection, teacher education would hardly be necessary. Or perhaps, reflection i s just a matter of degree and perspective. In that case, RTE programs should aim at helping prospective teachers to become more reflective. But more reflective in terms of what? The confusion between means and end seems to disappear when reflective practice i s associated with what experienced practitioners are capable of doing when they are caught up in problematic situations. Common sense t e l l s us that compared with experienced teachers, prospective teachers can be expected to lack the kind of PKT that competent teaching requires. Or to use some academic terminology, they w i l l lack the meta-cognitive schematic structures, or "automaticity, spontaneity, immediacy," that enable experienced teachers to handle classroom situations effectively and with ease. Once reflection comes to be associated with experienced teachers' expertise, a program goal of developing prospective teachers' reflective capacity seems to be j u s t i f i e d . The development of prospective teachers' reflective capacity can also prove to be a d i f f i c u l t task, however. In developing a conceptual framework for reflection in preservice teacher education, LaBoskey (1993, 1994) places prospective teachers into the categories of Alert Novices and Common-sense Thinkers. One of the distinctive qualities of Alert Novices seems 82 to be the desire to know. Driven by their xpassionate creeds' and xwhy' questions, they appear to be internally motivated to engage in both spontaneous and structural reflection, sometimes despite their own misgivings. The Common-sense Thinkers may not only be without these personal purposes, they may also have interfering attitudes, emotions and values. (LaBoskey, 1993, p. 32) Similarly, Korthagen (1985, 1988) differentiates prospective teachers in terms of an internal orientation (self-directed) vs an external orientation (preferring being told what to do). LaBoskey suggests that Common-sense Thinkers have d i f f i c u l t y engaging in reflective exercise for the lack of either the necessary cognitive a b i l i t i e s or the requisite dispositions and attitudes. If the teacher education institution cannot simply keep Common-sense Thinkers from entering i t s door, i t must take on the d i f f i c u l t task to design appropriate educational experiences that w i l l induce desirable changes in prospective teachers' cognitive a b i l i t y as well as dispositions and attitudes. But what experiences are conducive to the Common-Sense Thinkers' development of PKT? At the same time, one also wonders what kind of educational experiences should be provided to Alert Novices. I do not suppose that Alert Novices or those with an internal orientation towards learning to teach could be l e f t on their own. Teacher educators have created structural conditions and designed various strategies to support, encourage, i n i t i a t e , and fa c i l i t a t e reflective practice among prospective teachers. Common among those conditions and strategies are action research, ethnography, journal writing, reflective coaching in supervision, curriculum analysis and development, and the methodology of 83 reflective teaching (Zeichner, 1987a). The effectiveness of these and possibly other strategies for achieving the end of developing prospective teachers' reflective capacity of teaching remains an open question. Richert's (1992) study suggests that prospective teachers choose to reflect on different things in different manners under different conditions. It gives l i t t l e indication on what form of reflection i s more conducive to the development of PKT and competent practice. Although reflective practice i s generally accepted as a desirable end and a means for achieving that end in RTE, some have expressed doubt about the des i r a b i l i t y of having i t as a central focus in preservice teacher education (Berliner, 1988; Mclntyre, 1993). Mclntyre (1993), for instance, suggests that "reflection i s a much more central means of learning for experienced practitioners, than i t can or need be for novices" (p. 43). Mclntyre argues that learning to teach requires novice teachers to consciously deliberate about the nature of expertise to be developed, whereas experienced teachers need reflection to examine the hidden assumptions underlying their established aspects of classroom expertise. Besides, novice teachers do not have the kind of r i c h repertoire of exemplars to enable them to think creatively about their experience. They therefore have to draw ideas from external sources. Hatton and Smith (1995), Zeichner and Liston (1987) have discussed several problems that may frustrate teacher educators' efforts to engage prospective teachers in the kind of reflective exercise designed to help them in achieving the intended outcome of their professional preparation. Reflective exercises may be 84 perceived to be an academic pursuit that focuses on analyzing abstract educational ideas from narrow disciplinary perspectives. Prospective teachers' prior knowledge may dispose them to reflect on some selective educational phenomena but resist others. Prospective teachers may not have an adequate knowledge base to inform their reflective exercise or they may not understand the concept of reflection i t s e l f . Often institutional structural constraints do not allow prospective teachers the time and opportunity to engage in reflective exercise. Besides, teacher preparation involves not only prospective teachers and teacher educators but also classroom teachers and school principles and others. People may react differently to demands for reflection, and even within programs, faculty members may take different ideological positions towards i t . These problems are not peculiar to RTE. They are the same kind of problems associated with traditional modes of teacher preparation. Prospective teachers bring with them their prior knowledge about teaching, on the basis of which they interact with the learning environment in their teacher education program. It can always be expected that prospective teachers w i l l lack the background knowledge, understanding, s k i l l s , and dispositions for engaging in the kind of intellectual exercises designed for them in the program. Teacher education has never been conducted under ideal conditions. Time i s always short and expectations d i f f e r . Everybody, including prospective teachers themselves, has an idea of what things are important and how things ought to be done. It may also be discerned that many of these practical problems are really contingent upon the hidden presumptions about professional 85 knowing and learning to teach inherited from times past. Summary In this chapter, I have looked at the perplexing phenomenon of RTE mirrored in the recent attempts to c l a r i f y i t s conceptual background. It i s tempting to think that the conceptual d i f f i c u l t y with RTE originates in the multiple conceptions of reflective teaching/practice/inquiry due to the lack of a common professional language within the teacher education community. It does appear so, for teacher educators have been improvising RTE in many different ways and categorizing the many improvisations again with different analytical frameworks. But, the conceptual d i f f i c u l t y interpreted as a definitional issue could hardly be ever resolved. How could individual teacher educators be expected to give up their idiosyncratic conceptions of RTE on the ground that there are too many of them, granting that the conceptions were improvised out of well-meaning and well-reasoned considerations, firmly supported by ideological commitments as well as personal beliefs and interest? However, when we reframe the problem of RTE and ask instead about the epistemological grounding of various programs under that attractive t i t l e , Feiman-Nemser's (1990) observation i s vindicated that RTE does not constitute a conceptual orientation. Without i t s conceptual power, reflection becomes a slogan prone to meaninglessness where i t may serve comfortably as an aim for any and a l l types of programs. The potential for the concept to make a genuine contribution to educational reform i s thereby seriously weakened. (Bullough, 1989, p. 15) 86 I share the concern expressed by Cohen (1991), Munby and Russell (1993) over the tendency to orient the discourse on RTE away from a question of knowledge in relation to professional practice, reducing i t to a matter of a pedagogical technique or an issue of ideological disputation. To establish RTE as an alternative approach towards teachers' i n i t i a l preparation and continuing professional development, we should be clear about the kind of epistemological understanding of PKT and learning to teach that could inform programmatic deliberations under that umbrella term. Thinking about RTE in terms of PKT and learning to teach, I believe, w i l l enable us to deal with those apparent contradictions at the practical level of program organization. Examples of some of these contradictions include: building up a theoretical knowledge base versus learning from practical experience; rejecting the Technical Rationality model versus developing minimum technical competency; the need to reduce pressures on prospective teachers on the ground that they are learning versus the demand to give them f u l l responsibility as a necessary condition for learning; the interest in the broad educational and social issues that seem to transcend the particular classroom contexts versus the compelling practical interest in meeting the particular demands of classroom teaching. Questions of PKT, professional knowing, and learning are important because, to quote Soltis again, The point, again, i s to see that the more adequate our grasp of what we understand as xknowledge', the more we can consciously, responsibly, and morally play the role of educator. Calderhead (1989) observes that "ideal models of reflection are 87 offered but l i t t l e i s known about how they might operate in practice, how they compare with other forms of reflection, or in which contexts they might be appropriate" (p. 46). I believe that i t i s highly advisable and morally responsible for teacher educators to assess the epistemological and conceptual grounding of their preferred models of RTE. The epistemological and conceptual question cannot be avoided even when i t comes to seeking facts about the operation of different models of RTE in practice within specific institutional contexts. For facts to be meaningful, we must answer the questions of what the facts are claimed to be about and how they are supported. Whereas the literature on RTE needs to be enriched by an adequate understanding of PKT, professional knowing, and learning to teach, i t i s replete with references to Schon's works on practitioners' reflective practice and Dewey's idea of reflective inquiry. Munby and Russell (1993) i n s i s t that, in doing research on reflective teaching and developing RTE programs, we should pay attention to the epistemological significance of the concept of reflection in Schon's work. But does Schon's thesis entail the kind of epistemological understanding in which RTE could be secured as an alternative conceptual orientation towards teacher preparation? 88 Chapter III: schon's Epistemology of Practice The widespread interest in RTE i s , as i t has been noted, often attributed to Schon's work on professional knowing. With the publication of his two books The Reflective Practitioner in 1983 and Educating the Reflective Practitioner in 1987, Schon has been recognized by many for his contribution to our understanding of professional knowing of and in practice. To be sure, Schon i s not the f i r s t person to use the term "reflection" i n theorizing about the problem of knowledge i n relation to practice, yet he could well be credited for making i t a household term in the current discourse on teacher education. Central to Schon's epistemology of practice i s the idea of professional knowing described as a process which he c a l l s "reflection-in-action." This notion of "reflection-in-action" has been adopted as an important theoretical construct for research on teachers' professional knowledge and has frequently appeared in discussions on RTE program development (Calderhead and Gates, 1993a; Clarke, 1992; MacKinnon, 1987; Grimmett and Erickson, 1988; LaBoskey, 1994; Russell and Munby, 1992; V a l l i , 1992a). Schon himself, though, has not related his epistemology of practice systematically to the mundane issues concerning program development as well as the pedagogical practices in teacher education. No RTE programs, as far as I know, have actually been e x p l i c i t l y grounded in principle in Schon's epistemology of practice. The discussion in this chapter w i l l address two questions: 1) What i s Schon's epistemology of practice? and 2) does i t offer an adequate and defensible 89 theoretical thesis on professional knowing that could provide a secured epistemological ground for developing RTE programs? Schon's Epistemology of Practice Schon's treatise on the epistemology of practice begins with the observation that in meeting our social and personal needs in l i f e , we have come to depend more and more upon the services of professionals. This fact of modern l i f e seems to be readily taken as given. What i s of great concern to Schon (1983) i s that the professions are in the midst of a c r i s i s of confidence and legitimacy.... The long-standing professional claim to a monopoly of knowledge and social control i s challenged — f i r s t , because professionals do not l i v e up to the values and norms which they espouse, and second, because they are ineffective, (p. 11) When this c r i s i s i s considered along with the question of professional knowledge, some professionals see i t as "a mismatch of traditional patterns of practice and knowledge to features of the practice situation — complexity, uncertainty, i n s t a b i l i t y , uniqueness, and value conflict" (p. 18). While regarding i t as "a laudable exercise in se l f - c r i t i c i s m , " Schon i s not content with such a diagnosis. In his view, the c r i s i s of confidence and legitimacy in the professions l i e s much deeper with the customary way of thinking about professional knowledge and practice, what he refers to as the model of Technical Rationality rooted in the philosophical doctrines of positivism pervasive in the institutional context of professional l i f e . According to the model of Technical Rationality ... professional activity consists in instrumental problem solving made rigorous by the application of s c i e n t i f i c theory and technique, (p. 21) 90 Technical Rationality assumes that ends of professional practice can be pre-established based on specialized knowledge and the means for achieving the pre-established ends can also be obtained through rigorous s c i e n t i f i c research. This means, practically speaking, social scientists who conduct basic research discover principles and laws that govern human conduct and supply them to their colleagues in applied science. The latter turn the principles and laws into diagnostic problem-solving techniques. Practitioners of professional social services play the role of an instrumental problem-solver, selecting and applying the best technical means made available by systematic, preferably s c i e n t i f i c , research in meeting pre-defined objectives in the delivery of their service. Professional practice depends on or should be grounded in s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. Schon does not examine the fundamental presumptions under-lying the p o s i t i v i s t conception of science and knowledge and the practical implications for professional education. Instead, he faults the model of Technical Rationality from the perspective of practice. Technical Rationality presumes agreement about ends and emphasizes problem solving through the application of s c i e n t i f i c a l l y proven means best suited to established ends in practice. But the fact of professional l i f e i s that, argues Schon, the "specialized, firmly bounded, s c i e n t i f i c and standardized" knowledge simply cannot meet the particular demands of practice. This i s because In real-world practice, problems do not present themselves to the practitioner as given. They must be constructed from the materials of problematic situations which are puzzling, troubling, and uncertain, (p. 40) 91 Schon also points to the fact that competent practitioners are able to find ways to understand complex problematic situations, restructure strategies of action against uncertainty and indeterminacy, break the conventional boundaries of normative practice, and make a thoughtful choice among conflicting values, goals, and interests in their respective fields of professional practice. This observation leads Schon to believe that there i s a kind of professional knowing that the model of Technical Rationality f a i l s to account for. He goes on to assert that If the model of Technical Rationality i s incomplete, in that i t f a i l s to account for practical competence in xdivergent' situations, so much the worse for the model. Let us search, instead, for an epistemology of practice implicit in the a r t i s t i c , intuitive processes which some practitioners do bring to situations of uncertainty, ins t a b i l i t y , uniqueness, and value conflict, (p. 49) It i s clear that Schon i s inquiring about a kind of t a c i t knowing inherent in the performance of competent practitioners in dealing with problematic situations in practice. Tacit knowing i s not available to direct observation and cannot be readily put into propositional statements. It only reveals i t s e l f i n the spontaneous behaviour of s k i l f u l performance. How would i t be possible for Schon to get at this kind of knowing which cannot be directly observed? Schon suggests that i t i s possible to construct a model of professional knowing through an analysis of the structure of what he refers to as the process of reflection-in-action. He then presents a number of case descriptions of competent performance observed in such diverse professional fields as architecture, psychotherapy, engineering design, city planning, and a master class of music performance to i l l u s t r a t e 92 and support his argument. Schon's Model of Professional Knowing At the core of Schon's model for representing professional knowing of and in practice i s the notion of "reflection-in-action," which i s an ephemeral episode of inquiry that arises momentarily in the midst of a flow of action and then disappears, giving way to some new event, leaving in i t s wake, perhaps, a more stable view of the situation. (Schon, 1992, p. 125) Reflection-in-action i s distinguished from "knowing-in-action" and "reflection-on-action." Schon (1987) states in Educating the Reflective Practitioner that the notion of knowing-in-action refers to the sorts of know-how we reveal in our intelligent action — publicly observable, physical performances like riding a bicycle and primate operations li k e instant analysis of a balance sheet. In both cases, the knowing i s in the action. We reveal i t by our spontaneous, s k i l f u l execution of the performance and we are characteristically unable to make i t verbally explicit, (p. 25) The t a c i t and spontaneous knowing-in-action i s said to enable a practitioner to deal with day-to-day familiar situations through a sequence of routine a c t i v i t i e s without having to think about what i s being done. Yet, from time to time, in the midst of action, a problematic situation or surprise may arise and threatens to interrupt the smooth execution of the routine sequence of action. Under such circumstances, the practitioner must respond to the situation by way of reflection-in-action. There i s some puzzling, or troubling, or interesting phenomenon with which the individual i s trying to deal. As he t r i e s to make sense of i t , he also reflects on the understandings which have been implicit in his 93 action, understandings which he surfaces, c r i t i c i z e s , restructures, and embodies in further action. I t i s this entire process of reflection-in-action which i s central to the "art" by which practitioners sometimes deal well with situations of uncertainty, i n s t a b i l i t y , uniqueness, and value conflict. (Schon, 1983, p. 50) In their day-to-day work, practitioners encounter problematic situations constantly. Schon quotes an eminent physician claiming that "85 percent of the problems a doctor sees in his office are not in the book" (p. 16). Since competent practitioners are said to engage in reflection-in-action to resolve unfamiliar, unique situations frequently occurring i n action, the case seems to be made that "reflection-in-action i s centrally important to the artistry of competent practitioners" (Schon, 1992, p. 125). One crucial function of reflection-in-action i s what Schon c a l l s problem setting or problem (re)framing (see also Rein and Schon, 1977, 1991; Schon and Rein, 1994). A surprise arising in the midst of action has f i r s t of a l l to be noted and perceived to be presenting a specific problem to be dealt with. The general practice of medical care i s analogous. A family physician notices the presence of a patient in the office who complains of a headache. The physician gathers the patient's symptoms as well as other relevant information and determine what kind of a medical problem the patient has. When the case i s complicated, i t may take the physician several diagnoses to determine what exactly i s the problem. In other words, the i n i t i a l , tentative diagnosis w i l l be reframed u n t i l a definitive one i s reached. The physician then decides on the kind of treatment that would best suit the patient. If the patient shows no improvement after 94 the treatment, the physician w i l l have to look at the case again, following the same process. Reflection-in-action involves what Schon c a l l s "a reflective conversation." When responding to a problematic situation in action, a practitioner i s said to be engaged in "a reflective conversation with the materials of the problematic situation at hand", listening to the "situation's backtalk" as a result of the inquirer's appreciation of the surprise and experimenting with strategies and procedures of on-the-spot improvisation. Through this complex process of reflection-in-action, the practitioner resolves the problematic situation. I understand from reading some of the philosophical literature that the problem of knowledge concerns not only what we know ("the context of justification") but also, more importantly in view of professional education, how we come to know in the f i r s t place ("the context of discovery"). A robust epistemological theory of knowing in relation to human conduct thus needs to account for knowing not only in the sense of coming to know but also in the sense of having knowledge. A bifurcated account of knowing that emphasizes the process of coming to know is as incomplete and prone to disputation as one that i s only concerned with the ju s t i f i c a t i o n of knowledge claims. What i s odd about Schon's epistemology of practice i s that i t seems to juxtapose knowing in the sense of having knowledge and knowing in the sense of obtaining knowledge in the realm of professional practice. Experienced practitioners are said to be in possession of a kind of professional knowing which differs from propositional knowledge written in the books. This kind of 95 knowing i s then described as a process of reflection-in-action. Schon seems to suggest that so long as we recognize competent performance of professional practice in resolving situations of uncertainty, uniqueness, and conflict, we could forego questions about what i t i s that competent practitioners know. Competent practitioners' knowing of practice i s t a c i t and intuitive, not the propositional kind that can be analyzed and judged on the basis of i t s internal logic or empirical evidence. Hence we cannot apply what Fenstermacher (1994) refers to as the "standard analysis" to evaluating the epistemic merit of practitioners' knowing of and in practice. I think Schon i s right in his argument against the Technical Rationality model of professional practice and professional education. The point i s well taken that problems in practice are not given and must be constructed and resolved within their own particular action context. The process of reflection-in-action, as Schon describes i t , provides a more complete account of how professionals solve problems in practice. I also concur with the idea that professional practice involves knowing more than we can t e l l , especially in the context of emerging problematic situations. Competent practitioners deserve the honorific notion of "knowing," which cannot be denied on the contentious ground that we do not know how to represent i t and assess i t s epistemic merit. So the issue here i s not about i f and what professionals know in action, but a question of the adequacy and usefulness of Schon's representation model. In my view, Schon's thesis could be accepted as a more complete problem-solving model of professional practice or, with 96 Eraut (1994), as a metaphorical exposition on human cognition in diverse problematic situations in practice. But Schon"s model of professional knowing i s not adequate for advancing our current understanding of professional knowing for the benefit of improving practice. Schon conjectures that there i s a kind of tac i t knowing implicit in competent practitioners' performance in resolving problematic situations in action. Competent performance reveals the ta c i t kind of knowing of and in practice. This t a c i t kind of knowing i s described in terms of a process of reflection-in-action, which i s not available to observation. To make the case, there i s nothing else but the observation of competent performance. The model i s inadequate also because of i t s internal conceptual d i f f i c u l t i e s and practical implications for professional education. I w i l l now turn to a c r i t i c a l assessment of Schon's epistemology of practice. C r i t i c a l Assessment of Schon's Epistemology of Practice Teacher education i s a f i e l d of practical endeavour. Teacher educators, who design programs, teach various foundational and methods courses, and supervise practice teaching, are susceptible to, and at the same time, suspect of various kinds of external influence. In the case of Schon's epistemology of practice, the teacher education community has approached i t with mixed reactions. Some teacher educators embrace i t with enthusiasm, sometimes with a note of caution though (e.g., Clarke, 1992; Erickson and MacKinnon, 1991; MacKinnon, 1987; Munby and Russell, 1989,1993; Schon, 1991), and others find fault with i t from their respective positions (Adler, 1991; Berrie, 1992; Eraut, 1994; 97 Fenstermacher, 1988; Furlong and Maynard, 1994; Grimmett and Erickson, 1988; Liston and Zeichner, 1991; Pearson, 1989; Ross, 1992; Shulman, 1987b, 1988). Three lines of criticism levelled at Schon's epistemology of practice are particularly pertinent to programmatic deliberations in teacher education. These lines of criticism point to the internal conceptual d i f f i c u l t i e s in Schon's thesis (Eraut, 1994; Grimmett and Erickson, 1988, chapters 9, 10, and 11; Pearson, 1989), Schon's disposition towards the relationship between sc i e n t i f i c knowledge and professional practice (Fenstermacher, 1987, 1988; Shulman, 1987b, 1988), and a perceived narrow focus on the world of practice (Adler, 1991; Liston and Zeichner, 1991; Ross, 1992; Selman, 1988). I w i l l subsequently discuss each of these three areas of critique. Schon's Conceptual D i f f i c u l t i e s Coombs and Daniels (1991) advise us that i f our conceptual structures lack logical coherence, blur important distinctions, or create useless dichotomies, or i f we understand them so poorly that we are unable to translate them adequately into research instruments and policy prescriptions, curricular policies and research studies w i l l f a i l to be f r u i t f u l , (p. 27) The conceptual d i f f i c u l t i e s inherent in Schon's epistemology of practice should be dealt with f i r s t . Knowing vs. doing Central to Schon's analysis of professional knowing which i s revealed in a practitioner's competent performance of resolving problematic situations in practice are the notions of knowing-in-98 action and reflection-in-action. Knowing-in-action i s the kind of t a c i t knowledge we reveal in what we do. In a reverse order, routine performance reveals t a c i t knowledge, at least the know-how kind. Reflection-in-action, on the other hand, i s described as a process which involves taking note of and responding to surprises or problematic situations. When, for instance, Dorothy's daily driving route to work i s blocked by a detour sign, she w i l l , a l a Schon, reflect-in-action, taking note of the situation, decoding the sign, thinking about and deciding what alternate action to take. Reflection-in-action seems to denote a succession of mental a c t i v i t i e s of a person in responding to and resolving an unfamiliar situation and implies at the same time a capacity for doing so in dealing with unfamiliar situations. It i s pertinent here to ask what enables practitioners to reflect in action. Schon's answer to the question i s quite straightforward. Over the years, The practitioner has built up a repertoire of examples, images, understandings, and actions.... [which] includes the whole of his experience insofar as i t i s accessible to him for understanding and action. (Schon, 1983, p. 138) He further suggests that The a r t i s t r y of a practitioner... hinges on the range and variety of the repertoire that he brings to unfamiliar situations. Because he i s able to see these as elements of his repertoire, he i s able to make sense of their uniqueness and need not reduce them to instances of standard categories. Moreover, each new experience of reflection-in-action enriches his repertoire.... Reflection-in-action in a unique case may be generalized to other cases, not by giving rise to general principles, but by contributing to the practitioner's repertoire of exemplary themes from which, in the subsequent cases of his practice, he may compose new variations, (p. 140) 99 Schon stops short there. It seems to me reasonable to infer from the two statements quoted above that the level of a r t i s t r y displayed in a practitioner's competent performance i s related, quite obviously, to the range and variety of the repertoire the practitioner brings to an unfamiliar, unique situation. The greater the range and variety of the repertoire a practitioner brings to the situation, the more alternative ways there w i l l be for the practitioner to make sense of i t . A repertoire of a narrow range and variety w i l l put a li m i t to a practitioner's a b i l i t y to respond to a problematic situation. Presumably, when an experienced practitioner and a novice encounter a surprise in action, both would respond to i t . What makes the difference in the eventual outcome would be the richness of the personal repertoire each of the two brings to the surprise and with which each of the two reflects about and deals with the surprise. The novice's repertoire has a limited range and variety. This makes i t d i f f i c u l t for the novice to get a proper sense of the surprise encountered. Consequently, the novice w i l l not be able to get the same result the experienced practitioner i s able to achieve. My reading of Schon's exposition also suggests to me that the t a c i t knowing inherent in competent professional practice i s dependent on a combination of several factors: 1) a problematic situation or surprise experienced in the midst of action, 2) the process of reflection-in-action in response to the situation, 3) a working repertoire as the cognitive basis of reflection-in-action, and 4) successful resolution of the situation. The f i r s t three factors are self-evident. The process of 100 reflection-in-action requires that there i s something to reflect about (a surprise in action) and something to reflect with (a repertoire). The fourth factor that evidence of competent performance that leads to or predicts the successful resolution of a problematic situation w i l l be required to make a case of reflection-in-action needs some qualification. I t could be argued that reflection-in-action does not necessarily always lead to successful resolution of a problematic situation in action. This argument i s acceptable as long as we are only concerned with a cognitive process in the context of a problematic situation in action, irrespective of whatever outcome the process eventually leads to. But i t certainly w i l l not take us very far when we want to better understand the kind of professional a r t i s t r y to which Schon draws our attention. This i s not only that the kind of professional knowing Schon describes i s inferred from the observation of practitioners' competent performance in resolving unfamiliar situations in action. Also, i f both novice and experienced practitioners w i l l reflect i n action but produce different outcomes, one wonders whether reflection-in-action i s central to professional artistry that competent practitioners display and novice practitioners are yet to develop. May we also conclude then that which makes the difference in performance outcome rather than the cognitive process of reflection-in-action i s really central to (our understanding of), professional knowing, to professional artistry? The process of reflection-in-action i t s e l f i s admittedly a complex one as Schon makes of i t . When caught up in an unfamiliar situation, the practitioner has lots of things to 101 think back and forth about, (re-)frame the situation, engage in a reflective conversation with the materials of the situation and experiment with strategic moves improvised on the spot. However, complex as i t i s , the process of reflection-in-action w i l l unlikely be possible without the cognitive base of a working repertoire. For this reason, shouldn't professional knowing be better understood in terms of the practitioner's repertoire instead of reflection-in-action? Wouldn't i t be more advisable to consider knowing in practice as an inquiring person, with his/her working repertoire, interacts with the materials of a problematic situation? That would allow us to further explore the nature of a practitioner's professional repertoire and ask how competent practitioners in their respective fie l d s of professional practice build up their repertoire as rich as i t would enable them to resolve problematic situations through reflection-in-action. Reflection-in-action In reading Schon's description of an architect's studio, Eraut (1994) points out that Schon makes i t quite clear that he regards the xaction' as being the design process rather than the teaching process.... Presumably the design process i s normally a relatively silent deliberative process combining thinking, sketching and accurate drawing over a long period of time. Yet Schon treats i t as an archetypal example of reflection-in-action, without actually stating which parts or aspects of the master designer's behaviour are reflective and which are not. (p. 146) On my part, I wonder i f a physician i s prompted to r e f l e c t - i n -action only by those 85% of the cases that are not written in the book. But even for the 15% cases that are written i n the books, 102 i t i s very unlikely that they would present themselves as pre-determined in practice. Their particular features have to be identified as representing those cases written in the books. In other words, in professional practice, framing w i l l always be required of both competent practitioners and novices, whatever situations they are dealing with. Or, perhaps the physician engages in reflection-in-action only when there i s a surprise arising in treating any individual case, whether or not the case has been written in the books. If there i s no surprise in action, knowing-in-action w i l l suffice. Reflection-in-action i s required only when there i s a unique, unfamiliar problematic situation occurring in the midst of action. Some readers are doubtful about the po s s i b i l i t y of reflection IN action. Court (1988), for instance, argues that Schon's examples seem to i l l u s t r a t e several rather different kinds of *reflection-in-action' and most, upon examination, appear to involve removing oneself from the action in order to reflect. [It seems that reflection] requires a time out, albeit a brief one, from the action, (pp. 145-146) Eraut (1994) observes that many of [Schon's] long examples f a i l to provide any evidence that reflection-in-action i s occurring, and in several examples, including a l l those from science, engineering and management, reflection-on-action appears to have been at least as l i k e l y a cause of reframing as reflection-in-action. (p. 148) In their essay review of Schon's two books on reflective practice, Munby and Russell (1989) suggest that the confusion about reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action may have to do with how the phrase of reflection-in-action i s read. They write, Several years of research activity in which we have 103 attempted to apply and better understand the term *reflection-in-action 7 have led us to realize that this phrase so central to Schon's argument i s easily misread, by focusing on reflection rather than on action. *Reflection 7 typically suggests thinking about action, but the crucial phrase on our reading i s x i n -action 7. The reflection that Schon i s call i n g attention to i s in the action, not in associated thinking about action. (p. 73) But, this sympathetic move from "reflection" to "in-action" gives l i t t l e help to these two reviewers themselves in getting a clear sense of what Schon's cases are cases of [and what] case studies as examples of what happens when reflection-in-action begins, as examples of what causes i t to begin, and as examples of what the precise conditions are that would assure us that i t i s occurring, (p. 74) Elsewhere, Russell and Munby (1991) state that From the researcher 7s perspective, reflection-in-action i s d i f f i c u l t to detect and challenging to document. While we find observation of teaching essential to the process of interviewing teachers about their professional a c t i v i t i e s and professional knowledge, we would not expect to observe directly the "event" of reflection-in-action. (p. 185) According to Schon (1987), [reflection-on-action] has no direct connection to present action, [whereas reflection-in-action] occurs in an action-present — a period of time, variable with the context, during which we can s t i l l make a difference to the situation at hand — our thinking serves to reshape what we are doing while we are doing i t . (p. 26) The distinction between reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action in terms of being able to make a difference to the situation at hand seems unmistakable. Schon i s talking about a kind of knowing inherent in competent professional practice in resolving unique situations arising in action. It would not make much sense to talk about competent practitioners displaying their professional artistry while disregarding what they actually 104 accomplish. Let us follow Munby and Russell's sympathetic move and focus our attention on the phrase "in-action" and take a look at Schon's idea of reflection-in-action from a different angle. The question to be raised here i s what i s meant by "action-present" or "in action." Take an a r t i s t doing an o i l painting for example. If we use the phrase "in-action" in the sense of during the entire range of ac t i v i t i e s leading the a r t i s t from the moment of having the idea of painting a picture to the completion of the painting, we may infer, a l a Schon, that anything the a r t i s t does during the process could be the artis t ' s response to some kind of a surprise, although we cannot be sure that there i s a surprise the a r t i s t i s responding to. If the a r t i s t i s not responding to a surprise, then whatever the a r t i s t does would be part of her routine activity. We may narrow the action-present frame of reference to the mixing of colours. Suppose that in the process of mixing colours to get a desired shade, some surprise occurs. The a r t i s t notices the surprise and responds to i t . As a result, the a r t i s t i s able to get a different shade than the one she originally desired, thereby bringing some unique feature to the painting she i s working on. There does not seem to be anything ambiguous or confusing about reflection-in-action. Perhaps, the confusion may have something to do with the way Schon t r i e s to describe reflection-in-action. Schon describes reflection as a process of mental doing. In other words, reflection-in-action constitutes "action." It may thus create an impression that there has to be some time lapse between the 105 activity of reflection and some other activity or anything that precedes or i s preceded by reflection. Such confusion could perhaps be avoided when the phrase reflection-in-action i s written as reflection-about a problematic situation-in an action present. In the phrase "reflection-on-action," action refers to the object that a person reflects on, whereas in "reflection-in-action," action denotes a specific context in which reflection takes place. Reflection aims at resolving a problematic situation that occurs within that context. The resolution of the problematic situation bears direct consequence on the course and outcome of (a predesigned program of) action. It i s perhaps helpful to remind ourselves that descriptions of competent performance are not descriptions of professional knowing in and of practice. Doing this or that i t s e l f i s not knowing. Observed competent performance of resolving problematic situations in action provides at best the circumstantial evidence upon which knowing may be conjectured. What Schon says i s involved in the process of reflection-in-action i s imaginative. There i s another complication in regard to "action present." The question i s what constitutes the action context in which a problematic situation arises and reflection-in-action occurs in response to i t . As Court (1988) suggests, a teacher can be said to be reflecting about a situation that occurred during a lesson she taught a few minutes ago or last week. No matter how she reflects about the situation, she cannot bring any change to the outcome of that particular lesson. So we have a case of reflection-on-action. However, the same teacher can also be said to be reflecting-in-action when the lesson constitutes part of a 106 larger unit of instruction. By reflecting about the same situation, the teacher may be able to do something about i t in a subsequent lesson, increase her understanding of teaching, enrich her teaching repertoire, and make adjustments in her long-term teaching strategies. The action present now becomes more extensive than a single lesson that took place in the past. In this sense, the teacher's reflection on the situation becomes reflection-in-action. However, when the action frame becomes extensive in time and place, i t may be d i f f i c u l t to see clearly to what situation at hand reflection-in-action responds and how reflection-in-action helps to make a difference to the situation. If a design project constitutes a problematic situation that provokes reflection-in-action, what i s i t s action present? It i s easy to understand why novice practitioners are unable to respond adequately to problematic situations in practice. It i s largely because they do not have the kind of knowing that makes competent performance of professional practice possible, not that they do not reflect in action. We also have cases where very intelligent and decent professional people f a i l to resolve their problems, no matter how hard they try. Worse s t i l l , sometimes, a l o t of hard thinking even leads them to erroneous decisions that result in serious undesirable or disastrous consequences. In those cases, we could assume that those intelligent and decent professionals had also reflected in action. If reflection-in-action could also lead to failure to resolve a unique, unfamiliar situation in action, on what ground could one assert that reflection-in-action i s central to the arti s t r y of competent professional practice? Do we ever 107 associate competent professional practice with failure to solve problems? We also know that sometimes i t i s possible for two persons to engage in reflection-in-action in response to the same problematic situation but come up with two different solutions. For instance, Dorothy runs into a detour sign on her way to work, she reflects about the situation at hand and decides to take an alternate route. When Dorothy's co-worker, Gloria, comes to the detour sign, she too reflects about the situation at hand but ignores the detour sign and drives right through. Imagine that Dorothy i s late for work and Gloria gets to the work place on time as usual. If getting to work on time were the cr i t e r i o n for judging competent performance i n these two cases, we might say that only Gloria had engaged in reflection-in-action, which i s evidenced in her getting to work on time. If we use a more complicated evaluative scheme for judging competent performance in this case and take other things into account, we w i l l come to a very different conclusion. The example used above i s admittedly t r i v i a l but i t helps to bring up the point that talking about professional knowing inherent in competent performance also involves the question of what c r i t e r i a we use for judging competent professional practice, even in the context of dealing with problematic situations. "What works" i s too vague to be useful. When c r i t e r i a for judging competent professional performance are in doubt or in dispute, i t becomes d i f f i c u l t to talk about professional knowing in terms of reflection-in-action. Eraut (1994) remarks candidly that "to rescue Schon's 108 original contribution from this morass, I believe i t i s necessary to take the term *reflection' out of his theory, because i t has caused nothing but confusion" (p. 148). Eraut also suggests that we view schon's work as contributing to a theory of meta-cognition to account for practitioners' competent performance in diverse situations. For exploring the cognitive process involved in the context of problematic situations in action, Schon's other metaphors such as "conversation with the situation" and "the situation's backtalk" seem to me to be more useful. Yet, reflection-in-action i s the p i l l a r stone of the epistemology of practice Schon proposes to replace the model of Technical Rationality. Without the notion of reflection-in-action, there w i l l not be much l e f t of his epistemology of practice. "Seeing ... as ..." Pearson (1989) challenges Schon's clarion c a l l to abandon the model of Technical Rationality. Focusing on two central features of reflection-in-action, namely, problem setting and on-the-spot experimentation, Pearson argues that whereas Schon has rightly c r i t i c i z e d the model of Technical Rationality for the omission of problem framing in dealing with indeterminate situations, he has not made a case for abandoning the model. Recall that Schon bases his argument for a new epistemology of practice on the observation that "in real-world practice, problems... must be constructed from the materials of problematic situations which are puzzling, troubling, and uncertain." According to Schon, each and every unfamiliar situation i s a unique case in i t s own right and therefore has to be dealt with 109 as such. What the practitioner does or must do i s to frame and reframe a situation into a problem that can be dealt with. Pearson argues that to see something as something else i s to see i t under a description.... To put some case under a description i s to see the case as an instance of a general type. In Schon's process of problem setting, once the problem has been set by reframing i t in terms of some other general descriptive category i t would not seem to be unique any more.... Once the situation has been formulated as an instance of a general type, the practitioner can use the standard theories and techniques for situations of this type. (p. 32) An example from Schon's (1983) own text i s i l l u s t r a t i v e . The teachers who participated in the MIT Teacher Project were shown a video-tape of two boys playing a game in which one player gave out instructions and the other put some blocks of various colours, shapes, and sizes into a structure according to the instructions given. At one moment, something happened and the game became chaotic. The teachers noted the situation and interpreted i t as presenting "a communication problem" on the part of the player who received instruction. After being prompted to a small detail which they had fa i l e d to notice, the teachers came to a different interpretation of the situation. It appears to me that the teachers already possessed two different interpretive frameworks for framing the situation. One helped them to interpret the situation as presenting "a communication problem" on the part of one player and the other enabled them to "see" the situation quite differently, with the added information. (Note: The original purpose of the teachers viewing the video was different from my discussion here.) As far as setting the problem and what comes after are concerned, 110 Pearson concludes that Schon's model i s l i t t l e different from the Technical Rationality model. Pearson suggests that Schon may reject his challenge on the ground that when a practitioner makes sense of a situation he perceives to be unique, he sees i t as something already present in his repertoire. To see this as that i s not to subsume the f i r s t under a familiar category or rule. It i s , rather, to see the unfamiliar, unique situation both similar to and different from the familiar one, without at f i r s t being able to say similar or different with respect to what. (Schon, 1983, p. 138) In response, Pearson further contends that Schon has not made a clear distinction between "seeing... as..." and category subsumption. In Pearson's view, the use of "seeing... as..." implies category subsumption. Pearson i s only p a r t i a l l y right, though, i n noting that the term which follows "as" i s a categorical term, grammatically speaking. But seeing something as something else can d i f f e r from category subsumption also in what comes after "seeing." The term following "seeing" may refer to some unspecified object (an indeterminate situation) to be put under some general category, provisionally or definitively. In subsuming something under a general category, the object of interest i s yet to be known, to be specified, for instance, the thing on my desk, an animal or even a dog. The question to be asked i s whether or not the object of interest i s a particular case of a general type. Is the thing on my desk a telephone? Is that animal a dog? Is that dog a spaniel? Does the defendant's behaviour constitute contempt of court? Does the puzzling situation present a problem of X, or Y, or Z? To be sure, in verbal communication, the act 111 of subsuming something under a general category may not actually require the employment of the phrase "seeing ... as...." More often, "seeing...as..." i s implied in a metaphorical expression, in which case, what comes after "seeing" denotes something already subsumed under a general category, as, for instance, the product developers seeing a paintbrush as a pump in one of Schon's examples. In the metaphor "the paintbrush as a pump," "paintbrush" apparently denotes a general type of thing. It was the design of paintbrushes, not an unknown something, that the product developers were trying to improve. Paintbrushes and pumps are two different types of things. One cannot be subsumed under the other and vice versa. Seeing something of one general category as something else of a different category i s thus distinctively different from subsuming something unknown under a general category. It i s possible, though, to subsume two general categories of things under one broader category, such as magazines and newspapers under the category of print material. But that i s a different matter. Schon's use of "seeing...as..." can now be reconsidered. On the one hand, a particular case of a general type could always be expected to possess some unique features of i t s own. Paintbrushes are of different sizes and made of different materials. To the extreme, we may even say that no one paintbrush i s exactly the same as another. However, whatever unique features a particular paintbrush may have, i t nonetheless belongs to a general type of thing called paintbrush. Likewise, we may say that no problematic situation i s exactly the same as another. But that does not mean that each and every situation constitutes a type of 112 i t s own. Until an experienced indeterminate situation i s understood as presenting a particular kind of problem, that i s , subsumed under a general category of problem, provisionally, one does not know what i t pertains to. To frame an indeterminate situation into a problem that can be meaningfully dealt with i s in essence to subsume i t under a general category of problems or an explanatory framework. Practitioners do run into problematic situations that defy category subsumption, on rare occasions though. For example, a physician may encounter a patient with a disease l i t t l e known to the medical profession. Under the circumstance, the physician, I suppose, would try to understand the nature of the disease on the basis of the currently available medical knowledge and at the same time treat the case tentatively and cautiously as a known type. In Schon's terminology, the physician would r e f l e c t - i n -action, framing the situation, improvising and testing strategic moves, and listening to the backtalk of the treatment. As a result, a new type of disease and i t s standard treatment w i l l be established. In either way, the physician w i l l rely on the currently available knowledge and technology. That every problematic situation needs to be "framed1' does not necessarily make each and every situation a type of i t s own. Nor does a problematic situation constitutes a type of i t s own because i t could be framed in several different ways. It can be argued that the complexity of an indeterminate situation in professional practice does not lend i t s e l f to clear-cut category subsumption. The possibility of clear-cut categories for problems of practice could also be questioned. However, i f 113 action i s required to resolve an indeterminate situation, i t seems to me that the situation has to be subsumed, provisionally, under some general type of problems. It i s inconceivable to me that competent practitioners do not know what problems they are dealing with but somehow manage to come up with some solution through reflection-in-action. For the act of framing to be intelligent, some kind of a rule and category has to be followed, whether or not they could be e x p l i c i t l y stated (see Green, 1966). Solution of the problem w i l l rely on the currently available technical means, s c i e n t i f i c or practical. I understand that Schon i s trying to emphasize professional artistry in interpreting and dealing with complex problematic situations, not actually situations that cannot be subsumed under currently available explanatory categories nor problems that defy solution. Admittedly, a problematic situation can be framed in different ways, as a result of attention being directed to some of i t s constitutive elements at the expense of others. Also, a great many problematic situations in professional practice are complex and may present a combination of problems. But the need to frame problematic situations properly and the complexity of framing are not the same as the nature and outcome of framing, to which, I believe, Pearson trie s to draw our attention. Schon's argument i s actually self-defeating in terms of the context in which he would like us to use "seeing... as " What Schon means by "seeing... a s — , " i f we read between his lines carefully, i s a suggestion of seeing, deliberately, an unfamiliar situation in a novel or, to be exact, a metaphorical way. This, hopefully, w i l l lead to a novel solution to the situation. 114 Irrespective of i t s literary aesthetic appeal, the pump metaphor appears to have provided the product developers with a novel way of improving the design of paintbrushes. From the perspective of ordinary language analysis, the verb "see" i s generally used as an upshot term denoting the outcome of the complex workings of human neuro-physiological and psycho-linguistic mechanisms. That i s , when someone says "I see a letter on the desk, w the utterance i s preceded by a complex process of neuro-physiological and psycho-linguistic a c t i v i t i e s . It does not appear to me that Schon wants to use the verb "see" as an upshot term. For, as an upshot term, the verb "see" would imply that when the product developer saw the paintbrush as a pump even at the moment he s t i l l could not articulate with respect to what paintbrushes were similar to and different from pumps, the thinking job on the sim i l a r i t i e s (and differences) between the two things must have already been done. The product developer must know, albeit t a c i t l y , that paintbrushes are similar to pumps in respect to the way they function. Otherwise the product developer might as well try to discover a novel way of improving the paintbrush by seeing i t as the witch's hair or dandelion. What kind of metaphorical understanding could possibly be arrived at, then? "Seeing" i s determined by the interpretive, cognitive frameworks available to the person who sees (Erickson and MacKinnon, 1991), not a deliberate but vain effort in trying to see a problematic situation as A, B, C, or D I understand that Schon wants to use "seeing... as..." to imply a deliberative effort. Try to see A (situation) as B (problem) so as to arrive at a novel C (solution). Try to see 115 one unfamiliar situation as a familiar situation and then articulate in respect to what the two are similar and different. This would somehow help one to make sense of the uniqueness of the situation and arrive at a novel solution to i t (Schon, 1990). But, lest we need be reminded, a problematic situation needs, f i r s t of a l l , to become known, to be framed into a problem that could be dealt with. Whereas the problematic situation at hand remains to be known, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how metaphors could be generated. If the product developers did not know what a paintbrush was, how would i t be possible for them to try and improve i t with some kind of metaphorical understanding? Schon's observation i s correct that often in the process of problem solving, where deliberate thinking and language are involved, metaphors are generated. Some metaphors can be linked to a novel way of thinking that leads to novel solutions to the problems at hand, as i t i s in the case of the product developers improving the design of paintbrushes. Yet, that observation does not seem to me to lend i t s e l f to the supposition that we could deliberately make metaphors so as to get to know what problem an unfamiliar situation presents. Schon may secure his use of "seeing.. .as...11 in the Nietzschean position: " A l l that we know, we know metaphorically" and "to know i s merely to work with one's favourite metaphors." However, as Cantor (1982) points out, the Nietzschean attempt to break down the distinction between the l i t e r a l and the metaphorical may turn i t s back on i t s own master and make i t d i f f i c u l t for us to understand Nietzsche's writings that express his distinctive view of the world. Cantor i l l u s t r a t e s his point 116 with Nietzsche's use of the term "war" and remarks that But like Jesus, Nietzsche paid a price for the mode of expression he chose as the only means of embodying his distinctive view of the world. By leaving the metaphoric status of his expressions unclear, Nietzsche exposed himself to the poss i b i l i t y of gross misinterpretations. In particular, Nietzsche made i t very easy for his readers to take the "wrong" metaphors in his prose l i t e r a l l y , (p. 84) I find the interactive theory of metaphor (Black, 1962, 1979) very helpful for considering Schon's use of "seeing... as...." Metaphor, according to the interactive theory, involves two distinct (known) subjects. It functions to highlight the secondary, hidden feature(s) of the primary subject with the help of the prominent feature(s) of a different subject. For instance, the familiar metaphor "Man i s a wolf" i s generally used, i f I understand i t correctly, to highlight the beastly aspect of human nature. (There may be other interpretations.) If we do not know l i t e r a l l y that Man i s capable of cruel behaviour, the metaphor "Man i s a wolf" would convey as many different meanings as our knowledge about the wolf can afford. The metaphor of "the paintbrush as a pump" clearly involves two known objects — paintbrush and pump. Had the product developer not known about either paintbrushes or pumps, where would the metaphor of the paintbrush as a pump come from? In some sense, we could well say that we use metaphors to help make unfamiliar what i s familiar to us, not vice versa (The interactive theory of metaphor and i t s relevance to teacher education was discussed in my presentation at the Canadian Learned Society annual conference, CSSE/CATE, Yang, 1994). Lakoff and Johnson (1980) suggest that the essence of metaphor i s to help us better 117 understand a subject in terms of another but not in the sense of replacing the subject with another. To be sure, we rely on our prior knowledge in trying to understand the situation at hand. That, however, should be recognized on the basis of a clear distinction between the l i t e r a l and the metaphorical. Schon's Disposition Towards the Theory-Practice Relationship Schon (1988) owes his ideas to the influence of "a powerful intellectual tradition — in the work of thinkers l i k e Tolstoy, Dewey, Vygotsky, Piaget, Wittgenstein, Kurt Lewin, Fr i t z Rothelesberger, Geoffrey Vickers, and David Hawkins, among many others" (p. 29). Schon (1992) relates his work sp e c i f i c a l l y to Dewey's theory of reflective thinking. He t e l l s us that In the midst of writing The Reflective Practitioner f I realized that I was reworking that [doctoral] thesis now on the basis of empirical studies of professional practice that would have been out of order in the Harvard philosophy department of the mid-1950s. I was attempting, in effect, to make my own version of Dewey's theory of inquiry, taking "reflective practice" as my version of Dewey's "reflective thought." (p. 123) In praise of Dewey's legacy to education, he writes that the greatest American philosopher of education, John Dewey, devoted his l i f e to the project of overcoming the dualisms that a f f l i c t the f i e l d of education along with the rest of the modern world - the dualisms of thought and action, research and practice, science and common sense, the academy and everyday l i f e . The centrepiece of Dewey's revolt against these dualisms, as against epistemological individualism and the quest for certainty, was his theory of inquiry, (p. 121) One would expect Schon, who has written a doctoral thesis on the basis of Dewey's Logic and professes to develop the idea of reflective practice in the s p i r i t of Dewey, to be particularly attentive to the dangers of dichotomous thinking. Ironically, 118 however, Schon's eulogy on Dewey's revolt against dualisms seems to have surprisingly l i t t l e impact on his own thinking about professional practice and professional education. Schon (1987) writes, In the varied topography of professional practice, there i s a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, manageable problems lend themselves to solution through the application of research-based theory and technique. In the swampy lowland, messy, confusing problems defy technical solution. The irony of this situation i s that the problems of the high ground tend to be relatively unimportant to individuals or society at large, however great their technical interest may be, while in the swamp l i e the problems of greatest human concern. The practitioner must choose. Shall he remain on the high ground where he can solve relatively unimportant problems according to prevailing standards of rigor, or shall he descend to the swamp of important problems and nonrigorous inquiry? (p. 3) The distinction between the high, hard ground and the swampy, lowland, according to Schon, entails two dilemmas. The dilemma of rigor or relevance bears especially on educational research in terms of what problems academic researchers should study and how they should conduct their research. The dilemma of abandonment or alienation concerns practitioners i n the f i e l d . The academy grounded in Technical Rationality abandons practitioners for i t s own interests, and at the same time attempts to prescribe esoteric knowledge that cuts practitioners off "both from the pos s i b i l i t y of reflecting and building on their own know-how and from the confusions that could serve them as springboards to new ways of seeing things" (Schon, 1992, p. 121). Katz and Raths (1992) suggest that a dilemma refers to a predicament that has two main features: (a) It involves a situation that offers a choice between at least two courses of action, each of which i s problematic, and (b) i t concerns a predicament in which the choice of one of the courses of action sacrifices 119 the advantages that might accrue i f the alternative were chosen, (p. 376) According to this definition, the dilemma for academic researchers and scholars seems quite obvious. Given the "rules of the game" of academic inquiry and the institutional reward system attached to research in contradistinction to the practical demands in the world of practice, i t i s d i f f i c u l t for university-based researchers and scholars, especially the junior ones, to choose between "the high, hard ground" and "the swampy, lowland" and decide what problems to study. One has to be a practitioner in the practice world to experience problematic situations and try to deal with them through reflection-in-action. Schon's charge that (social science) researchers in the academy work on problems "relatively unimportant to individuals or society at large" instead of "problems of greatest human concern" i s , however, hard to substantiate. How do we decide or who i s to decide which problems are of greatest human concern and therefore worth studying in what particular way(s)? Does research mean the same in the "swampy, lowland" as i t does in the academy aside from the kinds of problems to be studied? A host of l i k e questions about the nature and conduct of academic research and "practitioners' action research" in relation to professional practice have, as a matter of fact, been a significant part of the current educational discourse. So far, in my view, a clearly articulated, well grounded conception of the relationship between theory and practice has yet to be worked out. Teacher educators are not in a position either to abandon the "high, hard ground" nor to keep the academic business as 120 usual, as far as pre-service teacher education i s concerned. The dilemma for practitioners i s confusing to me. Schon makes i t as i f practitioners must either depend on the academy's esoteric knowledge or rely on their own. Yet, in his own account of professional artistry, competent practitioners do not at a l l seem to depend on the academy for technical solutions to their problems. In resolving problematic situations in practice, they rely on their knowing-in-action and reflection-in-action. If that i s indeed the case, perhaps, instead of feeling abandoned, practitioners themselves should abandon the academic institution, or the esoteric knowledge the academy t r i e s to prescribe, and Schon provides them with a seemingly good reason for doing so. The difference between researchers in the academy and practitioners in the f i e l d of practice i s quite obvious in terms of what problems they each try to solve and the ways in which they each try to solve their respective problems. It i s also clear that academic researchers and scholars produce explicit, propositional knowledge about the various aspects of the world of practice through systematic inquiries sanctioned by their respective disciplines. Competent practitioners, on the other hand, produce their knowledge in practice that enables them to resolve problematic situations. Yet, Schon's preoccupation with knowing in the context of problematic situations in professional practice should not stop us from further considering other ways of construing a positive relationship between the academy's esoteric knowledge and professional practice (see Boggs, 1992; Fenstermacher, 1979, 1986; Selman, 1988; Weiss, 1986; Wittrock, 1991). Many scholars working in policy studies, a f i e l d Schon i s 121 quite familiar with, share the view that the p o s i t i v i s t conception of the theory-practice linkage, the top-down, one-way flow of information, has been misconstrued and that research and theoretical knowledge are connected to practice in ways that are i n t r i n s i c rather than explicit, diffused rather than direct (Bulmer, 1986; Gagnon, 1990; Weiss, 1980, 1991). Shulman (1987b) comments that Schon... burdens his analyses by dividing the conceptual world into dichotomous, non-interacting camps: technical rationality and reflection-in-action. In the f i r s t camp he places positivism, technique, and molecular notions of knowledge. In the second he places t a c i t , non-analytic, and reflective cognition that occurs during complex processes of design, judgment and decision making. Schon's analyses... are insightful and stimulating, but the hard and fast distinction between the technical and the reflective, the analyzed and the whole, the dispassionate and the impassioned, distorts the proper complexity of teaching. Dewey's warnings against either/or thinking apply well to these arguments, (p. 478) I should caution myself not to read too much into Schon's topography and properly understand Schon as only trying to illuminate the problematic relationship between the academy's esoteric knowledge and professional practice conceived under the influence of Technical Rationality. Schon i s mainly interested in the kind of t a c i t knowing revealed by competent performance in resolving unfamiliar, unique situations in professional practice. And yet, he f a i l s to consider whether esoteric knowledge could be useful, say, in the practitioner's framing and reframing of a problematic situation. I would assume that a practitioner's rich repertoire w i l l contain at least some (transformed) element of esoteric knowledge. The point i s that dissociation of research knowledge from 122 the notion of "laws" governing human conduct provides no ground for asserting that i t , the good part of i t , cannot be purposefully and constructively linked to intelligent conduct in situations of complexity, uncertainty, i n s t a b i l i t y , uniqueness, and value con f l i c t . When appreciating Schon's critique of the Technical Rationality model of professional practice and his unique way of probing into the realm of professional knowing, I think we are with good counsel to keep in mind the English saying "do not throw out the baby with the bath-water." It should be noted that Schon sometimes does not appear to stand very firm on his own ground when i t comes to the role of esoteric knowledge in professional education. On the one hand, Schon i s c r i t i c a l of professional education based on the Technical Rationality model, which follows the traditional program format of medical education, with a normative curriculum that begins with the classroom teaching of relevant basic and applied science and ends with a practicum devoted in principle to applying classroom knowledge to the problems of everyday practice" (Schon, 1992, p. 119) . If what i s written in the books cannot meet the demands of practice, what i s the use of anyone spending months and years studying i t on the university campus? On the other hand, he concedes that Perhaps we learn to reflect-in-action by learning f i r s t to recognize and apply standard rules, facts, and operations; then to reason from general rules to problematic cases, in ways characteristic of the profession; and only then to develop and test new forms of understanding and action where familiar categories and ways of thinking f a i l . (Schon, 1987, p. 40) This acknowledgement apparently contradicts his own argument against the model of Technical Rationality and professional 123 education based on that model. After a l l , there seems to be l i t t l e wrong with university-based professional schools that teach aspiring practitioners standard rules of professional practice, facts, and operations of systematic inquiry, i f that i s what they need to start with. But, where do "standard rules, facts, and operations" come from? How does an individual person recognize them as such? In what sense are they applicable in practice? In a footnote to the statement just quoted, Schon reinstates his argument, however, that the knowing-in-action characteristic of competent practitioners in a professional f i e l d i s not the same as the professional knowledge taught in the schools; in any given case, the relationship of the two kinds of knowledge should be treated as an open question. Ordinary knowing-in-action may be an application of research-based professional knowledge taught i n the schools, may be overlapping with i t , or may have nothing to do with i t . . . . competent professional practitioners often have the capacity to generate new knowing-in-action through reflection-in-action undertaken in the indeterminate zones of practice. The sources of knowing-in-action include this reflection-in-action and are not limited to research produced by university-based professional schools, (ibid., p. 40) The point Schon seems to be making here i s that professional knowledge learned at school may suffice in the world of practice to some extent, as a starting ground, so to speak, but not sufficient for dealing with unique situations that are not written in the book. In dealing with unique situations, competent practitioners generate new knowing-in-action through reflection-in-action. I t appears to me, where the organization of professional education i s of concern, Schon i s arguing not so much against the Technical Rationality model as for incorporating the kind of professional knowing as he describes i t . His 124 representation model has been turned into a prescription of what to do in professional education. Schon's Narrow Focus on the World of Practice Whereas the f i r s t two lines of criticism are focused directly on Schon's epistemology of practice, the third line of c r i t i c i s m i s targeted at what Schon has not e x p l i c i t l y addressed in presenting, defending, and revising his thesis. The major concern expressed, mostly from a c r i t i c a l perspective, has been towards the perceived narrow scope of Schon's ideas about the world of professional practice. In his explication of professional artistry, Schon focuses his attention on competent practitioners resolving unfamiliar, unique situations through reflection-in-action. Schon presents us with a picture of the world of practice in which competent practitioners react to one unfamiliar, unique situation after another, and in between there are familiar situations that are taken care of by their routine action. He does not say what makes some situations familiar and others unfamiliar and how practitioners manage to establish their routine practice. The focus on professional knowing in resolving unfamiliar situations has a double-edged effect on our reading of Schon's work. On the one hand, i t seems to shed some interesting light on an important aspect of professional practice which has been neglected in the academic discussions on professional knowledge -the artistry that competent practitioners display in dealing with unfamiliar, unique situations. 125 On the other hand, the focus on unfamiliar, unique situations seems to have diverted Schon's attention away from issues that do not arise with those situations but rather are germane to professional practice as a whole in connection to other aspects of social l i f e . In Schon's terms, professional practice, as a collective experience, operates on the basis of a shared body of "conventions, constraints, languages, and appreciative systems." When professional practice i s regarded as an individual experience, practitioners depend upon their personal repertoire of exemplars, images, understanding, and actions that they each bring to their work. Schon indicates that reflection-in-action not only i s directed at a surprise presently experienced but also turns back on the knowing implicit in a person's response to the surprise. As [the practitioner] tr i e s to make sense of i t , he also reflects on the understandings which have been implicit in his action, understandings which he surfaces, c r i t i c i z e s , restructures, and embodies in further action. (Schon, 1983, p. 50) But, i t i s not clear in Schon's account whether reflection-in-action would also extend to the norms of professional practice or the exemplars, images, understanding, and actions we each hold in our personal repertoire, especially when we feel they work fine for us. As a popular adage goes, "My wagon ain't broken, why f i x i t ? " Understandably, this omission has come to be considered as a serious weakness in Schon's position on reflective practice. Selman (1988), for instance, charges that It i s surely significant that Schon's account of the professions i s remarkably devoid of consideration of the p o l i t i c a l , economic, legal, and other social ramifications of professionalism. Even the obvious differences between the rights and responsibilities of 126 educators working as private tutors, and educators working in publicly funded-institutions, are barely noted. While Schon recognizes that the professions are invested with significant power to define and control aspects of people's lives, the aesthetic and individualistic focus of his examples draws attention away from these questions. Even the obviously "loaded" distinction between "Major" and "minor" professions i s adopted without comment, (p. 188) In a similar vein, Adler (1991) argues, more specifically, that by focusing on surprises in action, teachers' attention may be turned away from c r i t i c a l questions about curriculum content or goals. It may also in effect diminish the p o s s i b i l i t y of the analytic application of social science knowledge to broader and more significant issues of education and schooling. Liston and Zeichner (1991) take issue with Schon in regard to what he considers to be the four constants — "media, language, repertoire; appreciative system; overarching theory; and role frame" — the essential conditions that "affect the scope and direction of reflection-in-action" (Schon, 1983, p. 275). Liston and Zeichner raise the concern that While Schon maintains that [the constants] are amenable to change through reflection, he does not elaborate further the evolution or alteration of these "constants." From our vantage point, these constants represent unquestioned assumptions that frequently contain significant implicit social beliefs and preconceptions, (p. 80) Take the constant of language for example. Schon himself has developed a metaphorical language to re-present the kind of knowing inherent in professional practice that other languages (academic and ordinary) have supposedly failed to capture. If we are to take his language as a constant in our thinking about the puzzling phenomenon of professional artistry, our inquiry w i l l l i k e l y be confined within an effort to find better empirical 127 evidence that would purport to show that reflection-in-action i s occurring and help differentiate reflection-in-action from knowing-in-action and reflection-on-action. But a l l that we can actually do i s to identify competent performance and then make assertions about knowing-in-action and reflection-in-action. If we do not take Schon's language as a constant and instead we turn i t into a subject of inquiry, we may then, with Coombs and Daniels (1991), raise questions about the conceptual c l a r i t y of the key concepts with which Schon constructs his epistemology of practice. We may also ask whether Schon's language i s capable of rendering a true representation of the t a c i t knowing inherent in competent professional practice. Is his language indeed more a matter of rhetoric (Fenstermacher, 1988; Shulman, 1988), a novel way of talking about professional artistry which has already been captured, albeit in fragmented pieces, in both technical language (e.g., meta-cognitive a b i l i t y , schemata, automaticity, etc.) and ordinary language (e.g., know-how, wisdom, experience, expertise, green-thumb, etc.)? Liston and Zeichner contend that teaching, as any other kind of professional practice, i s always conducted within a particular institutional and social context. In the context of educational reform in North America, they have identified three general traditions of educational thought and practice, namely, the conservative, the progressive, and the radical traditions. These traditions embody conceptually distinctive views of the teacher's role and educational activity. Each exerts i t s influence upon the "constants" that practitioners bring to their reflection-in-action, appropriating language use, shaping up appreciative 128 systems, prescribing overarching theories, and defining role frame. Liston and Zeichner point out that while i t does seem that, in some sense, a "professional" community exists, we doubt that i t i s either coherent or cohesive enough to ground suffi c i e n t l y the role of the teacher or the activ i t y we c a l l teaching. The unitary notion of a professional community overlooks deep divisions within the professional community. Conservative, progressive, and radical educators share certain views about teaching and, at times, the role of the teacher; however, their educational views d i f f e r in important and significant ways. (p. 42) Since differing conceptions of the teacher's role and teaching exist, the c r i t e r i a for judging competent professional practice or the rationale behind individual or collective action w i l l also be identified with the distinct sets of beliefs and values associated with these competing traditions. What's more, the bureaucratic and hierarchical institutional conditions add further structural constraints on teachers' work. The public school, Schon (1983) says, i s b u i l t for the purpose of eff i c i e n t transmission of privileged knowledge, and contains a knowledge structure which includes not only the content of the curriculum but technologies of measurement, communication, control, and maintenance, which are essential both to teaching and administration, (p. 331) To achieve maximum efficiency in transmitting knowledge, a system of controls i s put into place. The teacher, who usually works in isolation from her colleagues, controls student learning through quizzes and examinations, rewarding students who have successfully acquired the appropriate knowledge and s k i l l with good marks and sending those with learning d i s a b i l i t i e s off to remedial programs. The teacher i s in turn controlled by the supervisor who monitors her teaching performance in implementing 129 the o f f i c i a l curriculum content and applying instructional techniques recommended by experts. The teacher i s rewarded or punished according to the institutional measures of student achievements. Schon states that, at the collective level, as teachers attempted to become reflective practitioners, they would feel constrained by and would push against the rule-governed system of the school, and i n doing so they would be pushing against the theory of knowledge which underlies the school. Not only would they struggle against the r i g i d order of lesson plans, schedules, isolated classrooms, and objective measures of performance; they would also question and c r i t i c i z e the fundamental idea of the school as a place for the progressive transmission of measured doses of privileged knowledge, (p. 334) And at the personal level, A practitioner who reflects-in-aetion tends to question the definition of his task, the theories-in-action that he brings to i t , and the measures of performance by which he i s controlled. And as he questions these things, he also questions elements of the organizational knowledge structure in which his functions are embedded, (p. 337) To Liston and Zeichner, Schon's recognition of the practitioner reflecting on the institutional constraints on their work i s not sufficient. They assert that to adequately reflect on these constraints, practitioners need to question their role frames, appreciative systems, and overarching theories. Given Schon's penchant for individual action and his tendency to treat the four 1constants' as backdrops to reflection, i t seems unlikely that these social and institutional constraints can become proper objects of reflection, (p. 81) They further argue that To be capable of examining these institutional obstacles, Schon's individualistic and action-oriented role frame would have to expand to include more collaborative action and deliberation and less of an emphasis on only those changes that teachers can make within the classroom. In order for Schon's approach to 130 be used to reflect on the social context of schooling, the four "constants" could no longer be treated as constants. They, too, would have to become objects of reflection, (p. 81) Some might consider this line of criticism impressionistic and too harsh. Yet, i t i s Schon's expressed intention to prescribe a new epistemology of practice for professional education that makes the c r i t i c a l commentary highlighted above too important to be l e f t aside. For teacher educators who engage in programmatic deliberations about professional preparation for teaching and who are concerned about the effect that any institutional change may have on their work and on their students' effort to learn to teach, the messages this line of criticism conveys are clear and should be read with an open mind. A Schonean Model of Reflective Teacher Education? Having provided an epistemology of practice to account for the professional a r t i s t r y that competent practitioners display in resolving situations of uncertainty, uniqueness, i n s t a b i l i t y , and value conflict, how does Schon relate his ideas of professional knowing of and in practice to professional education? What would an RTE orientation based on Schon's epistemology of practice be like? In Schon's epistemology of practice, professional knowing of and in practice i s inherent in competent performance, understood as a process of reflection-in-action, in contradistinction to research and theoretical knowledge written in books. But an account of knowing-in-action and reflection-in-action in the context of problematic situations i t s e l f i s hardly sufficient for 131 grounding professional education. We need to know how competent practitioners (continuously) build up their personal repertoire and capacity for reflection-in-action. In other words, we need a theory of professional learning for grounding RTE programs. Schon's treatise on professional knowing contains two messages for teacher education: 1) prospective teachers may need academic knowledge to start with, and 2) academic knowledge cannot meet the particular demands of professional practice in the context of problematic situations in action. Accordingly, a teacher education program should also be oriented towards helping prospective teachers to develop the professional a r t i s t r y of reflection-in-action. More specifically, Schon (1987) has the following to say about learning a professional practice, when someone learns a practice, he i s initiated into the traditions of a community of practitioners and the practice world they inhabit. He learns their conventions, constraints, languages, and appreciative systems, their repertoire of exemplars, systematic knowledge, and patterns of knowing-in-action. (pp. 36-37) But how might prospective teachers learn these things? Schon suggests that novices may learn a practice in several different ways. (It seems to me that the phrase "under different conditions" would do better.) They may learn on their own, or through apprenticeship with a master professional, or by entering what he refers to as "a reflective practicum." Learning on one's own or through apprenticeship both have their respective advantages, but their weaknesses make them unfavourable choices for professional education. In short, learning on one's own may keep the person away from the benefit of the accumulated 132 collective wisdom of professional practice, and apprenticeship may often involve undue expectations and demands for performance. Schon recommends the reflective practicum. A practicum i s a setting designed for the task of learning a practice.... a virtual world, relatively free of the pressures, distractions, and risks of the real one, to which, nevertheless, i t refers. It stands in an intermediate space between the practice world, the "lay" world of ordinary l i f e , and the esoteric world of the academy. It i s also a collective world in i t s own right, with i t s own mix of materials, tools, languages, and appreciations, (p. 37) In the practicum setting, students work under the guidance of senior practitioners who "function as coaches whose main ac t i v i t i e s are demonstrating, advising, questioning, and c r i t i c i z i n g " (p. 38) as well as teach in the conventional sense from time to time. Schon refers to the senior practitioners involved in the practicum as coaches rather than teachers. There i s a reason for this. Schon asserts earlier that "the student cannot be taught what he needs to know, but he can be coached" (p. 17). Schon must have been thinking of the conventional transmission model of teaching. Schon's description of coaching should prove to be enlightening for teacher educators in thinking about improving their own practice of teaching. I w i l l leave to them the details of how the senior practitioner coaches the novice (three kinds of supervisory guidance — Follow Me, Joint Experimentation, and Hall of Mirrors). I w i l l explore some practical d i f f i c u l t i e s that would arise in an RTE program based on Schon's ideas about professional knowing and learning a practice. Schon makes quite clear what should be learned in professional education and identifies reflective practicum as an 133 ideal setting for learning reflection-in-action, but his language becomes elusive when i t comes to how prospective practitioners actually learn. It i s rather odd that he makes no reference to any theory of learning that might help to account for learning a practice in the reflective practicum. He i s also ambivalent about the role of theoretical knowledge. He seems to suggest that once we put prospective practitioners in the vi r t u a l world of a reflective practicum under the guidance of an omnipotent master professional who knows the stuff of reflection-in-action, desirable outcome of learning on the part of the students w i l l ensue. Learning outcome in the practicum setting i s said to be achieved through the dialogic interactions between the novice and the coach engaged in a project. Schon (1987) states that not surprisingly, confusion and mystery reign in the. early stages of a design studio or in any reflective practicum. Yet often, in a matter of a few years or even months, some students begin to produce in some significant measure what they and their coaches regard as competent designing; and student and coach achieve a convergence of meaning evident in the ease with which they appear to understand each other, finishing each other's sentences, speaking e l l i p t i c a l l y in ways that mystify the uninitiated, (p. 163) To the extent that [the student] has not mastered the s k i l l s of participation in the dialogue, her attempts to learn to practice are hindered. But as she learns the reflection-in-action of the dialogue, she increases her a b i l i t y to draw from i t lessons useful for designing, (p. 165) In Schon's example of the architectural design studio, the students were given the assignment of a design project. One of the students Petra encountered a problematic situation in completing her design project. The master designer Quist came along and showed her how the problem could be reframed and resolved. The example shows Quist's competent professional 134 performance in coaching Petra and helping to solve her problem, but gives no direct indication of what Petra had learned from the process, i f she had learned anything at a l l . Practically speaking, teaching i s vastly different from other kinds of professional practice. Professional education for teaching and professional education for working in those technical fields such as engineering design take place under very different conditions. In learning architectural design, the quality of a student's design project has no immediate effect beyond the practicum setting i t s e l f . No one i s going to construct a building according to Petra's design. The student can stop the work in progress and go to the master professional for advice and help. The two can talk through the project. In learning to teach, things are different. If we regard practice teaching, that i s , delivering instruction in the classroom, as the action-present context, the prospective teacher i s under normal circumstances not in a position to consult the master teacher when there i s a problematic situation that threatens to interrupt the flow of planned action. The lesson must go on whether or not the prospective teacher i s able to resolve the problematic situation. It i s also possible that a prospective teacher may f a i l to note a problematic situation and feel that everything i s going well. What the master teacher and the prospective teacher can do i s engage in reflection-on-action. But, reflect-on-action i s not central to Schon's epistemology of practice in the f i r s t place. Reflection-on-action r e l i e s on memory and interpretation of a past event. It cannot make any difference to problematic situations already experienced in 135 action. Its contribution to a student teacher's development of professional artistry depends on what lessons are drawn through reflection-on-action and whether the lessons drawn w i l l be brought to bear on any problematic situation in the future. Prospective practitioners have to be in action so that they can encounter problematic situations in action. But we know they do not have the knowing of practice that enables a competent practitioner to deal with emerging problematic situations, so why do we put them in action then? It i s important to remember that teaching involves and affects students. If we care about the welfare of students and prospective teachers themselves, we w i l l not find i t desirable and responsible to prepare prospective teachers in action. This may sound paradoxical. But the seeming paradox inheres in a lack of proper understanding of the role of practical experience in learning to teach. I w i l l come back to this point in Chapter V. I infer from Schon that the responsibility of coaching prospective teachers must be entrusted with publicly recognized master teachers, not with university academicians. It i s the master teachers who inhabit the practice world and have the knowledge of and in practice. But, "the traditions, constraints, languages, appreciative systems, repertoire of exemplars, systematic knowledge and patterns of knowing-in-action" must be expressible or demonstrable. They must be. However, what can be expressed or demonstrated i s not the kind of knowing Schon trie s to describe. Tacit knowing i s inferred from the observation of competent performance in resolving unfamiliar situations in their particular action contexts. It i s not clear whether the 136 traditions, constraints, and languages can only be picked up in an action-present. It may not be f a i r to say that Schon wants to throw out theoretical knowledge in professional education. After a l l , he is trying to make a case that competent professional performance in resolving problematic situations in practice requires a special kind of knowing, namely, reflection-in-action, which i s different from the theoretical knowledge written in the books. Professional education should focus on two kinds of knowledge instead of one. But why do we need theoretical knowledge i f i t cannot meet the particular demands of practice? How do we know that prospective teachers are developing their professional knowing in the practicum setting? How can teacher educators structure RTE programs in such a way that prospective teachers w i l l get the help they really need in their effort to learn to teach? Summary In this chapter I have discussed Schon's epistemology of practice and three lines of criticism towards i t . Schon's work on professional practice has i t s merit in the persistent critique of the model of Technical Rationality and in his novel way of talking about knowing imbedded in professional competence in resolving unfamiliar situations in practice. His focus on the artistry of competent professional performance in resolving problematic situations with an emphasis on problem framing i s insightful. His elaboration on reflection-in-action, offers a more complete picture of problem solving in professional practice 137 than the Technical Rationality model allows. Yet, his general argument about professional knowing and professional education i s diluted by the lack of conceptual c l a r i t y in the key concepts he uses to construct his epistemology of practice, his dichotomous tendency towards the relationship between theory and practice, and the narrow scope in his approach towards the practice world. It can be said that Schon has offered us an imaginative, and yet sometimes confusing, account of how practitioners deal with situations of complexity, uncertainty, i n s t a b i l i t y , uniqueness, and value conflict, that i s , reflection-in-action. Nonetheless, despite his continuing efforts, he has not been as successful as he himself believes in advancing an epistemology of practice to i n i t i a t e further research into professional knowing in the realm of practice and to ground professional education. Schon's in a b i l i t y to exhibit what professionals know in and of practice beyond a metaphorical account of a process called reflection-in-action imbedded in competent performance does not, however, diminish the p o s s i b i l i t y of an epistemological theory to better account for professional knowing and guide professional practice and education. I w i l l now move on to r e v i s i t Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry, with the phenomenon of RTE in mind. 138 C h a p t e r IV t DEWEY'8 L E G A C Y : THE THEORY OF R E F L E C T I V E INQUIRY The name of John Dewey (1859-1952) became known to me some twenty years ago when I was learning to be a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in East China Normal University. As I r e c a l l , Dewey, and his 26-month-long v i s i t to China in the 1920s, was mentioned very b r i e f l y in a short introductory seminar on the modern history of education outside China, not meant to be taken seriously. Dewey was said to be a spokesperson for the American philosophy of pragmatism and "bourgeois reformism." Dewey's philosophy and educational ideas were denounced as incompatible with, and indeed reactionary to the late Chairman Mao's orthodox version of Marxist philosophy and s o c i a l i s t education. That reputation seems to have sustained (see Zeng, 1988). My graduate study at Queen's University Faculty of Education and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Education in Canada has provided me with an opportunity to re-acquaint myself with Dewey and his most profound intellectual contribution to the culture and thinking of American society. I have time and again come across in the education literature references to Dewey and the American "Progressive Education" movement, of which Dewey was regarded at once as a proponent and a c r i t i c (Cremin, 1966; Kliebard, 1985). Lately, Dewey has been frequently evoked in the resurgence of the American style of democratic liberalism (see Feinberg, 1993; Robertson, 1992; Rosenthal, 1993; Ryan, 1995) and the growing influence of constructivism in pedagogical thinking (Garrison, 1995; Phi l l i p s , 1995). There are clear signs of a revival of interest in the academia in the philosophy of 139 pragmatism, in Deweyan scholarship in particular (Scheffler, 1991; Seigfried, 1993a,b; Thayer, 1982). In promoting RTE as an alternative approach towards teachers' i n i t i a l and continuing professional development, many teacher educators have referred to the distinction Dewey (1904, 1933) made between routine activity and reflective practice as well as the three requisite attitudes that he associated with reflective thinking — open-mindedness, whole-heartedness, and responsibility. However, these often tend to be cited as i f they constituted some a p r i o r i principles. They serve the function of a foundation stone, ceremoniously l a i d but hardly having anything to do with providing the actual foundational support to the edifice to be b u i l t . It i s rather odd to me that proponents of RTE should have stayed away from exploring the epistemological implications of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry for guiding their programmatic deliberations. Hayon (1990), for instance, identifies Dewey's conception of reflective thinking with the idea of active and persistent careful consideration of ends and means in relation to social, educational, and p o l i t i c a l contexts and the three requisite attitudes for reflective thinking. She then contends that " f u l l y accepting that these are necessary conditions, one may at the same time doubt whether they are sufficient" (p. 59). Another example i s LaBoskey's (1993, 1994) study of reflection i n preservice teacher education. After b r i e f l y describing the three steps of what i s said to be Dewey's reflective process, (1) problem identification, (2) means/ends analysis, and (3) generalization, LaBoskey goes on to state that 140 One problem with this model is that i t tends to over-emphasize the procedures of logical thinking. I suggest that Dewey's attitudes of open-mindedness, responsibility and wholeheartedness are more c r i t i c a l to the reflective process than the specific steps. Though the stages do help to focus attention on potential aspects of the general process, they are not a l l necessary to each act of reflection. Any of the stages may be carried out reflectively or unreflectively. (p. 26) I suspect that both Hayon and LaBoskey may have read Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry the way one would read a cooking recipe in the kitchen. It seems to me that they were looking for a formula of reflective practice that could be l i t e r a l l y applied step by step in teaching or learning to teach. Consequently, they find their Deweyan models either insufficient or too formal. These two authors do not seem to be aware that in developing his theory of reflective inquiry, Dewey was not at a l l trying to write out a recipe of or for reflective teaching. He was trying to develop an epistemological theory to account for knowing in relation to intelligent human conduct. The significance of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry to teacher education today l i e s in that i t i s a robust theory of knowing in relation to intelligent human conduct. Instead of a recipe of reflective practice that might somehow be followed through step by step in teaching or learning to teach, we should read i t in a way that w i l l help us better understand the issues concerning PKT and prospective teachers' development of PKT. It i s the understanding of the issues concerning PKT and prospective teachers' development of PKT afforded by Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry that w i l l provide the epistemological and conceptual ground for RTE as a viable alternative approach 141 towards teacher education. In this way, the connection between Dewey and the current interest in RTE can be substantiated beyond the cliches we have become familiar with. I do not intend to make my own version of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry. My effort in this chapter i s devoted to re-introducing Dewey's theory and discussing the theoretical implications for teacher education program development. People who are familiar with Dewey's intellectual legacy know that Dewey had devoted a good part of his intellectual l i f e to the development of a new theory of knowledge and he had written extensively, over a span of four decades, explicating, refining, and defending his philosophical position. Reviewing the entire body of Dewey's work on the problem of knowledge w i l l go far beyond the scope of the present study. I have chosen instead to focus on three of his major works, namely, The Quest for Certainty (1929), How We Think (1933), and Logic: The Theory of Inquiry (1938a). I think these three works w i l l be sufficient for answering two questions: Why did Dewey develop his theory of reflective inquiry and what i s his theory of reflective inquiry? Very b r i e f l y for the moment, in The Quest for Certainty, we read Dewey's exposition of the problem of knowledge i n relation to human conduct and his approach towards this problem. In How We Think. Dewey offered a summary description of the theory of reflective inquiry and a discussion of i t s relevance to education. In Logic, the theory of reflective inquiry was, in Dewey's own term, "symbolically formalized" in the abstract realm of logic. My proposal that Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry can 142 provide the necessary epistemological underpinnings for teacher education program development does not mean, however, that I am prepared to take the theory for granted. I find i t necessary to discuss several important elements of the theory that are particularly pertinent to the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach. Making adjustment where necessary to the intellectual tool we use, I think, i s very much in the s p i r i t of Dewey's experimenta1ism. Dewey's Approach Towards the Problem of Knowledge Before I set out to outline the main features of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry, i t i s worthwhile to b r i e f l y look into the intellectual context of Dewey's theorizing on the problem of knowledge. The problem of knowledge has been the subject of philosophical inquiries since antiquity. Ryle (1989) summarizes the h i s t o r i c a l debate between the absolute Rationalist and the classical Empiricist over the problem of knowledge, concluding that "their tug-of-war lacks a rope" (p. 100). To put the Rationalist vs. Empiricist debate in a nutshell, from one end of the debate, the absolute Rationalist claimed that ultimate truths of the world were attainable only by exercise of pure reason. From the opposing end, the class i c a l Empiricist insisted instead on unadulterated sense impressions as the source of (probable) truths. Ryle observes that while the two opposing sides each had i t s own d i f f i c u l t i e s (e.g., correspondence of "ideas" with what actually exists or happens for the absolute Rationalist, and the r e l i a b i l i t y of sense-data, theory-laden 143 observation for the classical Empiricist), both rationalist and empiricist theories missed the crucial element of experience, which, Ryle seems to suggest, could be furnished by special training (for more extensive discussions on the Rationalist vs. Empiricist debate, see Bernstein, 1983; Musgrave, 1993; Smith, 1989). Dewey had a different concern in regard to the problem of knowledge. He made i t very clear in The Quest for Certainty that the question which prompted his systematic theorizing on the problem of knowledge was: What i s the bearing of our existential knowledge at any time, the most dependable knowledge afforded by inquiry, upon our judgments and beliefs about the ends and means which are to direct our conduct? What does knowledge indicate about the authoritative guidance of our desires and affections, our plans and policies? (Dewey, 1929, p. 297) Concerned with the demands of practice in the various social fields in the American Progressive era and keenly aware of the philosophical d i f f i c u l t i e s concerning knowledge in respect of human conduct, Dewey (1949) believed that the problem of knowledge in relation to human conduct should and could be resolved through an attempt to convert a l l the ontological, as prior to inquiry, into the logical as occupied wholly and solely with what takes place in the conduct of inquiry as an evergoing concern, (p. 321) Dicker (1976) has succinctly summarized Dewey's intellectual endeavour in this respect, Rather than attempt to describe or classify the objects of knowledge, or to establish principles by appeal to which knowledge claims may be jus t i f i e d , or to analyze discourse in which men make and defend such claims, Dewey ... tr i e s to describe the process or a c t i v i t y which he c a l l s "knowing." (p. 3) 144 It i s clear that Dewey was theorizing about the problem of knowledge but the subject matter of his inquiry was different from what was being pursued by many other epistemologists of his time and before. It seems to me that this very starting point of Dewey's philosophical thesis has rather unfortunately received very l i t t l e attention from Dewey's sharp minded c r i t i c s . Dewey's position on the problem of knowledge marks a radical departure from traditional epistemology in two ways. On the one hand, Dewey did not pursue the question of knowledge as i t had been traditionally pursued in philosophy. In reply to a philosopher friend's query about his work on the theory of reflective inquiry, Dewey (1949) stated that whatever relative novelty may be found in my position consists in regarding the problem [of knowledge] as belonging in the context of the conduct of inquiry and not in either the traditional ontological or the traditional epistemological context, (p. 317) On the other hand, Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry entails a rejection of a l l traditional theories of knowledge before his for they were a l l founded on the taken-for-granted Spectator View of knowledge. According to the Spectator's View, knowing i s conceived on the analogy of seeing an object by means of either the "mind's eye" of the Rational Thinker or the naked sense organs of the Empiricist Observer. The Kantian formula — "The truths of reason as the principles organizing the sense-impressions, and the sense-impressions as the concrete material to be organized by the truths of reason" — would not be able to repair those theories of knowledge, for i t had asserted that knowledge i s determined by the objective constitution of the universe. But i t did so only after i t had f i r s t assumed that the universe i s 145 i t s e l f constituted after the pattern of reason.... His "revolution" was a shift from a theological to a human authorship; beyond that point, i t was an expli c i t acknowledgment of what philosophers in the classic line of descent had been doing unconsciously before him. (Dewey, 1929, pp. 273-274) In advancing his theory of inquiry, Dewey was, as Phenix (1966) and Schon (1992) have observed, at war against the dualisms central to traditional epistemologies. The influence of the dualistic philosophical tradition was so profound and pervasive that, Dewey (1929) observed, We are so accustomed to the separation of knowledge from doing and making that we f a i l to recognize how i t controls our conceptions of mind, of consciousness and of reflective inquiry, (p. 25) Despite a general recognition of the problems associated with dichotomous thinking, the dualistic tradition s t i l l exerts i t s unrelenting influence over the present-day theorizing in and about education. "There i s sometimes a nod in the direction of the importance of healing the s p l i t between fact and value, between what can be called true and what i s believed to be right. S t i l l , the either/ors continue" (Greene, 1994, p. 432). The pervasiveness of dichotomous thinking in current theorizing in and about education requires serious treatment which i s beyond the scope of the current project and w i l l not be pursued here. To Dewey, the fundamental dualisms of human attention and regard, notably, mind and body, theory and practice, knowing and doing, experience and reason, subject and object, culture and nature, individual and society, etc., were symptomatic of the intellectual confusion, ironically, resulting from the very intellectual development that nurtured Western academic scholarship. The dualistic philosophical tradition was, as Dewey 146 (1929) pointed out, a cultural product of a particular time in the Western history — "the transition of the medieval period into that age that i s called modern" — and i t gained i t s influence when "philosophy reflected upon i t and gave i t a rational formulation and j u s t i f i c a t i o n " (p. 17). After a l l , i t was the philosophers who s p l i t the human mind from the human body and seriously debated for centuries over whether knowledge had to do with mind or with body, and whether i t would be possible to furnish an indubitable foundation for a l l knowledge claims. To Dewey, knowledge for guiding and regulating human conduct does not exist in an antecedent, eternal and unalterable Being which "can be approached through the medium of the apprehensions and demonstrations of thought, or by some other organ of mind, which does nothing to the real, except just to know i t " (Dewey, 1929, p. 24), and be superimposed in one way or another upon human conduct in dealing with ordinary aff a i r s of l i f e . Rather, knowledge intimates and indeed i s inseparable from inquiry. "As an abstract term, [knowledge] i s a name for the product of competent inquiries" (Dewey, 1938a, p. 8). That knowledge i s the product of competent inquiries i s not d i f f i c u l t to be reckoned with. But, what i s inquiry then, i f the problem of knowledge i s to be understood in the context of the conduct of inquiry? Dewey's Theory of Reflective Inquiry "What i s the definition of inquiry?" Dewey (1938a) wrote, Inquiry i s the controlled or directed transformation of an indeterminate situation into one that i s so determinate in i t s constituent distinctions and relations as to convert the elements of the original situation into a unified whole, (pp. 104-105) 147 To Dewey, reflective inquiry or reflective thinking (Dewey seemed to use these two terms interchangeably) i s neither the birthright of the highbrow nor the property of the professional. Rather i t i s "a human undertaking, not an aesthetic appreciation carried on by a refined class or a c a p i t a l i s t i c possession of a few learned specialists, whether men of science or of philosophy" 1 (West, 1989, p. 97). In Democracy and Education. Dewey (1916) stated, We sometimes talk as i f "original research" were a peculiar prerogative of scientists or at least of advanced students. But a l l thinking i s research, and a l l research i s native, original, with him who carries i t on, even i f everybody else in the world i s already sure of what he i s s t i l l looking for.... The child of three who discovers what can be done with blocks, or of six who finds out what he can make by putting five cents and five cents together, i s really a discoverer, even though everybody else in the world already knows i t . (pp. 148, 159) Reflective inquiry understood from Dewey's naturalistic tendency i s , as Zedler (1960) puts i t , "a purely natural event no more mysterious than the process of digestion" (p. 78). It i s nonetheless "a better way of thinking," better than either the mere having of mental images or the recording and recalling of what i s believed to be true. Reflective inquiry exhibits both the natural biological and psychological tendency and the unique intellectual cognitive capability human beings develop throughout their l i f e and depend on in searching for security under the perilous conditions of l i f e . In times long past, reflective inquiry enabled our ancient ancestors to grow and store food, build shelters, use and make tools, domesticate animals, etc. Reflective inquiry i s such a b u i l t - i n cognitive mechanism that we employ i t effortlessly. For instance, when we move to li v e in a new neighbourhood, we w i l l 148 start taking note of, among other things, i t s physical lay-out. The practical need of getting our way around, in and out the new neighbourhood occasions the inquiry. The result of the inquiry i s the acquired familiarity with or knowledge of the physical environment that prevents us from getting lost there. To me, the far greater significance of reflective inquiry l i e s i n that i t can also be a deliberate, purposive human conduct, "a process by which intelligent beings deliberately seek and acquire knowledge" (Dicker, 1976, p. 1). As a deliberate, purposive, knowledge-seeking conduct, reflective inquiry operates at a more conscious level and i t involves intention. For instance, we read a road map before starting out on a t r i p to decide which route we should take or to familiarize with the route we are going to take. It i s in the sense of reflective inquiry being a deliberate, purposive, knowledge-seeking conduct that Dewey's theory i s epistemologically significant and pedagogically pertinent to our understanding of PKT and learning to teach. Reflective inquiry starts with "a doubtful situation." The presently experienced doubtful situation compels us to inquire. "To see that a situation requires inquiry i s the i n i t i a l step in inquiry" (Dewey, 1938a, p. 107). In transforminq a doubtful situation into one in which "the d i f f i c u l t y i s resolved, the confusion cleared away, the trouble smoothed out, the question i t puts answered," reflective inquiry evolves throuqh several phases: (1) Suggestion, (2) Intellectualization, (3) the Guiding Idea, (4) Reasoning, and (5) Hypothesis Testing. The sequence of these phases i s not necessarily fixed. 149 When we are caught up in a doubtful situation, our spontaneous reaction i s a f e l t need to do something about i t . When the situation i s understood as being problematic, some vague suggestion or idea comes forward for determining what i s the problem that the situation presents (Phase I). A doubtful situation cannot be meaningfully dealt with, l e t alone resolved, unless i t s perplexity i s intellectualized as presenting a particular problem that could be dealt with. Few physicians w i l l proceed with prescription of medication upon hearing a patient's complaining of a headache. The cause of the headache has to be determined before anything else i s to be done. The physician w i l l inquire into the constituent elements of the situation at hand, the patient's other symptoms, current physical condition, and medical history, etc., (Phase II). In determining the problem that a doubtful situation presents, or intellectualizing the situation, the i n i t i a l suggestion serves as a working hypothesis and guides the inquiry. The i n i t i a l suggestion i t s e l f also undergoes correction and modification as the inquiry evolves t i l l i t becomes a definite supposition (Phase III). Would stress be the cause of the patient's headache? Are there any other symptoms or information that would corroborate the supposition? An inquiry into a doubtful situation involves trains of reasoning which help to link present and relevant past ideas together. More importantly, reasoning helps to elaborate the supposition reflective inquiry has reached at various moments of time and further develop i t into one that i s most congenial to the situation under concern (Phase IV). 150 I think that Phase III and Phase IV should be better read as elaborations on rather than independent of Phase II. These two phases help bring out the complexity of reflective inquiry. In determining the problem a doubtful situation presents, there could often be more than one pos s i b i l i t y . If my own commonsense knowledge of medicine suffices, a headache may be (causally) linked to one of the following physical conditions: brain tumour, common cold/flu, allergy, stress, head injury, lack of sleep, excessive consumption of alcohol, or drug. The physician w i l l think back and forth and consider as many p o s s i b i l i t i e s as necessary to determine the case in hand. To arrive at a f i n a l diagnosis that has a certain degree of "warranted a s s e r t i b i l i t y , 1 1 to know what the case i s , the physician's thinking does not jump randomly from one thing to another, nor does i t necessarily follow the linear progression of formal logic. Reflective inquiry i s continuous correction and modification of i t s own process and product, linking past ideas with the present leading to the f i n a l conclusion. The refined idea or hypothesis f i n a l l y reached i s then put to experimental testing either in overt action or in thought (Phase V). "The two methods do not d i f f e r , however, in kind" (Dewey, 1933, p. 98). After reviewing the case at hand, the physician comes to believe that a correct diagnosis has been obtained and then goes on to prescribe medication, i f necessary. Besides offering some medical advice for the benefit of the patient's recovery from the sickness, the physician w i l l probably also say to the patient, "If the headache does not go away after a couple of days, please come back and see me." This illustrates 151 well the experimental nature of the practice of medicine. Reflective inquiry i s a continuous process in two senses. In one sense, reflective inquiry relies on the results of past inquiries (prior knowledge) for suggestions and ideas as instrumentalities in dealing with a situation experienced in the present. "When suggestions (ideas) occur to us, they come to us as functions of our past experience and not of our present w i l l and intention" (Dewey, 1933, p. 42). Also, reflective inquiry, while dealing directly with a present doubtful situation, i s always carried out in anticipation of certain desired existential consequences, or with some ends-in-view, in the settlement of the doubtful situation. The physician anticipates curing the patient's i l l n e s s , not sustaining the suffering, and predicts that i f the medical advice i s followed and medication i s taken as prescribed, the patient w i l l be cured of the sickness. It should be clear therefore that reflective inquiry involves a value commitment in making choices of what ends-in-view are desirable and should be achieved. Reflective inquiry i s continuous also in the sense that, in Dewey's (1938a) own words, the attainment of settled beliefs i s a progressive matter: there i s no belief so settled as not to be exposed to further inquiry. I t i s the convergent and cumulative effect of continued inquiry that defines knowledge in i t s general meaning, (p. 24) In the example of medical practice used above, suppose that the patient has taken the medication prescribed by the physician but does not recover as the physician has anticipated. The physician w i l l re-examine the case and design a different program of treatment. Physicians, as any other professionals, are f a l l i b l e 152 human beings. They may make hasty conclusions and sometimes even mistakes. There i s no guarantee that so long as we engage in reflective inquiry, we w i l l always arrive at the right conclusions or settle the doubtful situation we are dealing with. The Deweyan conception of reflective inquiry bespeaks thus also the f a l l i b l e nature of human knowledge and the need for "inquiry into inquiry" (Dewey, 1938a). Reflective inquiry i s "a process capable of indefinite continuance." Having outlined the general features of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry, I could now go on to discuss the kind of theoretical implications drawn from the theory to help establish and sustain RTE as a conceptual orientation towards teacher education. However, I think i t w i l l be helpful to pause for a moment here and say a few words about the general reception of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry. Reception of Dewey's Theory of Reflective Inquiry While agreement or harmony cannot be said to be a normal feature of the ordinary controversial l i f e of philosophy or philosophy of education, the roots of disagreement about Dewey are exceptionally deep. His teachings, which, once met with too much unc r i t i c a l acceptance, especially in the United States, are currently under strong attack there. And while the c r i t i c s and the admiring rescuers debate about "the real Dewey," their verbal skirmishes seem only to succeed in making Dewey more obscure to the non-partisan observer. For, in disputes of this kind the many problems of interpreting Dewey are quite often overlooked. Do we, for instance, comment on Dewey as a whole, consider his doctrines as a l l of a piece? Or, do we study his views in his t o r i c a l contexts, in the context of problems and purposes from which he set out? There may be, beside the understandable difference of emphasis at different times, manifold conflicts of doctrine and purpose within Dewey. It i s also quite possible that there are serious inconsistencies and vagueness in Dewey's own thinking on many matters. 153 (Bhattacharya, 1983, p. 12) I take Bhattacharya's observation as a gentle warning to me and anyone else today who would, for various reasons, be drawn to or interested in what Dewey had written over half a century ago. I am doubtful though i f i t i s at a l l possible for anyone to be a non-partisan observer of "the real Dewey" beyond recognizing the fact that people have reacted to Dewey's ideas differently. There are challenges to be met and I believe they can be met. The challenges that I have in mind come from Dewey's own writings on the theory of reflective inquiry and from the many criticisms Dewey's c r i t i c s , past and present, have staged against i t . As mentioned earlier, in developing the theory of inquiry, Dewey was engaged in theorizing on the problem of knowledge in relation to human conduct in the everyday affairs of American l i f e and society. He was trying to develop a philosophical thesis of knowledge that could help his fellow American citizens in controlling and directing their personal and social conduct in an intelligent manner in an effort to build up a democratic society. In other words, Dewey was trying to develop a theory of knowledge for a public audience at large who were direc t l y involved in the everyday affairs of l i f e and society. But Dewey was also a philosopher theorizing on a theoretical problem in the f i e l d of epistemology, and therefore he was expected not to evade the issues the f i e l d had been traditionally concerned with. He was held accountable by philosophers who were also dedicated to the problem of knowledge but in a quite different manner. It seems as though Dewey was trying to address himself to two different audiences at the same time: a large public audience 154 who, with their mundane concerns of l i f e and society, turned to philosophy for intellectual enlightenment but do not command the technical proficiency to engage in the formal discourse of logic and a small audience chiefly made up of professional philosophers who, with their expertise in the formal discourse, would hold Dewey accountable on the ground of their disciplinary interests. It could be expected, and i t has been repeatedly pointed out, that Dewey's intellectual contribution would suffer as much from some reading too l i t t l e of his work as from others reading into i t what i s not there. Proponents of RTE, for instance, have paid scant attention to Dewey's philosophical thought. There i s evidence to suggest that Dewey's own practice of teaching was not enlightened by his theory of reflective inquiry (Berube, 1995; Ryan, 1995). It i s important to note again that Dewey did not approach the problem of knowledge the way the problem had traditionally preoccupied the philosophical mind since antiquity. Dewey (1938b) asserted that the business of philosophy, in logic or the theory of knowledge, i s not to provide a r i v a l account of the natural environment, but to analyze and report how and to what effect inquiries actually proceed, genetically and functionally, in their experiential context, (p. 633) In developing his philosophical thesis, Dewey was c a l l i n g for reconsideration of the role of philosophy beyond i t s own s e l f -interest but his c r i t i c s seemed to be more interested in what had been thought to be the proper subject of epistemology — the dualistic mind/body puzzle, and lately, the decontextualized and impersonal " j u s t i f i e d true belief." 155 The established tradition of epistemological inquiry with i t s own subject matter, canons, methodology, and technical language was deficient for Dewey to develop his philosophical thesis. In a sense, we could say that Dewey was compelled to be inventive, in a serious manner, with language. He redefined some of the topical concepts that were considered to be well established in the f i e l d of epistemology, such as "experience," "knowledge," "propositions," "truth," and "mind." He also introduced a few of his own, such as "a doubtful situation," "organism-environment interaction," "transaction," and "warranted a s s e r t i b i l i t y . 1 1 In doing so, he appeared to some philosophers to have evaded many issues co-existing with those staple concepts of traditional epistemologies and at the same time stirred up some new controversies. Kulp (1992) i s not alone in recognizing that the development of [Dewey's] criticism [of the Spectator's View of knowledge] i s rather l i k e the spinning of an elaborate web. Pivotal concepts are elaborated and integrated into Dewey's wider philosophical position in an effort to render i t s force ever greater. New concepts are added and developed as new connections and relevances are detected. It i s this kind of development, in connection with Dewey's thankfully unimitated writing style, which does much to render the criti c i s m so d i f f i c u l t to grasp clearly, (p. 23) Dewey was aware of the d i f f i c u l t y that his public audience would have with his theoretical exposition. In the preface to Logic. he extended the following advice, Readers not particularly conversant with contemporary logical discussions may find portions of the text too technical, especially perhaps in Part III. I suggest that such readers interpret what i s said by call i n g to mind what they themselves do, and the way they proceed in doing i t , when they are confronted with some question or d i f f i c u l t y which they attempt to cope with in an intellectual way. If they pursue this course, I think the general principles w i l l be suffi c i e n t l y 156 i n t e l l i g i b l e so that they w i l l not be unduly troubled by technical details. It i s possible that the same advice i s applicable in the case of those whose very familiarity with current logical literature constitutes an obstruction to understanding a position that i s at odds with most current theory. (Dewey, 1938a, iv) Responses from within the philosophy c i r c l e to Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry were of two kinds. Some considered Dewey's terms rich in meaning and others were c r i t i c a l of the same terms for their vagueness and lack of c l a r i t y . Some spoke highly of Dewey's spirited ingenious philosophical thinking while others tr i e d to show where and how he failed in producing an acceptable philosophical thesis of knowledge as a whole or in some specific aspects, from their respective theoretical vantage-point (see the collection of c r i t i c a l papers on Dewey's philosophy in Schilpp, 1939; and recent c r i t i c a l appraisals of Dewey's philosophical thinking by Kulp, 1992; Paringer, 1990; West, 1994). Dewey never hesitated to respond to his c r i t i c s in defense of his position, although he was aware that this was not an easy thing to do. In a reply to a philosopher friend's query, Dewey (1949) wrote, When, however, I began to write to you in reply, I found myself in a quandary; in fact, on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand i t seemed obligatory for me to take up each one of your d i f f i c u l t i e s one by one, and do what I could to c l a r i f y each point. The more, however, I contemplated that course, the more I became doubtful of i t s success i n attaining the desired end of c l a r i f i c a t i o n . If, I thought, I had not been able to make my position clear in the course of several hundred pages, how can I expect to accomplish that end in the course of a small number of pages devoted to a variety of themes? The other horn of the dilemma was that failure to take up a l l your points might seem to show a disrespect for your queries and criticism which I am very far from feeling, (p. 313) Dewey was not fighting a lonely battle (see for example essays in defense of Dewey's philosophy in Schilpp, 1939; Burke, 1994; 157 Dewey and Bentley, 1949; Dicker, 1976; Handy and Harwood, 1973; Thayer, 1969). Piatt (1939), one of the defenders of Dewey's philosophy, commented on the charges l a i d against Dewey's philosophy that Just because Dewey differs from most philosophers more than they d i f f e r from one another, because he challenges their common premises, misunderstandings easily arise and are hard to remove. Insiders and outsiders speak a different language or, what i s worse, use the same words with different meanings, and there i s no recognized common referent for getting in and out of Dewey's thought. In this predicament " c l a r i f i c a t i o n " of meanings f a i l to c l a r i f y and merely repeat the underlying d i f f i c u l t y ; no genuine dispute takes place, (pp. 105-106) If Piatt would be suspect of holding a partisan view, let's hear the Bri t i s h analytic philosopher Bertrand Russell's (1939) concluding remark in his analysis of Dewey's theory of knowledge. Russell stated, ultimately, the controversy between those who base logic upon "truth" and those who base i t upon "inquiry" arises from a difference of values, and cannot be arqued without, at some point, begging the question. I cannot hope, therefore, that anything in the above pages has validi t y except for those whose bias resembles my own, while those whose bias resembles Dr. Dewey's w i l l find in his book just such an exposition as the subject seems to them to require, (p. 156) Whether there i s a hidden message in Russell's statement i s of no concern to me. It bears however clear indication that what i s at issue here i s not just how to think about some key notions of interest to logicians but more generally how to conceive of the very subject matter of logic. Russell and Dewey's debate over the proper conception of particular logical concepts i s ultimately a debate about what logic i s . (Burke, 1994, p. 14) The fundamental difference between Dewey and his c r i t i c s seems to me to l i e in their respective dispositions towards the role of philosophy and what constituted the proper subject matter of 158 epistemological inquiry. For teacher educators today who think of PKT as something codified, transported into a curriculum, and transmitted to prospective teachers for future application in practice, I doubt their concerns would draw them to what Dewey had to say half a century ago on the problem of knowledge. But for those who are concerned with knowledge in relation to practice, especially the practice of teaching and learning to teach, Dewey l e f t behind a robust theory of reflective inquiry to their benefit. I w i l l avoid rehearsing the details of the debate between Dewey and his philosophy c r i t i c s . Nor w i l l I attempt to point out any "misunderstandings and misinterpretations" of Dewey's philosophical and pedagogical views as Schilpp (1939) and many others have spoken of (e.g., Prawat, 1995). Not that I would consider the theoretical debate between Dewey and his c r i t i c s insignificant or uninteresting. On the contrary, I find the esoteric conversation fascinating and challenging, and sometimes alienating due to my lack of the relevant background knowledge in formal logic on the one hand and, on the other hand, to the lack of a clear connection between what was being debated on and what was fundamentally at issue. Moreover, the theoretical dispute between Dewey and his c r i t i c s belongs to a different context of academic inquiry, where, i t seems to me, there i s more interest in (safe-guarding) the rules of epistemological inquiry than concern about the purpose of inquiry i t s e l f (see the contrastive discussions by Fenstermacher, 1994 and Greene, 1994 on knowledge and educational research). To use Wittgenstein's metaphor of throwing away the ladder after we have climbed up i t , I w i l l move 159 on to discuss how Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry can help us in rethinking the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach. But before I do that, i t i s necessary to make some further notes on several elements of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry that are pertinent to the later discussion. These are: (1) the antecedent condition of inquiry, M a doubtful situation"; (2) prior knowledge in reflective inquiry; (3) method of reflective inquiry; (4) outcome of reflective inquiry; and (5) the knower and the known. Some Further Notes "Indeterminate/doubtful Situation" Since knowledge i s defined in Dewey's theory as the product of competent inquiries and reflective inquiry starts with an indeterminate or doubtful situation, i t i s important to be clear about the term "doubtful situation." Admittedly this i s a vague and elusive term. Not surprisingly, some people have misgivings about i t . The Brit i s h philosopher Russell (1939), for instance, queried, The question arises: How large i s a "situation"? ... Although this question i s nowhere e x p l i c i t l y discussed, I do not see how, on Dr. Dewey's principles, a "situation" can embrace less than the whole universe; this i s an inevitable consequence of the insistence upon continuity. It would seem to follow that a l l inquiry, s t r i c t l y interpreted, i s an attempt to analyze the universe. We shall thus be led to Bradley's view that every judgment qualifies Reality as a whole, (pp. 139-140) Dewey (1939) responded to Russell's query, and on a different occasion, he explained to a philosopher friend that 160 xSituation' stands for something inclusive of a large number of diverse elements existing across wide areas of space and long periods of time, but which, nevertheless, have their own unity. The discussion which we are here and now carrying on i s precisely part of a situation. Your letter to me and what I am writing in response are evidently parts of that to which I have given the name "situation"; while these items are conspicuous features of the situation they are far from being the only or even the chief ones. In each case there i s prolonged prior study: into this study have entered teachers, books, art i c l e s , and a l l the contacts which have shaped the views that now find themselves in disagreement with each other. It i s this complex of fact that determines also the applicability of "problematic" to the present situation. That word stands for the existence of something questionable, and hence provocative of investigation, examination, discussion — in short, inquiry. (Dewey, 1949, p. 315) A few philosophers have tried to c l a r i f y this particular concept (e.g., Burns and Brauner, 1962, pp. 174-180; O'Connor, 1953; Thayer, 1969). On my part, I take from Dewey's explanation just quoted that we would be better off reading the term "doubtful situation" as a convenient label or sign for any existential phenomenon that provokes inquiry, instead of treating i t as an unrefined theoretical construct. What we need to do i s to focus on one or another exemplary case of a doubtful situation and see how reflective inquiry evolves and leads to knowledge that helps resolve i t . I do not see how this would in any way do damage to Dewey's theory. Dewey himself used many daily l i f e examples of doubtful situations for i l l u s t r a t i v e purposes, for example, the forked road and the mast pole. Doubtful situations that prompt reflective thinking can be divided into two kinds: one demands immediate action and the other requires action in the future. In either case, reflective inquiry has an action context in which i t deals with a presently experienced doubtful situation. The context of a doubtful 161 situation that demands immediate direct action can be described with phrases li k e "in the midst of doing something." A doubtful situation here stands for some unexpected happening that threatens to interrupt the course and progression of a predefined program of (routine) action. Judgment made and action taken to resolve a doubtful situation that occurred "when I was about to turn round the corner," say, I noticed the t r a f f i c jam down the street and decided not to make the turn, may appear to be so instantaneous that there seems to be l i t t l e room for reflective inquiry to take place. Spontaneous action, when successful, i s often accounted for in terms of "reflexes" and "wits." If we put the process in slow motion in our imagination, however, we can "see" that reflective inquiry i s there, although, as we might say, clicking at a sub-conscious level. The doubtful situation i s experienced and comprehended to present a particular problem. What i s deemed necessary and suitable action for solving the problem i s decided on and carried out. It helps to ensure the smooth progression of action t i l l i t s goal i s accomplished. Reflective inquiry in this case i s Schon's "reflection-in-action," which i s , to quote Schon again, an ephemeral episode of inquiry that arises momentarily in the midst of a flow of action and then disappears, giving way to some new event, leaving in i t s wake, perhaps, a more stable view of the situation. We tend to "wipe i t out" as soon as i t i s over, like the error one makes and quickly forgets on the way to discovering the solution to a puzzle. Dewey (1929) asserted that "relatively immediate judgments, which we c a l l tact or to which we give the name of intuition, do not precede reflective inquiry, but are the funded products of much thoughtful experience" (p. 249). 162 Doubtful situations that do not demand immediate action, on the other hand, assign reflective inquiry with a less re s t r i c t i v e action context in terms of time and space. It could be a context in which one prepares for the accomplishment of a specific task, for instance, teaching a unit of social studies to a Grade 10 class in a suburban high school. When inquiring about such a doubtful situation, the teacher i s not standing in front of a group of students and doing things such as talking, explaining, demonstrating, questioning, listening to students' responses, assigning exercises, administering a test, etc. The teacher i s not responding to a surprise in the midst of carrying out a sequence of routine action. But the teacher i s in action, doing something in advance in order to act intelligently and achieve the intended goals of teaching that unit of social studies. Doubtful situations that do not demand immediate action offer us an opportunity to conduct reflective inquiry in a deliberative manner at a more conscious level. For in dealing with this kind of situations, we are afforded a duration of time which allows us to not only inquire more carefully and more extensively into the situation we are dealing with in i t s multitude of constitutive elements, determine what kind of a problem i t presents, and consider the alternative solutions as our prior knowledge would suggest. More importantly, i t also makes i t possible for us to subject to re-examination the prior knowledge our reflective inquiry depends upon as well as the conclusions reached at different stages of inquiry so as to make decisions with a higher degree of warranted a s s e r t i b i l i t y and predictability over the existential consequences. Reflective 163 inquiry in dealing with this kind of a doubtful situation i s deferred, preparatory, present exploratory action. Dewey's notion of reflective inquiry denotes action, not in action (cf., Schon's notion of reflection-in-action). Since I am concerned with program development in teacher education, the question I have here i s : If we think of learning to teach as a process of reflective inquiry to produce PKT for intelligent teaching conduct, should prospective teachers' inquiry be directed at teaching as a doubtful situation that provokes inquiry, or at the problem situations, l i t e r a l l y speaking, that may or may not occur in a particular classroom setting? Prudence suggests that some preparation should be necessary for prospective teachers before practice (teaching). The problem-solving approach must assume that problems of teaching can be identified and made known prior to prospective teachers experiencing them in the classroom context. But, as Schon points out, "in real-world practice, problems do not present themselves to the practitioner as given. They must be constructed from the materials of problematic situations which are puzzling, troubling, and uncertain." Competent professional practice of teaching thus requires that teachers have, among other things, the a b i l i t y to identify or construct what i s problematic in their understanding and practice of teaching. When problems of teaching are taken as given in the i n i t i a l stage of professional preparation, the opportunity i s lost for prospective teachers to develop that v i t a l a b i l i t y . Putting prospective teachers in the classroom w i l l provide 164 them with endless opportunities to experience problem situations personally. But, w i l l they be able to frame the encountered problem situations properly, and what i f they f a i l to take note of some situations? When a prospective teacher misinterprets and f a i l s to resolve a problem situation promptly and adequately on the spot, i t may jeopardize the intended outcome of teaching. Both the students involved as well as the prospective teacher her/himself are immediately affected by the consequence. Under normal circumstances, from what I know, external intervention in the practicum setting i s largely limited to an ad hoc basis. Reflection-on-action can be pedagogically significant and contribute to prospective teachers' development of their PKT. But are teacher educators really sure how reflection-on-action actually leads to significant, positive learning, i f i t does? If learning to teach i s concerned with teaching as a doubtful situation, M a total existential matrix that provokes inquiry" (Burns and Brauner, 1962, p. 175), things w i l l be quite different. It w i l l allow teacher educators to think about learning to teach in terms of the different phases of reflective inquiry and about what external intervention measures would be necessary and helpful to prospective teachers in controlling and directing their inquiry into teaching to produce their PKT before they take their place in the classroom. As Dewey (1938) put i t , "preparation for possible action in situations not as yet existent in actuality i s an essential condition of, and factor in, a l l intelligent behaviour" (p. 49). Good preparation leads to intelligent teaching conduct and can help to prevent at least some problematic situations from occurring, even though the 165 p o s s i b i l i t y of problematic situations occurring when one i s teaching can never be totall y eliminated. Teaching consists in a multitude of constitutive elements, the teacher, students, curriculum, purpose of instruction, textbooks and other instructional materials, physical f a c i l i t i e s (the classroom), seating patterns, external expectations, social values, teaching methods, and you name i t . But what does i t mean in practical terms that prospective teachers try to settle the doubtful situation we usually c a l l teaching through reflective inquiry in their preparation programs? What programmatic intervention measures should be designed to help them in their inquiry? These w i l l be discussed in the next chapter. Prior knowledge Reflective inquiry into teaching i s not carried forward in a void. It rel i e s on the inquirer's prior knowledge as the intellectual sources of i n i t i a l suggestions and the continuing adjustments made to them u n t i l a f i n a l solution i s reached and put into practice. I use the term prior knowledge broadly to cover the many different terms that denote the cognitive basis of action, such as image or ideas, predisposition, presumption, perspective, belief system, preconception, understanding, repertoire, and the li k e . "When suggestions (ideas) occur to us, they come to us as functions of our past experience and not of our present w i l l and intention" (Dewey, 1933, p. 42). Success or failure in resolving a doubtful situation that requires immediate action i s largely affected by the kind of prior knowledge reflective inquiry f a l l s back on to comprehend 166 the situation, determine the problem i t presents, and suggest solutions. The difference between an experienced practitioner and a neophyte in dealing with a similar doubtful situation in practice i s , from the cognitive side, a difference in the richness of prior knowledge each of the two possesses and deploys in resolving the situation. This i s not to say that prior knowledge i s a l l that i t takes to lead reflective inquiry to the desirable outcome. Attitudes towards reflective inquiry — open-mindedness, whole-heartedness, and responsibility — do make a difference. Also, rec a l l what i s involved in the five phases of reflective inquiry and take into account the complexity and uncertainty of the world of practice. The significance of prior knowledge in reflective inquiry, which i t s e l f i s the result of past inquiries, i s however double-edged. Prior knowledge may often be taken for granted, or wilfully, and brought forth and used in the present inquiry without i t s e l f being subjected to examination, and i s sometimes directly carried over as the solution to the situation currently experienced. For instance, Chinn and Brewer (1993) have reviewed research in science education on the instructional strategy of presenting students with "anomalous data," evidence that contradicts their pre-instructional theories. The intention of the strategy i s to cause students to change their currently held theories and adopt the target theory. However, research findings show that when students are presented with anomalous data incompatible with their held theory, they are often led by their prior beliefs to diffuse, in various ways, the challenge that the anomalous data presents than to change their held theory. 167 I recently came across a classic example in Musgrave's (1993) discussion on the theory of knowledge. In 1795, a French astronomer by the name of Lalande observed a then unknown planet, now called Neptune, in the region where he, and other astronomers of the time, believed that no planets exited. Although Lalande recorded his observations carefully and even realized that the planet kept changing i t s position relative to the stars in the region under his observation, his knowledge of the planets in existence led him however to decide that his observations had been erroneous. Fifty-three years later in 1848, the honour of (re-)discovering Neptune went to Adam and Leverrier who predicted where the named planet would be seen. Dewey (1938a) paid due attention to the po s s i b i l i t y of reflective inquiry being misled by prior knowledge and asserted that One indispensable condition of controlled inquiry i s readiness and alertness to submit even the best grounded conclusions of prior inquiry to re-examination with reference to their applicability in new problems, (p. 141) Dewey (1938b) stated, on a different occasion, that Directing conceptions tend to be taken for granted after they have once come into general currency. In consequence they either remain implicit or unstated, or else are propositionally formulated in a way which i s static instead of functional. Failure to examine the conceptual structures and frames of reference which are unconsciously implicated in even the seemingly most innocent factual inquiries i s the greatest single defect that can be found in any f i e l d of inquiry, (p. 507) The presence and active role of prior knowledge in any realm of human experience i s a well-recognized fact, at least in theory. Popper (1972), among many others, asserts that 168 the growth of a l l knowledge consists in the modification of previous knowledge — either i t s alteration or i t s large-scale rejection. Knowledge never begins from nothing, but always from some background knowledge — knowledge which at the moment is taken for granted — together with some d i f f i c u l t i e s , some problems, (p. 71) As far as teacher education i s concerned, I believe that this point shall be very worth (re-)making and emphasizing even at the risk of stating the obvious. For in program development in teacher education, prospective teachers' prior knowledge has un t i l recently tended to be viewed as a negative factor in their professional growth and i t s pervasive effects on their learning to teach have been underestimated (Buliough, Knowles, and Crow, 1992; Feiman-Nemser, 1983; Pajares, 1993; Weinstein, 1988, 1990). Research and other scholarly writings are emerging on the active role of prior knowledge in the professional practice of teaching and teacher preparation (e.g., Anderson, 1977, 1984; Buliough et a l . , 1992; Calderhead, 1987, 1988; Carter, 1995; Chinn and Brewer, 1993; Clark, 1988; Connelly and Clandinin, 1988; Diamond, 1990; Eisner, 1985; Feiman-Nemser, 1983; Grimmett and MacKinnon, 1992; Hollingsworth, 1989; Pajares, 1993; Rumelhart, 1980; Vosniadou and Brewer, 1987). Although I am not aware of any teacher education programs taking prospective teachers' prior knowledge as a thematic focus at the programmatic level, the literature on teacher education bears clear indication that at the practical individual level, some teacher educators do make an effort to provide an opportunity for their students to articulate their personal views of teaching and being a teacher. However, such efforts often seem to me, at the present moment, to concentrate on identifying and analyzing prior 169 knowledge. Access to such knowledge i s usually limited to some verbally expressed personal views or perspectives of teaching and being a teacher which are obtained mostly through interviews or journal writing. Sometimes, personal views are also probed in reflecting on events in the practicum setting. What the research says, at this stage, appears to have more to do with affirming that teachers and prospective teachers do have something, rather inadequate, in their mind about teaching and that which prospective teachers have in their mind may change over time or otherwise resist change. It i s almost a truism nowadays that prospective teachers should be encouraged to confront, challenge, re-examine, and change their prior beliefs. The problem i s that at the programmatic level the necessity and importance of examining personal beliefs i s generally asserted, but the purpose of challenging personal beliefs and the ways in which personal beliefs are to be challenged and changed are usually not made very clear. It remains to be incorporated into a comprehensive theory of learning to teach. There are also questions to be answered in terms of what access we may have to individual prospective teachers' prior knowledge, how prospective teachers' articulated personal knowledge i s actually related to practice, and what programmatic interventional measures are to be taken to help student teachers to change their knowledge structure. Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry c a l l s our attention to prospective teachers' prior knowledge in learning to teach not simply because what prospective teachers already know i s not adequate for the complex task of teaching but because, more 170 importantly, i t reveals to us the conditions and operations of prospective teachers' inquiry of teaching. The implication i s that i f teacher educators know what their students know, they w i l l then be able to think and decide what kind of programmatic and pedagogical provisions should be made to help prospective teachers in better controlling and directing their inquiry towards desirable outcomes. Articulation and analysis of personal prior knowledge i s only one necessary step towards the achievement of the intended outcome of learning to teach, the development of PKT. Personal prior knowledge tends to operate at the subconscious level. The purpose of raising i t to the conscious level should not be just to find some subject matter for the intellectual exercise called analysis. The effort should be made to help prospective teachers to take control of the direction of their reflective inquiry. Desirable outcomes of teaching and learning to teach w i l l not result from analysis and criticism. They ensue rather from the prospective teachers' increased understanding of the doubtful situation of teaching and from careful, responsible deliberations on what action to take on the basis of that understanding. This point can be br i e f l y illustrated. Some prospective teachers may conceive of teaching as a matter of caring for children or a matter of transmitting knowledge. But teaching also involves administrative and parental expectations, curriculum content knowledge, methods of instruction, in and after class a c t i v i t i e s , the teacher's own objectives and expectations for the students, individual students learning together in a group, and each student's perception of and 171 reaction to the teacher's effort, among a myriad of other things. It i s obvious that the conception of teaching as caring for the taught must be expanded or substantiated by incorporating these and other constitutive elements of teaching i f intended and desirable outcomes are to be achieved. Analysis of prior knowledge may help prospective teachers to reassess what they know but i t does not i t s e l f constitute experience in the sense that they can derive new knowledge from i t to inform their teaching. Outcome or Ends-in-View of Reflective Inquiry Reflective inquiry in the world of practice i s always engaged in with some ends-in-view. In medical practice for instance, a physician inquires about a patient's case not just to know what problem the patient has. The physician's inquiry i s conducted with the intention and anticipation of curing the patient of the il l n e s s . This important element of Dewey's theory can easily get overlooked, though, when attention i s drawn to the procedural aspect of inquiry. Ends-in-view towards which the movement of reflective inquiry i s directed must however not be confused with the conclusions drawn at different stages of an inquiry. They are not the diagnosis of the problem that a doubtful situation presents nor the hypothetical alternative solutions that one could choose and apply to the problem. Ends-in-view entail some intended existential consequences to be produced by way of transforming a doubtful situation into one that i s "clear, coherent, settled, harmonious.11 The doubtful situation becomes 172 "so settled that we are ready to act upon i t , overtly or in imagination" (Dewey, 1938a, p. 7). we see here how inquiry, knowledge, and action are intimately connected in Dewey's theory. There i s a clear distinction in terms of ends-in-view between prospective teachers' reflective inquiry and academic inquiries. Generally speaking, educational research and academic inquiries, with the exception of what i s known as "participatory research" or "practitioners' action research," are mainly concerned with advancing theoretical understanding. Teaching i s an object viewed from distance and studied in i t s fragmented pieces of interest to particular researcher(s) or theorist(s). Some try to describe and explain what i t i s and others argue what ought to be. Outcomes of educational research and academic inquiries are measured by the internal consistency of the logical conclusions drawn between data and the operating theory. Educational researchers and theorists are not required to put the results of their work into practice themselves. They make recommendations for policy and practice. The thorny question has been how research findings and academic scholarship about teaching may travel back to the world of practice, to dictate or inform or transform practice. For prospective teachers and experienced teachers alike, teaching i s fundamentally a matter of both decision making and acting upon the decisions made. Their reflective inquiry i s directly connected with practice and i s engaged in with a view of knowing for the purpose of producing some intended, desirable existential consequences of student learning. To learn to teach i s thus not just to come to know what teaching i s or ought to be 173 but to know in order to act intelligently and achieve the goals which are also set in the process of inquiry. As Buchmann (1993) puts i t , "the deliberative search i s not, in the f i r s t place, a search merely for means but also a search for truly pertinent concerns and the best specification of practical ends" (p. 97). The conclusions prospective teachers reach in their inquiry, their understanding of teaching and the pedagogical decisions they make, are tested both in thought and overtly in practice. For instance, there i s much to be thought about and f i l l e d in between a conception of teaching as caring for the taught and the kind of action a teacher takes in the classroom as well as the intended practical consequences that action w i l l bring about. Ends-in-view are not given but set within the process of inquiry. Every prospective teacher, so does every teacher and every teacher educator, has to answer the question persistently: What do I intend to achieve in teaching in view of student learning? Ends-in-view in learning to teach may not always be easy to envision. There i s , on the one hand, a tendency for ends-in-view to be couched in high sounding slogans or i d e a l i s t i c images of an omnipotent master teacher, a virtuoso of teaching, such as "reflective practitioners" and "transformative intellectuals." Such ends-in-view are not realizable unless i t is made clear what constitutes a reflective practitioner and how a reflective practitioner differs from an unreflective practitioner. We must also know what i s necessary for a person to do to become a reflective practitioner, i f i t i s less desirable to be an unreflective one. On the other hand, ends-in-view may be so narrowly defined 174 that they w i l l give rise to doubt about the significance, and ju s t i f i c a t i o n , of achieving them. Some prospective teachers, and some teacher educators too, may feel that what i s important for them to learn i s effective ways of classroom management and methods of instructional delivery that w i l l work. Saving a lengthy argument against the language and practice of management and control in education, I w i l l maintain, and I believe many w i l l agree, that learning to teach i s not just about learning how to manage a group of people and keep them under control. Nor i s i t simply a matter of acquiring some effective methods of instruction. The purpose of learning to teach i s to develop one's PKT for intelligent conduct of teaching. This may sound elusive. The discussion in the next chapter w i l l show i t i s not. The knower and the Known The significance of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry to programmatic deliberations in teacher education today l i e s not only in i t s affirmation of the inseparable connection between inquiry, knowledge, and intelligent conduct. It also, more importantly, comes from a different conception of the relationship between the knower and the known that the theory brings forth, even though Dewey's definition of reflective inquiry does not e x p l i c i t l y include this crucial element. Dewey's theory of knowledge reinstates the inseparable connection between a knowing or inquiring person and what i s to be known. Knowledge is the product of competent inquiry. To inquire so as to know, there must be an inquiring person who has the intention to know. The knower, that i s , the inquiring 175 person, i s not a passive recipient of what is known as given. The knower comes to know through his/her interaction with the "doubtful situation." This means that PKT i s actively produced by the knower inquiring into teaching, not something which i s produced by research and theorizing and then packaged into the curriculum to be internalized, and then applied. It i s important to note that the knower does not exist as an "autonomous" traditional ideal knower, as the standard analysis of what i t means to say that "S knows that p" may imply. The knower, constituted by race, class, and gender, lives and acts as a member of a (divided) community and society, with s e l f -interests, values, and beliefs, and at the same time subjected to a l l kinds of internal and external influences and pressures. Knowing, in short, i s thus also a social act and knowledge a social product. It i s "a matter of v i t a l participation in a world of which i t i s a part rather than the idle glances of a disinterested and outside watcher" (Geiger, 1955, p. 141). For prospective teachers, their PKT i s developed in the process of reflective inquiry they are engaged in. The brief account of the pursuit of PKT in teacher education program development in Chapter I shows that the thinking involved at the programmatic level has long tended to regard formal knowledge from external sources as providing the foundation of teaching, even though i t has been long recognized that teaching i s practised on the basis of individual teachers' personal knowledge. The on-going debate over the classic question of "What knowledge i s of most worth" has had surprisingly l i t t l e effect on this very fundamental thinking that guides teacher 176 education program development and pedagogical practice. The assumption i s that once prospective teachers acquire the prescribed knowledge, they w i l l apply i t in the classroom setting, or, to put i t in a different way, they w i l l become prepared for teaching in the classroom. There i s this one way flow of knowledge: External knowledge — Prospective teachers — Practice of Teaching. The standard problems for teacher educators are how to select the curriculum content and get i t across to prospective teachers. The nature of the theoretical knowledge transmitted has been debated upon largely outside the realm of teaching and learning to teach. Dewey's theory of inquiry suggests a different way of thinking about the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach in teacher education. The focus i s on prospective teachers engaging in reflective inquiry. In other words, i t puts the knowing and learning person f i r s t in order. Referring to prospective teachers as the knowing person does not mean that they know what they need to know. Rather, i t points to the fact that prospective teachers bring their prior knowledge into the process of learning to teach. Through inquiry, they produce their personal PKT to inform their practice. They must therefore not be treated as mere recipients of prescribed knowledge, of what is deemed necessary for them to know. Since knowing, both theoretical and practical, professional and ordinary, i s an evergoing concern of an inquirer interacting with the environment, instead of the grasp of an antecedent Being, what a prospective teacher has come to know and prepared to do, must be recognized as hypothetical and conjectural. The 177 conclusions prospective teachers reach in their reflective inquiry into teaching result from the interaction between their internal conditions — their prior knowledge, disposition, interest, etc., — and the external conditions that constitute the doubtful situation that they try to resolve. We should always be consciously aware of the po s s i b i l i t y that the internal conditions of the inquirer are inadequate and need to be further developed, and deficiency in the internal conditions w i l l lead to inadequate or even mis-interpretation of the doubtful situation, which w i l l in turn abort the effort to resolve the situation. Possibly, confusion w i l l arise in both thinking and action. A doubtful situation i s a total existential matrix made up of constitutive elements that are obscure, disorderly, and sometimes conflicting. Through reflective inquiry, an inquirer identifies the elements and t r i e s to organize them into an orderly and coherent system as the intellectual basis of action. In dealing with a complex doubtful situation, i t i s possible that reflective inquiry as i t i s directed and controlled may neglect some of i t s constitutive elements which nonetheless must be taken into consideration i f ends-in-view are to be set and met. The neglected elements may have been perceived as insignificant or irrelevant. Or, they may simply be outside of the inquirer's realm of experience. Another possibility i s that the inquirer, having recognized the relevant elements, may s t i l l f a i l to construct them into a harmonious, unified whole. The relations between the recognized constitutive elements may be a r b i t r a r i l y drawn. A person may be able to articulate several different views of teaching which do not form a coherent system of 178 thinking. In such a case, reflective inquiry would very l i k e l y f a i l to produce adequate knowledge, leading action to undesirable consequences. Because of the conjectural nature of knowledge, reflective inquiry cannot guarantee the achievement of ends-in-view in practice. For no belief, whether in science or in common sense, can be "settled in such a way as not to be subject to revision in further inquiry" (Dewey, 1938a, p. 9). Where practice means the actual performance of a particular task, such as repairing a gate, lecturing on the subject of freedom, etc., we have no other way out but, as Dewey (1929) put i t , "act, but act at your p e r i l " (p. 10). This does not mean that reflective inquiry makes no difference. What we come to know through reflective inquiry enables us to act in the best intelligent way we can. Reflective inquiry can turn back on i t s e l f , subjecting the completed operations and conclusions to re-examination. This i s what Dewey (1938a) called "inquiry into inquiry." "Inquiry into inquiry" does not produce absolute knowledge either but helps to reduce the degree of chance in the consequences thought of and increase the degree of warranted a s s e r t i b i l i t y of the results of inquiry as well as the inquirer's a b i l i t y of anticipating the existential consequences. Furthermore, reflective inquiry i s an ongoing process, not only in the sense that new situations arise after old ones have been resolved, but also in the sense that some doubtful situations are so complex that they can never be expected to be settled once for a l l , for example, the origin of the universe, the assassination of the American president J.F. Kennedy, running 179 the government at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels, etc. Teaching in the classroom i s also such a doubtful situation. The more persistently we inquire into teaching, the more knowledgeable we become and the better control we w i l l have over the existential consequences of our teaching. Reflective inquiry in the sense of reflection-on-action also enables us to evaluate and learn from the existential consequences, whether they are regarded as success or failure. A thoughtful person... while he cannot c a l l [his overt deeds] back and must stand their consequences, he gives alert attention to what they teach him about his conduct as well as to the non-intellectual consequences. He makes a problem out of consequences of conduct, looking into the causes from which they probably resulted, especially the causes that l i e , in his own habits and desires. (Dewey, 1933, p. 116) The ongoing process of reflective inquiry into teaching comes to i t s end only when a teacher stops teaching. At that time, i t i s not that the doubtful situation of teaching has been settled but rather that the teacher i s not confronted with the situation any more. Some retired teachers may s t i l l be interested in thinking and talking about teaching and be concerned about what i s going on in the classroom, but their interest no longer has any direct connection to practical action, for no practical action i s demanded of them. Method One of the topics that received extensive coverage in Dewey's epistemological thesis i s the issue of method. Dewey's position in this regard i s quite explicit, although i t does not seem to me to be always consistent. Dewey saw the issue of method a matter 180 within reflective inquiry. Methods of reflective inquiry are not to be superimposed from outside in but are developed and refined within the process of inquiry. The method that i s employed in discovery, in reflective inquiry, cannot possibly be identified with the method that emerges after the discovery i s made. ... The common assumption that unless the pupil from the outset consciously recognizes and e x p l i c i t l y states the method logically implied in the result he i s to reach, he w i l l have no method and his mind w i l l work confusedly or anarchically i s fallacious. (Dewey 1933, p. 128) A l l logical forms (with their characteristic properties) arise within the operation of inquiry and are concerned with control of inquiry so that i t may yield warranted assertions. (Dewey, 1938a, pp. 3-4) The search for the pattern of inquiry i s , accordingly, not one instituted in the dark or at large. It i s checked and controlled by knowledge of the kinds of inquiry that have and that have not worked; methods which, as was pointed out earlier, can be so compared as to yi e l d reasoned or rational conclusions, (p. 104) Dewey also believed that the experimental method of modern science featuring observation, abstraction, experimentation, verification, and generalization would be the method for reflective inquiry in various social fie l d s . Schon (1992) comments that [Dewey] reveals, at least, in Logic, a faith in the progress that can be achieved by applying to human, social, and p o l i t i c a l problems the methods that he thought had worked so well in fields like metallurgy, agronomy, and medicine, (p. 122) The diversification in social science research methodology since Dewey's time shows that the " s c i e n t i f i c method" Dewey spoke of has not achieved the status of a unifying method for inquiries in the various social fields and i t i s doubtful that i t ever w i l l , unless the term "method" i s not limited to the technical, procedural aspects of s c i e n t i f i c inquiry. Dewey himself seemed 181 sometimes to express views that appear to counter his own faith in the " s c i e n t i f i c method," especially when common sense and values are under consideration. Dewey (1929) asserted that there i s no kind of inquiry which has a monopoly of the honourable t i t l e of knowledge. ... The criterion of knowledge l i e s in the method used to secure consequences and not in metaphysical conceptions of the nature of the real. (pp. 210-211) He repeatedly pointed out in Logic that The difference that now exists between common sense and science i s a social, rather than a logical matter. ... a difference of languages. (Dewey, 1938a, p. 77) The attainment of unified methods (for social inquiry) means that the fundamental unity of the structure of inquiry in common sense and science be recognized, their difference being one in the problems with which they are directly concerned, not in their respective logics, (p. 79) [The difference between common sense and s c i e n t i f i c inquiries] resides in their respective subject-matters, not in their basic logical forms and relations; that the difference in subject-matters i s due to the difference in the problems respectively involved; and, fi n a l l y , that this difference sets up a difference i n the ends or objective consequences they are concerned to achieve, (pp. 114-115) However, when Dewey turned his attention to the " s c i e n t i f i c method," the position he took seemed to be subtly shifted, which may help to i l l u s t r a t e that Dewey's own thinking about reflective inquiry in respect of method was, in his own words, "socially conditioned" (p. 19). He drew his illustrations from the operations of industrial arts and believed the principles of s c i e n t i f i c experimentation also underlay operations of social inquiry. Against this observation, common sense inquiry seems suddenly to have lost i t s equal footing with s c i e n t i f i c inquiry. In Logic again, Dewey stated, 182 Because common sense problems and Inquiries have to do with the interactions into which l i v i n g creatures enter in connection with environing conditions in order to establish objects of use and enjoyment, the symbols employed are those which have been determined in the habitual culture of a group. They form a system but the system i s practical rather than intellectual. It i s constituted by the traditions, occupations, techniques, interests, and established institutions of the group. The meanings that compose i t are carried in the common everyday language of communication between members of the group. The means involved in this common language system determine what individuals of the group may and may not do in relation to physical objects and in relations to one another. They regulate what can be used and enjoyed and how use and enjoyment shall occur, (p. 115) The operations of common sense are restricted because of their dependence upon limited instrumentalities, namely, bodily organs supplemented by instrumental apparatus that was invented to attain practical u t i l i t i e s and enjoyments rather than for the sake of conducting inquiry. The cumulative effect of these operations conducted for a practical end i s to give authority to a set of conceptions made familiar i n a given culture, (p. 534) Should the " s c i e n t i f i c method" be instituted in inquiries i n the various kinds of social practice to achieve their respective ends-in-view, those of "use and enjoyment"? Does common sense inquiry in various social fields already command i t s own methods developed out of prior inquiries and to be refined in present inquiries? Perhaps, common sense inquiry and s c i e n t i f i c inquiry are, as Schon (1992) reasserts, "distinguished from each other, not by their epistemologies, but by their particular purposes and subject matters: the pattern of inquiry i s the same in both" (p. 122). Then the issue w i l l be turned back to the process of reflective inquiry i t s e l f in the various social fields in which i t i s engaged. Greene (1994) comments on Dewey's faith in the "s c i e n t i f i c method," Yes, he spoke of "the supremacy of method," meaning the 183 method of empirical inquiry, however, he emphasized the need to define mind in terms of doing and i t s results and the importance of avoiding the assumption that what knowledge must be had to be known in advance.... In another text, he objected once more to any supreme devotion to a single truth and, in fact, to the dominance of the s c i e n t i f i c method over a l l other modes of knowing — and this in spite of his earlier insistence on "the primacy of method." Treating science as truth meaning, he wrote that i t should not have "monopolistic jurisdiction" over a l l other meanings, (p. 434) Perhaps we should understand Dewey's faith in the " s c i e n t i f i c method" not in terms of the technical, procedural aspect of inquiry in modern physical sciences but in terms of the requisite attitudes he identified — open-mindedness, whole-heartedness and responsibility — that form a person's disposition favourable to an on-going engagement of reflective inquiry. To quote Dewey (1904) himself, It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this s c i e n t i f i c method i s the method of mind i t s e l f . The classifications, interpretations, explanations, and generalizations which make subject-matter a branch of study do not l i e externally in facts apart from mind. They reflect the attitudes and workings of mind in i t s endeavour to bring raw material of experience to a point where i t at once satisfies and stimulates the needs of active thought, (p. 161) Where i n i t i a l teacher preparation and continuing professional development are concerned, being open-minded means recognizing the fact that PKT i s an on-going concern and the need to l i s t e n to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give f u l l attention to alternative p o s s i b i l i t i e s ; to recognize the p o s s i b i l i t y of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us. (Dewey, 1933, p. 30) Being whole-hearted means that we inquire into teaching for the purpose of understanding i t s complexity in order to act in an intelligent manner, not for the sake of just knowing something 184 about teaching or meeting some institutional or administrative requirements. For prospective teachers and teachers alike, being responsible means being consciously aware of the need to carefully consider the ends and means of teaching, thereby ensuring that what they plan to do for/with their students in the classroom w i l l not lead to undesirable or even harmful practical consequences. Teaching responsibility i s fundamentally a moral responsibility. Summary Proponents of RTE often profess to draw their inspiration from Dewey's idea of reflective inquiry. However, few have given much serious consideration to i t s epistemological implications for the development of teacher education programs. In this chapter, I have introduced the major features of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry and discussed several elements of the theory that I perceive to be particularly pertinent to our thinking about PKT and learning to teach. I have deliberately chosen to stay away from the abstract, technical aspects of Dewey's theory for the reason that they constitute a different kind of subject matter and belong to a different realm of inquiry. Feiman-Nemser (1990) suggests that ideally, a conceptual orientation includes a view of teaching and learning and a theory about learning to teach. Such ideas should give direction to the practical a c t i v i t i e s of teacher preparation such as program planning, course development, instruction, supervision, and evaluation, (p. 220) Feiman-Nemser's notion of a conceptual orientation offers a very useful framework for thinking about the fundamental theoretical 185 as well as practical issues concerning the organization and practice of teacher education. How can Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry help us address those issues? It i s quite obvious that Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry does not contain an exp l i c i t view of teaching, for the development of the theory i t s e l f was in the f i r s t place aimed at the general problem of knowledge, not the mundane issues concerning teaching and teacher education. This however does not necessarily reduce in any significant measure the immediate relevance of Dewey's theory to teacher education today. I w i l l maintain that classroom teaching, at a l l levels of education, i s in the f i n a l analysis an intentional conduct of the teacher to intervene in the intellectual, moral, psychological, physical, and social development of other people, often younger ones. If any measure of institutional intervention i s to have the intended effect on prospective teachers' learning to teach, i t i s essential that programmatic and pedagogical decisions be made on the basis of an adequate understanding of learning to teach, instead of resorting to the very tenuous claim on the existence of a putative knowledge base. For sure, there are research findings and scholarly writings about teaching that learning to teach cannot afford to ignore. But, they are the means to be employed in helping prospective teachers to develop their PKT. The legitimation and authority of teacher education, whether i t i s university-based or school-based, come from a moral consideration. Although an explicit view of teaching i s not a part of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry, a theory about learning to 186 teach can be well derived from i t . Incidentally, one of the chief misgivings about Dewey's theory has been that " i n developing his own positive epistemological views, Dewey has spoken at length about what i s involved in acquiring knowledge, but has said nothing about what i t i s to have knowledge" (Kulp, 1992, p. 58; see also Dicker's defence of Dewey's position in this regard, 1976). To quote Dewey (1938a) again, "knowledge, as an abstract term, i s a name for the product of competent inquiries" (p. 8). For prospective teachers to develop their PKT, they must inquire into teaching. As Perkinson (1984) asserts, knowledge i s not transmitted or transferred from one human being to another, nor i s i t transmitted by a book. It i s not received nor discovered. Knowledge i s created. Every knower i s the creator of what he (she) knows, (p. 168) This apparently constructivist conception of PKT may give rise to concerns about relativism. The worry i s not necessary, though, for the real issue in teacher education program development i s not about the comparative r e l i a b i l i t y and truth values of theoretical knowledge, objective and public, measured against personal practical knowledge, subjective and intuitive. What needs to be carefully (re-)considered i s the role of external knowledge rooted in different philosophical traditions, p o s i t i v i s t , interpretive, c r i t i c a l , as well as the norms and conventional wisdom of the teaching profession, in prospective teachers' reflective inquiry of teaching. To put the issue straightforward, what i s or ought to be recognized as the foundation of learning to teach and the practice of teaching? This question w i l l be discussed in light of Dewey's theory of 187 inquiry in the next chapter. Before I move on to the next chapter, I should say a few words about the difference between Dewey and Schon. In Dewey's thesis, the problem of knowledge i s considered in the context of the conduct of reflective inquiry, which i s an evergoing concern. It i s competent inquiry that produces knowledge that directs and controls human conduct. While the unison of inquiry, knowledge, and action i s emphasized, the distinction between the three i s as clear as i t i s easy to see. Knowledge claims can be tested in thought and/or in overt action, in terms of their "warranted a s s e r t i b i l i t y " and "predictability" in regard to their existential consequences. The implication for learning to teach and teacher education program development i s quite clear: i f we could help prospective teachers to have better control of the conditions and operations of their reflective inquiry into teaching, they would be better able to develop their PKT for intelligent conduct of teaching. In contrast, Schon's epistemology of practice i s concerned with ascertaining and representing a special kind of professional knowing in and of practice. In Schon's account, practitioners' knowing in and of practice, the t a c i t kind, i s described as a process of reflection-in-action revealed in competent performance in dealing with problem situations in the respective f i e l d s of professional practice. That competent practitioners know of and in practice, albeit t a c i t l y , i s premised on the recognition of their competent performance. Beyond that, there i s no way to test the kind of professional knowing Schon trie s to represent with his model. Indeed, why do we need to test professional 188 knowing at a l l when we are already satisfied with the practical consequence of competent practitioners' performance? What can be tested i s Schon's model for representing that kind of knowing. For developing programs of professional education, i t i s far more important to know how competent practitioners come to know what they know than to construct theoretical models in a vain attempt to capture whatever special kind of knowing we believe competent practitioners possess. In that regard, i t i s hard to see what theoretical implications can be derived from Schon's model of professional knowing for the development of professional education programs. Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry can help us enormously to that end, as i t w i l l be discussed in the next chapter. 189 Chapter V: RECONCEPTUALIZING REFLECTIVE TEACHER EDUCATION Before getting down to the task set in this chapter, I w i l l take a quick look at the ground that has been already covered. In Chapter I, I survey the fragmentation of PKT underlying teacher education program development in the changing social and cultural contexts of different hist o r i c a l times. Fragmented views of PKT are inadequate for teacher education program development because (a) none of them alone captures the multi-faceted nature of PKT in relation to practice in the complex world of teaching; (b) they do not add up to a coherent, overarching view of PKT and some of them embody conflicting principles that work at one another's expense; and (c) they are in close alliance with the traditional transmission model of teaching that reduces learning to teach to receiving codified knowledge from external sources. In Chapter II, I turn my attention to the fuzzy phenomenon of RTE. Since the early 1980s, RTE has been promoted by many as an alternative approach to teachers' preservice preparation as well as their continuing professional development. However, in laying an emphasis on "makfing] the relationship between theory and practice problematic," enthusiasts of RTE have diverted their attention away from the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach. At a personal level, many proponents of RTE may claim to adopt one kind of a constructivist view of knowledge or another. It i s clear however that much emphasis at the programmatic level has been given to getting across to prospective teachers, or having them practice, some preconceived ideas and procedures of 190 reflective practice/teaching/inquiry that their professors espouse. It has not been made clear, though, whether and how the espoused goal(s) and procedures of reflective practice/teaching/ inquiry are or can be connected to prospective teachers' development of their PKT. RTE, as i t stands now, i s short of support from an adequate epistemological understanding of PKT and learning to teach. RTE has often been linked, albeit in a rather simplistic manner, to Schon's epistemology of practice and/or Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry. I r e v i s i t Schon's account of professional knowing of and in practice in Chapter III. Schon's work can be appreciated in terms of i t s critique of the Technical Rationality model that emphasizes the application of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge in achieving given ends in professional practice. Schon's thesis has enriched the problem solving model of professional practice with the notion of reflection-in-action through which competent practitioners resolve problematic situations in their respective fields of professional practice. With Eraut (1994), I think Schon's account of reflection-in-action could be better read as an analogy to help re-affirm that professional practice i s "minded practice" or as a theory of cognition to help us to better understand how the mind of a competent practitioner i s engaged when i t i s confronted with a problematic situation in action. Yet, as an account of what competent practitioners know that makes professional a r t i s t r y possible, I find Schon's epistemology of practice inadequate, for, as i t has been discussed in Chapter III, i t f a i l s to observe the distinction between 191 what a person knows and how that person comes to know what s/he knows, either propositional knowledge or ta c i t knowing implicit in intelligent action. In Schon's thesis, professional knowing inferred from competent practitioners' performance i s described as a process of reflection-in-action. I t bars questions about what competent practitioners know beyond that imaginative process and how they come to know what they know. The reflection-in-action model of professional knowing i s inconsequential to the development of professional education programs. The kind of professional knowing Schon c a l l s knowing-in-action and reflection-in-action i s inherent in competent performance in resolving problematic situations arising i n the midst of action. We observe a master teacher's competent performance of coaching his students, so we believe that the master teacher knows the stuff of coaching. But we do not know what i t i s exactly that individual master teachers know and, more importantly, how they each came to possess the knowing without which their competent performance of coaching i s unlikely possible. The assertion that competent practitioners are operating from some knowledge, whatever model we may use to describe that knowledge, cannot i t s e l f suffice to provide an epistemological ground for developing programs of professional education of any kind. To better understand the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach, I turn to Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry in Chapter IV. Dewey l e f t behind a robust theory of knowing, i n the sense of acquiring and having knowledge, in relation to intelligent human conduct. I have revisited Dewey's theory of 192 reflective inquiry without going into those methodological and terminological issues that belong in the realm of formal logic. For the limited scope of my study, I have excluded philosophical discussions rooted in the conception of knowledge as " j u s t i f i e d true belief." The value and pertinence of Dewey's philosophical thesis to the current discourse on RTE does not l i e in the p o s s i b i l i t y that i t might offer a definition of reflective practice or a set of procedures that could be followed step by step in teaching or learning to teach. Rather, Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry should be read to help us to arrive at a better understanding of the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach. It i s Dewey's emphasis on the unison of inquiry, knowledge, and action and his explication of the process of reflective inquiry that, I believe, w i l l help, in Feiman-Nemser's words, "give direction to the practical a c t i v i t i e s of teacher preparation such as program planning, course development, instruction, supervision, and evaluation." It i s of course not sufficient to appreciate Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry and assert that i t can help furnish the epistemological ground for teacher education program development. In the following discussion, I w i l l not offer yet another stipulative definition of reflective practice/teaching/inquiry that might somehow be delineated from Dewey's theory. I w i l l not repeat what has been covered in Chapter IV in regard to Dewey's theory and then try to say in what respects i t may be translated into practical guidance for teacher education development. Instead, in light of Dewey's philosophical thesis, I w i l l focus 193 my discussion directly on learning to teach as an on-going process of reflective inquiry into teaching for the purpose of developing PKT and how programmatic provision of theoretical studies and practical experience in teacher education should be best made accordingly. For a general theoretical framework for the development of RTE programs, I draw from Dewey's theory the following principles in regard to PKT and learning to teach: a) PKT i s the product of competent inquiry into teaching; professional knowing and learning to teach are a matter of prospective teachers developing their personal PKT through a continuing process of reflective inquiry into teaching. RTE programs emphasize the unison of inquiry, knowledge, and action. RTE programs are designed for assisting prospective teachers in their inquiry into teaching. b) Prospective teachers are knowing persons and makers of their personal PKT; prospective teachers' personal (prior) knowledge of teaching i s recognized as the foundation of their professional preparation. Therefore, RTE programs aim at helping prospective teachers to reconstruct, consolidate, and expand that foundation upon which their future professional practice w i l l be based; c) Viewed as a process of reflective inquiry, learning to teach goes beyond knowing about teaching in i t s fragmented pieces for knowing's sake. Learning to teach should enable prospective teachers to develop their PKT so as to act in a professionally competent manner. This requires that both the personal goals of teaching and the means for achieving the goals be subjected to re-examinatiori and revision continuous with the i n i t i a l preparation and their teaching career. RTE programs ensure that each and every component contribute to the development of prospective teachers' PKT for intelligent conduct of teaching. Understanding Learning to Teach Learning to teach i s a serious, career-long endeavour which 194 entails a moral responsibility, for teaching i s in the f i n a l analysis a moral endeavour. One crucial criterion for being a morally responsible teacher i s , I think, an awareness that our personal knowledge of teaching i s limited and conjectural and therefore in our personal conduct of teaching there i s always room for improvement. Besides, the practice world of teaching i s complex and in a constant state of flux, which means that our knowledge for teaching cannot be static. Like theoretical knowledge, personal PKT needs to be continuously developed. We do not have to worry about not seeing an end to the development of personal PKT (and how good a good teacher should be). It i s , however, very important and necessary for teacher educators to know where each prospective teacher's inquiry into teaching starts and how i t progresses so that effective programmatic provisions can be made to help them to control and direct that development. As Dewey (1904) put i t , "the important function of the teacher i s direction of the mental movement of the student, and that the mental movement must be known before i t can directed" (p. 158). Dewey's theory t e l l s us that we are prompted to inquire when we encounter a doubtful situation. For prospective teachers, as I have suggested earlier, teaching i s the doubtful situation they inquire into. I assume that the great majority of prospective teachers are consciously aware that they enter teacher education to learn to teach, to develop their PKT. Thus, in ligh t of Dewey's description of reflective inquiry, prospective teachers can be regarded as having taken the i n i t i a l step of their inquiry into teaching when they enter a teacher education program. Since 195 prospective teachers have already taken the i n i t i a l step of their inquiry upon entering teacher education, the preoccupation at the programmatic level should be duly concerned with how prospective teachers may (be helped to) have better control of the direction of their inquiry to ensure desirable outcomes. Again, according to Dewey's theory, there are two things to consider now — (1) individual prospective teachers' intellectualization of the doubtful situation of classroom teaching, and (2) ways in which they each try to resolve the doubtful situation. Having experienced teaching since an early age, prospective teachers have become familiar with some of the constitutive elements of teaching. This familiarity with teaching i s no doubt severely limited because i t i s by and large based on direct experience with teaching from an individual student's personal vantage-point. To avoid confusion, I w i l l refer to what prospective teachers already know about teaching at the entry level as prior knowledge. When their prior knowledge i s taken into consideration, i t becomes clear that prospective teachers have done more than taking the i n i t i a l step of reflective inquiry. They can be considered to have already intellectualized to some extent the doubtful situation they are inquiring into. Some prospective teachers may regard teaching as a matter of caring for their students. Some, often among those would-be high school teachers, may be more passionate about classroom teaching as a vehicle for passing on to their students specialized knowledge and/or s k i l l s that are thought to be good and/or useful for their future l i f e . A few others may take teaching to be a mission of liberating the oppressed and transforming society at 196 large. Some prospective teachers may be able to articulate several views of teaching. The question i s then whether these views make up a coherent system of thought and which view(s) w i l l actually be acted upon. Not realizing that teaching in the classroom i s more complex and extensive than what each and every one of them takes i t to be, many prospective teachers are anxious, understandably, to find some effective means, particularly of classroom control and management or effective methods of instruction, that could help them to achieve their personal goals of teaching. Many share the belief that i f I have control of the class, i f I am i n possession of an effective method of delivering instruction, I w i l l be able to get my students to do what I intend them to do and achieve what I set out for them to achieve. Against this belief, any input, be i t theory or research findings or even practical advice, which i s not perceived to be helpful to that end, would be considered as irrelevant and not attended to. However, as Schon rightly points out, when a doubtful situation i s inadequately framed in the f i r s t place, the search for effective means to resolve i t w i l l unlikely be successful, no matter how adept one i s at improvisation. Take the conception of teaching as caring for the taught as an example. Strike (1990) argues that "a view of the ethics of teaching that makes caring central may be inattentive to those values and moral principles that are internal to subject matter or to the characteristic a c t i v i t i e s of teaching" (p. 217). The emerging case literature in teacher education (Buliough, 1989; Buliough et a l . , 1992; Shulman, 1987) suggests that the conception of teaching as caring 197 for the taught would become inoperative in the classroom setting i f other constitutive elements of teaching, for instance, instructional objectives and individual student characteristics, are not taken into the teacher's overall strategic consideration. It has been noted earlier that since prior knowledge has a decisive role in learning to teach, i t seems reasonable for teacher educators to make an effort to get prospective teachers to become aware of, challenge, analyze, and c r i t i c i s e their prior knowledge. But, suppose that prospective teachers are willing to examine c r i t i c a l l y their prior knowledge of teaching and have come to realize how inadequate i t i s , what must they do to change it? Where do correct ideas or adequate knowledge for action come from? It i s plainly clear that c r i t i c a l analysis alone i s not sufficient for learning to teach, for i t i s usually concerned with fragments of a deconstructed knowledge structure. Learning to teach, on the other hand, i s a dual task of deconstructing the knowledge structure already in store and constructing a new one. The metaphor of sailors rebuilding their ship at high seas i s illuminating. The existing knowledge structure i s inadequate for attainting some intended goals. But the construction of a new knowledge structure depends on and i s affected by the existing knowledge structure. It must be kept in our mind that rebuilding the ship i s not really the ultimate goal. Essential as i t i s , the ship i s the means to an end, not the end i t s e l f . The goal i s to continue the journey to an intended destination. Learning to teach must go beyond knowing for i t s own sake or being c r i t i c a l of what i s known. Once we lose sight of the ultimate goal of 198 learning to teach, prospective teachers developing their PKT for intelligent conduct of teaching, learning to teach runs ad r i f t in the direction of changing winds. Developing a Harmonious. Unified Conceptual Map of Teaching Learning to teach can be considered in terms of doing certain things, for instance, studying pedagogical theories, designing a teaching plan, engaging in practice teaching, keeping a reflection-on-action journal, and participating in a group discussion. These and many other pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s have long been instituted in the practice of teacher education. But doing these things does not necessarily always lead to the intended outcome. We learn to swim by striking our arms and kicking our legs in the water. We might get drowned doing the same things. Learning to teach has also been thought of in terms of behaviour modification through conditioning and stimulus-response-positive reinforcement. Forming appropriate teaching behaviour was what the Apprenticeship and Competence/Performance-based models of teacher education were mainly concerned about. The Apprenticeship model has been discredited for i t s limitation on intellectual input from external sources. Competence/ Performance-based teacher education went out of fashion as i t became clear that i t was based on too narrow a conception of PKT. Today, i t has become more customary to discuss learning to teach in terms of conceptual or schema change. I think this i s a much better way of thinking and talking about learning to teach, for i t builds upon the premise that teaching behaviour i s 199 controlled by a personal conceptual system or schemata structure. For behaviour change to occur, the existing conceptual system or schemata structure must change. Talking about learning to teach in terms of conceptual change can also help to account for the necessity of prospective teachers participating in the various kinds of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s . At least i t can be claimed that the pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s are designed or chosen with the intention to bring about desirable conceptual change that w i l l in turn lead to behaviour change. Two questions remain though: How does or may conceptual change occur? How can conceptual change be positively linked to the development of professional competence? Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry can help us to answer the questions. To quote Dewey again, "inquiry i s the controlled or directed transformation of an indeterminate situation into one that i s so determinate in i t s constituent distinctions and relations as to convert the elements of the original situation into a unified whole." It i s relatively easy to speak of learning to teach as a process of reflective inquiry into the doubtful situation of teaching, but what does i t mean in practical terms "to convert the elements of the original situation into a unified whole" in learning to teach? The answer to the above question w i l l come from an appreciation of the Deweyan idea of teaching as a relational world constituted by various existential elements, such as teachers, students, physical f a c i l i t i e s such as classrooms and the playground, textbooks, curriculum guidelines and resources, long-term goals and specific short-term objectives, instructional 200 strategies and techniques, parents, colleagues, motivation, interest, the principal and school administration, just to name a few. To develop PKT i s to map, conceptually, the existential elements into a harmonious, unified whole to serve as the cognitive basis of intelligent conduct. Obviously, each and every one of the constitutive elements of teaching can be studied in i t s own right. For instance, we can inquire about teachers, raising questions about their family background, educational attainment and professional preparation, command of subject matter knowledge, self-awareness, role perception, socialization, socio-economic status, ideological commitment, pedagogical practice, thinking processes, etc., and trying to find satisfactory answers to the questions we raise. Curriculum i s another of those constitutive elements. It can be o f f i c i a l or "hidden." I t too can refer to a number of different things: (1) content or subject matter, (2) a program of planned a c t i v i t i e s , (3) intended learning a c t i v i t i e s , (4) cultural reproduction, (5) experience, (6) discrete tasks and concepts, or (7) an agenda for social reconstruction (Schubert, 1986) or "a study of what i s valued and given p r i o r i t y and what i s devalued and excluded" (Cherryholmes, 1987, p. 297). But learning to teach i s a kind of reflective inquiry different from academic inquiries. Learning to teach, i n l i g h t of Dewey's theory, i s an on-going inquiry conducted at a personal level that aims at bringing the constitutive relational elements of teaching together and into a harmonious, unified whole. Three additional statements should be made in regard to this personal conceptual map of the world of teaching — (1) the personal 201 conceptual map of teaching has an existential base made up of inquirer's experience with the various constitutive elements of teaching; (2) the personal conceptual map of teaching serves as the cognitive base of an inquirer's conduct of teaching; and (3) the adequacy of the personal conceptual map can be assessed in terms of i t s "warranted a s s e r t i b i l i t y " and predictability of the intended outcomes of teaching and learning. In plain language, what a person knows about teaching should enable that person not only to talk about teaching but more importantly to act in a professionally competent manner, producing the intended outcome in student learning. To construct and reconstruct a conceptual map that w i l l enable a teacher to l i v e , work, and realize goals in the practice world of teaching, the various constitutive elements of teaching must be clearly identified: what kind of a teacher dealing with what kind of students in what context for what purpose with what kind of pedagogical means under what kind of social and institutional conditions and constraints, and so forth. Since prospective teachers' prior knowledge of teaching i s on the whole gained from the experience of being a student, i t i s reasonable to assert that much of what they know about the various elements of teaching w i l l not be appropriate for the reconstruction of their conceptual map. Take homework as an example. It can be assumed that homework w i l l mean quite different things to a student who i s required to do i t and to a teacher who assigns i t . The point to be made here i s that prospective teachers' knowledge about the various constitutive elements of teaching cannot be taken for granted. Prospective teachers must, in their 202 inquiry into teaching, re-acquaint themselves with those seemingly familiar elements of teaching and familiarize themselves with other elements that they have not experienced before, for instance, students working together as a group, subject matter knowledge, language of instruction, curriculum guidelines, ethic code of professional conduct, lesson planning, long and short-term goals, instructional resources, institutional constraints, interpersonal relationships with students, colleagues, and administration, etc. It i s important to be clear that "facts" and "truth" about the various constitutive elements of teaching are not given. They have to be ascertained within the inquiry process. Getting to know the constitutive elements of teaching may not always be an easy task. A dictionary definition or some generalization about a particular element w i l l not l i k e l y suffice. But the constitutive elements are not themselves problems. That the students in a class have multi-ethnic backgrounds, for instance, i s a fact that does not require sophisticated theorizing or a research program to obtain. This fact i t s e l f does not present any problem. The problem i s how this particular element so known may f i t into a harmonious relationship with other element(s) of teaching. What w i l l happen i f we put this element with the transmission of mainstream cultural knowledge set as the objective of teaching? In that case, questions about cultural domination and bias w i l l arise. Even granting that those questions could be resolved, or ignored, the teacher may s t i l l have d i f f i c u l t y achieving the intended outcome of teaching and learning because of the lack of the prerequisite preparation on 203 the part of the students. However, i f there i s a teacher who i s appreciative of cultural diversity and the instructional objective i s to promote cross-cultural understanding, these elements would f i t well with a group of students with multi-cultural backgrounds towards a harmonious, unified conceptual map of teaching. To be sure, this i s s t i l l not sufficient and there are s t i l l other elements to be brought into the picture. For instance, i f in this multi-cultural student body, some students have a low proficiency in the language used as the medium of instruction, something more w i l l be required of the teacher than having an appreciation of cultural diversity and the desire to promote cross-cultural understanding. The formation of a harmonious relational conceptual map of the practice world of teaching would amount to nothing more than some propositional statements unless i t enables the teacher to act out in a way that the intended goal of promoting cross-cultural understanding w i l l be achieved. To make the conceptual map operative in the actual conduct of teaching, the teacher also has to consider other constitutive elements of teaching. For instance, what i s the cross-cultural understanding that i s to be promoted? What kind of curriculum material should be used? What format of the lesson should be taken? What kind of evaluative measures are to be used to assess student learning outcome? etc. To reiterate, the personal conceptual map,of teaching that prospective teachers each develop through their inquiry must not exist only^ in words. It should enable i t s beholder to act in a certain way consistent with i t . 204 Subjectivity vs. Objectivity Since I look at learning to teach as an inquiry into teaching conducted at a personal level through which prospective teachers develop their PKT, I cannot avoid addressing the thorny issue of subjectivity and objectivity. There are at least three different ways in which the topic of subjectivity and objectivity has been discussed. F i r s t , there i s the traditional philosophical debate on whether the world as we know of i t exists objectively out there or subjectively in our mind, whether what we know i s a mirror image of the world or our own construction of i t . As the discussion in the previous chapter shows, this philosophical issue has already been dealt with i n Dewey's theory of inquiry. I accept Dewey's thesis of knowledge resulting from "organism — environment interaction" and have nothing more to add here. A second way of dealing with the topic of subjectivity vs. objectivity i s seen in the debate on whether the world can be known only subjectively through individual personal experience. It i s a given that human mechanisms of sensation, perception, and cognition operate only on the basis of an individual person. I have personally experienced teaching both as a student and as a teacher and come to know what teaching means to me. The experience I have i s unique to me. No one else in the world can have my experience of teaching and therefore know what I know about teaching. Yet, I am f u l l y aware that I cannot give meaning to my personal experience of teaching or think about teaching without the medium of a language, which i s public. Neither the phenomenon of RTE I am writing about nor the language in which I 205 am writing about i t i s my own invention. In that sense, I cannot claim that my thoughts on the subject of RTE are tot a l l y private except in the sense that I am doing the thinking. The dependence of self-consciousness on human communication through the medium of a public language i s most well il l u s t r a t e d in the case of Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing shortly after her birth. With the help of her wonderful teacher, Miss Sullivan, Hellen Keller learned to read and write. She said in her autobiography, Before my teacher came to me, I did not know that I am. I lived i n a world that was a no-world. I cannot hope to describe adequately that unconscious, yet conscious time of nothingness. I did not know that I knew aught, or that I lived or acted or desired. I had neither w i l l nor i n t e l l e c t . I was carried along to objects or acts by a certain blind natural impetus... I had a power of association... After repeatedly smelling rain and feeling the discomfort of wetness, I acted l i k e those about me. I ran to shut the window. But that was not thought in any sense. It was the same kind of association that makes animals take shelter from the rain. When I learned the meaning of *I' and xMe' and found that I was something, I began to think. Then consciousness f i r s t existed for me. (quoted in Musgrave, 1993, p. 67) Language, said Dewey (1897), " i s the tool through which one individual comes to share the ideas and feelings of others, (not merely the expression of thought, a logical instrument)" (p. 12). It seems that we can put to rest the issue of subjectivity and objectivity once we have come to terms with the two sides of the coin. Yet, there i s another stumbling block to be removed. The issue of subjectivity vs. objectivity here i s also associated with the controversy over whether knowledge claims (e.g., women's knowing, practitioners' knowing, cultural knowing) can be 206 rationally grounded rather than simply asserted on the basis of individual or group experience. At the core of the controversy i s the role of rational criticism. On the subjective side, arguments have been made against h i s t o r i c a l prejudice involved in rational criticism and the unjustifiable imposition of external evaluative c r i t e r i a . On the objective side, there i s the insistence on the legitimacy of rational criticism as the arbiter of knowledge claims. This i s obviously a complex and highly contentious issue and I w i l l leave i t for the moment and return to i t later in the discussion on the provision of theoretical studies and practical experience in teacher education. Nagel (1986) suggests a third alternative that brings the issue down to the personal level of understanding. Instead of bifurcating the issue of subjectivity and objectivity, Nagel suggests a reconciliatory approach in which a deliberate effort i s made to "juxtapose the internal and external or subjective and objective views at f u l l strength, i n order to achieve unification when i t i s possible and to recognize clearly when i t i s not" (p. 4). Nagel suggests that we individual human beings are posited on a wide spectrum, trying to move away from a subjective standpoint to an increasingly objective standpoint. In this way, we increase our understanding of the world and ourselves, To acquire a more objective understanding of some aspect of l i f e or the world, we step back from our i n i t i a l view of i t and form a new conception which has that view and i t s relation to the world as i t s object. In other words, we place ourselves in the world that i s to be understood. The old view then comes to be regarded as an appearance, more subjective than the new view, and correctable or confirmable by reference to i t . The process can be repeated, yielding a s t i l l more objective conception.... Thus objectivity allows us to transcend our particular viewpoint and develop an 207 expanded consciousness that takes in the world more f u l l y . A l l this applies to values and attitudes as well as to beliefs and theories, (pp. 4-5) While confident that we can make successive objective advances and develop an increasingly detached view of the world with ourselves in i t , Nagel also points out the limitation to the capacity of objectivity. An objective standpoint i s created by leaving a more subjective, individual, or even just human perspective behind; but there are things about the world and l i f e and ourselves that cannot be adequately understood from a maximally objective standpoint, however much i t may extend our understanding beyond the point from which we started. A great deal i s essentially connected to a particular point of view, or type of point of view.... The subjectivity of consciousness i s an irreducible feature of real i t y — without which we couldn't do physics or anything else — and i t must occupy as fundamental a place in any credible world view as matter, energy, space, time, and numbers, (p. 7) Nagel also warns us of the dangers of ambition in the pursuit of objectivity, such as "excessive impersonality, false objectification and insoluble conflict between subjective and objective conceptions of the same thing" (p. 86). I w i l l not rehearse the details of these dangers. Nagel's juxtaposition of subjective and objective stand-points i s plausible and yet I am not entirely s a t i s f i e d with i t . Nagel's thesis leaves something extremely important l i t t l e explored. How would i t be possible for us to get a detached view of the world? In ordinary visual experience, we can broaden our view by stepping back from where we stand and we can look over our shoulder to see what i s behind us. However, a broadened visual view i s obtained at the sacrifice of the details that the previous, closer but narrower view obtains. We cannot see both what i s in front of us and what i s behind us at the same time. 208 Only when we combine what is presently in view and what i s retained in our memory of the previous view, w i l l we be able to form a larger mental picture. Broadening or objectifying a conceptual view of the world i s a far more complicated matter however. A conceptual view pertains to some understanding of experience with/in the world. I have been a graduate student over the last several years. I have developed my view of graduate study on the basis of my own personal experience. How am I to try and stand away from my current understanding of graduate study and arrive at a more objective view? "To what could I appeal, i f my own analysis was correct?" (Maclntyre, 1981). It seems that something other than v o l i t i o n must be available to us in order that we may be able to realize what we know at the moment is only what i t appears to be. That something w i l l also enable us to see through the appearance, that i s , to help us to achieve some degree of self-transcendence. If that something i s already in us, why does i t remain inactive when we f i r s t experience the world and arrive at our subjective view of i t ? If that something has to be supplied from an external source, would i t simply be an attempt of f i t t i n g our experience into someone else's subjective framework to form a different view which would not necessarily include our own? Can a higher degree of self-transcendence be obtained simply by us accepting a subjective view supplied by someone else? Naael's Position Modified I think Nagel's position could be modified on the basis of Dewey's original idea of "organism-environment interaction." I 209 take a subjective stand point of view to imply a s p l i t between the subject H I " and the world out there that the subject " I " sees and feels about. The subject "I" i s an external observer peeking in on the world from outside. It may see the world as being governed by natural laws or pre-arranged by God or constituted by individual human beings of free-will or bounded by a communal membership. It seems to me that educational researchers and theorists tend to take the position of this subject " I , " whether they try to discover, interpret, or c r i t i c i z e . Where practical action i s of concern, the subject " I " regards i t s e l f as an external, benevolent force acting upon the world from without in the hope of achieving goals either self-determined or set by others. Failing to achieve the goals may lead the subject " I " to a feeling of being unfit in the world. Failure may also be accounted for in terms of the hostile conditions of the world. In contrast, an objective stand point of view in light of Dewey's idea of "organism-environment interaction" entails a recognition on the part of the beholder of that view that " I " i s but one constitutive element in an interactive relationship with other constitutive elements of the world and reasons on i t s behalf. This recognition makes i t possible and necessary for the subject " I " to appreciate and consider, among many other things, the ways in which "I" may contribute either positively or negatively to the shaping of those elements. There are around us things both material and immaterial. It i s the " I " that gives meaning to them and constructs a relationship among them. In other words, the subject " I " should hold i t s e l f responsible for what the world i s in i t s attempt to achieve what i t intends to 210 achieve. In this case, the pursuit of objectivity i s not the pursuit of eternal truth about the world out there or consensus on what might be taken as true or good on the basis of a majority vote. Nor would i t aim at achieving a more objective view, which seems to come from nowhere, in place of a subjective view afforded by prior experience. An increasingly objective standpoint view of the world can be achieved only through a continuous effort of the "I" in ratifying facts about the constitutive elements of the world and bringing in elements that have not been included in the previous view, recognizing that " I " shape the environment while being shaped by i t . When facts or meanings about the familiar constitutive elements change and when additional elements are taken into consideration, the previous subjective standpoint view w i l l not be able to sustain i t s e l f and w i l l have to give way to a more objective standpoint view. Again, Schon's example of the MIT research project can be used to help i l l u s t r a t e the point. The teachers involved in the project did not notice in their f i r s t viewing of the video-taped game that one player did not have the designated block to continue the game with and had to improvise subsequent moves. The game appeared to them to have turned chaotic. They concluded that there was a communication problem with that player. It i s d i f f i c u l t to imagine how i t might be possible for the teachers to come to the new (more objective?) interpretation without the additional information provided by the researcher. The example of the MIT research shows clearly that the new interpretation was arrived at only after the additional information was brought into 211 consideration together with the previous held information. The additional information makes the previous framing of the problematic situation unsustainable. (Note: The MIT research project was designed for a different purpose.) The foregoing discussion can help shed light on prospective teachers' learning to teach. By implication, in their effort to develop a more objective standpoint view of teaching, or an increasingly harmonious, unified conceptual map of teaching, prospective teachers need to see themselves as one very crucial element of the world of teaching in an interactive relationship with the other elements. It i s very important for them to be aware that "facts" or meaning about the various constitutive elements of teaching including themselves are not given but are what they are taken to be in the process of inquiry. They need to constantly r a t i f y the "facts" or meaning about the various constitutive elements of teaching in respect of their interactive relationship. This means that i t i s never enough to just think what i s the right thing to do and what i s the better or best way of doing i t . Nagel considers "the distinction between more subjective and more objective views ... a matter of degree" (p. 5). I think the same speaks of the construction of a harmonious, unified personal conceptual map of teaching, the development of personal PKT. Often, teaching in the classroom i s said to be complex because teachers are faced with many practical issues and demands from different c i r c l e s . From the perspective of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry, the complexity of teaching i s rather inherent in familiarizing with and mapping i t s many constitutive 212 elements, inclusive of the practical issues and demands, into a harmonious, unified relationship. The more elements are brought together, the more complicated the conceptual map of teaching becomes and the more d i f f i c u l t for i t to achieve harmony and unity. Learning to teach as a process of reflective inquiry into teaching should contribute to the development of the personal conceptual map of teaching in increasing complexity, harmony, and unity that w i l l enable i t s beholder to act as a teacher in a socially responsible and professionally competent manner. What kind of help should be provided at the programmatic level then? Programmatic Provision What implications can teacher educators draw from Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry for the development of RTE programs? How may i t help teacher educators to make rational decisions about the institutional provision of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s , namely, theoretical studies on the university campus and f i e l d experience in the school setting? This leads us back to the persistent question of the relationship between theory and practice in teacher education. Earlier, I have suggested that the problem of the relationship between theory and practice in teacher education i s a problem of understanding the nature of those conventional forms of knowledge, theoretical knowledge from various intellectual sources as well as the stories teachers t e l l , and their proper role in learning to teach. I would l i k e to add here that the role of f i e l d experience requires the same kind of consideration. Why does a RTE program need the components of 213 theoretical studies and practical experience? What i s the purpose of providing theoretical studies and f i e l d experience in view of prospective teachers' development of their PKT? To say that they are provided for the purpose of helping prospective teachers to develop their PKT i s obviously not enough. In what follows, I w i l l discuss the role of theoretical studies and practical experience in learning to teach. Theoretical Studies The Foundations Metaphor The component of theoretical studies in a teacher education program used to bear the metaphorical t i t l e of Foundational Studies of Education. Today, the foundations metaphor may sound a l o t less convincing to many. Nevertheless, talk about the foundations of education continues, and in some teacher education institutions, we can s t i l l find a Department of Foundational Studies responsible for offering courses of study in the areas of philosophy of education, sociology/anthropology of education, history of education, and educational psychology, and i n a few other fields of educational studies as well, such as comparative education, multicultural education, and women's studies. The foundations metaphor i s a hi s t o r i c a l product that emerged around the turn of the 20th century when education began to take i t s foothold in the university academia as a multi-disciplinary f i e l d of academic inquiry (Tozer, Anderson, and Armbruster, 1990). This architectural metaphor was originally used to refer to the psychological (the mind) and social-cultural 214 (culture and institution) foundations of educational policy and practices. These foundations of education were identified and became the staple subject of systematic disciplinary inquiries. However, as time went by, the metaphor was somehow taken to imply and assert that the results of scholarly inquiry and research (should) constitute or provide the foundation of educational policy and practice. There i s l i t t l e doubt that this metaphor played a significant role in helping legitimize theoretical studies as an essential component of teacher education delivering codified knowledge from the contributing disciplines. Arguments have been continuously made that the edifice of (reflective) practice could not sustain without the support of a theoretical foundation supplied by research and scholarship. The foundations metaphor has however been faulted on the ground that theoretical studies cannot l i v e up to the dubious hopes of delivering either technical solutions to classroom problems or clear-cut prescriptions of the good for educational policy and practices (Broudy, 1967). Broudy argues that even though practical advice was not entirely absent from foundational courses, theoretical studies should not be expected to yield important rules of practice. Broudy asserts that One would hardly j u s t i f y reading Alcuin's educational writings by promising that they w i l l help prospective teachers to teach arithmetic. Nor would one j u s t i f y the study of the Principia Mathematica by Bertrand Russell and Alfred N. Whitehead on these grounds. These studies may have a contribution to make to teacher training, but not as technical handbooks, (p. 3) Broudy also points out that in every f i e l d of disciplined inquiry there are differences and controversies over fundamental issues such as what phenomena constitute the proper subject matter of 215 the f i e l d and what methodology i s more appropriate for achieving the intended goals of inquiry in the f i e l d and what constitutes the good. This seems to apply not only to philosophy and history of education. It i s true also of those fields of inquiry that have an empirical science base. Garfinkle (1981) has put the matter most succinctly, We look at a body of theory and find a confusing patchwork of schools and approaches, and i t i s very hard to see how they f i t together. ... Faced with any such l i s t , what strikes us i s the d i f f i c u l t y of finding a coherent way of comparing the different theories. They seem to be different sorts of things. Some of the theories may address different phenomena or different realms of phenomena. Some are genuinely competing, others can be reconciled with one another, while s t i l l others pass one another by, answering different questions. They f i t together only in a very complicated and overlapping geometry, (p. 1) The existence of different and competing theories i s a matter of fact and may not be a bad thing at a l l as far as any f i e l d of disciplinary inquiry i t s e l f i s concerned. It becomes a great problem however when we consider the ambitious project of constructing a foundation for the practice of teaching with theoretical input from those independent sources. If everything of the several contributing disciplines of education were to be put into the teacher education curriculum, the limited time allotted to theoretical studies would leave l i t t l e chance for prospective teachers to have an adequate understanding of what they are required to study, l e t alone applying i t in their future practice. Besides, the differing and conflicting messages from each disciplinary f i e l d would very l i k e l y work to the effect of confusing rather than informing or enlightening them. In the meantime, teacher educators themselves 216 would be expected to have a decent command of at least one entire f i e l d of study. This expectation may sound reasonable but the extensiveness of a discipline f i e l d such as philosophy of education or educational psychology and the current practice of specialized background training in graduate studies leave l i t t l e room for hope. It seems that teacher educators w i l l have to make selective use of what each disciplinary f i e l d has to offer. But what kind of c r i t e r i a can teacher educators use for the selection of the input from the fields of disciplined inquiry and educational research? I would think that teacher educators are generally averse to justifying their pedagogical decisions on the basis of personal beliefs. The next choice seems to be group consensus. If, for instance, everybody in the department who teaches courses in philosophy of education agrees on philosophical understanding of educational issues as the proper subject matter, one might proceed to have prospective teachers read and discuss selective philosophical analyses of those issues. The consensus criterion can be problematic however for the reason that consensus may not always be achievable. In my view, group consensus tends to avoid rather than help resolve existing conflicts within a discipline. It may actually mean upholding one particular view while abducting other competing views that are also constitutive of the discipline. Whereas choice over theoretical input seems inevitable, reasoning behind the choice may not always be made public. Unaware of the choice made and the reason(s) for i t and for the lack of background knowledge in the relevant areas of study, prospective teachers might get the 217 impression as i f what theoretical studies delivered were F i r s t Principles a l l arrived at a p r i o r i or proven by empirical research beyond any reasonable doubt. When they set foot in the classroom, reality quickly disillusions them. The problem i s compounded by the fact that group consensus is confined within discipline boundaries and particular institutional contexts and there are a number of disciplines and field s of educational study which claim to make contributions to the teacher education curriculum. The ill-conceived project of theoretical studies providing a foundation for practice can be assessed with Goodman's (1978) idea of world-making. Goodman suggests that world-making consists of decomposition and composition, of dividing wholes into parts and partitioning kinds into subspecies, analysing complexes into component features, drawing distinction... [and] composing wholes and kinds out of parts and members and subclasses, combining features into complexes, and making connections, (p. 7) Intra- and extra-disciplinary divisions of educational study and research make i t obvious that the contributing disciplines and field s of study, in the words of Goodman, "embody different world-versions of independent interest and importance, without any requirement or presumption of reducibility to a single base" (p. 4). Educational theorists and researchers from different fie l d s of inquiry with different intellectual traditions each take a s l i c e of classroom teaching and try to make their idiosyncratic versions of i t . No one i s responsible for or interested in composition beyond the disciplinary boundary. It i s doubtful that the various world-versions within any discipline 218 or f i e l d of study could ever be reduced to a unified one. What theoretical studies deliver are some selective, often inconclusive, results of decomposition of the practice world of teaching. If the contributing disciplines were to provide a foundation for education policy and practice, the foundation would be so loose that i t could hardly be expected to hold up anything. The foundations metaphor for theoretical studies in teacher education i s problematic also in terms of i t s intimate connection to the view of theory and practice as decontextualized and disembodied entities and to the traditional transmission model of teaching. In reality, however, there w i l l be no professional practice whatsoever without a specific context either broadly or narrowly conceived in which the practice i s situated. At the same time, no professional practice i s possible without some practitioners actually engaged in i t . Since professional practice i s contextualized and operates at a personal level, i t requires knowledge that i s contextually derived and personally embodied. That i s , practice depends really on personal practical knowledge. I think i t only f a i r to refer to personal PKT as the foundation of the practice of teaching. However, i f theoretical studies cannot really provide a foundation for practice, what role w i l l i t play then i n teacher education, i f prospective teachers should be required to take the so-called Foundational courses as part of their i n i t i a l preparation? Three Alternative Views The recognition that the foundations metaphor i s a misnomer for 219 theoretical studies in teacher preparation does not constitute a judgement upon the importance and relevance of theories and research findings. It does help to raise the question and c a l l on teacher educators to rethink the role of theoretical knowledge in teacher education. Broudy (1967) proposes an alternative view of theoretical studies as "an interpretive use of knowledge" or "interpretive understanding of problems." He suggests that intellectual disciplines, as well as religion, art, and instructional folkways, provide systems of meaning for the interpretation of experience. The advantage of locating problems within systems of meaning i s obvious, for having done so, one can talk and think about the problem with the conceptual resources of the whole system. To understand something is therefore to be able to talk and think about i t in terms of a system of concepts related to teach other by predetermined routes of thought, (p. 10) Broudy's argument has been reflected recently in a number of discussions that also attempt to reexamine and reconceptualize foundational studies in teacher education (Tozer et a l . , 1990; Beyer, Feinberg, Pagano, and Whitson, 1989). This alternative view may well be the most favoured in teacher education today towards the component of theoretical studies. The connection between theoretical studies and interpretive understanding seems to strip away the pretensions b u i l t into the foundations metaphor in teacher education. However, a closer look reveals that the two do not really d i f f e r as much as they sound. Beyond the apparent difference, both share the same syntax of theoretical studies delivering SOMETHING to prospective teachers for their future practice of teaching, a body of theoretical knowledge as the foundation of practice or meaning 220 systems for interpreting educational problems. Both f a i l to recognize that each and every individual prospective teacher i s already in possession of their own unique personal meaning system (see Hollingsworth, 1989, Peterson, Clark, and Dickson, 1990). The interpretive understanding approach also inherits the problems with the foundations metaphor, for example, selection of theoretical input, meaning, transfer, and application or applicability. A l l in a l l , Broudy's position and the recent attempts to reconceptualize theoretical studies in teacher education can be traced back to the same source, where the interest i s in decomposition of the world. We must argue, however, that composition, instead of decomposition, should be the preoccupation of learning to teach and programmatic deliberations. Another alternative view to be considered here has been advanced by Fenstermacher (1978, 1986, 1987). Although Fenstermacher's discussions are mostly focused on establishing "an epistemologically and morally sound linkage" between educational research (teaching effectiveness research in particular) and the practice of teaching, I take his argument to be applicable to theoretical studies in teacher education. In developing his argument, Fenstermacher introduces a distinction between knowledge production and knowledge use as well as the concept of practical argument defined as "a reasonably coherent chain of reasoning leading from the expression of some desired end state, through various types of premises, to the expression of an intention to act in a certain way" (Fenstermacher, 1987, p. 413). I w i l l leave aside the questions of whether the production 221 of knowledge about and for teaching i s the exclusive business of educational researchers and theorists, whether practice i s only a matter of knowledge use, and whether i t involves both knowledge production and knowledge use. I w i l l concentrate only on the linkage Fenstermacher draws between research and the development of teachers' pedagogical competence. In a reply to his c r i t i c s , Fenstermacher (1987) reinstates the position that research connects to practice when research i s used to alter the truth value of existing empirical premises, when i t i s used to complete or to modify empirical premises, or when i t serves to introduce new empirical premises in the practical arguments in the minds of teachers, (p. 413) The linkage Fenstermacher t r i e s to establish between research and practice i s plausible. It departs from the position enshrined in the foundations metaphor. Practice i s now seen to be based on practitioners' practical argument or practical reasoning rather than on a putative theoretical foundation provided by the disciplines. It i s also significant that the central concept of practical argument "evokes a conception of the practitioner as a thinking, complex agent, rather than an automaton who simply puts the findings of research into practice" (Fenstermacher, 1987, p. 414). In these two respects, I take Fenstermacher's argument to be unequivocal, but I do not think that the linkage i s as firmly established as he believes. We may raise an objection on the ground that pedagogical thinking behind every pedagogical decision, be i t strategic or tac t i c a l , i s a great deal more complex than what the standard logical system can capture. Feiman-Nemser and Floden (1986) 222 suggest that Practical knowledge i s d i f f i c u l t to describe. People often know how to do things without being able to state what they know. Furthermore, neither teachers nor researchers have an adequate vocabulary for describing practical knowledge, much of which i s t a c i t . Philosophical and psychological talk of theories, propositions, and concepts f i t s codified knowledge, not tac i t knowledge. To date, researchers have not gone much beyond suggesting concepts to guide the study of practical knowledge. If teachers are pressed to give general descriptions of themselves and their work, they often use the same language that social and behavioral scientists do. These abstract descriptions may be remembered from college courses or picked up as part of the vocabulary of educated people, but they do not express teachers' own perspectives, (p. 506) Connelly and Clandinin (1985) argue along a similar line that A user does not c a l l up a mode of knowing in the sense that he t r i e s out different cars or recalls items for a test. In the pages of philosophy, and in the textbooks and methods of instruction, the modes of knowing have this quality of i d e n t i f i a b i l i t y . But this quality i s lost in a user's submersion of i t in his mind and body. Something else, which we c a l l "personal practical knowledge," i s "on c a l l . " ... [Personal practical knowledge] does not have an identifiable conceptual status, (p. 183) Fenstermacher suggests that research can help improve practice by way of altering the truth value of the empirical premises in the practical arguments that are the basis of practice. For that to happen, practical arguments involved in pedagogical decision making must be reduced to sets of logi c a l l y connected propositional statements. Research can then be brought to bear upon, and alter, the empirical premises in those arguments. If we concur with Fenstermacher that the concept of practical argument i s not meant to be an analytical tool for studying teacher thinking, rather i t only suggests a way of exploring and understanding the linkage between research and practice, we cannot challenge Fenstermacher's position on the ground that 223 practical knowledge i s not reducible to a set of propositional statements. However, we could raise objections within the parameter Fenstermacher sets for us. Suppose we were somehow able to reduce teachers' pedagogical thinking to the form of a practical argument, a set of logically connected propositional statements, we could s t i l l have alternate ways of reasoning about i t that would render research irrelevant. I w i l l i l l u s t r a t e my point with one of Fenstermacher's (1986) examples. The example i s paraphrased below with i t s basic content intact. A teacher made extensive use of work-stations and learning centres in her teaching on the basis of her practical argument, a) I intend students to acquire the material presented to them. b) I honour student individuality. c) Work-stations and learning-centres enhance individual learning. d) I use work-stations and learning centres in my teaching to achieve a) and b). It turned out that the students did not score well on the end-of-year standardized examinations. What had gone wrong? Fenstermacher draws our attention to the empirical premise c) in the practical argument. He reports that teaching effectiveness research shows no evidence of a positive correlation between the extensive use of work-stations/learning centres and students' achievement of instructional goals assessed by standardized examinations. Fenstermacher suggests that once the research i s brought to bear on the empirical premise in the teacher's practical argument, she w i l l be compelled to change that premise, which w i l l lead to a change of her use of work-stations and learning centres. 224 There i s however a different way of looking at the practical argument. It may well be that the problem does not l i e with the use of work-stations and learning centres per se. Rather, i t may have a lot to do with the way the teacher used work-stations and learning centres. The use of work-stations and learning centres, I suppose, needs to be accompanied by proper teacher supervision and intervention when and where necessary in order that student a c t i v i t i e s in the work-stations/learning centres are relevant and contributing to the achievement of the intended goals of teaching and learning. When we consider the teacher's practical argument along this line of thought, whether teaching effectiveness research shows evidence of a positive correlation between the use of work-stations and students' achievement of instructional goals measured by standardized examinations w i l l become irrelevant. The teacher i s entitled to continue her use of work-stations and learning centres so long as she provides proper supervision and necessary intervention to make sure that a c t i v i t i e s at the work-station/learning centre are relevant and contributing to the achievement of teaching and learning objectives. The teacher may also question, quite legitimately, the value and v a l i d i t y of standardized exams imposed on her students. The linkage Fenstermacher proposes between research and practice i s weak also in consideration of the underlying assumption that research evidence has higher truth value than evidence accrued by direct experience in a particular context of practice. Although academic inquiries of teaching and teachers' inquiry appear to share the same reference of object, they actually belong to two different realms of experience. In the 225 realm of academic research and theorizing, experience vests i t s interest in advancing theoretical understanding, whereas in the realm of practice, experience i s preoccupied with getting things done. Experience in the realm of practice i s by no means blind and unenlightened. It embodies understanding and reasoning in i t s own right. If we f a i l to recognize that, how meaningful would the concept of practical argument i t s e l f be? Besides the difference in intended goals, experience in each realm of practice commands i t s own meaning system and operative mechanism such as basic assumptions, methodology, language, and discourse patterns. What has proved to be true in research may have l i t t l e to do with what i s true in practice. For instance, the thermometer on the wall marks the room temperature at 18 degrees C. The person in the room reports feeling a b i t c h i l l y . It i s hard to compare the truth value between these two. But when i t comes to the person deciding to put on a light sweater, we could easily t e l l , under normal circumstances, which empirical evidence i s relevant and which i s not. The discussion can be extended to the pending question of subjective understanding and external criticism. If we intend to go beyond examining subjective understanding in light of a different view or frame of reference, i t i s doubtful that any "sophisticated" meaning system or research findings can help us to achieve that. Subjective understanding i s imbedded in a personal meaning system. The personal meaning system sustains i t s e l f by f i l t e r i n g incoming messages, accepting those that are comprehensible and compatible to the system and rejecting those that are incomprehensible and incompatible. When the personal 226 meaning system remains intact, challenges to subjective understanding and established behaviour patterns w i l l be diverted and explained away. De Landsheere (1987) puts i t very succinctly, As long as content learning i s an objective in i t s e l f , i t does not influence f i e l d behaviour. That i s why psychological and educational theory learned by the students just to pass their examinations have so l i t t l e influence on actual teaching practice, (p. 79) If a direct linkage cannot be satisfactorily drawn between theory and practice in terms of the former providing the latter with a foundation or interpretive meaning systems or empirical evidence, what role can theoretical studies play in teacher education? I think that the linkage between theory and practice has to be drawn via the personal meaning system without which practice would not be possible. Since the personal meaning system resists the importation of foreign meaning systems due to incomprehension or incompatibility, chances are that change to the personal meaning system w i l l have to be brought about through changes in i t s experiential base. It has been suggested earlier in light of Dewey's theory that when more existential elements of the world are brought into consideration, the held standpoint view, the existing knowledge structure, w i l l not be able to sustain i t s e l f and has to give way to a more objective standpoint view. C r i t i c i s i n g an existing knowledge structure i s one thing and constructing a new structure i s quite another. A third alternative view of the role of theoretical studies in teacher education comes from the perspective of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry. On the one hand, theoretical studies should be aimed at helping prospective teachers to locate their personal meaning system with which they inquire into teaching. 227 If teacher educators do not know what their students already know, they w i l l not be able to make informed decisions about how they may best help prospective teachers to better control and direct their inquiry. Helping prospective teachers to become conscious of what they know does not require the direct assistance of theoretical knowledge and research findings. The component of Theoretical Studies provides a setting in which prospective teachers try to get access to and reconstruct their personal meaning system. To help prospective teachers to reconstruct their existing conceptual structure, that i s , to help them to gain a better understanding of teaching, efforts should be made to help them to expand the experiential base of their personal meaning system. Theoretical knowledge and research findings w i l l come to play a very significant role here. Dewey's description of how reflective inquiry in dealing with a doubtful situation evolves indicates that one of the crucial tasks involved in settling the doubtful situation of teaching i s for prospective teachers to familiarize themselves with the existential constitutive elements of teaching. Some of the constitutive elements of teaching are immaterial and not accessible to direct experience and other elements are missing from the experiential base of prospective teachers' personal conceptual structure because i t i s constructed on the limited personal experience of a student. Theoretical knowledge can help to draw prospective teachers' attention to those elements. In this sense, i t i s the various elements of teaching with which educational research and scholarship are concerned that are immediately relevant to learning to teach, 228 much more than the conclusions, findings or the technical procedural aspects of various kinds of disciplined inquiry. Theoretical knowledge should be introduced to highlight some constitutive elements of teaching rather than something in and of i t s own. Theoretical knowledge i s also needed in helping prospective teachers to differentiate truth from f a l s i t y and right from wrong. What i s important in learning to teach i s a familiarity with the constitutive elements of teaching that are missing from individual prospective teachers' existing conceptual structure and how they could be helped in trying to reconstruct the conceptual structure with the additional elements. To be sure, analytical tools, for example, conceptual analysis, are necessary but should be exercised within the process of learning to teach and find i t s proper subject matter there. The focus i s not on how to do conceptual analysis, for instance, but on how and what concepts in the personal meaning system need to be made clearer so as to lead to conceptual change. This role of theoretical knowledge in learning to teach i s conceived upon the recognition that the experiential base of an individual person's conceptual world i s limited in scope whereas the practice world of teaching i s i n f i n i t e and in constant flux. It i s also premised on the supposition that we can know more than our direct experience with the world can afford, through communication with other fellow human beings. The historian Elton (1991) puts i t extremely well, Human beings learn primarily from experience; i f they are to think and act profitably — with positive and useful results — they need as wide a vision of the po s s i b i l i t i e s contained in any given situation and any present assembly of other human beings as they can 229 acquire. An individual experience, of course, i s always limited and commonly distorted by prejudice and s e l f -interests: what men and women need i s an enlarged experience against which to measure the effect of those disadvantages, (p. 72) Theoretical knowledge represents a particular kind of human experience with teaching that can be shared to the advantage of prospective teachers' development of their PKT. If any teacher educators would i n s i s t on bringing the standards of excellence of research and scholarship to bear upon prospective teachers' subjective understanding, they would have to face questions of the relevance and commensurability of the standards of research and scholarship to practical knowledge and reasoning as well as the legitimacy of imposing external evaluative c r i t e r i a upon practice. Those teacher educators would also have to carry the burden of helping prospective teachers to comprehend, assimilate, accommodate, and apply theoretical knowledge. But, as we know in light of Dewey's theory, learning to teach i s a process of prospective teachers interacting with/in the world of teaching and i t i s dependent upon prospective teachers' prior knowledge. The study of theoretical knowledge can be beneficial to prospective teachers' development of PKT. It could also be a waste of time and even detrimental to that end, i f i t i s conducted only in the interest of knowing for knowing's own sake. Practical Experience The term practical experience i s used here to refer to the provision of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s of learning to teach which take place in the classroom setting, known as the teaching practicum/practice teaching/field experience. The component of 230 practical experience i s perhaps the most researched area of teacher education (e.g., Applegate, 1986, 1987; G r i f f i n , 1986, Lanier and L i t t l e , 1986; Watts, 1987; Waxman and Walberg, 1986; Wideen and Holborn, 1986; Zeichner, 1980, 1987b). Both the folklore and research literature indicate that practical experience in the classroom setting i s generally perceived by prospective teachers, and by many teacher educators too, to be the most beneficial component of their i n i t i a l professional preparation. One would hope that research findings on how learning to teach takes place in the classroom setting might help compensate for the dearth of knowledge about how prospective teachers actually learn to teach throughout a teacher education program. But unfortunately, Despite knowledge of research on teaching, learning, and educational psychology, many c r i t i c s have charged that student teaching has failed to evolve much beyond the medieval apprenticeship training model, has not developed a sound theoretical basis, and has no uniform or standard structure. (Guyton and Mclntyre, 1990, p. 514) Preference for learning to teach in the classroom setting, however, finds support in the commonsense belief of "learning by doing/experience." The role of experience in the maturing of human i n t e l l e c t i s unequivocal, notwithstanding the complexity involved in the use of the word "experience" (see Hanson, 1961). For those who are keen on solving practical problems in the "real world," the learn-to-swim analogy suffices to make their case against the "ivory tower" with i t s Utopian idealism and i t s alleged lack of relevance to the practical demands of teaching. To learn to swim, you have to be in the water. "The general 231 consensus seems to be that the greater the number of hours a student spends in the classroom ..., the better prepared he/she w i l l be" (Beyer, 1984, p. 36). There has been a strong tendency of lengthening practice teaching at the sacrifice of theoretical studies and moving teacher education back to the school-based, traditional apprenticeship Model of professional preparation. It i s believed by some that housing teacher education in the school setting could somehow better meet the practical needs of prospective teachers that university-based teacher education would, allegedly, not be able to satisfy. But the commonsense belief of "learning by doing" i s not without controversy. The learn-to-swim analogy, while indicating a necessary condition of being in the water, also bears the p o s s i b i l i t y of drowning in the water. We are constantly reminded of the negative effect of socialization in the school setting on prospective teachers' professional growth. Some teacher educators argue that learning to teach in the classroom setting may not necessarily contribute positively to the development of prospective teachers' professional competence (Buchmann and Schwille, 1983; Feiman-Nemser and Buchmann, 1985; Guyton and Mclntyre, 1990; Tabachnick and Zeichner, 1984; Zeichner and Gore, 1990). Lanier and L i t t l e (1986) observe that studies of teacher education bear l i t t l e to indicate that the curriculum surrounding student teaching was arranged to provide the knowledge and inclinations needed for an intellectual career in teaching. If anything, prospective teachers were encouraged to maintain their narrow view of teaching, (p. 527) I think there i s a way of getting out of this muddled dispute. 232 What teacher educators really need to do i s to ask about the necessity of the provision of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s in the classroom setting in view of prospective teachers' development of their PKT. I w i l l b r i e f l y consider the purpose(s) of practical experience in the classroom and then return to learning to teach as reconstructing or remapping a personal conceptual world of teaching. The Purpose(s) of Practical Experience My own familiarity with the practice of teacher education suggests that practice teaching i s generally taken to serve two purposes. One of them i s for prospective teachers to put theory into practice and the other i s for prospective teachers to prove their capability to undertake a prolonged teaching assignment. Both the Foundations and the Interpretive Understanding approaches towards learning to teach treat the teaching practicum component as the time and place for theory application and/or for practising intellectual s k i l l s such as observation, lesson planning, instruction, individual t u t o r i a l , classroom management, problem solving, communication, social interaction, reflection, etc. Both approaches assume that prospective teachers have acquired some theories or intellectual s k i l l s that can be applied in the classroom teaching. Practice w i l l help make them perfect. But the "applied science" notion of teacher preparation has some d i f f i c u l t questions to answer regarding the nature of the theories that have been brought into the teacher education curriculum and their applicability to the practical, complex, and 233 sometimes conflicting, demands of classroom teaching (see Schon, 1983, 1987; Entwistle, 1982; Wilson, 1975; Schwab, 1970). Also, questions must be raised about the effectiveness of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s of learning to teach on the university campus. It seems paradoxical, for instance, that c r i t i c a l analysis of teaching situated in a social and p o l i t i c a l context could be expected to make prospective teachers more competent in performing instructional tasks that are constitutive of teaching which i s the subject of criticism. The notion of prospective teachers proving their capability of teaching has personal psychological ramifications. Few of us w i l l choose teaching as a career unless we can convince ourselves that we are capable of i t . Where grades and employment are at issue, we also have to show others our capability through observable performance. But competence testing, i f i t could be a legitimate purpose of practice teaching, only serves the function of showing whether individual prospective teachers have acquired or failed to acquire a certain degree of professional competence. Prospective teachers have to acquire that competence from somewhere. If the practicum i s meant for testing prospective teachers' competence, the competence has to come from their own l i f e experience (Lortie, 1975; Zeichner and Gore, 1990) or from their theoretical studies on the university campus. Since prior knowledge based on the experience of being a student i s inadequate for teaching and the contribution of theoretical studies i s in serious doubt, what gets tested i s actually the adage that "Teachers are born, not taught." It seems to me that the d i f f i c u l t y we are having here comes 234 from an inattention to the role of practical experience in learning to teach and the distinction between the performance sense and the outcome sense of learning. The performance sense of learning implies a process of doing something. The outcome sense of learning refers to some result of doing something. Although, the two do not appear separable from each other, i t i s helpful to keep the distinction in mind. Learning, I would argue, should be assessed in terms of i t s intended outcome rather than the activ i t y one participates in. I am presently learning to write academic papers. My learning should be assessed by applying certain evaluative c r i t e r i a to the completed pieces of my writing, rather than my s i t t i n g i n front of the computer for hours trying to organize my thoughts and put them down into connected sentences and paragraphs. Efforts made in learning are worth commending. However, to be truly worthwhile, efforts must lead to the achievement of the intended goals of teaching and learning. In teacher education program development, the distinction of learning act i v i t y and learning outcome does not seem to be clearly and consciously maintained. It often seems though that the outcome sense of learning s l i p s out of sight where the performance sense of "learning" gets a l l the attention. Prospective teachers are required to engage in various kinds of ac t i v i t i e s of learning to teach and they are evaluated i n terms of how well they perform these a c t i v i t i e s . Learning to teach thus becomes a matter of performing various kinds of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s making up a program of preparation. The assumption seems to be that i f prospective teachers can somehow perform the 235 learning a c t i v i t i e s well according to the standards set for them, they w i l l be able to perform a c t i v i t i e s of teaching well. The whole point of practice teaching becomes prospective teachers performing pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s to be measured as an indicator of their professional competence, instead of serving the purpose of learning to teach. When the outcome sense of learning f a i l s to get i t s due attention from teacher educators, p o s s i b i l i t i e s are, in regard to prospective teachers learning to teach: a) one may not achieve the intended outcome; b) one may achieve the intended outcome; and c) one may achieve some unintended outcome. A l l happens without begging the question of how they actually learn. This could perhaps help to explain why many first-year teachers experience "a real i t y shock." I have already noted that many teacher educators have expressed their concern over the conduciveness of practical experience in the classroom setting. Their concern i s legitimate to some extent. But those teacher educators miss one crucial point that, besides the distinction between the performance sense of learning and the outcome sense of learning, the outcome of learning i s not logically determined by the conditions under which the learning experience takes place. An experience i s an experience i s an experience, be i t observation or instruction or c r i t i c a l analysis or reflective inquiry and whether i t occurs under favourable or unfavourable conditions. The terms "educative" and "mis-educative" assigned to experience are not ontological properties of experience that has not yet occurred. They are rather terms used in our evaluative judgement about experience we have already undergone. Who would appreciate, for 236 instance, the experience of being held hostage in the Middle East for five years, of which four years were spent in solitude confinement? But Terry Waite (1993), assistant to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who actually had the experience, writes in the forward of his book Taken on Trust. Living for years deprived of natural light, freedom of movement and companionship, I found that time took on a new meaning. Now I can see that past, present and future are carried in the experience of the moment, and the exhortation of Christ to l i v e for the day has assumed a new depth and resonance for me. ... I am truly happy to have discovered that suffering need not destroy; i t can be creative. The experience Terry Waite had endured was miserable but led to a most positive outcome in his new understanding of time and suffering. How could i t be so? The answer i s simple. From a Deweyan point of view, worthwhile experiences yie l d from the interplay of an inquirer's internal conditions and the external conditions that constitute the environment (Dewey, 1938b). It i s not d i f f i c u l t to understand the desire on the part of teacher educators and prospective teachers to control external conditions. We a l l wish the environmental conditions for learning to teach on the university campus as well as in the schools could be as we desire them to be. There should be well trained, supportive supervising teachers and faculty staff, cooperative students and parents. No pressure should be put upon prospective teachers to conform to questionable norms and demands. Prospective teachers should be assigned with adequate, non-trivial workload, and be given the freedom of experimenting with innovative ideas and i n i t i a t i n g change, etc. But ideal conditions are hard to find. 237 Even i f we suppose that ideal environmental conditions could be created, they alone s t i l l could not determine the learning outcome. Learning outcomes depend more on how prospective teachers interact with the environmental conditions than the kind of conditions under which practical experience takes place. When, for example, a prospective teacher i s asked to take care of classroom routines during practice teaching, what can be learned i s not limited to the "boring" execution of, say, handing out and collecting papers, which leads to a feeling of being deprived of an opportunity to teach. Prospective teachers should come to realize that routines are part of teaching and bear directly upon an overall program of instruction and, i f not handled properly, may well block the way to the achievement of instructional objectives. Also, being put in charge of simple routines in practice teaching offers a prospective teacher a good opportunity to observe and the freedom to contemplate how one might act under a given circumstance and explore other p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Elsewhere I presented my personal (empirical) observation that prospective teachers tend to ref l e c t on their learning-to-teach experience more from a spectator's point of view and their reflection tends to lean towards the emotional, that i s , practical experience tends to be recounted more in terms of a person's emotional reaction than that person's cognitive growth (Yang, 1992, 1993). We often hear individual prospective teachers talking about how they feel about their experiences. Some feel good because the experience has turned out to be a success. Some feel frustrated due to some u n f u l f i l l e d aspirations and expectations. Some feel duly disillusioned about 238 the value of the theoretical knowledge learned on the university campus, i f not the entire program of teacher education. Seldom do we hear what exactly prospective teachers have learned from their individual experiences that w i l l effect and affect the further development of their PKT. Many teacher educators seem to be more interested in debating about the ontological nature of practical experience. But, without knowing what prospective teachers have learned, teacher educators cannot be sure whether or not learning to teach in the classroom setting has achieved i t s intended outcome. Without knowing what prospective teachers have learned, teacher educators w i l l not be able to determine the quality of their learning. Without knowing what prospective teachers have learned, teacher educators cannot decide what else and more they should learn. Experience with theoretical knowledge and the concrete materials of classroom teaching i s a necessary condition for learning to teach but i t does not equate learning something from that experience. The task of teacher educators i s to help prospective teachers to make their experience educative. It takes more than an exposure to selected pieces of theoretical knowledge and/or an immersion in the "real world" to make prospective teachers educated and prepared for teaching. The achievement of the intended outcomes of learning to teach w i l l depend upon the interplay of prospective teachers' internal conditions and the environmental conditions. I am of the opinion that far more important than continuing the debate on the value of practical experience i s the task to search answers to questions such as: How do prospective teachers 239 interact with the environmental conditions of classroom teaching? What changes are needed in prospective teachers' internal conditions? What can teacher educators and prospective teachers do together to bring about those changes? How can teacher educators help prospective teachers to maximize the educativeness and minimize the miseducativeness of their theoretical studies as well as practical experience? Of the three, I find the third question most cal l i n g and challenging. Summary For a long time, teacher educators have been preoccupied with providing prospective teachers with "valuable and useful" knowledge and s k i l l s . Many have also been concerned with the negative influence of practical experience on prospective teachers' professional growth. At present, reflection (-on-action) has become the magic wand in the hands of many teacher educators, although, i t s power i s more imaginary than real. Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry offers us a different way of understanding learning to teach. When learning to teach i s seen as a process of reflective inquiry, i t allows us to rethink the role of theory and experience in teacher education. Theoretical studies and practical experience are different means employed to help prospective teachers to develop their PKT. They help prospective teachers to expand the experiential base of their personal meaning system. Changes in the experiential base are necessary for changes to take place in the personal meaning system. For teacher education to be effective, teacher educators need to become clear about (1) the role of theoretical studies 240 and practical experience in learning to teach; (2) what prospective teachers actually learn from their experiences in theoretical studies and in the teaching practicum; and (3) how the learning contributes to the development of a harmonious and unified conceptual map of teaching. Posner (1989) puts i t well, An experience i s educational, i f we learn something from i t . If your f i e l d [and on-campus] experience i s to be educational, then i t w i l l have to help you learn something about teaching, about yourself, about learners, about your subject matter, or about the social milieu in which teaching occur, (p. 141) Teacher educators should also become aware that their role i s to help ensure that what prospective teachers learn, whether on the university campus or in the classroom setting, w i l l enable them to teach rather than to converse about what good teaching i s or ought to be. Learning to teach in a teacher education program should not have "the effect of arresting and distorting the growth of further experience" (Dewey, 1938a, p. 13). 241 CONCLUSION The study presented in this volume i s concerned with the fuzzy phenomenon of reflective teacher education. In the teacher education literature, this phenomenon has been seen by some as a problem of meaning. The lack of conceptual c l a r i t y or a shared a sense of RTE results from the emergence of different conceptions of reflective teaching/practice/inquiry in the many efforts of developing new programs of teacher preparation within varying institutional contexts. Common across the various RTE programs i s that reflective teaching/practice/inquiry, irrespective of how i t i s defined, i s set as a goal to be attained and reflective inquiry/exercise i s taken to be the means for achieving that goal. Scant consideration has been given to the conceptual and epistemological grounding of RTE programs. Talking about teaching as reflective practice and setting reflective practice as the goal of teacher preparation should not, however, make irrelevant the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach. To quote Saltis again, the point i s to see that the more adequate our grasp of what we understand as "knowledge," the more we can consciously, responsibly, and morally play the role of educator. Instead of wrestling with the problem of meaning, I approach the phenomenon of RTE with the question: What kind of epistemological understanding of PKT and learning to teach i s required for establishing a viable alternative conceptual orientation towards teacher education? An excursion into the brief history of institutionalized teacher education shows that program development in this f i e l d 242 has traditionally been guided by fragmented thinking that takes PKT as something that exists in the various intellectual sources external to those who are learning to teach. In the early days of institutionalized teacher training, PKT was largely embedded in the behaviour of the master teacher who demonstrated to aspiring teachers what (good) teaching was and how i t was done. Learning to teach was to observe and imitate the master teacher's teaching behaviour. Great emphasis was given to the moral aspect of PKT. With the rapid accumulation of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge and scholarship in the f i e l d of education, the primary role of the teacher educator has changed to transmitting research knowledge and scholarship or intellectual s k i l l s peculiar to those fiel d s of disciplinary inquiry. Despite the fact that the transmission model of teaching has long been discredited, at least in theory, many teacher educators continue to believe that their role i s to pass on or provide access to research findings and academic scholarship and/or intellectual s k i l l s . Prospective teachers have been kept at the receiving end of prescribed knowledge and learning to teach i s mainly concerned with acquiring and applying that knowledge, including the what and how of reflective practice /teaching/inquiry. It i s rather unfortunate that the fragmented views of PKT should have been the backdrop of teacher education for so long, and never c r i t i c a l l y examined, even though epistemological theories and theories of learning abound. Few seem to be aware that this i s the very root of the many persistent problems that teacher educators have been trying to resolve for the past 243 hundred and f i f t y years, problems such as the identification and codification of PKT as well as the selection and transmission of the codified knowledge. These problems are complicated by questions of the relevance and usefulness of theoretical knowledge to the practical demands of teaching as well as the effect of practical experience in the school environment on prospective teachers' professional growth. RTE programs have apparently inherited those problems. The widespread interest in RTE i s often attributed to Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry and/or Schon's epistemology of practice. My reading of the relevant literature suggests however that the connection between RTE and Dewey's idea of reflective inquiry or Schon's epistemology of practice i s rather superficial. References have been frequently made to Dewey and Schon, respectively, but there has been l i t t l e effort to explore their implications for teacher education program development. Schon's epistemology of practice provides an account of professional knowing implicit in competent practitioners' performance of resolving problematic situations in action. The ideas of problem setting, reframing, and reflective conversation are refreshing and significant in so far as they contribute to a better understanding of problem solving in professional practice. It i s however inadequate to be used as a theoretical foundation for developing RTE programs for several reasons. The discussions in Chapters III and IV show that Schon's representational model of professional knowing f a l l s far short, in both scope and depth, of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry for addressing the question of knowledge in relation to human 244 conduct. Aside from the conceptual ambiguity inherent in his metaphorical language, Schon's account of what experienced practitioners know of and in practice, which i s evidenced in their competent performance of resolving unfamiliar problematic situations in action, leaves an important question inadequately explored: How do competent practitioners come to possess their knowing of and in practice? A more immediate objection has been raised in regard to Schon's dichotomous framework of thinking about professional practice and professional education, between Technical Rationality and Reflective Practice, the "high, hard ground" of the academia and the "swampy, lowland" of the world of practice, rigor and relevance, esoteric knowledge and professional a r t i s t r y . With i t s focus on deciphering the a r t i s t r y of competent professional performance in diverse situations, Schon's thesis f a i l s to provide a theory of professional learning which teacher education needs. Schon's account of coaching may prove to be a useful way of thinking about how teacher educators could help prospective teachers in their effort to learn in a more meaningful and constructive way, but i t does not constitute a theory of learning to teach. A further problem i s that the emphasis on knowing-in-action and reflection-in-action in Schon's epistemology of practice, in my view, may actually undermine the legitimacy of the teacher education institution. If professional practice i s only about resolving problematic situations occurring in the midst of action, we w i l l then have to ask how i t might be possible at a l l for on-campus coursework, theoretical studies (including methods 245 courses), to be meaningful and relevant to prospective teachers, who need some preparation before getting into action. How are we to rationalize the necessity of preparation that precedes action, which involves the study of theoretical knowledge that cannot meet the particular demands of practice? We can benefit a great deal from Dewey's philosophical thesis, from the vantage-point of practice, even though some philosophers may insi s t that Dewey did not resolve the problem of knowledge to their satisfaction. Dewey's theory i s significant and pertinent to teacher education today not because i t might entail a prescription of reflective practice. Rather, i t offers the kind of theoretical implications that can help us to arrive at a better understanding of the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach. Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry helps to bring knowledge (PKT), inquiry (learning to teach), and action (conduct of teaching) intimately together. I t views prospective teachers as knowing persons engaged in the process of reflective inquiry to produce their PKT for intelligent conduct of teaching. Prospective teachers are not mere recipients of prescribed knowledge. They develop their own personal PKT through inquiry, with the help from others: teacher educators, teachers, peers, etc. When learning to teach i s understood as a process of reflective inquiry into teaching conducted at the personal level, i t becomes clear that programmatic provision in teacher education should be oriented towards helping prospective teachers to better control and direct their inquiry into teaching. The attempt to ground teacher education on a s c i e n t i f i c knowledge base has been 246 of l i t t l e avail not only because a consensus on the content of the knowledge base i s hard to come by but also because i t f a i l s to recognize that, in the fin a l analysis, i t i s prospective teachers who (re-)construct their own knowledge structure and decide what knowledge w i l l be useful to them, no matter how eloquent teacher educators can be in preaching the i n t r i n s i c value of theoretical knowledge. In light of Dewey's philosophical thesis, a theory of learning to teach can be formulated with the following basic tenets: (1) Learning to teach depends upon and i s affected by the learner's prior knowledge. Prospective teachers' personal PKT, to be continuously developed through an on-going process of reflective inquiry, should be recognized as the foundation of their professional growth and practice; (2) What makes teacher education necessary and important i s the moral responsibility of prospective teachers to learn for the welfare of their future students, not the ava i l a b i l i t y of a putative body of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge and scholarship about teaching; (3) Individual prospective teachers' personal PKT, the foundation of their practice, should be identified, examined, and reconstructed always in anticipation of certain intended and desirable outcomes of teaching in the classroom at the personal level. This means that personally defined ends to be achieved in teaching must too be subjected to examination in terms of anticipated existential consequences; and (4) in addition to the study of prior knowledge, a c t i v i t i e s of instruction, supervision, and evaluation in a teacher education program should be oriented towards helping prospective teachers to a) become familiar with the various 247 constitutive elements of teaching; b) construct the constitutive elements into a coherent conceptual system of teaching that would enable them to make pedagogical decisions appropriate to the contexts in which teaching and student learning take place; c) secure intended and desirable consequences of teaching and prevent undesirable ones from occurring; and d) relate their personal goals of teaching to the larger social goals of education. The theory of learning to teach derived from Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry does not take prospective teachers' prior knowledge as unproblematic. The very personal foundation of teaching has to be continuously reconstructed so as to lead to change in the conduct of teaching. That i s what learning to teach i s about. Reflective inquiry i s "a process capable of indefinite continuance" because the attainment of settled beliefs i s a progressive matter: there i s no belief so settled as not to be exposed to further inquiry. It i s the convergent and cumulative effect of continued inquiry that defines knowledge in i t s general meaning. (Dewey, 1938a, p. 24) The theory of learning to teach derived from Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry also emphasizes that the reconstruction of prospective teachers' knowledge structure for teaching not be carried on in a self-contained manner but always in connection to some intended and desirable outcomes of teaching. It w i l l be of l i t t l e avail to engage prospective teachers in analysing and c r i t i c i z i n g their held beliefs only for the sake of analysis and criticism. We know that prior knowledge was constructed on the basis of past experience, i t follows that new knowledge w i l l also be obtained from new, enlarged experience. 248 The questions to be raised at the programmatic level are: What learning opportunities should RTE programs provide and what institutional interventional measures should be taken to ensure that the learning opportunities provided w i l l contribute to, not hinder or block, prospective teachers' professional growth? The questions that teacher educators should ask prospective teachers, and help them to answer, w i l l be: Given their understanding of teaching, how w i l l they account for the worthwhileness of what they intend to achieve in teaching in both long and short terms? What makes them believe that they w i l l be able to accomplish what they intend to accomplish in teaching? And how w i l l they relate their personal goals of teaching to the larger goals of institutional and social change? Understanding learning to teach in light of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry w i l l , hopefully, lead teacher educators to rethinking the role of theoretical studies and practical experience in learning to.teach. I believe that a sensible relationship between theory and practice can only be established in teacher education by f i r s t locating the knowing and learning person, the prospective teacher, in the process of reflective inquiry into teaching. In addition, both theoretical studies and practical experience in the practicum setting should be organized and conducted to serve the purpose of broadening prospective teachers' awareness of the complexity of teaching in i t s many particular constitutive elements. Professional growth, or conceptual change, results from prospective teachers' continuous effort to construct an increasingly complex and more coherent conceptual map of teaching as more and more constitutive elements of teaching are brought into consideration. Theoretical knowledge does not help define what problem(s) teaching presents to teachers nor does i t provide technical solutions to problems. Its value to practice does not l i e with methods of inquiry and conclusions. Theoretical knowledge is important in that i t helps to highlight those constitutive elements of teaching that must be incorporated into prospective teachers' existing conceptual map. Prospective teachers must themselves inquire so as to produce PKT for intelligent conduct of teaching. The phenomenon of RTE i s an interesting subject worth studying. The significance of studying this phenomenon l i e s in that i t symbolizes the major programmatic deliberations currently undertaken in teacher education. It i s the improvement of teacher education more than the much discussed conceptual d i f f i c u l t y of RTE that i s the motive force of this study. To reiterate what has been stated in the previous chapter, an RTE orientation on the basis of Dewey's theory of reflective inquiry w i l l be grounded on four general principles: a) RTE recognizes prospective teachers as knowing and learning persons who are engaged in a process of reflective inquiry about the doubtful situation commonly referred to as teaching in the classroom. Through this process of reflective inquiry, they develop their PKT. b) RTE recognizes prospective teachers' prior knowledge as the foundation of their professional preparation and aims at helping prospective teachers in their effort to consolidate and reconstruct that foundation. The f i r s t step i s to help prospective teachers to become consciously aware of what they already know. c) RTE emphasizes that examination and reconstruction of personal knowledge of teaching must not be conducted for i t s own sake but always in anticipation of some intended and desirable consequences of teaching. This requires that both the goals of teaching and the means for achieving the goals at the personal level be subjected to continuous examination 250 and revision. d) RTE employs both theoretical knowledge and practical experience for the purpose of helping prospective teachers to become aware of their prior knowledge and increase their familiarity with the constitutive elements of teaching at the perceptual level and lead them to change their existing knowledge structure. The ideas of and arguments for a Deweyan orientation towards teacher education presented in this thesis have the support of the available research literature in the relevant fields of inquiry that are concerned with knowledge, experience, and cognitive development, and the actual practice of many competent teacher educators and prospective teachers that the literature regrettably provides l i t t l e account of. Teacher education i s in the fi n a l analysis a practical endeavour requiring the joint efforts of the many individual people involved, administrators, professors, teachers, and prospective teachers. The complexity of learning to teach in the institutional setting cannot be explored here. This thesis does not offer solutions to the many problems facing teacher education today at both institutional and individual personal levels. It proposes instead a way of thinking about the epistemological foundation of teacher education program development. I sincerely hope that this thesis w i l l contribute to the current discourse(s) on teacher education and be of both theoretical and practical value to the development of teacher education in the long run. It i s customary to conclude an academic study with some suggestions for further research or recommendations for educational policy and practice. For i t s limited scope, this thesis has touched upon some areas of teacher education, where 251 further inquiry should be encouraged. In the course of my research, I have become aware of the lack of h i s t o r i c a l studies of teacher education program development from philosophical, sociological, and psychological perspectives of knowledge. Also missing from the literature are observational studies of the interaction between prospective teachers and their learning environment on the university campus and in the school setting. Such studies, I believe, shall prove to be valuable in helping teacher educators to "understand better our own past, locate ourselves more exactly in the present, and discern a l i t t l e more clearly what our educational future may be" (n.a). The construction of the teacher education curriculum w i l l continue to rely on input from educational research and scholarship. For this reason, I think that some serious efforts of "secondary or tertiary level" theorizing should be made to help sort out the controversies within and across the relevant fields of educational inquiry. I t i s , to be sure, foolhardy to suggest that the conflicts within and across the various fields of educational inquiry could a l l be resolved. But, i f educational researchers and theorists are producing inconclusive, and conflicting, conclusions, i f they are themselves not able to work out their dispute, one cannot help wondering how teacher educators (many of them do research and theorize) would be able to help prospective teachers make intelligent choices of competing views of teaching. Personally, I think that greater impact on teacher education w i l l come from a continuing effort in resolving the tension between theory and practice in learning to teach. A further 252 study on this issue needs to have i t s subject properly reframed. Instead of arguing for the dubious in t r i n s i c value of theoretical knowledge or asserting i t s lack of relevance or i t s impotence to the particular demands of practice, i t i s important to see that the relationship between theory and practice poses not only a theoretical problem calling for a theoretical solution. It i s , more significantly, a practical problem confronting practitioners as well as aspiring practitioners of teaching and policy making. That i s to say practitioners and aspiring practitioners of teaching and policy making cannot wait for others to provide a solution to the problem. They must themselves deal with that problem. Therefore, I suggest that an inquiry into this pivotal issue should not be the exclusive business of academic researchers and theorists attempting to obtain a spectator's view. Teacher educators, teachers, and prospective teachers should be invited to participate in the inquiry in the context of practice, be i t policy making, teaching, or learning to teach. The f i r s t two questions that the participants in the inquiry w i l l consider are: What problem does the issue of the theory-practice relationship present to teacher education program development and to learning to teach? Whose problem i s i t or (how) am I affected by this problem? These two questions w i l l help locate the inquirer in relation to the issue under exploration. Answers to the two questions w i l l help to show whether the inquirer i s in pursuit of a detached or personally involved view of the issue. The latter i s preferable and should be encouraged. Dewey (1904) stated in his classic a r t i c l e on this issue, 253 It i s d i f f i c u l t , i f not impossible, to define the proper relationship of theory and practice without a preliminary discussion, respectively, (1) of the nature and aim of theory; (2) of practice, (p. 142) Following Dewey's advice, the inquiry w i l l proceed with another set of questions: What i s this thing called "theory" and what i s "practice" in policy making, teaching, and learning to teach? What i s the nature of "theory"? Is i t possible that policy making, teaching, and learning to teach can proceed without