Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

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

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1997-196798.pdf [ 13.95MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0055450.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0055450-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0055450-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0055450-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0055450-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0055450-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0055450-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0055450-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0055450.ris

Full Text

FROM D E W E Y ' S L E G A C Y T O S C H O N ' S E P I S T E M O L O G Y OP P R A C T I C E RECONCEPTUALIZING R E F L E C T I V E TEACHER EDUCATION  by  CHANG YANG  M.Ed.,  A THESIS  Queen's  SUBMITTED  University,  IN  THE REQUIREMENTS  PARTIAL  1990  FULFILMENT OF  FOR T H E D E G R E E O F  DOCTOR O F P H I L O S O P H Y in T H E F A C U L T Y O F GRADUATE  STUDIES  Department of E d u c a t i o n a l S t u d i e s (Social Foundations of Educational Policy) We  accept t h i s thesis to the required  as c o n f o r m i n g standard  <  THE U N I V E R S I T Y  OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA  March  °  1997  Chang Yang,  1997  In presenting  this  degree at the  thesis  in  partial fulfilment  of  University of  British Columbia,  I agree  freely available for reference copying  of  department  this or  publication of  and study.  thesis for scholarly by  this  his  or  her  Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  DE-6 (2/88)  requirements that the  I further agree  purposes  representatives.  may be It  thesis for financial gain shall not  permission.  Date  the  that  advanced  Library shall make it  by the  understood be  an  permission for extensive  granted  is  for  allowed  that without  head  of  my  copying  or  my written  ABSTRACT  I t has been suggested that "the ultimate j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r c u r r i c u l a r decision making i n professional education i s normative: a conception of a s e t of desirable understandings, s k i l l s , and d i s p o s i t i o n s " (Tom and V a l l i , normative considerations  1990, p. 389). But,  alone are not s u f f i c i e n t as a r a t i o n a l  ground f o r programmatic deliberations.  Teacher education program  development needs also the support of some adequate understanding of p r o f e s s i o n a l knowledge for teaching knowing, and learning to teach.  (PKT), or professional  As S o l t i s (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 r o l e of an educator" (p. 104). Program development i n teacher education has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been guided by fragmented thinking that takes PKT as something external t o those who are learning to teach.  The task of teacher  education i s to pass on or provide access t o research and academic scholarship and/or i n t e l l e c t u a l s k i l l s ,  findings including  the what and how of r e f l e c t i v e practice/teaching/inquiry  i n the  current R e f l e c t i v e Teacher Education (RTE) movement.  It is  argued i n t h i s study that an adequate epistemological  grounding  should be indispensable  to any (alternative) o r i e n t a t i o n towards  teacher education. The widespread i n t e r e s t i n RTE i s often a t t r i b u t e d t o Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry and/or Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e .  But i t i s waiting to be explored whether the theses  advanced by Schon and Dewey, respectively, could provide adequate t h e o r e t i c a l underpinnings for e s t a b l i s h i n g RTE as an a l t e r n a t i v e ii  o r i e n t a t i o n towards teacher education. This study finds Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e to be inadequate f o r providing an epistemological foundation f o r professional education programs.  The model i s inconsequential  to teacher education program development due t o i t s i n t e r n a l conceptual d i f f i c u l t i e s , i t s dichotomous tendency towards the r e l a t i o n s h i p between theory and p r a c t i c e , and i t s narrow focus on the world of p r a c t i c e . Dewey's t h e s i s i s pertinent t o teacher education today not because i t might e n t a i l a p r e s c r i p t i o n of r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e . Rather, i t o f f e r s t h e o r e t i c a l implications that help t o bring the issues of knowledge (PKT), inquiry (learning t o teach), and action (teaching) intimately together.  In l i g h t of Dewey's  t h e s i s , the problem of knowledge i n teacher education should be seen as a problem of prospective teachers constructing t h e i r PKT through an on-going inquiry into teaching so as t o be able t o act i n an i n t e l l i g e n t manner i n the classroom.  Teacher education  programs should be designed to a s s i s t prospective teachers i n taking b e t t e r control and d i r e c t i o n of t h e i r inquiry. To guide t h e i r own p r a c t i c e , program developers and teacher educators should ask themselves: for teaching? accounted  for?  What i s p r o f e s s i o n a l knowledge  How are p r o f e s s i o n a l knowing and l e a r n i n g What i s the r o l e of t h e o r e t i c a l studies and  p r a c t i c a l experience i n learning t o teach?  What should and can  be done to ensure that the learning opportunities provided i n a pre-service teacher education program w i l l contribute to, not hinder or block, prospective teachers' p r o f e s s i o n a l growth?  iii  CONTENTS  Abstract  i i  Table of Contents  iv  Acknowledgement  vi  INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I  1  THE PURSUIT OF PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE FOR TEACHING: AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW 10  A General Framework Normal School Teacher Training Moral Character Building A c q u i s i t i o n of Subject Matter Knowledge Growing Presence of Pedagogical Theory Teacher Education on the U n i v e r s i t y Campus The Impulse of the L i b e r a l Education T r a d i t i o n The Search f o r a S c i e n t i f i c basis of Teacher Education D i f f u s i o n of Professional Knowledge f o r Teaching Summary CHAPTER I I  24  42  REFLECTIVE TEACHER EDUCATION: REFRAMING THE PROBLEM 45  The S o c i a l and I n t e l l e c t u a l Background The Problem of Meaning Reframe the Problem The Concept of R e f l e c t i o n R e f l e c t i o n as Retrospective Thinking R e f l e c t i o n as C r i t i c a l Analysis P r a c t i c a l D i f f i c u l t i e s of RTE Summary CHAPTER I I I  12 16  Schon'S EPISTEMOLOGY OF PRACTICE  51 57 65 71 81 86 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 P r a c t i c e 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  Dewey's Approach Towards the Problem of Knowledge Dewey's Theory of R e f l e c t i v e Inquiry Reception of Dewey's Theory of R e f l e c t i v e Inquiry Some Further Notes What i s "an indeterminate/doubtful situation"? P r i o r Knowledge iv  139 143 147 153 160  Outcome or Ends-in-view of R e f l e c t i v e inquiry The Knower and the Known Method Summary CHAPTER V —  185 RECONCEPTUALIZING REFLECTIVE TEACHER EDUCATION  190  Understanding Learning to Teach 194 Developing a Harmonious, U n i f i e d Conceptual Map of Teaching S u b j e c t i v i t y vs. O b j e c t i v i t y Nagel Thomas's Position Modified Programmatic Provision 213 Theoretical Studies P r a c t i c a l Experience Summary 240 CONCLUSION 242 BIBLIOGRAPHY  256  V  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  This the  study  would  supervisory  Courtenay-Ha11 very  grateful  generous  with  persuasion and  to  Dr.  his  careful great was  under  extended teacher  its to  Campbell, Queen's  given  forever  this  way  Dr.  in  Dr.  to  has  for  the  commentaries.  I  its  with  study  entire  relevant  gentle  expert  appreciated.  a n d many o f Education.  rewarding years encouragement  grateful.  vi  of  to  the  Dr.  their  with  her  in and  Throughout  at  these  pursuit,  for  of  Dr.  colleagues  and h e l p ,  are  improvement  Pratt,  academic  a  study  research  are  e x p r e s s my g r a t i t u d e  spite  Thanks  for  to  in  the  suggestions greatly  framework  knowledge  of  being  benefited  before  am  successful  study  course.  areas  this  me c o n t i n u i n g  her  and  who,  have  I  for  its  Courtenay-Hall,  sharing his  other  to  up  P.  and  overall  contributed to  Dr.  committee.  His guidance  s h a p i n g up the  taking  of  responsiveness  of  very  thesis  go  M r . and M r s . H i l l ,  and y e t  effort  and b r i n g i n g i t  H i s many h e l p f u l  also  his  and throughout  and i n  joint  on the  many d i s c u s s i o n s  Erickson  Dr. M. E l l i o t t  study  University Faculty of  difficult have  crucial  thanks  the  education  wish  and the  for  and c r i t i c a l  presentation I  without  and e x p e r t i s e .  conditions,  from  scholarship. the  of  readings  deal  Elliott  time  been  Many  health  possible  and D r . G. E r i c k s o n  organization  her  be  responsibility  have  completion. of  not  which  they I  am  INTRODUCTION  This study concerns the perplexing phenomenon of r e f l e c t i v e teacher education (RTE).  RTE i s an i n t e r e s t i n g subject worth  studying for several reasons.  F i r s t , since the early 1980s, RTE  has been promoted as an a l t e r n a t i v e approach towards teachers  7  i n i t i a l preparation and in-service p r o f e s s i o n a l 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 i n s t i t u t i o n a l and personal levels.  I t i s said that nowadays "one can hardly read an a r t i c l e  about teaching without mention of r e f l e c t i o n " (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 r e f l e c t i v e " (Gore and Zeichner, 1991, p. 120). Third, the popularity of RTE has not been accompanied by a c l e a r , shared sense of what counts as RTE. The conceptual status of RTE as an a l t e r n a t i v e o r i e n t a t i o n towards teacher education has been contested (Cohen, 1991; Feiman-Nemser, 1990; Munby and R u s s e l l , 1993).  Can t h i s a l t e r n a t i v e approach towards teacher education  be sustained?  Or, are teacher educators bound t o be  d i s i l l u s i o n e d with i t sooner or l a t e r ?  To understand RTE and  contemplate i t s prospects, teacher educators should be w i l l i n g , as the poet says, to go back to "where we started and know the place f o r the f i r s t  time."  This study takes the view that the fundamental purpose of teacher education i n s t i t u t i o n s i s to a s s i s t prospective teachers i n t h e i r e f f o r t to develop t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l knowledge f o r 1  teaching (PKT).  I t follows that understanding of PKT i n the  context of prospective teachers learning t o teach should be paramount to the development of teacher education programs, no matter what l a b e l the programs are given. To understand PKT i n the context of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d 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 i n the form of observable behaviour patterns of the Master Teacher, or educational research findings and scholarship, or the s t o r i e s teachers t e l l , or a combination something else? matter.  of these three, or  The second question i s more of a p r a c t i c a l  What kind of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s should pre- and i n -  service programs provide to a s s i s t prospective teachers and teachers on the job i n t h e i r e f f o r t t o develop PKT?  The t h i r d  question concerns the epistemological and moral understanding of professional knowing and learning that conjoins a p a r t i c u l a r 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 u s e f u l f o r practice?  Or i s i t a person developing his/her PKT through  inquiry, with the help of others?  By making e x p l i c i t the hidden  presumptions about PKT and learning t o teach i n teacher education program development, I believe, teacher educators s h a l l be i n a better p o s i t i o n to consider the r a t i o n a l ground of t h e i r programmatic d e l i b e r a t i o n s .  These issues together help put the  phenomenon of RTE into perspective. In t h i s study, PKT i s viewed i n d i r e c t connection to responsible and i n t e l l i g e n t conduct of teaching at the personal 2  level.  PKT stands  f o r t h e k i n d o f knowledge t h a t t e a c h e r s  on i n t e a c h i n g and i s understood as a comprehensive,  rely  holistic  e n t i t y composed o f many a s p e c t s o r 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 , c o g n i t i v e and emotive, p u b l i c and p e r s o n a l , t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l , g e n e r a l i z e d and context-dependent, l i n g u i s t i c and b e h a v i o r a l , formal and i n t u i t i v e , s u b j e c t matter and p e d a g o g i c a l ,  etc.  Each  o f t h e s e aspects/components c o u l d be t r e a t e d as i f i t c o n s t i t u t e d an independent e n t i t y .  I t i s unthinkable,  however, t h a t  c o u l d be t e a c h i n g i n a p r o f e s s i o n a l l y competent manner  teachers  without  knowing t h e i r moral and e t h i c a l commitment, f o r i n s t a n c e . s h o u l d anyone (be p e r m i t t e d to) t e a c h i n t h e classroom  Nor  without  knowing s u f f i c i e n t l y w e l l t h e s u b j e c t matter i n v o l v e d . The h o l i s t i c n o t i o n o f PKT i s adopted i n r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t r e s p o n s i b l e and competent t e a c h i n g p r a c t i c e e x i s t s . to  contemplating  I t l e a d s us  how p r o s p e c t i v e t e a c h e r s , and t e a c h e r s on t h e  j o b as w e l l , come t o know what they know so t h a t they w i l l be a b l e t o t e a c h i n a p r o f e s s i o n a l l y competent manner.  In teacher  e d u c a t i o n program development, t h e h o l i s t i c n o t i o n o f PKT s h o u l d a l s o f o r c e t e a c h e r educators conventional  t o r e t h i n k t h e r o l e o f those  forms o f e d u c a t i o n a l knowledge i n l e a r n i n g t o t e a c h ,  namely, e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s , academic s c h o l a r s h i p i n the c o n t r i b u t i n g d i s c i p l i n e s o f e d u c a t i o n , teachers  as w e l l as t h e s t o r i e s  tell.  With t h e h i s t o r i a n s ' a d v i c e t h a t "we cannot understand a s i t u a t i o n i n l i f e without c o n t i n u i n g process 1991,  some p e r c e p t i o n o f where i t f i t s  o r whether i t has happened b e f o r e "  into a  (Tosh,  p. 1 ) , I p l a c e t h e phenomenon o f RTE a l o n g t h e h i s t o r i c a l  3  continuum of program development i n teacher education.  The  study  s t a r t s i n Chapter I with an excursion into the pursuit of PKT i n program development i n the b r i e f h i s t o r y of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d teacher education. fragmentation of PKT  This excursion i s intended to h i g h l i g h t the i n program development within d i f f e r e n t  h i s t o r i c a l times and to illuminate the conditions that l e d to the current widespread i n t e r e s t i n RTE. The sudden popularity of RTE  since the e a r l y 1980s can  be  seen as a welcome sign of e f f o r t s f o r p o s i t i v e change i n teacher education.  However, the relevant l i t e r a t u r e i n d i c a t e s that there  i s a lack of conceptual RTE  is.  c l a r i t y or rather a shared sense of what  This lack of conceptual  c l a r i t y has i n turn given r i s e  to expressed concerns over the conceptual a l t e r n a t i v e approach towards teachers  7  status of RTE as an  i n i t i a l preparation  and  i n - s e r v i c e professional development. Analysis i n Chapter II w i l l show that beyond the multiple conceptions of RTE,  what i s a c t u a l l y being advocated are program  goals with strong i d e o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l implications. epistemological issues concerning  The  PKT and learning to teach that  I believe to be fundamental to teacher education program development are l a r g e l y missing and i n t h e i r place, there i s the idea of r e f l e c t i o n serving as a desirable end and the means f o r achieving that end at the same time (Bullough, connection  1989a).  between r e f l e c t i v e inquiry/exercises and  The  prospective  teachers' development of PKT has not been made c l e a r . The widespread i n t e r e s t i n RTE has often been a t t r i b u t e d to the systematic t h e o r i z i n g by two American scholars, John Dewey and Donald A. Schon, on " r e f l e c t i v e thinking" and 4  "reflective  p r a c t i c e , " respectively.  Both address the question of knowing i n  r e l a t i o n to human conduct, but from quite d i f f e r e n t angles, as my l a t e r discussions w i l l show.  My f a m i l i a r i t y with the relevant  l i t e r a t u r e suggests to me that the connection between the many d i f f e r e n t versions of RTE and these t h e o r e t i c a l sources i s rather superficial.  I t i s waiting to be explored whether the theses  advanced by Schon and Dewey respectively e n t a i l the kind of t h e o r e t i c a l implications f o r sustaining RTE as an a l t e r n a t i v e o r i e n t a t i o n and engendering  change i n the current thinking as  well as p r a c t i c e of teacher education. With the p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s two books on p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e i n the 1980s, Schon has been praised f o r h i s contribution to our understanding of p r o f e s s i o n a l knowing i n and of p r a c t i c e .  My reading of Schon's work suggests, however, that  Schon has at best renovated the problem-solving model of professional p r a c t i c e with the emphasis on problem framing that has been neglected i n the Technical R a t i o n a l i t y model.  I argue  i n Chapter I I I that Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e cannot provide the t h e o r e t i c a l underpinnings  f o r the development of  teacher education programs. Teacher education i s fundamentally about a person developing knowledge f o r teaching or a person learning to become a competent teacher.  I t i s reasonable to assert that RTE programs, or any  other form of teacher education, need a theory that o f f e r s a p l a u s i b l e account of what i s involved i n a person developing and becoming an experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r of teaching.  PKT  Schon's  t h e s i s gives an account of competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' knowing i n and of p r a c t i c e i n terms of a process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . 5  It  does n o t e x p l o r e how competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s come t o know what  they know t h a t enables  them t o a c t t h e way they do.  p r o f e s s i o n a l a r t i s t r y come from?  Besides,  t e a c h i n g i s i n t e n t i o n a l and p u r p o s i v e ,  Where does  as a s o c i a l p r a c t i c e ,  b u t human i n t e n t i o n a l i t y  does n o t seem t o have a prominent p l a c e i n Schon's model o f p r o f e s s i o n a l knowing. John Dewey was a monumental f i g u r e i n American h i s t o r y . I t i s s a i d t h a t i n t h e works and l i f e o f Dewey t h a t t h e American philosophy  o f pragmatism was brought t o " i t s h i g h e s t l e v e l o f  s o p h i s t i c a t e d a r t i c u l a t i o n and engaged e l a b o r a t i o n " (West, 1989, p. 69). The f a c t t h a t g e n e r a t i o n s  o f s c h o l a r s s i n c e Dewey's time  have devoted themselves t o s t u d y i n g h i s w r i t i n g s and t o defending o r a t t a c k i n g h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l and e d u c a t i o n a l i d e a s a t t e s t s t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e and i n f l u e n c e o f Dewey's i n t e l l e c t u a l l e g a c y .  Dewey  devoted a g r e a t p a r t o f h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e t o t h e problem o f knowledge i n r e l a t i o n t o human conduct.  The t h e o r y o f r e f l e c t i v e  i n q u i r y / a r o b u s t e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l t h e s i s , was t h e c e n t r e p i e c e o f his  intellectual  legacy.  However, as A d l e r  (1991)  observes,  A l t h o u g h John Dewey's arguments f o r e d u c a t i n g t h e r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r s a r e c i t e d by many e d u c a t o r s today, Dewey's i d e a s have n o t c o n s i s t e n t l y been a p a r t o f t h e dominant d i s c o u r s e on t e a c h e r e d u c a t i o n i n t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , (p. 146) I f e e l i t r a t h e r odd t h a t proponents o f RTE s h o u l d have been unable t o f i n d i n Dewey's work a n y t h i n g more p r o f o u n d t h a n a few f r e q u e n t l y made r e f e r e n c e s , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between r o u t i n e a c t i o n and r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e , t h e r e q u i s i t e a t t i t u d e s o f r e f l e c t i v e t h i n k i n g , and t h e o f t - q u o t e d d e f i n i t i o n o f r e f l e c t i v e thought - " A c t i v e , p e r s i s t e n t , and c a r e f u l 6  consideration of any b e l i e f or supposed form of knowledge i n the l i g h t of the grounds that support i t and the further conclusions to which i t tends constitutes r e f l e c t i v e thought"  (Dewey, 1933,  p. 9). I t should be i n t e r e s t i n g to note that i n e x p l i c a t i n g h i s t h e s i s , Schon (1992) claims to have developed h i s own v e r s i o n of Dewey's " r e f l e c t i v e thought."  But he does not discuss how h i s  version d i f f e r s from Dewey's o r i g i n a l ideas or i f h i s version e n t a i l s any s i g n i f i c a n t t h e o r e t i c a l advance from Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry.  What would Richardson  (1990) be a l l u d i n g  to when observing that "when Schon's R e f l e c t i v e P r a c t i t i o n e r struck the consciousness of educationists i n the mid-1980s, i t was not always as a re-embracing discovery of a new concept"  of Dewey's notion, but as the  (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 s i g n i f i c a n c e of Dewey's theory of  r e f l e c t i v e inquiry to the present context of teacher education can be seen i n that i t i s an important part of "a wealth of materials, i n s i g h t s , and analyses" the pragmatists  (Pierce,  James, Dewey) l e f t behind them that are "pertinent t o and often a n t i c i p a t i n g current advances i n philosophy" (Thayer, 1982, p. 11). More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the discussion i n Chapter IV w i l l help to show that by r e v i s i t i n g Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, teacher educators can substantiate the s i m p l i s t i c connection already made between Dewey's ideas and bring t h e i r current e f f o r t to reform or improve teacher education to more f r u i t f u l r e s u l t s . 7  In Dewey's t h e s i s , r e f l e c t i v e i n q u i r y s i g n i f i e s a d e l i b e r a t e , p u r p o s i v e human conduct  t o seek and a c q u i r e knowledge f o r  i n t e l l i g e n t human a c t i o n .  This understanding  o f knowledge,  i n q u i r y , and a c t i o n i n unison, I b e l i e v e , can be brought t o bear d i r e c t l y upon t h e i s s u e s o f PKT  and l e a r n i n g t o t e a c h ,  thereby  p r o v i d i n g the needed e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l f o u n d a t i o n f o r t e a c h e r e d u c a t i o n 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 o f  t e a c h e r e d u c a t i o n informed by Dewey's t h e o r y o f r e f l e c t i v e i n q u i r y w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter The phenomenon o f RTE  V.  i s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f major  programmatic d e l i b e r a t i o n s c u r r e n t l y undertaken i n t e a c h e r education.  S i n c e many d i f f e r e n t c o n c e p t i o n s o f RTE  exist within  s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n t e x t s , t h e r e i s a need, perhaps, f o r a c l e a r e r sense o f what RTE means.  However, i t i s important  keep i n mind t h a t when t r y i n g t o r e s o l v e the d i f f i c u l t y o f RTE,  we  to  conceptual  s h o u l d not l o s e s i g h t o f t h e f a c t t h a t the  fundamental t a s k f o r t e a c h e r e d u c a t i o n programs i s t o a s s i s t i n p r o s p e c t i v e t e a c h e r s ' development o f PKT.  In o t h e r words,  must be b u i l t upon an adequate u n d e r s t a n d i n g As S o l t i s  o f PKT  RTE  and l e a r n i n g .  (1981) persuades us,  t h e more adequate our grasp o f what we understand as "knowledge," t h e more we can c o n s c i o u s l y , r e s p o n s i b l y , and m o r a l l y p l a y the r o l e o f educator, (p. 104) I cannot f o r e t e l l how  the Deweyan o r i e n t a t i o n o f t e a c h e r  e d u c a t i o n o u t l i n e d i n t h i s study may  e v e n t u a l l y be t u r n e d  p r a c t i c e a t both i n s t i t u t i o n a l and p e r s o n a l l e v e l s .  into  Teacher  e d u c a t i o n i s u l t i m a t e l y a p r a c t i c a l endeavour c a r r i e d out w i t h i n s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n a l s e t t i n g s and by p a r t i c i p a n t s d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l and  ideological positions. 8  I t i s my  occupying hope t h a t  t h i s  s t u d y  t e a c h e r  w i l l  e d u c a t i o n  p r o s p e c t i v e  r e f o r m ;  t e a c h e r s '  r e c o n s t r u c t i o n and  c o n t r i b u t e  n e c e s s i t y  o f o f  a  (1) (2)  t o t o  the the  development r a t i o n a l  t e a c h e r  o f  c u r r e n t g e n e r a l P K T ; and  f o u n d a t i o n  e d u c a t i o n  9  c a n  upon be  d i s c o u r s e  on  u n d e r s t a n d i n g 3)  t o  w h i c h  f i r m l y  o f  t h e the  l e g i t i m a c y  e s t a b l i s h e d .  Chapter  I:  T H E P U R S U I T O F P R O F E S S I O N A L KNOWLEDGE T E A C H I N G : AN H I S T O R I C A L OVERVIEW  FOR  Classroom teaching from kindergarten to advanced studies i n u n i v e r s i t y i s a purposive, dynamic, and complex form of professional p r a c t i c e .  The kind of knowledge that enables a  teacher to teach i n a p r o f e s s i o n a l l y competent manner i s likewise a very i n t r i c a t e and complex matter.  As such, i t defies attempts  to give a precise d e f i n i t i o n of PKT from a s i n g l e d i s c i p l i n a r y perspective which would be appropriate f o r guiding program development i n teacher education.  S c h e f f l e r (1966) states that  The conclusion often drawn i n educational theory i s that we must f i r s t decide what the correct d e f i n i t i o n of man' i s , and that then p r a c t i c a l educational consequences w i l l only need to be i n f e r r e d by us through the a p p l i c a t i o n of pure l o g i c . This p i c t u r e i s , however, wrong not only i n postulating a simple deductive implication between d e f i n i t i o n s of human nature and p r a c t i c a l educational consequences, but a l s o i n f a i l i n g to take account of [the fact that] there are an i n d e f i n i t e number of a l t e r n a t i v e d e f i n i t i o n s of *man,' i n d e f i n i t e l y many ways of dimensionalizing h i s structure and c a p a c i t i e s , a l l equally accurate. To choose one such dimensionalization on the basis of i t s accuracy and to proceed to read o f f c u r r i c u l a r counterparts to each dimension, as i s often done, i s to beg the whole question, (pp. 33-34) x  I take S c h e f f l e r ' s use of the term *dimension' to mean, i n the ordinary sense, aspect' or f a c t o r s ' (Greenbaum and Whitcut, x  1988,  p. 207).  %  Like the notion of man,  or involves many f a c t o r s .  PKT also has many aspects  When we look at some s e l e c t i v e aspects  or f a c t o r s , we get a fragmented view. In t a l k i n g about fragmented views of PKT,  I r e f e r to views  that are considered to be legitimate, and debatable,  within  s p e c i f i c d i s c i p l i n a r y boundaries of research and t h e o r i z i n g . There are p h i l o s o p h i c a l , s o c i o l o g i c a l , and psychological views of 10  PKT,  f o r instance.  From the vantage point of research and  t h e o r i z i n g and also i n consideration of the sub-divisions within the d i s c i p l i n e s , fragmented views are i n e v i t a b l e .  Educational  research and t h e o r i z i n g are l a r g e l y driven by those i n t e r e s t s i n the s e l e c t i o n and emphasis of c e r t a i n 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 t h e o r e t i c a l underpinnings as S c h e f f l e r suggests, begging the whole question.  without,  When  fragmented views, those emphasizing moral standard, or subject matter, or behaviour,  or research findings and scholarship, as I  w i l l discuss l a t e r on, are taken to underlie program development, teacher education w i l l not be able to accomplish  i t s essential  task. One s i n g l e 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 v a r i e t y of  i n t e l l e c t u a l sources may not necessarily be complimentary t o each other and contribute t o a comprehensive, overarching view.  They  may c o n f l i c t and i n e f f e c t mitigate each other's p o t e n t i a l influence on p r a c t i c e .  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 a v a i l a b l e , imbedded i n Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry.  I t takes some e f f o r t to  recover and introduce i t into the current discourse on RTE and 11  teacher education reform. Although the academic l i t e r a t u r e on teacher education abounds, conceptions of PKT and assumptions about prospective teachers that underlie program development do not u s u a l l y get e x p l i c i t l y stated, l e t alone c r i t i c a l l y examined.  Those i m p l i c i t  conceptions can nevertheless be discerned from the a v a i l a b l e l i t e r a t u r e on the various espoused ideals of teacher education as well as the concrete i n s t i t u t i o n a l arrangements and pedagogical practices at d i f f e r e n t h i s t o r i c a l times. This chapter i s devoted t o a b r i e f h i s t o r i c a l survey of the fragmented views of PKT that underlie program development i n teacher education.  I s t a r t t h i s h i s t o r i c a l excursion with the  assertion that a teacher education program n e c e s s a r i l y presumes some conception(s) of PKT and assumption(s)  about prospective  teachers f o r 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 h i g h l i g h t i n g the s h i f t i n g emphases on the d i f f e r e n t aspects of PKT i n program development i n the b r i e f h i s t o r y of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d teacher education, I t r y to i l l u m i n a t e the current RTE movement against that h i s t o r i c a l background and at the same time shed some l i g h t on the d i r e c t i o n of present and future programmatic d e l i b e r a t i o n s i n t h i s f i e l d . A General Framework  Two f a m i l i a r themes, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between theory and practice and dominant views of teacher/teaching, w i l l provide the main 12  focus f o r the excursion into the continuing pursuit of PKT i n teacher education program development.  The theory-practice  r e l a t i o n s h i p has been a central concern t o i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d 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 c l e a r that d i f f e r e n t understandings  of and  approaches towards the theory-practice r e l a t i o n s h i p i n teacher education are dependent upon the d i f f e r e n t meanings that are ascribed t o PKT. Tom and V a l l i  (1990), f o r instance, have i d e n t i f i e d four  epistemological t r a d i t i o n s of PKT — C r i t i c a l , and C r a f t .  P o s i t i v i s t , Interpretive,  With the p o s i t i v i s t t r a d i t i o n , PKT takes  the form of p r o p o s i t i o n a l statements of generalizations, laws, p r i n c i p l e s , and r u l e s governing human behaviour.  The source of  PKT i s s c i e n t i f i c research and academic t h e o r i z i n g . With the i n t e r p r e t i v e t r a d i t i o n , PKT i s associated with the researcher's i n t e r p r e t i v e understanding  of educational phenomena s i t u a t e d i n  h i s t o r i c a l , s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l , and p o l i t i c a l contexts, with the recognition that understanding conceptual system.  i s rooted i n the researcher's own  I t i s not c l e a r though what form PKT takes i n  the i n t e r p r e t i v e t r a d i t i o n . With the c r i t i c a l t r a d i t i o n , attention i s focused on values embedded i n educational p r a c t i c e .  E f f o r t s are made t o put the  conventional forms of educational knowledge into c r i t i c a l perspectives of the p r i n c i p l e s of democracy and of power relationships.  Knowledge becomes the object of c r i t i c i s m i n  terms of i t s r o l e i n society.  The c r a f t t r a d i t i o n , on the other  hand, associates PKT with common sense, f o l k l o r e , experience, and 13  p r a c t i c a l wisdom that p r a c t i t i o n e r s of teaching r e l y on i n t h e i r respective f i e l d s of p r a c t i c e .  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 i n t u i t i v e , embedded i n t h e i r actions. Tom and V a l l i do not discuss how  conceptions of PKT rooted  i n d i f f e r e n t epistemological t r a d i t i o n s may provide the r a t i o n a l ground f o r 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 f o r c u r r i c u l a r decision making i n professional education i s normative: conception of a set of desirable understandings, d i s p o s i t i o n s " (p. 389).  skills,  a and  I t i s doubtful, though, that normative  considerations about program p r o v i s i o n would not need to be informed by some kind of epistemological understanding of PKT learning to teach.  and  To be r a t i o n a l about programmatic  deliberations, I believe, i t i s necessary to assess the i m p l i c i t epistemological understanding i n which a teacher education program i s grounded. As i s well known, there are c o n f l i c t i n g claims about the value of theory i n teaching and learning to teach.  But common  sense t e l l s us that the usefulness of a thing does not r e s i d e i n the thing i t s e l f .  A pen i s useful f o r w r i t i n g and i t i s useless  for opening a lock.  Atomic energy i s useful i n a v a r i e t y of ways  i n modern l i f e but extremely harmful when i t i s used as a weapon of massive d e s t r u c t i v e power.  Likewise, the value of t h e o r e t i c a l  knowledge depends on the uses to which i t i s put.  A proper  r e l a t i o n s h i p between theory and p r a c t i c e i n teacher education cannot therefore be meaningfully established without considering 14  what use t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge, with i t s nature properly understood,  can be put t o i n helping prospective teachers to  develop t h e i r PKT.  Simply staking out a p o s i t i o n on the putative  value of theory or p r o j e c t i n g d i f f e r e n t linkages between theory and p r a c t i c e w i l l u n l i k e l y lead to the kind of p r a c t i c a l educational consequences that we desire nor w i l l i t have much constructive e f f e c t on the current p r a c t i c e of teacher education. My own observation suggests that three d i f f e r e n t factors may contribute to the persistence of the problematic theory-practice r e l a t i o n s h i p i n teacher education: (1) theory i s studied f o r i t s own sake ignoring the questions and demands of p r a c t i c e ; (2) theory i s taken s e l e c t i v e l y , based on questionable c r i t e r i a , to reside over p r a c t i c e , t o d i c t a t e or guide or inform p r a c t i c e ; and (3) theory i s expected to provide ready-made solutions t o problem situations arising i n practice.  What has been r e f e r r e d t o as the  "implicit/personal/practical/working theory" already imbedded i n teaching and learning t o teach i s generally ignored (Carr and Kemmis, 1986; Clark, 1988; English, 1994; Eraut, 1994; Polanyi, 1958,  1966; Scheffler, 1991).  I f t h i s observation i s correct, i t  w i l l be reasonable to suggest that a proper r e l a t i o n s h i p between theory and p r a c t i c e i n teacher education should be formed on the basis of a c l e a r understanding of the nature as well as use of theory i n the context of teaching and learning to teach.  I will  return t o the theory-practice r e l a t i o n s h i p i n Chapter V. The other theme i s that the dominant mode of teacher education program development tends to be c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o 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 i n the commonly accepted metaphors, such as the teacher as a guardian, moral agent, care-giver, gardener, d i s c i p l i n a r i a n , knowledge dispenser,  decision-maker,  f a c i l i t a t o r , diagnostician, r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r , 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 i d e a l destination of a burdened, career-long i n t e l l e c t u a l journey of a l l teachers, of which i n i t i a l preparation constitutes a c r u c i a l 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 i n turn helps to determine the r o l e 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  a c t u a l l y underpin the p r o v i s i o n of pedagogical a c t i v i t i e s i n teacher preparation.  But what does the h i s t o r y of teacher  education t e l l us i n these regards?  Normal School Teacher T r a i n i n g Moral Character B u i l d i n g When i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d teacher t r a i n i n g came into existence i n North America i n the early 19th century, schooling was s t i l l very much a part of a communal l i f e organized and c o n t r o l l e d by d i f f e r e n t r e l i g i o u s denominations i n various l o c a l communities. Common Schools set up f o r the general p u b l i c had several defined 16  purposes: to indoctrinate the minds of the pupils with the values of  the dominant r e l i g i o n ; to shape t h e i r moral character and  c i v i l behaviour; and to develop some rudimentary l i t e r a c y s k i l l s . Schools were to provide the youngsters with " s u f f i c i e n t education to understand an order, and not so much to question i t " i n Ginsberg, 1988, p. 114).  The teacher "was  (quoted  expected to embody  the standard v i r t u e s and community values and, at the same time, to mete out stern d i s c i p l i n e to the unruly and d u l l - w i t t e d " (Kliebard, 1986, p. 1). There i s c l e a r h i s t o r i c a l evidence that i n the early days of Normal School teacher t r a i n i n g , PKT was conceived to a large extent on the basis of the r e l i g i o u s and moral values cherished i n the l o c a l 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;  1989; Urban, 1990).  As Goodlad (1990) observes i n h i s Teachers  for  Our Schools  Herbst,  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 f o s t e r i n g character and morality i n l i n e with r e l i g i o u s orthodoxy than with fostering i n t e l l e c t u a l c u r i o s i t y and independence. The extant knowledge of pedagogy, such as i t was, embraced l i t t l e more than h e l p f u l h i n t s on c o n t r o l l i n g and managing children, handling classroom routines, and the l i k e . (p. 71) The r i s e of the modern State and growing urbanization as a r e s u l t of  rapid i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n i n 19th century North America brought  a new  form of s o c i a l structure and governance.  Education, f o r a  long time the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y 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 f o r indoctrinating the "[young] people" with the ideology of "patriotism," "good l i f e , " and "a b e t t e r society" which emphasized "harmony, law, and order" and f o r c o n t r o l l i n g as well as reforming "the unreasonable, savage, and disreputable at a l l s o c i a l l e v e l s , but e s p e c i a l l y among the poor" 1977, p. 183). "to  (Prentice,  Teacher t r a i n i n g , accordingly, had i t s mission  implant i n [the trainees] the habits, s k i l l s , and the  character structure appropriate t o the morally f o r c e f u l teacher" (Curtis, 1988, p. 246).  "Good moral character" served as a handy  cover-up f o r 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 b u i l d i n g " expressed i t s e l f most f o r c e f u l l y i n the "hidden curriculum" of the early Normal School teacher t r a i n i n g , i n the harsh d i s c i p l i n e and regulations (entry requirements, rules of conduct,  rigid  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;  Centennial Committee of Toronto Normal School, 1947).  The Phillips  (1957), f o r instance, records a case i n which a female student was expelled from her normal school t r a i n i n g f o r witnessing but f a i l i n g to report an incident of a male student poking h i s s l a t e p e n c i l at another female student s i t t i n g next to him to a t t r a c t her attention. Normal schools were of course not r e l i g i o u s seminaries. 18  PKT  in those days also had two other e s s e n t i a l elements  —  rudimentary l i t e r a c y s k i l l s and methods of teaching which were referred to as "schoolkeeping."  A minimum l e v e l of l i t e r a c y  was  a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r entry to teacher t r a i n i n g and teaching methods were mostly learned, ostensively, through observation and imitation of the Master Teacher's classroom behaviour.  Teacher  t r a i n i n g programs were short and involved, on the pedagogical side, mainly a review of the subjects taught i n the school and some supervised teaching p r a c t i c e .  elementary  There was  little  room i n those programs f o r serious studies of educational and pedagogical theories advanced by generations of great thinkers since a n t i q u i t y (see Curtis and Boultwood, 1965; Messenger, Meyer, 1975; Monroe, 1907).  1931;  What might pass i n those days f o r  "schoolkeeping" or p r i n c i p l e s and a r t of teaching would seem more l i k e l y conventional wisdom grounded i n the personal experience of the Normal School p r i n c i p a l and h i s i n s t r u c t i o n a l a s s i s t a n t s or teaching s t a f f (e.g., Harper, 1935,  Chapter VIII; C l i f f o r d and  Guthrie, 1988, pp. 74-79). A c q u i s i t i o n of Subject Matter Knowledge The 19th century saw the rapid advancement of both n a t u r a l and s o c i a l sciences i n the Western World.  The impact of the ever  accelerating science and technology development swept f a r and wide and penetrated every sphere of human l i f e .  In education,  academic subjects and s p e c i a l t i e s p r o l i f e r a t e d (Clark, 1987). The pervasiveness of science was such that even philosophy, once the "crown of a l l d i s c i p l i n e s , " had t o give way t o science subjects i n the school curriculum (Hare, 1975; Ringer, 1992). 19  In  teaching, the o v e r a l l concern with "moral character b u i l d i n g "  was  replaced by a more immediate concern with " a c q u i s i t i o n 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 t y p i c a l of a teacher t r a i n i n g curriculum to c o n s i s t of a wide range of academic subjects i n consonance with what was taught i n the Common School, such as, i n the case of Toronto Normal School: The Elements and Philosophy of Grammar, Orthography, Composition, A r t of Reading, Rudiments of l o g i c , Geography (Mathematical, Physical, and P o 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 d a i l y Teaching i n the Model School, mode of teaching the National School Books, Science and Practice of Arithmetic, including the use of the Logarithm tables, Algebra as f a r as Quadratic Equations, the Progression, and the Binomial theorem, i n c l u s i v e ; Geometry, s i x books of E u c l i d ; Heat, E l e c t r i c i t y , Galvanism, and Magnetism; Mechanics, Hydro-statics, Pneumatics, Animal and Vegetable Physiology (with s p e c i a l reference to the laws of health, and p r a c t i c a l observations on the V e n t i l a t i o n and Temperature of School Houses), Elements of Astronomy, A g r i c u l t u r a l Chemistry, and Music. (Althouse, 1929, p. 29) Although p r o f e s s i o n a l studies had been an established component i n the teacher t r a i n i n g program despite the fact that adequate and s u f f i c i e n t pedagogical materials on teaching were s t i l l wanting, overriding concerns with teacher trainees'  inadequate  preparation i n academic subject matter knowledge nonetheless often defeated serious e f f o r t s i n that regard.  Althouse (1929)  noted i n the case of the Toronto Normal School that The majority of the students, although they had a c t u a l l y been teaching school, were f a r below modern high school standards i n 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 t r a i n i n g school undertook any s t r i c t l y professional work at a l l i s a t r i b u t e to the patience of the s t a f f 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 U n i v e r s i t y , had a more elaborate explanation f o r the emphasis on academic preparation i n h i s i n s t i t u t i o n , Sometimes a theory has f i r s t been established as to what such an i n s t i t u t i o n should be, and the great purpose therefore i s to shape things i n 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 l o g i c a l l y inferred that i t must teach nothing but the science of education. ... But every p r a c t i c a l man knows that i n a l l communities there are many i l l - q u a l i f i e d teachers. They need i n s t r u c t i o n not only i n the philosophy of Education, but also i n the rudiments of arithmetic and the English language. They are employed by scores and hundreds i n every s t a t e i n the Union. When they are c o l l e c t e d i n any number i n a normal school, what s h a l l be done f o r them? ... The wise course of t h i s Normal U n i v e r s i t y 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 i n the knowledge of the subjects to be taught, or of the science and a r t of imparting i n s t r u c t i o n . I t i s wise to do t h i s because they are teachers i n f a c t , and w i l l be, whether q u a l i f i e d or not. Every p a r t i c l e of c u l t u r e imparted to them w i l l be so much c l e a r gain for the schools. This course, the Normal U n i v e r s i t y has endeavoured to pursue. Not f o r g e t t i n g the high i d e a l of Normal i n s t r u c t i o n ; i t has nevertheless laboured to take hold of the actual problems about i t . I t s methods have been shaped to meet the n e c e s s i t i e s every-where apparent. I t has endeavoured to stand at the nexus between the highest philosophy of Education and the d a i l y needs of our common schools, (quoted i n Harper, 1935, p. 118) In some cases, Normal Schools even had l i t t l e to do with t h e i r presumed p r o f e s s i o n a l goal of teacher t r a i n i n g and were run rather f o r the purpose of providing p u b l i c l y supported postelementary  education concentrating on academic studies (Agnew,  1924; Altenbaugh and Underwood, 1990; Herbst, 1980,  1989).  Agnew  (1924) argued i n h i s doctoral d i s s e r t a t i o n on the administration 21  of p r o f e s s i o n a l schools f o r teachers, That p r o f e s s i o n a l schools f o r teachers should be devoted s t r i c t l y to t h e i r designated aim i s a p r i n c i p l e long accepted i n theory but i t has never been u n i v e r s a l l y accepted i n p r a c t i c e . Educators have yielded too e a s i l y to expediency. I f at times i n the past these schools were j u s t i f i e d i n serving educational needs other than that of t r a i n i n g teachers, there are now no adequate grounds f o r continuing the practice, (p. 61) Nevertheless, r e a l i t y was c l e a r l y f a r 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 s i g n i f i c a n t change i n regard to PKT i n teacher education could be said to have taken place i n the early 20th century when education had eventually established i t s e l f as a m u l t i - d i s c i p l i n e 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 i n t h e i r views, about education and i t s r o l e i n modern society.  With the development i n human psychology  and  sociology, i n s t r u c t i o n i n c h i l d psychology and pedagogical theory from s o c i o l o g i c a l perspectives became a staple component of the teacher education curriculum.  The emphasis i n p r o f e s s i o n a l  preparation f o r teaching began to lean towards the pedagogical aspects of teaching, e s p e c i a l l y "the importance of understanding the nature of c h i l d r e n : t h e i r i n t e r e s t s , t h e i r c a p a c i t i e s f o r learning, t h e i r l i m i t a t i o n s , and the ways i n which one c h i l d d i f f e r e d from others" (Woodring, 1983,  p. 89).  Informed by various i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n s , the booming 22  a c t i v i t y of d i s c i p l i n e d i n q u i r i e s of educational phenomena since the turn of the 20th century has been a mixed b l e s s i n g f o r teacher education.  While s c h o l a r l y e f f o r t s carrying on the  various i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n s have helped enrich and d i v e r s i f y 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 p r a c t i c e . The s p e c i a l i s t f i e l d s were s u f f i c i e n t l y advanced to pose t h e i r own i n t e l l e c t u a l problems and capable of keeping a growing army of researchers occupied. (Carr and Kemmis, 1986, pp. 1112) Herbst  (1989) asserts that  t h i s s p l i n t e r i n g of educational scholarship into small s p e c i a l t i e s was a r e s u l t of p r o f e s s i o n a l i z a t i o n among teacher educators rather than a response to the needs of the p u b l i c schools and t h e i r teachers, (p. 182) As t h e o r i s t s and educational researchers distance themselves from educational p r a c t i c e and develop more and more d i v e r s i f i e d  and  sophisticated ways of studying, i n a detached manner, t h e i r chosen educational phenomena, PKT has become i n c r e a s i n g l y fragmented and infused with d i f f e r e n t , and often c o n f l i c t i n g , views and ideas.  Johnson (1987) makes an astute comparison  between the medical p r a c t i c e i n the 19th century and the p r a c t i c e of education today: " i n medicine, sects were destroyed  by  science; i n 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 f o r  example. By 1940 most of the authors of textbooks on educational psychology had become convinced that they must present a v a r i e t y of psychological theories — b e h a v i o u r i s t i c , 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 c o n f l i c t i n g points of view into a s i n g l e system. As a r e s u l t , textbooks i n educational psychology became e c l e c t i c , presenting c o n f l i c t i n g theories of c h i l d development, learning, motivation, and emotion, and leaving i t t o students t o achieve an integration which the professors and the textbook writers had f a i l e d to achieve. (Woodring, 1975, p. 15) The consequential e f f e c t of the fragmentation of PKT has been that d i f f e r e n t kinds of theory about education, schooling, teaching, and learning v i e f o r i n c l u s i o n i n the teacher education curriculum, thereby i n t e n s i f y i n g the tension between theory and practice. The emphasis on a c q u i s i t i o n of academic subject matter knowledge and general or domain-specific teaching methods plus a period of p r a c t i c e teaching persisted with the customary program pattern of teacher preparation f o r several decades during which Normal Schools f u l f i l l e d t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l mission and gave way t o teachers colleges. Teachers colleges enjoyed a short l i f e span, a l l e g e d l y due to t h e i r r i g i d i t y and ineffectiveness, but perhaps more t o t h e i r lack of i n s t i t u t i o n a l prestige.  The r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  of teacher education was eventually conferred upon u n i v e r s i t y Faculties/Schools/Departments  of Education.  The t r a n s i t i o n was  by no means smooth and at least on the part of the u n i v e r s i t y community the change was received with anguish and resistance rather than enthusiasm.  The anguish p e r s i s t s to t h i s day, though  not n e c e s s a r i l y 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 u n i v e r s i t y campus d i f f e r s from i t s 24  predecessors with i t s d i s c i p l i n e and research-based foundational approach ( C l i f f o r d and Guthrie, 1988).  This approach can be  linked to two sets of d i f f e r e n t and yet c l o s e l y r e l a t e d presumptions about PKT.  One set of the presumptions associated  PKT with the i d e a l of the l i b e r a l education t r a d i t i o n Borrowman, 1965; H i r s t , 1972; by Martin, 1985; Pearson,  (see  and c r i t i c i s m s of H i r s t ' s p o s i t i o n  1989)  and the other with the enduring  dream of grounding the a r t of teaching on a s c i e n t i f i c basis. The Impulse of the L i b e r a l Education T r a d i t i o n Whereas Normal School teacher t r a i n i n g was compelled to put an emphasis on the a c q u i s i t i o n of content knowledge so as to meet the p r a c t i c a l demands of teaching i n the classroom, u n i v e r s i t y based teacher education i s f i r s t and foremost immersed i n the culture of the l i b e r a l education t r a d i t i o n .  Although general  education and subject matter s p e c i a l i z a t i o n are s t i l l considered to be part of teacher education, PKT i s no longer l i m i t e d to subject matter content knowledge to be taught i n elementary  and  secondary school classrooms plus some methods of teaching.  The  a s c r i p t i o n of "education" instead of " t r a i n i n g " to teacher preparation i s highly suggestive of the l i b e r a l t r a d i t i o n . S c h e f f l e r ' 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 i n a u n i v e r s i t y s e t t i n g . . . o f f e r s the special opportunity to develop a broader conception. Beyond a teacher's knowledge of h i s subject and h i s p r a c t i c e i n the a r t of teaching under superv i s i o n , he needs to be helped, I am convinced, to r e l a t e h i s work i n s u i t a b l e manner to the family of s c h o l a r l y and research d i s c i p l i n e s represented by the u n i v e r s i t y at large, (p. 2) 25  A Canadian teacher echoed t h i s l i b e r a l education sentiment with the following statement, The education of prospective teachers should take place on a u n i v e r s i t y campus, so that even when the requirements f o r c e r t i f i c a t i o n are of l e s s than degree standard, young teachers are at least exposed to the excitement and the ferment of a u n i v e r s i t y ; so that they are working and learning i n an atmosphere of books and inquiry; so that they are stimulated to go on with t h e i r formal education; so that they are aware of the existence of many d i s c i p l i n e s ; and so that they may rub o f f the edges of t h e i r inexperience against minds sharper and more tempered than t h e i r own. (Shack, 1965, p. 23) C r i t i c s of Canadian teacher education, however, t e r s e l y r e t o r t that "the requirement  of a u n i v e r s i t y degree meant ... that  teachers were now better educated, although not n e c e s s a r i l y better t r a i n e d " (Tomkins, 1986,  p. 421).  Around the middle of t h i s century, teacher education i n 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 i n the education and c e r t i f i c a t i o n of teachers" (Power, 1991, p. 293), Counts (1965), i n 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 f a m i l i a r c u r r i c u l a r pattern of o r i e n t a t i o n courses, subject matter courses, observation courses, and p r a c t i c e teaching assignments i s but a conglomeration of precepts and p r a c t i c e s inherited from the more l i m i t e d environment of a former day. No matter how much science i n the way of s t a t i s t i c a l summaries, surveys by experts, and c o r r e l a t i o n a l studies i s applied to t h i s type of curriculum, the best r e s u l t 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 s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . proposals and the l a t e s t scathing reports on the  Many reform  illiberal  teacher education on the u n i v e r s i t y campus i n the United States are testimonial to the exacerbating concerns towards the d e c l i n i n g influence of the l i b e r a l education t r a d i t i o n i n North American teacher preparation (e.g., Buchmann, 1984; 1987;  the Holmes Group, 1986;  Kramer, 1990;  Tom,  Ducharme,  1991).  Few w i l l doubt the d e s i r a b i l i t y of requiring both secondary and elementary school teachers to obtain a s o l i d background of general education and subject matter s p e c i a l i z a t i o n through a four-year u n i v e r s i t y l i b e r a l a r t s 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 teach" (p. 31).  can  But, mandating the completion of a four-year  undergraduate a r t s or science program as a p r e r e q u i s i t e or i n t e g r a l 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 s o c i a l and economic conditions.  It is  not an issue that can be resolved by an i n t e l l e c t u a l debate amongst concerned teacher educators themselves.  I w i l l not  further belabour t h i s point. I t i s generally accepted nowadays that l i b e r a l education  and  s p e c i a l i z a t i o n i n one or two teachable subject areas make up only part of PKT.  I t does no j u s t i c e to teaching as a p r o f e s s i o n a l  practice to equate l i b e r a l education with teachers' p r o f e s s i o n a l preparation.  The point has long been made c l e a r :  To argue f o r the best professional t r a i n i n g i s i n 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 i n the subjects they teach. I t i s equally necessary that they be we11-acquainted with the accumulated knowledge and experience of the teaching profession and the d i s c i p l i n e s on which i t r e s t s , s e n s i t i v e to the h i s t o r i c a l and philosophical s e t t i n g i n which the school operates, and aware of the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the educational establishment i n which they serve, (quoted i n MaCarthy, 1970, p. 9) The Search f o r a S c i e n t i f i c Basis of Teacher Education The d i f f e r e n c e 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 t h e o r i z i n g of  teaching are mainly concerned with understanding phenomena of i n t e r e s t to the person(s) who  the various  study them. S c i e n t i f i c  studies i n general are aimed at e s t a b l i s h i n g a r e l a t i o n a l l o g i c a l structure of the educational phenomena under i n v e s t i g a t i o n , to advance t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge.  I n t e l l e c t u a l c u r i o s i t y and  d i s c i p l i n a r y i n t e r e s t s 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 t h a t  s c i e n t i f i c studies of teaching cannot be undertaken with the intention of helping improve classroom teaching i n some s p e c i f i c areas of concern, or finding something u s e f u l , i f not immediately usable, f o r the teacher.  Whether or not such a p r a c t i c a l goal of  educational research and t h e o r i z i n g 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 r e s u l t s of d i s c i p l i n a r y i n q u i r i e s and 28  educational  research but also assumes that i t i s desirable and p o s s i b l e to do so.  Teacher educators who  ascribe to the s c i e n t i f i c notion of  PKT regard r e s u l t s of systematic i n q u i r i e s i n the d i s c i p l i n e s of education and educational research as the most r e l i a b l e and authentic i n t e l l e c t u a l sources.  They believe that only these  sources w i l l supply the r e q u i s i t e and desirable d i s p o s i t i o n s , values, perspectives, knowledge and s k i l l s , concepts as well as v a l i d factual information for b u i l d i n g a r a t i o n a l foundation f o r the p r a c t i c e of teaching.  One  f e e l s here what Borrowman (1965)  r e f e r s to as "the l i b e r a l impulse i n professional education." Walton (1962) offered a very concise statement i n t h i s regard, The knowledge and information that a teacher would derive from t h i s part of professional education [theoretical studies] may or may not make him a more e f f e c t i v e classroom teacher i n any immediately obvious way. However, the teacher who has had t h i s preparation may reasonably be expected to have more s o p h i s t i c a t i o n i n i d e n t i f y i n g the problems of the schools, i n the s e l e c t i o n of subject matter f o r teaching, and i n analyzing the current controversies about the aims and methods of education; and he should be a more e f f e c t i v e and i n t e l l i g e n t p a r t i c i p a n t i n p o l i c y decisions, (p. 22) Teacher educators who  have a strong conviction i n 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 t h e i r colleagues working i n the foundational d i s c i p l i n e s .  B.O.  Smith (1983), f o r  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 i n i t s own r i g h t . This does not mean that academic pedagogy i s i r r e l e v a n t to the study of education, but i t does mean that e f f e c t i v e teaching behaviour does not consist of mere deductions from the concepts of philosophy and psychology, (p. 141) I t i s stated unambiguously i n the Report of The Bicentennial 29  Commission on Education f o r the Profession of Teaching of the American Association of Colleges f o r Teacher Education (Howsam, Corrigan, Denemark, and Nash, 1976) that The Commission asserts that e f f e c t i v e teachers gain understanding and control of classroom events mainly through t h e o r e t i c a l 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 i n s t r u c t i o n a l decisions, (p. 88) The empirical research-based approach towards PKT found i t s most e x p l i c i t expression i n the Competence/Performance-Based Teacher Education (CBTE/PBTE) movement prevalent i n the l a t e 1960s and 1970s (see DeVault, Anderson, and Dickson, 1973; Gage and Winne, 1974; Haberman and Stinnett, 1973; H a l l and Jones, 1976; Houston, 1974: Houston and Howsam, 1972).  In response to the increasing  s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l demands f o r i n s t i t u t i o n a l a c c o u n t a b i l i t y i n the aftermath of the Sputnik shock, CBTE/PBTE proponents asserted that "knowledge alone i s inadequate; knowledge must be employed i n overt action" (Houston, 1974, p. 7). For both teacher evaluation and teacher preparation, PKT  was  represented i n sets of pre-specified, observable, and measurable d i s c r e t e teaching behaviours that were shown to c o r r e l a t e with student achievement on standardized t e s t s .  E f f e c t i v e teaching  behaviours were i d e n t i f i e d by educational researchers employing quantitative psycho-metric measurement methodology imported b e h a v i o u r i s t i c psychology.  Zumwalt (1982) summarizes the  CBTE/PBTE research base as follows: Process-product research y i e l d s information on what teacher behaviours correlate with student outcomes, usually defined as performance on standardized achievement t e s t s . I f improved performance on t e s t s i s one's goal, process-product research can indicate 30  from  a  behaviours that may contribute to achievement gains. The indicated behaviours are those the researcher decides to study, t h e i r s p e c i f i c i t y depends on how the investigator operationalized the independent v a r i a b l e s (for example, teacher warmth, verbal p r a i s e ) , and the presence or absence of information about mediating v a r i a b l e s (for example, student involvement) depends on. the research design u t i l i z e d , (p. 219) I f c e r t a i n 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 t o acquire such behaviours.  At the core of CBTE/PBTE programs were  a set of learning objectives that are stated so that t h e i r accomplishment can be observed i n the form of s p e c i f i e d learner behaviours or knowledge. Minimum l e v e l s of achievement of these objectives are established as a c r i t e r i o n of success. Learning a c t i v i t i e s are geared to a s s i s t each student i n acquiring at l e a s t the minimum l e v e l s of competence. ... [CBTE/PBTE programs] frequently use "modules" as d e l i v e r y systems f o r i n s t r u c t i o n . ... A module usually focuses on a single competency or d i s c r e t e set of competencies, and the a b i l i t y t o demonstrate these competencies s a t i s 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 a f f e c t i v e objectives were generally not missing from CBTE/PBTE programs, the insurmountable  difficulty  involved i n s t a t i n g such learning objectives i n behavioral terms and i n observing and measuring learning outcomes i n these domains tended to detract serious attention and e f f o r t away from them (Houston, 1974). Many proponents of CBTE/PBTE were well aware of the inherent t h e o r e t i c a l and methodological weaknesses i n 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 p r i n c i p l e s derived from the process-product 31  research base.  Some nevertheless expressed  the optimism that  they were genuinely i n s i g h t of the t h e o r e t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s , the operational measures, and even the developmental technology f o r moving into a performance-based method of appraising teaching.... The day i s s t i l l quite a long way o f f , but i t i s no longer wishful thinking to foresee a performance-based system f o r the c e 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 a r r i v e d , 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 t h i n k i n g ever more  e r r a t i c a l l y with t h e i r manifestos"  (p. 41).  Gage professed the  b e l i e f that more s o l i d l y established bases f o r change i n teacher education — i n the a p p l i c a t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge about teaching — can lead to a happier h i s t o r y . Teacher education should r i s e to a wholly new l e v e l as the s c i e n t i f i c basis of the a r t of teaching becomes stronger, (pp. 43-44) However, the dream of grounding the a r t of teaching on a s c i e n t i f i c base has t i l l t h i s day proven to be much e a s i e r to imagine than to r e a l i z e despite, and perhaps, i r o n i c a l l y , also due to, the p r o l i f e r a t i o n of academic t h e o r i z i n g and educational research (see Kaestle, 1993).  The narrow conception of PKT  sets of p r e - s p e c i f i e d , overt teaching behaviours  i s now  considered to be inadequate f o r teacher education Doyle, 1978,  1990;  Fenstermacher, 1978,  Goodlad, Soder, and S i r o t n i k , 1990; Liston and Zeichner, 1991; 1986a; Tom,  1984;  Zumwalt, 1982).  generally  (Broudy,  1984;  Goodlad,  1990;  Heath and Nielson,  1974;  Nash, 1970;  1986;  as  Richardson,  1990;  Shulman,  CBTE/PBTE eventually receded  from the centre stage of teacher education a f t e r dominating the scene f o r about two decades. 32  Towards the l a t e 1970s, concerns over the l i m i t a t i o n s of the behaviouristic model of educational research and the d i f f i c u l t i e s involved i n t r a n s f e r r i n g research findings into educational p r a c t i c e l e d research on teaching to a major s h i f t away from the observational and c o r r e l a t i o n a l studies of teaching  behaviour.  Many educational researchers have turned to i n v e s t i g a t e the thinking processes involved i n teaching and learning from the perspectives of cognitive science (Clark and Peterson, Clark and Yinger, 1977;  Corno and E d l s t e i n , 1987;  Day,  1986; Pope, and  Denicolo, 1990; Halkes and Olson, 1984; M i t c h e l l and Marland, 1989;  Ornstein, 1985;  and Stern, 1981;  Peterson, 1988;  Solas, 1992).  Shavelson,  1983;  Shavelson  Metaphors of the teacher as a  c l i n i c a l diagnostician, information processor, d e c i s i o n maker, planner, and problem solver have become very common i n the educational l i t e r a t u r e . In reporting on t h e i r research on teacher t h i n k i n g or cognition, educational researchers, with a few exceptions (Bromme and Brophy, 1986;  Floden and K l i n z i n g , 1990), have however become  l e s s a s s e r t i v e about the connection between t h e i r research findings and the p r a c t i c e of teaching and teacher preparation (Clark, 1988;  Clark and Lampert, 1986;  McNamara, 1990;  Shavelson,  1988).  Lampert and Clark,  1990;  Clark and Lampert (1986), f o r  instance, state that the r o l e of research on teacher thinking i s to help teachers understand practice, rather than to d i c t a t e p r a c t i c e to them. Therefore, we do not look t o research on teacher thinking f o r p r e s c r i p t i o n s of how teachers ought to think or how novices ought to be t r a i n e d . ... Research on teacher thinking does not provide p a r t i c u l a r 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) I t has been suggested that instead of p r e s c r i b i n g r u l e s of conduct, research findings on teacher thinking should enable teacher educators to ask the r i g h t questions about teacher preparation (Clark, 1988)  and be used " i n constructing,  challenging, or changing the way p o l i c y makers and p r a c t i t i o n e r s think about problems" (Shavelson, 1988,  p.  4).  D i f f u s i o n of Professional Knowledge f o r Teaching With the b e h a v i o u r i s t i c conception of PKT l a r g e l y i n disfavour and educational researchers i n general disclaiming d i r e c t connections between research and the practice of teaching and teacher preparation, the question of PKT has become an urgent issue i n the current discourse on teacher education reform. C a l l s f o r i n s t i t u t i o n a l accountability and educational reform i n t e n s i f y the sense of urgency i n finding an adequate answer to the c l a s s i c question of "what knowledge i s of most worth" (Spencer, 1859)  f o r teacher education.  " I f there i s knowledge,  our [teacher educators i n higher education settings] r o l e i s secure. I f there i s not, our r o l e i s highly problematic,  11  said  Gideonse (1989, p. 17). Various attempts have been made to address the question of PKT and to i d e n t i f y i t s content f o r teacher preparation ( D i l l and Associates, 1990; 1989;  Feiman-Nemser, 1990; Gideonse, 1989;  Schrag, 1992a; Shulman, 1986b, 1987a; D.C.  and V a l l i , 1990).  Reynolds,  Smith, 1983;  Tom  On the one hand, several d i f f e r e n t categories  have been advanced i n which knowledge i s linked with various intellectual traditions.  Schrag 34  (1992a) categorizes views about  educational knowledge into s i x t r a d i t i o n s —  the apprenticeship,  the p h i l o s o p h i c a l , the r h e t o r i c a l , the s c i e n t i f i c , the mystical, and the psycho-therapeutic.  Feiman-Nemser (1990) has i d e n t i f i e d  f i v e conceptual orientations of teacher education c u r r i c u l a  —  the academic, the technical, the p r a c t i c a l , the personal, and the critical/social.  Tom and V a l l i  (1990), already mentioned i n the  beginning of the chapter, have discussed four epistemological traditions —  p o s i t i v i s t , i n t e r p r e t i v e , c r i t i c a l , and c r a f t .  Smith (1983), D i l l and associates (1990), and Reynolds (1989), on the other hand, have brought together expert views from d i f f e r e n t perspectives to i d e n t i f y and demonstrate an extant knowledge base which would provide " e s s e n t i a l knowledge" f o r beginning educators.  Whereas these authors convey a shared  b e l i e f i n the existence of a knowledge base of teaching, i t i s quite c l e a r that they are not unanimous i n regard t o i t s content. For Smith, the knowledge base of teaching c o n s i s t s 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 t o include four general categories: (1) r e s u l t s of classroom i n s t r u c t i o n a l research; (2) psychological knowledge about human development (developmental psychology); (3) knowledge from p a r t i c u l a r d i s c i p l i n a r y perspectives; and (4) the moral dimensions of teaching.  According to Reynolds (1989), the knowledge base f o r  the beginning teacher covers a much wider range of t o p i c a l areas where, i t i s claimed, well-confirmed knowledge and standards f o r judging such knowledge have been made available by research. Gideonse (1989), a f t e r making some b r i e f notes on several 35  d i f f e r e n t ways of categorizing PKT,  l i s t s a number of  i n t e l l e c t u a l sources pertinent to teacher education programs. These include "Experimental research; Authority; Observation; Personal experience; C o l l e c t i v e experience or wisdom of p r a c t i c e ; Logic; Second-order scholarship; Design; Imagination; Revelation; and I n t u i t i o n " (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 f o r teacher education.  Knowledge i s to be used as i n s t r u c t i o n a l content,  r a t i o n a l e f o r program development and c u r r i c u l a r decisions at d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s , and guidance f o r pedagogical p r a c t i c e s 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 t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ; knowledge of educational contexts; and knowledge of educational ends, purposes,  and  values, and t h e i r philosophical and h i s t o r i c a l grounds."  Formal  scholarship, educational materials and structure, research, and the wisdom of p r a c t i c e are i d e n t i f i e d as the sources f o r the knowledge base. What d i s t i n g u i s h e s 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 l e v e l .  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 i n turn represented i n the forms of 36  propositional knowledge (principles, maxims, and norms), case knowledge, and s t r a t e g i c knowledge. Shulman (1987a) states that Our current "blueprint" f o r the knowledge base of teaching has many c e l l s or categories with only the most rudimentary place-holders, much l i k e the chemist's p e r i o d i c t a b l e of a century ago. (p. 12) This analogy may sound assuring and stimulating to those who take i t t o be t h e i r task t o discover or produce knowledge f o r teacher education.  From a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t point of view, however, one i s  on a s o l i d ground t o object t o the presumption l u r k i n g underneath Shulman's analogy that PKT i s something waiting out there f o r researchers t o discover, r e f i n e , disseminate, package, and eventually transmit to prospective teachers i n t h e i r preparation programs f o r future a p p l i c a t i o n . The d i f f e r e n t views, categories, and schemes of PKT e n t a i l d i f f e r e n t conceptual orientations and epistemological assumptions f o r teacher education program development.  However, d i f f e r e n c e s  aside, these categories and schemes p e r t a i n 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 p o l i c y i n i t i a t i v e s and p r a c t i c a l endeavour i n teacher education on i n d i v i d u a l prospective teachers' b e l i e f systems of teaching and teaching performance remain to be substantiated (Feiman-Nemser, 1990). Transcending  t h i s conglomerate of s c h o l a r l y views on "what  knowledge i s of most worth" f o r teacher education i s the b e l i e f that "transmission of t h i s knowledge base to teachers [and 37  prospective teachers] w i l l increase the q u a l i t y of teaching" (Koehler, 1983, p. 3). This b e l i e f poses an i n t e r e s t i n g c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n to one of the major tenets of the current RTE movement — problematic"  "make the r e l a t i o n s h i p between theory and p r a c t i c e ( V a l l i , 1993, p. 16).  The d i f f u s i o n of PKT i n teacher education indicates that the very notion of PKT i s i n need of c l a r i f i c a t i o n or r e c t i f i c a t i o n (see Fenstermacher, 1994 and Greene, 1994 f o r t h e i r contrastive p h i l o s o p h i c a l discussions on knowledge and educational research). The p o s i t i v i s t , the i n t e r p r e t i v i s t , and the c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t each use the concept of knowledge to r e f e r to something d i f f e r e n t and argue accordingly about what a proper r e l a t i o n s h i p there i s or ought to be between theory and p r a c t i c e .  I t i s hard to see  how each of the three w i l l come t o agree on "what knowledge i s of most worth" to those who teach and those who are learning t o teach (see Carr and Kemmis, 1986; Overgaard, 1994). I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g 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 a c t i v e process of knowing and the need to exercise judgment on what knowledge to use and how t o use i t i n teacher education.  Gideonse states that  The sources of knowledge... are a l s o the sources of error. The views of leading researchers and scholars diverge or c o n f l i c t . The images of teaching advocated by some scholars may be perceived as excessively narrow, hopelessly romantic, or p r o f e s s i o n a l l y unwise. There are, i n short, no neat, unassailable p r e s c r i p t i o n s forthcoming from the knowledge bases of teaching and teacher education. There are instead evidence, reasoned propositions, and a l t e r n a t i v e conceptualizations to be s i f t e d , weighed, and s e l e c t i v e l y framed into coherent programs of study, (p. 38  16) Where contentions and controversies regarding PKT remain to be resolved, the l i t e r a t u r e indicates that teacher education i s operationalized with a v a r i e t y of innovative c u r r i c u l a within a universal pattern of disparate program components — Pedagogical Studies (e.g., Introduction to School and  General Teaching,  P r i n c i p l e s of Teaching, e t c . ) ; Foundational Studies; Curriculum and I n s t r u c t i o n (generic and domain s p e c i f i c teaching methods); Special Studies (teaching-related areas of i n d i v i d u a l needs and i n t e r e s t s ) ; and P r a c t i c e Teaching —  as a r e s u l t of i n t r a -  i n s t i t u t i o n a l compromise (Cruickshank, 1985; 1990;  DeVitis and Sola,  Feiman-Nemser, 1990; Howey and Zimpher, 1989). Upon a closer look, these a l t e r n a t i v e models, approaches and  orientations e i t h e r suggest some general or s p e c i f i c way(s) of preparing teachers (Competence, R e f l e c t i v e Practice, or MicroTeaching) or program o r i e n t a t i o n s ( l i b e r a l , a n a l y t i c a l , a r t i s t r y , e t c . ) ; s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l agendas ( c u l t u r a l p l u r a l i s m and s o c i a l change); personal growth (empowerment; r o l e a c q u i s i t i o n ) ; or sources of i n t e l l e c t u a l guidance and i n s t r u c t i o n a l material for curriculum decisions (research-based or  experience-based).  I t i s reasonable to expect that each and every one of the models, approaches, and orientations, whether i n p r a c t i c e or s t i l l i n b l u e p r i n t , w i l l be grounded on a more or l e s s coherent conception of PKT with a compatible view of the persons learning to teach, a conception that e n t a i l s an account of p r o f e s s i o n a l 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 f o r 39  whom d i f f e r e n t 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 p r a c t i c e , we claim that the s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t s of f a c u l t y add up to the programs l i s t e d i n catalogues; i n truth, the programs are disparate pieces c o n s i s t i n g of whatever i n d i v i d u a l f a c u l t y choose to teach. Any college program i s a c t u a l l y a conglomeration of t a l k s by i n d i v i d u a l faculty on t h e i r favourite t o p i c s . In p r o f e s s i o n a l schools t h i s dilemma cannot be ignored, since relevance to r e a l socio-educational problems i s an obvious p u b l i c concern, (p. 140) I t seems to me that Haberman and Stinnett's observation i s s t i l l pertinent today, The various aspects of PKT emphasized i n the u n i v e r s i t y based teacher education programs d i f f e r from those that featured prominently  i n the teacher t r a i n i n g programs of e a r l i e r times.  The obvious differences do not however a f f e c t the taken-forgranted notion of PKT as something c o d i f i a b l e and transportable that resides i n sources external to those who teach, i f not to those already teaching.  are learning to  I t i s to be discovered  by researchers and t h e o r i s t s dwelling i n the academic world. P r a c t i t i o n e r s of teaching and those a s p i r i n g t o 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 i d e n t i f y i n g , c o d i f y i n g , s e l e c t i n g , and packaging  ,l  useful  H  or  " e s s e n t i a l " knowledge f o r the teacher education curriculum.  They  are also faced with the equally unyielding problems of transmission and t r a n s f e r 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 i n a p p l i c a b i l i t y of prescribed knowledge to the 40  p a r t i c u l a r demands of p r a c t i c e as well as the pervasive influence of s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n the schools. University-based teacher education no doubt provides a unique i n s t i t u t i o n a l , communal s e t t i n g (both on and o f f campus) for l e a r n i n g to teach, but by no means i d e a l .  What needs to be  made c l e a r i s what kinds of opportunities f o r i n t e l l e c t u a l growth are, and indeed should be, provided and how i s secured i n t h i s very unique s e t t i n g .  i n t e l l e c t u a l growth  A better understanding  of how prospective teachers a c t u a l l y (are helped to) learn to teach within p a r t i c u l a r 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 f o r 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 e f f e c t i v e n e s s of any p a r t i c u l a r teacher education programs. Nor i s i t a matter of which place would be better to house teacher education, the school or the u n i v e r s i t y .  I t i s more  important to be c l e a r about the r a t i o n a l ground upon which programmatic and pedagogical decisions are made. University-based teacher education has been described as "a cult practice —  with wide d i f f e r e n c e s among schools of education  and professors, unable to evaluate or r e p l i c a t e s p e c i f i c p r a c t i c e " (Houston, Haberman, and Sikula, 1989,  p. 22), which  "muddles along with neither a c l e a r sense of mission nor coherent program" (Goodlad, 1990, p. 269), and as "a conspicuous  example  of p r a c t i c e without theory" l i k e "ships that have passed i n the night f o r too long" (Sprinthall and S p r i n t h a l l , 1987, 41  p. 36),  " 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 t r a i n i n g .  I t has been  suggested that Unlike modern-day schools of education, with t h e i r fragmented mission and defensive posture, normal schools knew that t h e i r major purpose was to serve the profession by educating p r a c t i t i o n e r s . They "formed" t h e i r students more e f f e c t i v e l y than the large u n i v e r s i t y schools and departments of education that replaced them.... The Normal-school curriculum gave e x p l i c i t attention to pedagogical t r a i n i n g and supervised practice, and p r a c t i c e schools, at l e a s t i n the stronger normal schools, fostered close t i e s between theory and p r a c t i c e . (Feiman-Nemser, 1990, p. 214) A loss much greater than "a c l e a r sense of mission" and "a close r e l a t i o n s h i p between preparation and teaching" has been underscored by Goodlad s (1990) observation that "[there i s ] much 7  l e s s attention to and agreement on the moral r e q u i s i t e " (p. 71) i n teacher education today.  Echoing e a r l i e r c r i t i c i s m s of Normal  School teacher t r a i n i n g , these charges should lead us to examine the i m p l i c i t 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 e s s e n t i a l l y s t a t i c , a c q u i s i t i v e , even m a t e r i a l i s t i c view of knowledge. This circumstance does an e s s e n t i a l d i s s e r v i c e to our purposes, to professional p r a c t i c e , and to the aim we seek to serve by engaging i n teacher education's "professional project." (p. 13) Summary In t h i s chapter, I have discussed the fragmentation of PKT i n 42  program development i n the b r i e f h i s t o r y of teacher education. In the days of Normal School teacher t r a i n i n g , there was a s h i f t of focus from "moral character b u i l d i n g " to "subject matter mastery" and rule-of-thumb  procedures of classroom  instruction.  Since the u n i v e r s i t y took up the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of teacher education, the notion of PKT has become more and more fragmented and contentious as a r e s u l t of the fragmentation of d i s c i p l i n a r y i n q u i r i e s grounded i n d i f f e r e n t i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n s . The account presented i n t h i s chapter does not purport to be a thorough i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the h i s t o r y of teacher education program development.  I do not suppose that the constant  metamorphosis of teacher education program development within varying i n s t i t u t i o n a l contexts n e c e s s a r i l y follows the kind of h i s t o r i c a l progression projected i n t h i s chapter.  I hope,  however, that t h i s b r i e f account does help to show i n i t s own l i m i t e d way the fragmentation of PKT as r e f l e c t e d i n the prominent features of teacher education program development at d i f f e r e n t h i s t o r i c a l times and t h e i r p r a c t i c a l consequences.  I  tend to think that the question of "what knowledge i s of most worth" f o r teacher education has somehow misled programmatic deliberations about i n i t i a l teacher preparation, f o r the question has been pursued outside the context of prospective teachers learning to teach. Today, theories of education, schooling, teaching, and learning a r t i c u l a t e d i n "a polyglot of educational (Johnson, 1987)  languages"  abound and metaphors of the teacher are numerous.  The problems that teacher educators have to deal with are, at l e a s t i n my view, not so much with how 43  to derive from research  more and better theories of teaching and learning and f i n d better metaphors of the teacher.  What Dewey (1929) said i n h i s The  Quest f o r Certainty i n regard to the problem of knowledge i n r e l a t i o n to human conduct mirrors well the p e r p l e x i t y confronting teacher education today. Man has never had such a v a r i e d body of knowledge i n his possession before, and probably never before has he been so uncertain and so perplexed as to what h i s knowledge means, what i t points t o i n action and i n consequences, (pp. 296-97) Since the early 1980s, there has been a general d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with past e f f o r t s i n finding authentic and/or u s e f u l knowledge for teaching and teacher education; teacher education program development has turned to the notion of " r e f l e c t i o n " 1990; V a l l i , 1992).  But what i s RTE?  (Richardson,  And more importantly, as  an a l t e r n a t i v e approach towards teacher preparation, how well i s i t t h e o r e t i c a l l y grounded i n terms of the issues concerning and learning to teach?  PKT  Haberman and S t i n n e t t (1973) has made the  point f o r c e f u l l y , I f we continue to act on unexamined assumptions, fantasy w i l l continue to serve as program r a t i o n a l e . Our elaborate i n s t i t u t i o n a l mechanism (the u n i v e r s i t y ) helps us t o make believe we are engaged i n reasonable behaviour d i r e c t e d at s o c i a l l y u s e f u l ends. Such delusions are not a l l e v i l ; they sustain us i n a complex world of powerful forces, (p. 133) I w i l l now turn to the fuzzy phenomenon of RTE.  44  Chapter  II:  REFLECTIVE  TEACHER EDUCATION:  REFRAMING T H E PROBLEM  Teacher education i n North America has been i n a state of ferment f o r change i n the past several decades.  In h i s Models f o r the  Preparation of America's Teachers. Cruickshank 22 c u r r i c u l a r innovations from various sources.  (1985) introduces Also recorded i n  that book are several innovative i n s t r u c t i o n a l s t r a t e g i e s , one of which i s c a l l e d the R e f l e c t i v e Teaching method developed a t Ohio State University i n the l a t e 1970s.  According t o Cruickshank,  the RT method i s a form of on-campus, l a b o r a t o r y - c l i n i c a l experience that combined many features of other i n s t r u c t i o n a l a l t e r n a t i v e s but would o f f e r a d i f f e r e n t outcome.... In essence, RT i s an e f f o r t t o increase teacher wisdom by engaging preservice students i n c o n t r o l l e d , on-campus teaching where t h e i r behaviour i s observable and measurable and where t h e i r teaching can be examined and thought about i n ways that w i l l enhance subsequent performance, (p. 97) This p a r t i c u l a r i n s t r u c t i o n a l method had reportedly received p o s i t i v e evaluation from both prospective teachers and teacher educators who had had d i r e c t experience with i t .  Yet, l i k e most  of the innovative c u r r i c u l a introduced i n Cruickshank's book, i t d i d not seem to have much influence beyond i t s p a r t i c u l a r institutional setting.  One wonders i f i t had ever occurred t o  those who developed the RT method that r e f l e c t i v e teaching would soon become a household term of many d i f f e r e n t meanings and a popular theme of program development i n teacher education. Several years l a t e r , e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r the p u b l i c a t i o n of Schon's (1983, 1987) two books on p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e , the notion of r e f l e c t i v e 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 t o p i c i n the current discourse on teachers' i n i t i a l preparation and continuing professional development at both the t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l as well as i n s t i t u t i o n a l and personal l e v e l s (e.g., Bullough, 1989a; Calderhead, 1989; Calderhead and Gates, 1993a; C l i f t e t 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  f o r r e f l e c t i v e teacher education  (RTE) a t both i n s t i t u t i o n a l programmatic and personal pedagogical l e v e l s has, however, not been accompanied by a c l e a r , shared sense of what counts as RTE across the l a r g e r teacher education community.  Tom (1985), f o r instance, observes that i n the  growing body of l i t e r a t u r e on inquiry-oriented teacher education, "the parameters f o r what counts as inquiry teacher education are fuzzy.  The d e f i n i t i o n of t h i s paradigm i s l e s s c l e a r than are  the d e f i n i t i o n s f o r other paradigms" (p. 36), such as the Normal School Apprenticeship model of teacher t r a i n i n g and the b e h a v i o u r i s t i c model of Competence/Performance-Based teacher education dominant i n the 1960s and 1970s. Houston, C l i f t , and Sikula (1989) draw our a t t e n t i o n t o the lack of a common professional language i n teacher education with the following observation that The l i t e r a t u r e i s f i l l e d with d i f f e r e n t terms f o r the same concept and the same term f o r d i f f e r e n t concepts. R e f l e c t i v e inquiry, the l a t e s t organizing concept i n 46  teacher education, has many d e f i n i t i o n s . ... Two conclusions can be drawn from the v a r i e t y of d e f i n i t i o n s . F i r s t , the nuances among d i f f e r e n t terms are often subtle. But subtle or not, the d i f f e r e n t names r e f e r to d i f f e r e n t conceptions of what i s meant by r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, although these meanings are not always c l e a r l y distinguishable, (p. 21) The lack of conceptual c l a r i t y or a shared sense of RTE can be viewed both p o s i t i v e l y and negatively.  On the p o s i t i v e side, the  fact that teacher educators have d i f f e r e n t views of RTE could be considered a good thing.  As Tom  (1992) puts i t ,  In t h i s context of ferment and p o s s i b l e realignment of the i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n s within teacher education, we should not be surprised that debate and discord surround the t o p i c of r e f l e c t i v e teaching and teacher education. On the contrary, the absence of confusion and contention would be cause f o r alarm, as such a development would suggest a lack of i n s i g h t on our part of the massive changes which seem to be occurring i n 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 i n a r t i c u l a t i n g what i t i s that they as i n d i v i d u a l s located within p a r t i c u l a r i n s t i t u t i o n s and as members of a l a r g e r c o l l e c t i v e enterprise are t r y i n g to accomplish. Houston and C l i f t  As  (1990) point out,  In education we tend to act l i k e Humpty Dumpty, manufacturing new terms and defining other terms to meet our own s p e c i f i c conceptions. This leads to confusion about the meaning of c e r t a i n terms and to inarticulateness and lack of precise communication among professional educators. I t may also lead to confusion among our students, sending an unintended message that professional education i s more interested i n the r h e t o r i c of q u a l i t y than i n the q u a l i t y of p r a c t i c e , (p. 210) The lack of conceptual c l a r i t y has given r i s e to expressed concerns over the prospect of using the r e f l e c t i v e approach to guide present and future programmatic d e l i b e r a t i o n s i n teacher 47  education (Bullough, 1989a; Calderhead, 1993; Feiman-Nemser, 1990;  1989; Cohen, 1991;  Day,  Furlong and Maynard, 1995; Hatton  Smith, 1995; Munby and Russell, 1993; O'Donoghue and  and  Brooker,  1996; Richardson, 1990). In t h i s 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 i n the l i t e r a t u r e (Grimmett, 1989; Grimmett, MacKinnon, Erickson and Riecken, 1990; Hatton and Smith, 1995; Sparks-Langer and Colton, 1991; concept of r e f l e c t i o n .  Louden, 1991,  Zeichner, 1983,  1992)  1992;  and the key  I w i l l argue that, i f RTE i s to be  sustained as an a l t e r n a t i v e conceptual o r i e n t a t i o n towards teacher education, more needs to be done than c l a r i f y i n g what RTE means to d i f f e r e n t people.  I t w i l l be necessary to probe the  phenomenon along the epistemological l i n e , l i n k i n g the phenomenon with issues of PKT and learning t o teach that are c e n t r a l to teacher education program development. In t h e i r e f f o r t to c l a r i f y RTE, scholars employ d i f f e r e n t t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks.  Conceptual c l a r i t y i s generally achieved  by way of gathering and s o r t i n g out the extant meanings of RTE into a c a t e g o r i c a l scheme of one kind or another that the analyst chooses t o use.  Such analyses are b e n e f i c i a l i n so f a r as they  each i n t h e i r 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 s o r t i n g out the various meanings of RTE into d i f f e r e n t categories at best carves out the conceptual boundaries of one view from another. I f we allow that the various conceptions of RTE are the r e s u l t s of c a r e f u l and well-meaning considerations supported by 48  i d e o l o g i c a l commitments as well as personal b e l i e f s and i n t e r e s t , the question of what RTE means beyond s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n a l contexts w i l l hardly ever d i s s i p a t e .  The r e c o g n i t i o n that there  i s the lack of a common professional language w i l l u n l i k e l y be persuasive enough f o r the diverse teacher education community to adopt a shared notion of RTE. The phenomenon may be looked at i n a d i f f e r e n t way.  We  may  take the term " r e f l e c t i v e teacher education" to denote a general category of teacher education programs.  Subsumed under t h i s  general category are p a r t i c u l a r cases b u i l t on the d i f f e r e n t meanings or conceptions of r e f l e c t i v e teaching/practice/inquiry (for d e s c r i p t i o n s of d i f f e r e n t RTE programs, see C l i f t et a l . , 1988; V a l l i , 1992a; Zeichner and Liston, 1987).  These p a r t i c u l a r  cases are a l l subsumed under the same general category but cannot be reduced to one another.  A p a r a l l e l example i s that under the  general category of u n i v e r s i t y 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 v i c e versa, but both are subsumed under the category of u n i v e r s i t y students. What teacher educators need to do i s to f i n d some way t o determine which programs that currently bear the t i t l e of RTE could be reasonably excluded from t h i s general category. However, i n order t o exclude a p a r t i c u l a r program from the general category of RTE, proponents of RTE must f i n d a way to draw the parameters of the category.  They must, furthermore,  convince t h e i r colleagues why t h i s a l t e r n a t i v e o r i e n t a t i o n i s preferable to others. 49  The parameters of RTE might be drawn i n terms of value, since meaning and value are hardly ever separate from each other. As a matter of fact, the l i t e r a t u r e indicates that extant conceptions of RTE can often be i d e n t i f i e d with e x p l i c i t value commitments.  The trouble i s that debate over value i n general  has a tendency t o l a s t with the p a r t i c i p a n t s arguing against one another at cross-purposes f a i l i n g t o reach a common ground. In any form of s o c i a l p r a c t i c e , the fact of l i f e i s that decisions have t o be made as r i s i n g s i t u a t i o n s demand and they are always made within a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l or i n s t i t u t i o n a l context and from a c e r t a i n p o s i t i o n and value commitment.  The  broader the context and the more diverse the p a r t i c i p a n t s , the more l i k e l y there w i l l be differences i n understanding and p r a c t i c e as well as disputes over what should be done and what would be a b e t t e r way of doing i t .  Teacher educators i n general  profess t o uphold the democratic p r i n c i p l e s of j u s t i c e , equality, and freedom.  I t i s hard to judge whether those who associate  r e f l e c t i v e teaching with the more or l e s s technical matters of pedagogy abide by the democratic p r i n c i p l e s less f i r m l y than those who focus on the s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l issues. There i s yet another way of thinking about the puzzling phenomenon of RTE, which I b e l i e v e could help avoid i d e o l o g i c a l tangling.  We should, a l a Schon, t r y t o reframe the problem.  Instead of wrestling with the question of meaning, l e t us probe the phenomenon i n terms of i t s epistemological support.  As RTE  i s taken by many t o be an a l t e r n a t i v e approach towards teachers' i n i t i a l preparation and in-service professional development, i t i s pertinent t o r a i s e questions about the epistemological 50  grounding of RTE: What kind of a conception of PKT i s employed i n the development of RTE programs? and learning t o teach accounted  How are p r o f e s s i o n a l knowing f o r i n RTE?  Furthermore, what  kind of epistemological understanding of PKT and l e a r n i n g to teach would be required to sustain RTE as a v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e o r i e n t a t i o n towards teacher education? The S o c i a l and I n t e l l e c t u a l Background of R e f l e c t i v e Teacher Education Before I survey the meanings of RTE, I w i l l b r i e f l y o u t l i n e the s o c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l 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 l i t e r a t u r e . In the previous chapter, I have drawn from the l i t e r a t u r e a sketchy p i c t u r e of teacher education on the contemporary North American scene.  In short, i n the i n s t i t u t i o n a l front of teacher  education i n the 1970s and 80s, general d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the behaviouristic model of Competence/Performance-Based teacher education compelled teacher educators to search f o r new approaches towards teachers' i n i t i a l preparation and continuing professional development.  At the same time, demands f o r  i n s t i t u t i o n a l accountability and educational reform i n the 1980s drew c r i t i c a l a t t e n t i o n t o the status quo of teacher education institutions.  Fundamental changes had to take place i n teacher  education, even though, f o r many reasons, they are too slow to come by. The current widespread i n t e r e s t i n RTE can be seen as a manifestation of the programmatic responses of the teacher 51  education community to the internal and external pressures f o r p o s i t i v e change within a broader context of educational  reform  over the l a s t two decades. In retrospect, the adoption of r e f l e c t i o n and i t s d e r i v a t i v e terms as an organizing theme i n teacher education program development seems quite natural.  Teacher education i s generally  considered to be a f i e l d of p r a c t i c a l endeavour.  I t draws  i n t e l l e c t u a l input from the contributing d i s c i p l i n e s of philosophy, h i s t o r y , psychology, sociology of education, and other l e s s entrenched f i e l d s of academic inquiry. R e f l e c t i o n , l i k e many other ideas current or past, was not an indigenous invention of the teacher education community.  I t s popular  acceptance i n teacher education can be linked to the canonical scholarship of the contributing d i s c i p l i n e s and the new developments i n the various f i e l d s of educational i n q u i r y . In educational philosophy, one witnesses the d e c l i n i n g influence of t r a d i t i o n a l epistemological p o s i t i o n s on educational research and knowledge rooted i n the philosophy of p o s i t i v i s m , sometimes i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y ( P h i l l i p s , 1983; Schrag, 1992b).  The  ambitious project of b u i l d i n g up the enterprise of s o c i a l and educational research by emulating the model of p h y s i c a l sciences has now by and large been considered t o be naive and i l l conceived from the very beginning.  Smith (1989), among many  others, asserts that " s o c i a l and psychological laws are unavailable to us and what are presently passed o f f as law-like x  statements are most often only t h i n l y disguised t a u t o l o g i e s " (p. 12).  Brown (1987) puts i t even more s u c c i n c t l y that  "those  e a r l i e r thinkers believed that both science and philosophy 52  provide c e r t a i n knowledge of necessary t r u t h s .  We must conclude  that neither do" (p. 230). In the various f i e l d s of s o c i a l p r a c t i c e , there i s widespread disillusionment i n the instrumental value of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge grounded i n l o g i c a l empiricism to bring f o r t h handy solutions to s o c i a l and educational problems and d i r e c t i v e s f o r p o l i c y and d e c i s i o n making i n p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e (Lindblom and Cohen, 1979; Schon, 1983, 1987).  In debating against the  p o s i t i v i s t t r a d i t i o n of educational research and knowledge, many educational t h e o r i s t s and researchers emphasize the contextual nature of professional knowledge and the p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c demands of problematic s i t u a t i o n s that c a l l f o r and would give r i s e to the kind of knowledge by way of p r a c t i c a l 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 i n the philosophy of education has a l s o l e d to new ways of thinking about the linkage between t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge and educational p r a c t i c e .  Fenstermacher (1986), f o r  instance, contends that "when i t i s argued that research has b e n e f i t f o r p r a c t i c e , the c r i t e r i o n of b e n e f i t should be the improvement of p r a c t i c a l arguments i n the minds of teachers and other p r a c t i t i o n e r s " (p. 44). This view recognizes that teaching i s not a matter of teachers applying t e c h n i c a l solutions derived from t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge to pre-determined problems i n the classroom. practical  Pedagogical d e c i s i o n making depends on the teacher's reasoning.  In sociology of education, c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s focus t h e i r 53  c r i t i q u e s on the t r a d i t i o n a l 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 r e l a t i o n s l y i n g behind i t s s e l e c t i o n , organization, and transmission i n the schooling process Bernstein, 1977;  (e.g., Apple, 1979; Young, 1971).  Aronowitz and Giroux,  Aronowitz and Giroux  1985;  (1985) argue  that the discourse of educational theory can be understood as a form of knowledge that legitimates and reproduces forms of s o c i a l 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 s p e c i f i c pedagogical s i t e s . A l l educational theories and discourse are ideologies that have an intimate r e l a t i o n to questions of power, (p. 32) Where teachers are of concern, Aronowitz and Giroux argue t h a t the r h e t o r i c from both the l e f t and r i g h t camps of educational reform t r e a t s teachers as "obedient c i v i l servants d u t i f u l l y carrying out the d i c t a t e s of others" (pp. 26-27).  But teachers,  l i k e any other i n t e l l i g e n t human beings, draw upon t h e i r  own  i n t e l l i g e n c e , judgement, and experience i n t h e i r p r a c t i c e .  They  are knowledgeable, a c t i v e agents of educational change, and therefore must be treated as such i n the broad program of s o c i a l and educational reform.  The current movement of teacher  empowerment has no doubt been greatly f u e l l e d by the r a d i c a l c r i t i q u e s 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 The dominance of behaviourism development has given way  i n the past decades.  i n educational research and program  to cognitive science a f t e r "the work of 54  Piaget, which had been well known to educators during the 1930s, was  recovered"  (Woodring, 1975,  p. 7).  Knowing and learning, f o r  a long time described and explained i n terms of behaviour modification through conditioning or c o n t r o l l e d stimulus-andresponse exercises, have now  come to be accounted f o r i n terms of  the workings (and reconstruction) of schematic mental structures of the learner i n t e r a c t i n g with the environment (e.g., Anderson, 1977,  1984;  Rumelhart, 1980;  Vosniadou and Brewer, 1987).  Concurrent with the t h e o r e t i c a l advances i n the contributing d i s c i p l i n e s , new  research programs designed from a v a r i e t y of  p h i l o s o p h i c a l , s o c i o l o g i c a l , and psychological perspectives have been conducted to explore teachers' professional knowledge (e.g., Eisner, 1985;  chapters 1, 3, 13, 17, 21 i n Handbook of Research  i n Teacher Education edited by Houston, 1990;  chapters I, I I , I I I  i n Handbook of Research on Teaching edited by Wittrock,  1986).  The idea of a r e f l e c t i v e approach appears to s i g n i f y that new  e f f o r t s are being made to meet the i n t e r n a l and  demands f o r p o s i t i v e change.  external  I t purports to have i t s  i n t e l l e c t u a l roots i n the contributing d i s c i p l i n e s to education,  teacher  f o r i t could be linked with the c o n s t r u c t i v i s t  epistemology i n philosophy,  schema theory i n cognitive  psychology, feminist scholarship, c r i t i c a l theory i n sociology, etc.  I t has also been linked to the p o l i t i c a l movement of  teacher empowerment, to teachers' struggle f o r autonomy, improved p r o f e s s i o n a l status, and better working conditions against the trends of increasing bureaucratic control of education countries (Calderhead and Gates, 1993b). d i f f i c u l t to understand why  i n Western  I t i s thus not  r e f l e c t i o n has been adopted i n many 55  teacher education i n s t i t u t i o n s as a guiding p r i n c i p l e 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 v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e approach towards teacher education.  V a l l i (1992b)  expresses the optimism about RTE i n the following statement, The convergence of i n t e r e s t i n teacher t h i n k i n g and r e f l e c t i v i t y by scholars ranging from c o g n i t i v e psychologists to c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s suggests a broad based and long-term commitment t o understanding and f o s t e r i n g r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e . . . . r e f l e c t i v e approaches to teacher preparation hold out the promise of a new cadre of teachers ready t o be active partners i n school renewal — teachers who can make wise classroom decisions and who can help define the d i r e c t i o n o f schooling as we approach the s t a r t of a new century, (xiv) My use of the words "appears," "purports," and "seems" i n drawing the p o s s i b l e connection between RTE and the various i n t e l l e c t u a l sources i s deliberate.  They are suggestive that RTE i s i n f a c t  not as w e l l grounded epistemologically and conceptually as i t should and can be.  The following discussion w i l l make i t c l e a r  that i t s linkage to the various i n t e l l e c t u a l sources, more s p e c i f i c a l l y , i t s linkage to the epistemological theses advanced by Schon and Dewey, respectively, i s rather s u p e r f i c i a l .  A  number of analyses of RTE programs have raised serious misgivings about the dubious t h e o r e t i c a l 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), f o r instance, remarks that  whether any of the proposed models of r e f l e c t i v e teaching, however, o f f e r very adequate conceptions of professional learning as i t occurs i n classrooms, or of how i t might occur, i s l a r g e l y unassessed. Evidence c i t e d i n support of p a r t i c u l a r models i s often anecdotal, and one can r e a d i l y c i t e examples t o refute as t o support t h e i r a p p l i c a b i l i t y t o r e a l - l i f e 56  classroom p r a c t i c e , (p. 45) A look a t the recent attempts of conceptual c l a r i f i c a t i o n with regard t o the meaning of RTE and the concept of r e f l e c t i o n i n 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 B a l l (1988) once used the f a i r y t a l e Many Moons as an analogy t o i n i t i a t e t h e i r discussion on the issue of teacher knowledge.  In that f a i r y t a l e , the s i c k 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 h i s r o y a l advisors and each of these o f f e r s a d i f f e r e n t description o f the moon i n terms of shape, s i z e , l o c a t i o n , and substance.  The court j e s t e r observes,  "The moon must be j u s t as  large and f a r away as each person thinks i t i s . "  Finally, i t i s  the court j e s t e r who has made a golden chain with a t i n y golden moon shaped t o 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 b i g t r e e outside my window." The golden chain brings the princess back t o health again. This f a i r y t a l e also b e f i t s our discussion on the phenomenon of RTE.  I t has been repeatedly pointed out that RTE e x i s t s i n a  plethora of i d i o s y n c r a t i c conceptualizations of r e f l e c t i v e practice/teaching/inquiry that one comes across i n the relevant academic journal a r t i c l e s , conference papers, books, and program descriptions within p a r t i c u l a r i n s t i t u t i o n a l s e t t i n g s . The diverse perspectives i n the current discourse on r e f l e c t i o n i n teacher education have been well captured i n Hayon's (1990) 57  mapping syntax: A r e f l e c t i o n l e v e l of (analysis/synthesis/judgment) with an o r i e n t a t i o n of (theory/practice/values) and a s t y l e of (technical r a t i o n a l i t y / r e f l e c t i o n i n action) at a time of (post-active/intra-active) within a content knowledge (subject-matter/pedagogical content/ curriculum) i n a form of (proposition/case/strategy) used ( i n t u i t i v e l y / f o r m a l l y ) w i l l y i e l d a r e f l e c t i o n p r o f i l e of type X. (p. 68) But the relevant l i t e r a t u r e indicates that i n 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 a n a l y t i c a l frameworks that are i n c l o s e l i n e with van Manen's (1977) discussion on curriculum t h e o r i z i n g , which i s l a r g e l y based on the notion of "knowledge-constitutive (Habermas, 1972).  interests"  R e f l e c t i o n , according to van Manen, may  place at three d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s —  take  the p r a c t i c a l / t e c h n i c a l , the  s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l , and the moral/ethical. At the p r a c t i c a l / t e c h n i c a l l e v e l , r e f l e c t i o n i s mainly concerned with mastery and a p p l i c a t i o n of t e c h n i c a l means i n achieving given educational ends.  At the next, s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l  l e v e l , r e f l e c t i o n i s directed at an i n t e r p r e t i v e understanding  of  the meanings of educational experience and choices of a c t i o n within a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l context.  At a s t i l l  higher, moral/ethical l e v e l , r e f l e c t i o n i s manifest i n the c r i t i c a l i n t e r r o g a t i o n of the worthwhileness of educational ends on the basis of the democratic i d e a l s of j u s t i c e , e q u a l i t y , and freedom. Louden (1991, 1992)  employs i n h i s analysis of RTE  the  d i s t i n c t i o n s Habermas (1972) makes between the i n t e r e s t s of the empirical-analytic inquiry i n natural sciences, the i n t e r e s t s of the hermeneutic-historical inquiry i n i n t e r p r e t i v e sciences, and 58  the i n t e r e s t s of the emancipatory inquiry i n c r i t i c a l sciences. Habermas associates each of the forms of enquiry with a cognitive i n t e r e s t : e m p i r i c a l - a n a l y t i c enquiry with technical c o n t r o l by discovering r u l e - l i k e regulations i n an objective world; historical-hermeneutic sciences with p r a c t i c a l 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 r e f l e c t i o n on the conditions of s o c i a l l i f e . (Louden, 1991, p. 150) Louden makes a s l i g h t v a r i a t i o n to the Habermasian framework by separating the p r a c t i c a l , the hermeneutic-historical i n t e r p r e t i v e inquiry, into what he c a l l s the personal i n t e r e s t and the problematic i n t e r e s t .  This allows him to r e l a t e r e f l e c t i o n to  a t t a i n i n g "personal meaning of a c t i o n s i t u a t i o n s " and to "problem-solving"  i n professional work r e s p e c t i v e l y .  From a d i f f e r e n t angle, Grimmett (1989), Grimmett et a l . (1990) have attempted to c l a r i f y "the confusing t e r r a i n " of RTE i n view of the r o l e of knowledge i n the development of teacher education programs.  They i d e n t i f y three d i s t i n c t i v e perspectives  i n which r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e i s understood  as a) instrumental  mediating a c t i o n ; b) d e l i b e r a t i o n of competing views of teaching; and c) reconstruction of experience. As instrumental mediating action, r e f l e c t i o n i s concerned with teachers t r y i n g to bring research findings or t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge to bear upon t h e i r p r a c t i c e , to d i r e c t or c o n t r o l practice.  In t h i s perspective, knowledge tends to be r e s t r i c t e d  to what i s produced and prescribed by an external source of authority, with l i t t l e consideration given to the p a r t i c u l a r classroom contexts i n which teaching a c t u a l l y occurs. As d e l i b e r a t i o n of competing views of teaching, r e f l e c t i o n occurs i n the s p e c i f i c contexts of educational events i n the form 59  of teachers "deliberateing] between and among competing views of teaching and examines each i n l i g h t of the consequences of the action i t e n t a i l s "  (Grimmett et a l . , 1990, p. 26). Here, the  notion of knowledge i s no longer r e s t r i c t e d to research f i n d i n g s and academic scholarship.  Research and academic t h e o r i z i n g are  considered to be among several sources of knowledge, and a source of competing views of teaching.  T h e o r e t i c a l knowledge i s s a i d to  inform, rather than d i r e c t , p r a c t i c e . As reconstruction of experience, r e f l e c t i o n leads teachers to a) r e i n t e r p r e t problematic s i t u a t i o n s they have experienced; b) transform t h e i r s e l f images as a teacher and restructure t h e i r personal knowledge of teaching within the s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l context of t h e i r p r a c t i c e ; and c) examine the taken-for-granted assumptions about teaching, about the s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , and c u l t u r a l conditions that d i s t o r t and constrain educational goals and pedagogical p r a c t i c e s .  "In t h i s view of the r e f l e c t i v e  process, knowledge i s seen as emergent and often depicted as being metaphorical i n nature" (Grimmett e t a l . , 1990, p. 27). Zeichner (1983, 1992) places h i s discussion of RTE against the background of educational reform i n North America.  Zeichner  i d e n t i f i e s four t r a d i t i o n s of educational reform i n the North American context —  the academic t r a d i t i o n , the s o c i a l  efficiency  t r a d i t i o n , the developmentalist t r a d i t i o n , and the s o c i a l reconstruct i o n i s t t r a d i t i o n (see also Liston and Zeichner, 1991). The academic t r a d i t i o n emphasizes the i n t r i n s i c value of l i b e r a l education i n teacher preparation and the importance of teachers mastering the subject matter knowledge they teach. Included also i n the academic t r a d i t i o n i s the recent advocacy on 60  teachers' pedagogical reasoning and the transformation of subject matter knowledge involved i n the teaching of content knowledge (see Shulman, 1986b, 1987a; Wilson, Shulman, and Richert, 1987). The s o c i a l e f f i c i e n c y t r a d i t i o n , on the other hand, i s mainly concerned with achieving i n s t r u c t i o n a l effectiveness by way of conforming teaching behaviour to standard teaching s k i l l s and competencies.  E f f e c t i v e teaching s k i l l s and competencies are  established through empirical research that measures p a r t i c u l a r teaching behaviours i n r e l a t i o n to student achievements on standardized t e s t i n g .  This t r a d i t i o n may a l s o be understood i n  the sense of teachers d e l i b e r a t i n g about and making choices among the a v a i l a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e s and drawing upon various sources of i n t e l l i g e n c e , research, personal experience, values, and i n t u i t i o n i n teaching. The developmentalist t r a d i t i o n presumes that human development follows i t s natural order, which should provide the basis f o r pedagogical d e c i s i o n making.  When t h i s t r a d i t i o n i s  translated into the p r a c t i c e of teacher preparation, the focus of attention may be given t o helping prospective teachers to understand  the p r i n c i p l e s and process of c h i l d and adolescent  development i n terms of cognition, s o c i a l awareness, morality, language, and mental as well as physical well-being.  With the  knowledge of c h i l d and adolescent development i n t h e i r mind as working p r i n c i p l e s , i t i s assumed, prospective teachers w i l l be better able t o make informed decisions i n planning and carrying out teaching a c t i v i t i e s t o produce the intended student learning outcomes. As learning to teach i s also believed by some t o follow a 61  natural order (see Burden, 1986;  F u l l e r 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 p r o f e s s i o n a l maturity. I t i s not c l e a r , though, (a) how developmental  i n d i v i d u a l prospective teachers'  needs are to be i d e n t i f i e d and addressed at the  programmatic l e v e l ,  (b) how prospective teachers may  develop from  one stage to the next of t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l growth, and  (c) what  teacher educators can do to help f a c i l i t a t e prospective teachers' t r a n s i t i o n from the i n i t i a l stage to the next. F i n a l l y , advocates of the s o c i a l - r e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t t r a d i t i o n embody educational reform i n a much broader p r o j e c t of s o c i a l reconstruction, the b u i l d i n g of a more j u s t and humane society. To help achieve t h i s broad s o c i a l goal, teacher education should involve prospective teachers i n interrogating t h e i r own  personal  b e l i e f s , values and assumptions about teaching as well as the s o c i a l conditions i n which t h e i r future p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e i s situated.  Teacher preparation i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n centres around  substantive issues of gender, race, and c l a s s .  I t i s focused on  interrogating the extent to which the underlying s o c i e t a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l norms/values get played out and how established and maintained.  inequity i s  I t involves a commitment to  c o l l a b o r a t i v e modes of learning, the development of communities of learning. Not d i r e c t l y concerned with what d i f f e r i n g ends RTE i s intended to achieve, Sparks-Langer and Colton (1991) have highlighted three elements of r e f l e c t i o n —  the c o g n i t i v e , the  c r i t i c a l , and teacher n a r r a t i v e s . The cognitive element l i n k s 62  r e f l e c t i o n to research on teachers' professional knowledge and teacher thinking i n terms of cognitive structures c a l l e d schemata.  Schemata are constructed through experience i n the  classroom world of teaching and learning.  Schemata enable  teachers to comprehend teaching s i t u a t i o n s and make appropriate pedagogical decisions where they are c a l l e d f o r . The c r i t i c a l element can be understood i n two d i f f e r e n t ways.  I t can be linked to Schon's conception  of r e f l e c t i v e  practice, which focuses on the p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s r e f l e c t i o n - i n action i n r e s o l v i n g problematic practice.  situations in professional  R e f l e c t i v e action may  involve questioning the goals to  be attained, alternate actions to be taken, and consequences that would ensue.  This Schonean conception  of r e f l e c t i v e action i s  considered to be more i n c l i n e d towards r e s o l v i n g problems of a technical nature, thereby neglecting those broad s o c i a l and moral issues pervasive i n professional p r a c t i c e . The c r i t i c a l element can also associate r e f l e c t i o n with c r i t i c a l theory that emphasizes the moral and e t h i c a l aspects of teaching and schooling.  Critical  r e f l e c t i o n i s d i r e c t e d at  examining personally held, s o c i a l l y constructed b e l i e f s about teaching and schooling, understanding the r e l a t i o n s h i p between knowledge and power, and bringing about educational change as part of a broader p o l i t i c a l The conception  project of s o c i a l reconstruction.  of c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n i s consistent with the  s o c i a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t t r a d i t i o n i n Zeichner's  conceptual  c l a r i f i c a t i o n scheme. The narrative element of r e f l e c t i o n speaks of teachers' interpretations of the complex teaching contexts 63  own  i n which they  make pedagogical decisions.  As teachers tend t o a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r  understanding and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of teaching s i t u a t i o n s and events through narrative construction rather than i n the form of propositional statements, teachers' narratives provide a unique access t o t h e i r own professional reasoning.  Teachers are s a i d t o  gain deeper understandings of t h e i r educational experiences through reconstructing t h e i r narratives. In promoting the idea of r e f l e c t i v e practice/teaching/ inquiry, teacher educators frequently r e f e r t o the d i s t i n c t i o n Dewey made between routine action and r e f l e c t i v e a c t i o n .  The  d i s t i n c t i o n , i t seems t o me, has somehow been stretched and twisted into the presupposition that r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e i s something that only experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r s are capable of, not neophytes and novices.  I t i s believed that once the c r i t i c a l  a t t r i b u t e s of r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e are i d e n t i f i e d , we w i l l then be better able t o d i s t i n g u i s h r e f l e c t i v e teachers from t h e i r u n r e f l e c t i v e colleagues, and t o prepare prospective teachers to be r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r s . For instance, Copeland, Birmingham, Cruz, and Lewin (1993) have i d e n t i f i e d twelve c r i t i c a l a t t r i b u t e s of r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e i n teaching, which are grouped into four c l u s t e r s — solution, t e s t i n g s o l u t i o n , and learning.  problem,  (1) R e f l e c t i o n i s  i n i t i a t e d with the r e f l e c t i v e teacher i d e n t i f y i n g "a problem derived from a concrete s i t u a t i o n , " which i s meaningful t o the teacher "as one of import f o r successful teaching and learning i n that context."  (2) The r e f l e c t i v e teacher then generates  tentative solutions that are "grounded i n 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 i d e n t i f i e d  problem, the r e f l e c t i v e teacher c r i t i c a l l y examines "his/her own professional action and i t s l i n k to target action i n others" and a n t i c i p a t i n g the solutions "to have p o s i t i v e consequences i n terms of student learning."  (3) The r e f l e c t i v e teacher then  moves on to s e l e c t and implement one s o l u t i o n among the several that have been generated and evaluate the s o l u t i o n against the actual outcome.  (4) F i n a l l y , the r e f l e c t i v e teacher not only  solves problems but also, as a r e s u l t , enhances his/her  own  understanding of the context i n which problems occurred.  Reframe the Problem The several conceptual analyses presented above i n a summary fashion have i n one way or another helped t o make the perplexing phenomenon of RTE easier to comprehend by f i t t i n g the many d i f f e r e n t conceptions i n t o 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 t o f i n d between the meaning categories and the programs.  Take the seven RTE programs  presented i n V a l l i ' s R e f l e c t i v e Teacher Education: Cases and C r i t i q u e s f o r instance. The five-year teacher education program a t the U n i v e r s i t y of New Hampshire focuses on b u i l d i n g "communities of inquiry and support" f o r the b e n e f i t of increasing common understanding and shared r e s p o n s i b i l i t y among a l l those involved i n preparing prospective teachers to become r e f l e c t i v e decision makers.  The  PROTEACH program at the University of F l o r i d a has reportedly been 65  developed around an evolving d e f i n i t i o n of r e f l e c t i o n .  The  program puts an emphasis on enabling prospective teachers to c r i t i c a l l y examine t h e i r personal theories of teaching through narrative autobiographical writing and develop the a b i l i t y  to  make r a t i o n a l and e t h i c a l choices and to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for those choices. Both the Masters C e r t i f i c a t i o n program at the U n i v e r s i t y of Maryland and the M u l t i p l e Perspectives program at Michigan State U n i v e r s i t y are designed to help prospective teachers develop a t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge-base and a r e p e r t o i r e of e f f e c t i v e teaching s t r a t e g i e s and routine.  R e f l e c t i o n i s a necessary and  important  goal because i t appropriates the t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge-base and the r e p e r t o i r e into the complex environment of teaching.  classroom  The program at the Catholic U n i v e r s i t y of America  shares the same idea of a t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge-base as a precondition f o r r e f l e c t i v e teaching and of taking r e f l e c t i o n as a means f o r bridging theory and p r a c t i c e . development of the a b i l i t y  I t also emphasizes the  to examine c r i t i c a l l y one's actions  and the context of those actions i n d i f f e r e n t areas of schooling at d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of r e f l e c t i o n . At Kent State University, the Academically Talented Teacher Education program aims at stimulating teacher  candidates'  conceptual development i n increased l e v e l s of complexity flexibility  i n the formation of a r e f l e c t i v e s t y l e .  and  Prospective  teachers are provided with d i f f e r e n t views of knowledge and teaching and are encouraged to examine and challenge those views as well as t h e i r own  from c r i t i c a l perspectives.  The discussions on the perplexing phenomenon of RTE 66  i n terms  of meaning do expose some common ground — teaching/practice/inquiry  a) R e f l e c t i v e  i s taken as a goal of d i f f e r e n t f o c i i n  d i f f e r e n t programs i n d i f f e r e n t teacher education i n s t i t u t i o n s ; b) R e f l e c t i v e exercises i n the programs commonly mean engaging i n d i f f e r e n t forms of analysis; and c) the development of a t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge-base i s thought to be a prerequisite f o r reflective  practice/teaching/inquiry.  For the sake of understanding the perplexing phenomenon of RTE,  categorical d i s t i n c t i o n s such as technical  interest,  s i t u a t i o n a l understanding, and c r i t i c a l interrogation  of broader  s o c i a l and moral issues may be necessary and h e l p f u l .  However,  when we think of teaching and learning to teach, we make a serious mistake to t r e a t the d i s t i n c t i o n s as each standing f o r an independent e n t i t y .  Technical i n t e r e s t presupposes a value  judgment of what i s good and necessary and i t has both p r a c t i c a l and moral consequences.  Selection and a p p l i c a t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c  knowledge i n p r a c t i c e would involve an element of s i t u a t i o n a l understanding and c r i t i c a l analysis.  As a matter of f a c t ,  arguments against technical i n t e r e s t 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 t o o f f e r ready-made solutions t o emerging problems i n p r a c t i c e .  That  technical i n t e r e s t represents too narrow a view of professional p r a c t i c e does not make s i t u a t i o n a l understanding or s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m a broader view. I t i s unequivocal that s o c i a l p r a c t i c e depends on s i t u a t i o n a l understanding and c r i t i c i s m i n determining what problems there are and how to resolve them.  But i t i s doubtful  that s i t u a t i o n a l understanding and s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m involved i n 67  educational p r a c t i c e could be sustained without the input of s c 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 r e s o l u t i o n of problems w i l l r e l y on a v a i l a b l e means, s c i e n t i f i c and/or p r a c t i c a l . Teaching  involves subject matter knowledge, pedagogical  reasoning, understanding  of the students, some l e v e l of t e c h n i c a l  p r o f i c i e n c y (perhaps), personal meaning and s e l f image, problem solving, personal growth, d e l i b e r a t i o n about a l t e r n a t i v e actions i n view of t h e i r consequences, among other things.  This i s what  makes teaching complex and a lengthy period of preparation f o r i t necessary.  I t i s not d i f f i c u l t t o a r r i v e at the conclusion that  the d i f f e r e n t f o c i of r e f l e c t i o n should be brought together into a cohesive and coherent program instead of separate programs each emphasizing something d i f f e r e n t .  This synthesis i s not only  desirable but also achievable, as I w i l l show l a t e r on from the perspective of Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e i n q u i r y . I t has been asserted e a r l i e r that programmatic d e l i b e r a t i o n s i n teacher education require the support of a sound, defensible epistemological understanding  of PKT and learning t o teach.  Whether teaching i s r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e or something e l s e , i t has to be informed by some kind of knowledge.  Talking about teaching  as r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e does not make the issues concerning PKT and learning t o teach i r r e l e v a n t . the epistemological understanding  But serious e f f o r t s t o probe of PKT and learning t o teach  that informs the various kinds of programmatic d e l i b e r a t i o n s i n the RTE movement are not evident i n the conceptual analyses and the program descriptions recounted above.  I t i s d i f f i c u l t to  discern from these analyses and program d e s c r i p t i o n s whether any 68  new understanding of PKT and learning to teach has been advanced with the terms  "reflective practice/reflective practitioners"  s u b s t i t u t i n g "teaching/teachers." When the notion of knowledge does get involved, i n the case of Grimmett (1989), Grimmett et a l . ,  (1990), i t s meaning s h i f t s  with the d i f f e r e n t f o c i of r e f l e c t i o n .  The epistemological  understanding that supports the stated r o l e of knowledge i n the development of teacher education programs i n each of the three perspectives they have i d e n t i f i e d i s l e f t unassessed.  There i s  no further discussion on questions such as: In what sense can research f i n d i n g s and t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge be acquired and applied?  On what ground(s) do teachers and prospective teachers  base t h e i r d e l i b e r a t i o n s and choices among competing versions of good teaching?  What enables teachers and prospective teachers to  transform t h e i r experience?  Does knowledge from external sources  have a r o l e t o play i n the transformation of p r a c t i c e ? In contrast t o the diverse f o c i of RTE, learning t o teach remains confined t o acquiring what i s thought to be necessary or useful knowledge, including the what and how of r e f l e c t i o n , f o r d i r e c t i n g or informing or transforming p r a c t i c e . In t h e i r reviews of d i f f e r e n t models of RTE programs, Cohen (1991), Munby and Russell (1993) have expressed t h e i r concern over the tendency i n teacher education to t r e a t r e f l e c t i o n as a matter of pedagogical technique.  Munby and R u s s e l l contend that  "the structure and successes of programs reported i n V a l l i ' s book are not n e c e s s a r i l y to be a t t r i b u t e d to the conceptual power of r e f l e c t i o n but t o i t s p o l i t i c a l power" (p. 438) .  The seven RTE  programs presented i n V a l l i ' s book are described i n terms of 69  t h e i r structure, h i s t o r y of development, knowledge base, relevant pedagogical p r a c t i c e s , and evaluation.  There i s l i t t l e  discussion on how r e f l e c t i o n leads t o prospective teachers' development of t h e i r PKT. Nor i s there anything s a i d about the epistemological understanding of PKT and learning t o teach that underpins those programs.  In Zeichner's (1987a) observation,  most inquiry-oriented teacher educators have sought t o prepare more r e f l e c t i v e teachers by a l t e r i n g s p e c i f i c courses or program components within an o v e r a l l program context which remains unchanged, (p. 567) In many cases, a program emphasis i s put on developing a t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge base f o r r e f l e c t i v e thinking and p r a c t i c e . The idea of developing a t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge base t o enable prospective teachers t o r e f l e c t on t h e i r experience i s appealing. But the confidence i n the sources from which t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge can be drawn f o r developing the knowledge base has not been accompanied by a c l e a r sense of the nature of t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge and how that knowledge may be i n t e r n a l i z e d and l a t e r applied i n the p r a c t i c e of teaching. Valli  I r o n i c a l l y , according t o  (1993), "what counts as q u a l i t y of r e f l e c t i o n i s the  a b i l i t y t o make the r e l a t i o n s h i p between theory and p r a c t i c e problematic" (p. 16). Feiman-Nemser (1990) suggests i n her discussion on the s t r u c t u r a l and conceptual a l t e r n a t i v e s i n teacher education that An o r i e n t a t i o n r e f e r s t o a set of ideas about the goals of teacher preparation and the means f o r achieving them. Ideally, a conceptual o r i e n t a t i o n includes a view of teaching and learning and a theory about l e a r n i n g t o teach. Such ideas should give d i r e c t i o n t o the p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s of teacher preparation such as program planning, course development, i n s t r u c t i o n , supervision, and evaluation, (p. 220) On the observation that many programs of d i f f e r e n t conceptual 70  orientations endorse the goal of r e f l e c t i o n , Feiman-Nemser concludes that " r e f l e c t i v e teacher education i s not a d i s t i n c t programmatic emphasis but rather a generic professional disposition"  (p. 221).  A quick look at the concept of r e f l e c t i o n  i n the l i t e r a t u r e on RTE w i l l support Feiman-Nemser's conclusion.  The Concept of R e f l e c t i o n With r e f l e c t i v e practice/teaching/inquiry v a r i o u s l y interpreted set as a d e s i r a b l e goal to achieve i n teacher education, the next question i n order would be: achieved? reflection.  By what means can t h i s goal be  The answer to the question l i e s with the concept of Bullough  (1989a) observes that i n RTE,  at one and the same time [ r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e ] represents an end to be sought (the r e f l e c t i v e teacher, professional, or p r a c t i t i o n e r — someone who i s disposed t o and able to r e f l e c t ) and a means f o r achieving the end ( r e f l e c t i o n ) . (p. 15) But how  can r e f l e c t i o n help teacher educators and prospective  teachers to achieve the goal of teacher education?  Does the  concept of r e f l e c t i o n as i t i s used i n RTE carry any  significant  epistemological implications? Like RTE, the term r e f l e c t i o n has been used i n d i f f e r e n t ways.  The following are a random sample of the many d e f i n i t i o n s  of r e f l e c t i o n I have come across i n the l i t e r a t u r e on  RTE:  R e f l e c t i o n : 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. I t i s that set of processes through which a p r o f e s s i o n a l learns from experience. (Shulman, 1987a, p. 19) Although there are several meanings associated with " r e f l e c t i v e teaching" and " r e f l e c t i v e thinking" current i n educational l i t e r a t u r e , our work draws p r i n c i p a l l y 71  upon only one: the notion that r e f l e c t i o n involves the reconstruction of experience — f o r instance, when a p r a c t i t i o n e r assigns new s i g n i f i c a n c e to events, or i d e n t i f i e s and attends to features of a p r a c t i c e s i t u a t i o n 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. ( K i l l i o n and Todnen, 1991, p. 15) [Reflection i s ] systematic enquiry i n t o one's own practice to improve that p r a c t i c e and to deepen one's understanding of i t . (Mclntyre, 1993, p. 43) R e f l e c t i o n i n preservice teacher education [ i s ] an e f f o r t 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) R e f l e c t i o n i n the context of learning i s a generic term for those i n t e l l e c t u a l and a f f e c t i v e a c t i v i t i e s i n which i n d i v i d u a l s engage to explore t h e i r experiences i n order to lead to new understandings and appreciations, (quoted i n LaBoskey, 1994, p. 5) C r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n i s not only p r a c t i t i o n e r s enquiry into p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' p r a c t i c e s ; i t involves a form of c r i t i q u e which i s also capable of analyzing and challenging the i n s t i t u t i o n a l structures i n which p r a c t i t i o n e r s work.... To speak of c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n i s not merely to speak of * c r i t i c a l thinking'. To r e f l e c t c r i t i c a l l y i s to locate oneself i n an action frame, to locate oneself i n the h i s t o r y of a s i t u a t i o n , to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a s o c i a l a c t i v i t y , and to take sides on issues. (Kemmis, 1987, p. 75) [University of F l o r i d a PROTEACH program] R e f l e c t i o n i s defined ... as a way of thinking about educational matters that involves the a b i l i t y to make r a t i o n a l and e t h i c a l choices and to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r those choices. ( V a l l i , 1992a, p. 28) [University of Maryland Masters C e r t i f i c a t i o n Program] Operationalized [ r e f l e c t i o n ] means: (1) taking action (sometimes routine); (2) r e f l e c t i n g (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 l e v e l of r e f l e c t i v e or c r i t i c a l thought 72  (multiple causes, c o n f l i c t i n g goals, larger moral or e t h i c a l c o n f l i c t s ) ; and (4) coming up with a l t e r n a t i v e actions and thus continuing the cycle, (p. 51) The Catholic University program i s influenced by the work of Berlak and Berlak who define r e f l e c t i o n as the a b i l i t y to stand apart from the s e l f i n 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 R e f l e c t i v e Inquiry Teacher Education program] Reflection i s defined as the d i s p o s i t i o n and a b i l i t y to consider education as the r e s u l t of many s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , and i n d i v i d u a l factors accompanied by an understanding of the need to base subsequent action on c a r e f u l analysis of the r e s u l t s of such inquiry, (p. 127) These d e f i n i t i o n s of r e f l e c t i o n d i f f e r i n t h e i r respective s y n t a c t i c structures and i n the images of r e f l e c t i o n they each may help bring f o r t h .  The differences may be s i g n i f i c a n t from a  c e r t a i n vantage-point but are of no immediate concern t o me.  I  would l i k e t o draw attention t o the common features that these academic d e f i n i t i o n s share. F i r s t of a l l , some of the d e f i n i t i o n s of r e f l e c t i o n r e f e r e i t h e r t o a process or t o an outcome i n the context of teaching. To Shulman, r e f l e c t i o n i s "[a teacher] reconstructs, reenacts, and/or recaptures the events, the emotions, and the accomplishments."  With MacKinnon and Erickson, r e f l e c t i o n occurs  when "a p r a c t i t i o n e r assigns new s i g n i f i c a n c e to events, or i d e n t i f i e s and attends t o features of a p r a c t i c e s i t u a t i o n that were previously ignored." R e f l e c t i o n may also be used to denote an a b i l i t y and d i s p o s i t i o n f o r making c r i t i c a l judgment or a p a r t i c u l a r stance that should be taken i n thinking about teaching events.  In  Kemmis' d e f i n i t i o n , "To r e f l e c t c r i t i c a l l y i s t o locate oneself i n an action frame, to locate oneself i n the h i s t o r y of a 73  s i t u a t i o n , to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a s o c i a l a c t i v i t y , and to take sides on issues." In the context of learning to teach, r e f l e c t i o n may mean "an e f f o r t to transform any naive or problematic conceptions about teaching and learning" or " i n t e l l e c t u a l and a f f e c t i v e a c t i v i t i e s of transforming personal b e l i e f s . "  I t may denote an intended  goal, "the d i s p o s i t i o n and a b i l i t y to make sound educational choices" that a p a r t i c u l a r RTE program aims at developing i n the prospective teachers. When used i n the verb sense, r e f l e c t i o n appears t o have two p r i n c i p l e characterizations — c r i t i c a l analysis.  thinking i n retrospect and  R e f l e c t i o n i s often associated with past  events of teaching.  Teachers r e f l e c t on some p a r t i c u l a r past  events of teaching to give a new meaning to the events or a r r i v e at a better understanding of them. retrospective thinking. term analysis.  R e f l e c t i o n means, l i t e r a l l y ,  R e f l e c t i o n i s a l s o synonymous t o the  To r e f l e c t on something i s t o analyze that  something c r i t i c a l l y .  What (and how i t ) i s analyzed can vary  from an i n d i v i d u a l person's preconceptions, b e l i e f s , and values i n connection to some p a r t i c u l a r teaching events or t o the general or s p e c i f i c s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l contexts of teaching.  I t could also be focused on the classroom a p p l i c a t i o n  of t e c h n i c a l means derived from educational research. These d e f i n i t i o n s do not make i t c l e a r though how r e f l e c t i o n defined i n one way or another f i t s into the o v e r a l l p i c t u r e of teaching as a p r o f e s s i o n a l practice or the process of learning to become a (competent) teacher, e s p e c i a l l y at the i n i t i a l stage of professional development.  Nor do these d e f i n i t i o n s indicate ways 74  in which evidence might be garnered to show that r e f l e c t i o n indeed leads to improved p r a c t i c e and that, where prospective teachers are concerned,  t h e i r r e f l e c t i o n contributes to the  development of the d i s p o s i t i o n and a b i l i t y to teach. The many discussions, proposals, and d e s c r i p t i o n s of r e f l e c t i v e teacher education programs make i t amply c l e a r that the guiding concept of r e f l e c t i o n has been employed as a seemingly neutral term i n ways that "disguise a vast number of conceptual v a r i a t i o n s , with a range of a l t e r n a t i v e implications for the organization and design of teacher education courses" (Calderhead, 1989, p. 43).  "In the hands of some t h e o r i s t s , the  act of r e f l e c t i o n 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 v a l u e - n e u t r a l i t y " (Cohen, 1991, p. 573). r e f l e c t i o n among those mixed concepts  We thus f i n d  (Wilson, 1963), which  do more than describe p o s s i b l e ways of a c t i n g . They connote d i s p o s i t i o n s and actions seen as praiseworthy, not i n 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 d e f i n i t i o n s suggest that r e f l e c t i o n i s a good t h i n g e i t h e r as a goal to a t t a i n or a means f o r a t t a i n i n g goals.  Teachers  are  said to increase t h e i r understanding of teaching by r e f l e c t i n g on their practice.  I t seems to follow that to develop t h e i r  prospective teachers must r e f l e c t on t h e i r experience.  PKT,  Learning  to teach therefore should require r e f l e c t i o n , although i t i s not c l e a r (1) whether or not prospective teachers already have the capacity f o r r e f l e c t i o n ,  (2) what exactly they should r e f l e c t on,  (3) how they should r e f l e c t on i t , and (4) whether r e f l e c t i o n 75  leads to the f u l f i l m e n t of the intended goal of learning to teach. I t should be obvioUs that taking r e f l e c t i o n as a means to an end or an end i n i t s e l f does not constitute a t h e o r e t i c a l ground for program development.  Perhaps, when t r y i n g t o say something  d i f f e r e n t about r e f l e c t i o n , proponents of RTE could b e n e f i t from the advice that we should pay attention to the d i s t i n c t i o n s already made i n ordinary language (Austin, 1961). In i t s ordinary use, r e f l e c t i o n i s often used i n the sense of p r o j e c t i n g a mirror image, as i n " we saw the r e f l e c t i o n of the moon i n the lake." serious, purposive,  R e f l e c t i o n can also be used t o denote  and focused thinking.  The second college  e d i t i o n of Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (Guralnik, 1972) has the following entry, R e f l e c t i o n n. 4. a) the f i x i n g of the mind on some subject; serious thought; contemplation b) the r e s u l t of such thought; ideas or conclusion, esp. i f expressed i n words, (p. 1193) r e f l e c t i v e adj. suggests an orderly, often a n a l y t i c a l turning over i n the mind with the aim of reaching some d e f i n i t e understanding, (p. 1053) r e f l e c t v i . 4. to think s e r i o u s l y ; contemplate (on or upon). R e f l e c t i o n i s not the random and aimless kind of thinking. R e f l e c t i o n i s thinking a person engaged i n with the aim of understanding what i s being r e f l e c t e d upon.  To r e f l e c t i s to  think about or contemplate on a subject s e r i o u s l y t o reach some d e f i n i t e understanding.  Academicians, teachers, and prospective  teachers are a l l capable of thinking s e r i o u s l y about teaching. There i s no doubt about that.  The important question t o be  addressed a t the programmatic l e v e l i n teacher education 76  i s how  prospective teachers can, with the help of teacher educators, better control and d i r e c t t h e i r t h i n k i n g i n t h e i r e f f o r t to develop PKT. R e f l e c t i o n as Retrospective Thinking There i s a tendency i n the current discourse on RTE and i n the academic l i t e r a t u r e elsewhere t o t r e a t r e f l e c t i o n as t h i n k i n g i n retrospect.  I t i s concerned with some past events.  Something  happens and you r e f l e c t on i t so as t o understand i t b e t t e r . In some sense, r e f l e c t i o n as retrospective thinking does denote a way of getting t o know things.  Indeed, human learning often  appears to follow the process neatly captured i n the t i t l e of Dennison and Kirk's (1990) recent book on e x p e r i e n t i a l learning Do. Review. Learn. Apply.  A teacher teaches a lesson, r e f l e c t s  on some aspects of i t and, as a r e s u l t , learns something from i t . The teacher then applies the new knowledge to future lessons. The same would apply i n learning t o teach.  Prospective teachers  do some p r a c t i c e teaching and then r e f l e c t , e i t h e r i n s o l i t u d e or with t h e i r supervising teachers or t h e i r peers, on some events or episodes of t h e i r p r a c t i c e teaching.  By r e f l e c t i n g on t h e i r  experience, prospective teachers develop t h e i r PKT. The ordinary sense of r e f l e c t i o n 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 t o make happen i n the future.  The fact i s that teachers, and  p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n any other f i e l d s of professional p r a c t i c e , do a l o t of serious thinking before they go into t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e practice settings.  Teachers plan t h e i r lessons f o r an e n t i r e 77  school year, f o r the coming month, f o r next week, f o r tomorrow. Lesson planning requires a l o t of serious thinking that i s not retrospective but rather prospective.  Thinking about what I have  done or has happened to me i n the past may  often get involved i n  thinking about what I am going to do, but thinking about what I am going to do requires much more than simply r e f l e c t i n g upon some p r i o r experience.  I think that the essence of p r o f e s s i o n a l  preparation i s r e a l l y i n thinking about what one intends t o accomplish and how one would be able to accomplish i t , not what has been done or has happened.  R e f l e c t i o n as r e t r o s p e c t i v e  thinking has i t s pedagogical value but pales i n s i g n i f i c a n c e when compared with the c a r e f u l , responsible d e l i b e r a t i o n s that precede i n t e l l i g e n t action. What i s more, we cannot assume that thinking s e r i o u s l y 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 s e r i o u s l y thought about and how the serious thinking i s done and f o r what purpose. What prompts teachers to r e f l e c t on past events of teaching? What enables teachers to r e f l e c t ?  How may teachers a r r i v e at a new  better understanding of what they r e f l e c t on?  or  How may the newly  a r r i v e d understanding of past events contribute to the improvement of future practice? Neither the conceptual analyses nor the d e f i n i t i o n s of r e f l e c t i o n can help us answer those questions. P r a c t i c a l l y speaking, a teacher education program t y p i c a l l y 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 d i f f e r e n t  courses of study taught by i n d i v i d u a l f a c u l t y members who d i f f e r from one another i n as many ways as we can think of.  One major  d i f f i c u l t y i n program development i n teacher education has been how to achieve thematic cohesion and coherence (Barnes, 1989). R e f l e c t i o n understood as thinking i n retrospect about some past events taking place i n the context of p r a c t i c e teaching implies that teacher preparation would have to s t a r t with prospective teachers teaching i n the classroom so that they could have something t o r e f l e c t on.  Program cohesion and coherence  could be achieved by turning Foundational Studies, Curriculum Studies, and courses i n other areas of study into a venue f o r prospective teachers t o r e f l e c t on t h e i r practicum experience. Many have, however, argued against sequencing  teacher  education i n the manner of practice-theory-practice based upon the consideration that the powerful influence of s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n 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).  r a i s e a d i f f e r e n t kind of concern here.  I would l i k e t o  I think that t o be  responsible f o r the welfare of the students who w i l l be d i r e c t l y affected by prospective teachers' p r a c t i c e teaching and the welfare of prospective teachers themselves, should be required before practice teaching.  some preparation I am not suggesting  that the current p r a c t i c e of "theory f i r s t , and p r a c t i c e second" should be maintained, though.  What i s needed i n teacher  education i s a better understanding of the r o l e of t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge and p r a c t i c a l experience i n learning t o teach. 79  I will  return to t h i s i n Chapter V. R e f l e c t i o n as C r i t i c a l Analysis R e f l e c t i o n i s also often used i n the sense of c r i t i c a l a n a l y s i s . I t has been suggested that current d e f i n i t i o n s of r e f l e c t i o n are strongly influenced by the Western c u l t u r a l heritage, which emphasizes analysis and problem-solving as opposed to negotiation, contemplation or enlightenment. ... an a n a l y t i c a l method that stresses o b j e c t i v i t y and emotional detachment. (Houston and C l i f t , 1990, p. 211) Analysis may  help save us from the paradox of preparation  without  r e f l e c t i o n and p r a c t i c e teaching without preparation.  In each  and every program component, prospective teachers w i l l  be  involved i n r e f l e c t i n g about or analyzing, f o r instance, educational concepts,  issues of gender, race, and c l a s s i n  education, t h e i r own educational experiences, values, b e l i e f s , i n t e r e s t s , and preconceptions  about teaching and learning, the  s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l conditions under which teachers teach and students learn, research findings on human development and e f f e c t i v e means of i n s t r u c t i o n as well as what happens i n the practicum  setting.  We should be aware, though, that r e f l e c t i o n here i s treated as a pedagogical means, i t i s something f o r prospective teachers to do.  There i s nothing disputable about c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n  guided by the democratic p r i n c i p l e s of j u s t i c e , equity, and freedom.  I believe i t i s necessary to have prospective teachers  think about issues of gender, race, and c l a s s i n education  and  the s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l conditions under which they w i l l work.  I also believe that there cannot be i n t e l l i g e n t action 80  without an adequate understanding of the p a r t i c u l a r a c t i o n context, even though I f i n d the phrase "an a c t i o n context" very hard t o p i n down since i t has been used very l i b e r a l l y i n the educational l i t e r a t u r e .  I f teaching could be l e g i t i m a t e l y  considered to have a technical aspect, there should then be some room i n the i n i t i a l teacher preparation f o r 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 t o assert the value of c r i t i c a l analysis, i r r e s p e c t i v e of what should get analyzed and how.  A strong  commitment to r e f l e c t i o n from a p a r t i c u l a r value p o s i t i o n alone does not provide a s u f f i c i e n t t h e o r e t i c a l ground f o r RTE programs.  A compromise between value p o s i t i o n s w i l l not be  helpful either.  We must, among other things, make sure that the  underlying r a t i o n a l e of d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s or f o c i of r e f l e c t i o n do not mitigate the influence of one another.  We must a l s o make  sure that analysis i n each and every component area of study w i l l contribute t o the o v e r a l l goal of prospective teachers' development of PKT.  But how?  Analysis, l i k e r e t r o s p e c t i v e  thinking, has i t s pedagogical value, but w i l l not fare any better as an organizing theme f o r the development of RTE programs. P r a c t i c a l D i f f i c u l t i e s of RTE Disagreement on what ends to achieve i n teacher preparation aside, advocates of RTE seem to be quite unanimous i n b e l i e v i n g i n the instrumental value of r e f l e c t i o n .  What complicates the  matter i s that i n order f o r prospective teachers t o r e a l i z e the 81  instrumental value of r e f l e c t i o n i n achieving the chosen ends of t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l preparation, they must i n the f i r s t place be capable of engaging i n r e f l e c t i o n .  I f r e f l e c t i o n denotes the  most important outcome of an RTE program and i f prospective teachers already have the c a p a b i l i t y of r e f l e c t i o n , education would hardly be necessary.  teacher  Or perhaps, r e f l e c t i o n i s  j u s t a matter of degree and perspective.  In that case,  RTE  programs should aim at helping prospective teachers to become more r e f l e c t i v e .  But more r e f l e c t i v e i n terms of what?  The confusion between means and end seems to disappear when r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e i s associated with what experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r s are capable of doing when they are caught up i n 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. some academic terminology, they w i l l lack the  Or to use  meta-cognitive  schematic structures, or "automaticity, spontaneity, immediacy," that enable experienced teachers to handle classroom e f f e c t i v e l y and with ease.  situations  Once r e f l e c t i o n comes to be  associated with experienced teachers' expertise, a program goal of developing prospective teachers' r e f l e c t i v e capacity seems to be  justified. The development of prospective teachers' r e f l e c t i v e capacity  can also prove to be a d i f f i c u l t task, however.  In developing a  conceptual framework f o r r e f l e c t i o n i n preservice teacher education, LaBoskey (1993, 1994)  places prospective teachers into  the categories of A l e r t Novices and Common-sense Thinkers. One of the d i s t i n c t i v e q u a l i t i e s of A l e r t Novices seems 82  to be the d e s i r e t o know. Driven by t h e i r passionate creeds' and why' questions, they appear t o be i n t e r n a l l y motivated t o engage i n both spontaneous and s t r u c t u r a l r e f l e c t i o n , sometimes despite t h e i r own misgivings. The Common-sense Thinkers may not only be without these personal purposes, they may also have i n t e r f e r i n g a t t i t u d e s , emotions and values. (LaBoskey, 1993, p. 32) x  x  S i m i l a r l y , Korthagen (1985, 1988) d i f f e r e n t i a t e s prospective teachers i n terms of an i n t e r n a l o r i e n t a t i o n (self-directed) vs an external o r i e n t a t i o n (preferring being t o l d what t o do). LaBoskey suggests that Common-sense Thinkers have d i f f i c u l t y engaging i n r e f l e c t i v e exercise f o r the lack of e i t h e r the necessary cognitive a b i l i t i e s or the r e q u i s i t e d i s p o s i t i o n s and attitudes.  I f the teacher education i n s t i t u t i o n 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 t o design appropriate educational experiences that w i l l induce desirable changes i n prospective teachers' c o g n i t i v e a b i l i t y as w e l l as d i s p o s i t i o n s and attitudes.  But what experiences are conducive t o the Common-  Sense Thinkers' development of PKT?  At the same time, one also  wonders what kind of educational experiences should be provided to A l e r t Novices.  I do not suppose that A l e r t Novices o r those  with an i n t e r n a l o r i e n t a t i o n towards learning t o teach could be l e f t on t h e i r own. Teacher educators have created s t r u c t u r a l conditions and designed various s t r a t e g i e s t o support, encourage, i n i t i a t e , and f a c i l i t a t e r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e among prospective teachers. Common among those conditions and s t r a t e g i e s are a c t i o n research, ethnography, j o u r n a l writing, r e f l e c t i v e coaching i n supervision, curriculum a n a l y s i s and development, and the methodology of 83  r e f l e c t i v e teaching (Zeichner, 1987a).  The e f f e c t i v e n e s s of  these and possibly other strategies f o r achieving the end of developing prospective teachers' r e f l e c t i v e capacity of teaching remains an open question.  Richert's (1992) study suggests that  prospective teachers choose to r e f l e c t on d i f f e r e n t things i n d i f f e r e n t manners under d i f f e r e n t conditions.  I t gives l i t t l e  i n d i c a t i o n on what form of r e f l e c t i o n i s more conducive to the development of PKT and competent p r a c t i c e . Although r e f l e c t i v e practice i s generally accepted as a d e s i r a b l e end and a means f o r achieving that end i n RTE, some have expressed doubt about the d e s i r a b i l i t y of having i t as a c e n t r a l focus i n preservice teacher education (Berliner, Mclntyre, 1993).  1988;  Mclntyre (1993), f o r instance, suggests that  " r e f l e c t i o n i s a much more central means of learning f o r experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r s , than i t can or need be f o r 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 r e f l e c t i o n to examine the hidden assumptions underlying t h e i r 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 c r e a t i v e l y about t h e i r experience.  They therefore have to  draw ideas from external sources. Hatton and Smith (1995), Zeichner and Liston (1987) have discussed several problems that may  f r u s t r a t e teacher educators'  e f f o r t s to engage prospective teachers i n the kind of r e f l e c t i v e exercise designed to help them i n achieving the intended outcome of t h e i r professional preparation. 84  R e f l e c t i v e exercises may  be  perceived to be an academic pursuit that focuses on analyzing abstract educational ideas from narrow d i s c i p l i n a r y perspectives. Prospective teachers' p r i o r knowledge may dispose them to r e f l e c t on some s e l e c t i v e educational phenomena but r e s i s t others. Prospective teachers may not have an adequate knowledge base to inform t h e i r r e f l e c t i v e exercise or they may not understand the concept of r e f l e c t i o n i t s e l f .  Often i n s t i t u t i o n a l  structural  constraints do not allow prospective teachers the time and opportunity to engage i n r e f l e c t i v e exercise.  Besides,  teacher  preparation involves not only prospective teachers and teacher educators but a l s o classroom teachers and school p r i n c i p l e s and others.  People may react d i f f e r e n t l y t o demands f o r r e f l e c t i o n ,  and even within programs, faculty members may take  different  i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n s towards i t . These problems are not p e c u l i a r t o RTE.  They are the same  kind of problems associated with t r a d i t i o n a l modes o f teacher preparation.  Prospective teachers b r i n g with them t h e i r p r i o r  knowledge about teaching, on the basis of which they  interact  with the learning environment i n t h e i r teacher education program. I t can always be expected that prospective teachers w i l l lack the background knowledge, understanding,  s k i l l s , and d i s p o s i t i o n s f o r  engaging i n the kind of i n t e l l e c t u a l exercises designed i n the program. i d e a l conditions.  f o r them  Teacher education has never been conducted under 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. I t may also be discerned that many of these p r a c t i c a l problems are r e a l l y contingent upon the hidden presumptions about p r o f e s s i o n a l 85  knowing and learning t o teach inherited from times past.  Summary In t h i s chapter, I have looked at the perplexing phenomenon of RTE mirrored i n the recent attempts t o c l a r i f y i t s conceptual background.  I t i s tempting t o think that the conceptual  d i f f i c u l t y with RTE o r i g i n a t e s i n the multiple conceptions of r e f l e c t i v e teaching/practice/inquiry due t o the lack of a common p r o f e s s i o n a l language within the teacher education community. I t does appear so, f o r teacher educators have been improvising RTE i n many d i f f e r e n t ways and categorizing the many improvisations again with d i f f e r e n t a n a l y t i c a l frameworks. difficulty  But, the conceptual  interpreted as a d e f i n i t i o n a l issue could hardly be  ever resolved.  How could i n d i v i d u a l teacher educators be  expected t o give up t h e i r i d i o s y n c r a t i c 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 i d e o l o g i c a l commitments as well as personal b e l i e f s and interest? However, when we reframe the problem of RTE and ask instead about the epistemological grounding of various programs under that a t t r a c t i v e t i t l e , Feiman-Nemser's (1990) observation i s vindicated that RTE does not constitute a conceptual o r i e n t a t i o n . Without i t s conceptual power, r e f l e c t i o n becomes a slogan prone t o meaninglessness where i t may serve comfortably as an aim f o r any and a l l types of programs. The p o t e n t i a l f o r the concept t o make a genuine c o n t r i b u t i o n t o educational reform i s thereby s e r i o u s l y weakened. (Bullough, 1989, p. 15) 86  I share the concern expressed by Cohen (1991), Munby and Russell (1993) over the tendency to o r i e n t the discourse on RTE away from a question of knowledge i n r e l a t i o n to professional p r a c t i c e , reducing  i t to a matter of a pedagogical technique or an issue of  i d e o l o g i c a l disputation.  To e s t a b l i s h RTE as an a l t e r n a t i v e  approach towards teachers' i n i t i a l preparation  and continuing  professional development, we should be c l e a r about the kind of epistemological understanding of PKT and learning t o teach that could inform programmatic deliberations under that umbrella term. Thinking about RTE i n terms of PKT and learning t o teach, I believe, w i l l enable us t o deal with those apparent contradictions at the p r a c t i c a l l e v e l of program organization. Examples of some of these contradictions include: b u i l d i n g up a t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge base versus learning from p r a c t i c a l experience; r e j e c t i n g the Technical R a t i o n a l i t y model versus developing minimum technical competency; the need t o reduce pressures on prospective teachers on the ground that they are learning versus the demand to give them f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as a necessary condition f o r learning; the i n t e r e s t i n the broad educational  and s o c i a l issues that seem to transcend the  p a r t i c u l a r classroom contexts versus the compelling p r a c t i c a l i n t e r e s t i n meeting the p a r t i c u l a r demands of classroom  teaching.  Questions of PKT, professional knowing, and learning are important because, to quote S o l t i s  again,  The point, again, i s t o see that 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. x  Calderhead (1989) observes that " i d e a l models of r e f l e c t i o n are 87  offered but l i t t l e i s known about how  they might operate i n  practice, how they compare with other forms of r e f l e c t i o n , or i n which contexts they might be appropriate" (p. 46).  I believe  that i t i s h i g h l y advisable and morally responsible f o r teacher educators to assess the epistemological and conceptual of t h e i r preferred models of RTE.  grounding  The epistemological and  conceptual question cannot be avoided even when i t comes to seeking f a c t s about the operation of d i f f e r e n t models of RTE i n practice within s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n a l 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 l i t e r a t u r e on RTE needs to be enriched by an adequate understanding of PKT, p r o f e s s i o n a l knowing, and learning to teach, i t i s replete with references to Schon's works on p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e and Dewey's idea of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry.  Munby and Russell (1993) i n s i s t that, i n doing research  on r e f l e c t i v e teaching and developing RTE programs, we should pay attention to the epistemological s i g n i f i c a n c e of the concept of r e f l e c t i o n i n Schon's work.  But does Schon's t h e s i s e n t a i l the  kind of epistemological understanding i n which RTE could be secured as an a l t e r n a t i v e conceptual o r i e n t a t i o n towards teacher preparation?  88  Chapter I I I : schon's Epistemology of P r a c t i c e The widespread i n t e r e s t i n RTE i s , as i t has been noted, often attributed t o Schon's work on professional knowing.  With the  p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s two books The R e f l e c t i v e P r a c t i t i o n e r i n 1983 and Educating the R e f l e c t i v e P r a c t i t i o n e r i n 1987, Schon has been recognized by many f o r h i s contribution to our understanding of professional knowing of and i n p r a c t i c e .  To be sure, Schon i s  not the f i r s t person t o use the term " r e f l e c t i o n " i n t h e o r i z i n g about the problem of knowledge i n r e l a t i o n to p r a c t i c e , y e t he could well be credited f o r making i t a household term i n the current discourse  on teacher education.  Central t o Schon's epistemology of practice i s the idea of professional knowing described "reflection-in-action."  as a process which he c a l l s  This notion of " r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n "  has been adopted as an important t h e o r e t i c a l construct f o r research on teachers' professional knowledge and has frequently appeared i n 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 h i s epistemology  of practice systematically to the mundane issues concerning program development as well as the pedagogical p r a c t i c e s i n teacher education.  No RTE programs, as f a r as I know, have  a c t u a l l y been e x p l i c i t l y grounded i n p r i n c i p l e i n Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e .  The discussion i n t h i s chapter w i l l  address two questions: 1) What i s Schon's epistemology of practice? and 2) does i t o f f e r an adequate and defensible 89  t h e o r e t i c a l t h e s i s on professional knowing that could provide a secured epistemological  ground for developing RTE programs?  Schon's Epistemology of Practice Schon's t r e a t i s e on the epistemology of practice begins with the observation  that i n meeting our s o c i a l and personal needs i n  l i f e , we have come to depend more and more upon the services of professionals. taken as given.  This fact of modern l i f e seems to be r e a d i l y What i s of great concern to Schon (1983) i s that  the professions are i n 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 s o c i a l 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 i n e f f e c t i v e , (p. 11) When t h i s 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 t r a d i t i o n a l patterns of p r a c t i c e and knowledge to features the p r a c t i c e s i t u a t i o n —  complexity, uncertainty,  uniqueness, and value c o n f l i c t " (p. 18).  of  instability,  While regarding  i t as  "a laudable exercise i n s e l f - c r i t i c i s m , " Schon i s not content with such a diagnosis.  In h i s view, the c r i s i s of confidence and  legitimacy i n the professions way  l i e s much deeper with the customary  of thinking about professional knowledge and p r a c t i c e , what  he r e f e r s to as the model of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y rooted i n the philosophical doctrines of positivism pervasive i n the i n s t i t u t i o n a l context of professional  life.  According to the model of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y ... professional a c t i v i t y consists i n instrumental problem solving made rigorous by the a p p l i c a t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c theory and technique, (p. 21) 90  Technical R a t i o n a l i t y assumes that ends of professional p r a c t i c e can be pre-established based on s p e c i a l i z e d knowledge and means f o r achieving the pre-established ends can a l s o be through rigorous s c i e n t i f i c research. speaking, s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s who  the obtained  This means, p r a c t i c a l l y  conduct basic research discover  p r i n c i p l e s and laws that govern human conduct and supply them to t h e i r colleagues i n applied science.  The l a t t e r turn the  p r i n c i p l e s and laws into diagnostic problem-solving  techniques.  P r a c t i t i o n e r s of professional s o c i a l services play the r o l e of an instrumental problem-solver,  s e l e c t i n g and applying the best  t e c h n i c a l means made a v a i l a b l e by systematic, preferably s c i e n t i f i c , research i n meeting pre-defined objectives i n the d e l i v e r y of t h e i r service.  Professional p r a c t i c e depends on or  should be grounded i n s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. Schon does not examine the fundamental presumptions underl y i n g the p o s i t i v i s t conception of science and knowledge and  the  p r a c t i c a l implications f o r p r o f e s s i o n a l education.  he  Instead,  f a u l t s the model of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y from the perspective of practice.  Technical R a t i o n a l i t y presumes agreement about ends  and emphasizes problem solving through the a p p l i c a t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c a l l y proven means best suited to established ends i n practice.  But the fact of professional l i f e i s that, argues  Schon, the " s p e c i a l i z e d , f i r m l y bounded, s c i e n t i f i c  and  standardized" knowledge simply cannot meet the p a r t i c u l a r demands of p r a c t i c e .  This i s because  In real-world p r a c t i c e , problems do not present themselves to the p r a c t i t i o n e r as given. They must be constructed from the materials of problematic s i t u a t i o n s which are puzzling, troubling, and uncertain, (p. 40) 91  Schon also points to the fact that competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s are able to f i n d ways to understand complex problematic s i t u a t i o n s , restructure s t r a t e g i e s of action against uncertainty indeterminacy, break the conventional  and  boundaries of normative  p r a c t i c e , and make a thoughtful choice among c o n f l i c t i n g values, goals, and i n t e r e s t s i n t h e i r respective f i e l d s of professional practice.  This observation  leads Schon to believe that there i s  a kind of professional knowing that the model of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y f a i l s to account f o r .  He goes on to assert that  I f the model of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y i s incomplete, i n that i t f a i l s to account f o r p r a c t i c a l competence i n divergent' s i t u a t i o n s , so much the worse f o r the model. Let us search, instead, f o r an epistemology of p r a c t i c e i m p l i c i t i n the a r t i s t i c , i n t u i t i v e processes which some p r a c t i t i o n e r s do bring to s i t u a t i o n s of uncertainty, i n s t a b i l i t y , uniqueness, and value c o n f l i c t , (p. 49) x  I t i s c l e a r that Schon i s i n q u i r i n g about a kind of t a c i t knowing inherent i n the performance of competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n dealing with problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n p r a c t i c e . a v a i l a b l e to d i r e c t observation p r o p o s i t i o n a l statements.  T a c i t knowing i s not  and cannot be r e a d i l y put into  I t 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 f o r Schon to get at t h i s kind of knowing which cannot be d i r e c t l y 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 r e f l e c t i o n in-action.  He then presents a number of case descriptions of  competent performance observed i n such diverse p r o f e s s i o n a l f i e l d s as architecture, psychotherapy, engineering planning,  design,  city  and a master c l a s s of music performance to i l l u s t r a t e 92  and support h i s argument. Schon's Model of Professional Knowing At the core of Schon's model f o r representing  professional  knowing of and i n p r a c t i c e i s the notion of " r e f l e c t i o n - i n action," which i s an ephemeral episode of inquiry that arises momentarily i n the midst of a flow of action and then disappears, giving way t o some new event, leaving i n i t s wake, perhaps, a more stable view of the s i t u a t i o n . (Schon, 1992, p. 125) R e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s distinguished and "reflection-on-action."  from "knowing-in-action"  Schon (1987) states i n Educating the  R e f l e c t i v e P r a c t i t i o n e r that the notion of knowing-in-action r e f e r s to the sorts of know-how we reveal i n our i n t e l l i g e n t action — p u b l i c l y observable, physical performances l i k e r i d i n g a b i c y c l e and primate operations l i k e instant analysis of a balance sheet. In both cases, the knowing i s i n the action. We reveal i t by our spontaneous, s k i l f u l execution of the performance and we are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y unable t o make i t v e r b a l l y e x p l i c i t , (p. 25) The t a c i t and spontaneous knowing-in-action i s said t o enable a p r a c t i t i o n e r t o deal with day-to-day f a m i l i a r s i t u a t i o n s through a sequence of routine a c t i v i t i e s without having t o think about what i s being done.  Yet, from time t o time, i n the midst of  action, a problematic s i t u a t i o n or surprise may a r i s e and threatens t o interrupt the smooth execution of the routine sequence of action.  Under such circumstances, the p r a c t i t i o n e r  must respond t o the s i t u a t i o n by way of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . There i s some puzzling, or troubling, or i n t e r e s t i n g phenomenon with which the i n d i v i d u a l i s t r y i n g t o deal. As he t r i e s t o make sense of i t , he also r e f l e c t s on the understandings which have been i m p l i c i t i n h i s 93  action, understandings which he surfaces, c r i t i c i z e s , restructures, and embodies i n further action. I t i s t h i s e n t i r e process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n which i s central t o the " a r t " by which p r a c t i t i o n e r s sometimes deal well with s i t u a t i o n s of uncertainty, i n s t a b i l i t y , uniqueness, and value c o n f l i c t . (Schon, 1983, p. 50) In t h e i r day-to-day work, p r a c t i t i o n e r s encounter s i t u a t i o n s constantly.  problematic  Schon quotes an eminent physician  claiming that "85 percent of the problems a doctor sees i n h i s o f f i c e are not i n the book" (p. 16).  Since competent  p r a c t i t i o n e r s are said t o engage i n r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n t o resolve unfamiliar, unique s i t u a t i o n s frequently occurring i n action, the case seems t o be made that " r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s c e n t r a l l y important t o the a r t i s t r y of competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s " (Schon, 1992, p. 125). One c r u c i a l function of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s what Schon c a l l s problem s e t t i n g or problem (re)framing Schon, 1977, 1991; Schon and Rein, 1994).  (see also Rein and  A surprise a r i s i n g i n  the midst of action has f i r s t of a l l t o be noted and perceived t o be presenting a s p e c i f i c problem t o be d e a l t with. p r a c t i c e of medical care i s analogous.  The general  A family physician  notices the presence of a patient i n the o f f i c e 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 t o determine what exactly i s the problem.  In other words, the i n i t i a l , t e n t a t i v e  diagnosis w i l l be reframed u n t i l a d e f i n i t i v e one i s reached. The physician then decides on the kind of treatment that would best s u i t the patient.  I f the patient shows no improvement a f t e r 94  the treatment, the physician w i l l have to look at the case again, following the same process. R e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n involves what Schon c a l l s "a r e f l e c t i v e conversation."  When responding to a problematic s i t u a t i o n i n  action, a p r a c t i t i o n e r i s said to be engaged i n "a r e f l e c t i v e conversation with the materials of the problematic s i t u a t i o n at hand", l i s t e n i n g to the "situation's backtalk" as a r e s u l t of the i n q u i r e r ' s appreciation of the surprise and experimenting with s t r a t e g i e s and procedures of on-the-spot improvisation. Through t h i s complex process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , the p r a c t i t i o n e r resolves the problematic s i t u a t i o n . I understand from reading some of the p h i l o s o p h i c a l l i t e r a t u r e that the problem of knowledge concerns not only what we know ("the context of j u s t i f i c a t i o n " ) but also, more importantly i n view of professional education, how we come t o know i n the f i r s t place ("the context of discovery"). A robust epistemological theory of knowing i n r e l a t i o n t o human conduct thus needs t o account f o r knowing not only i n the sense of coming to know but also i n the sense of having knowledge.  A bifurcated  account of knowing that emphasizes the process of coming to know i s as incomplete and prone to disputation as one that i s only concerned with the j u s t i f i c a t i o n of knowledge claims. What i s odd about Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e i s that i t seems to juxtapose knowing i n the sense of having knowledge and knowing i n the sense of obtaining knowledge i n the realm of professional p r a c t i c e .  Experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r s are said to be  i n possession of a kind of professional knowing which d i f f e r s from propositional knowledge written i n the books. 95  This kind of  knowing i s then described  as a process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n .  Schon seems to suggest that so long as we recognize competent performance of professional p r a c t i c e i n resolving s i t u a t i o n s of uncertainty,  uniqueness, and c o n f l i c t , we could forego questions  about what i t i s that competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s know.  Competent  p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' knowing of p r a c t i c e i s t a c i t and i n t u i t i v e , the propositional kind that can be analyzed and judged on basis of i t s i n t e r n a l l o g i c or empirical evidence.  not the  Hence we  cannot apply what Fenstermacher (1994) r e f e r s t o as the "standard a n a l y s i s " to evaluating the epistemic merit of p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' knowing of and i n p r a c t i c e . I think Schon i s r i g h t i n h i s argument against the R a t i o n a l i t y model of professional p r a c t i c e and education.  Technical  professional  The point i s well taken that problems i n p r a c t i c e are  not given and must be constructed p a r t i c u l a r action context. as Schon describes  and resolved within t h e i r  own  The process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n ,  i t , provides a more complete account of  professionals solve problems i n p r a c t i c e .  how  I a l s o concur with the  idea that professional p r a c t i c e involves knowing more than we  can  t e l l , e s p e c i a l l y i n the context of emerging problematic situations.  Competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s deserve the h o n o r i f i c notion  of "knowing," which cannot be denied on the contentious ground that we do not know how merit.  to represent i t and assess i t s epistemic  So the issue here i s not about i f and what professionals  know i n action, but a question of the adequacy and usefulness of Schon's representation  model.  In my view, Schon's t h e s i s could be accepted as a more complete problem-solving model of professional p r a c t i c e or, with 96  Eraut (1994), as a metaphorical exposition on human cognition i n diverse problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n p r a c t i c e .  But Schon"s model of  professional knowing i s not adequate f o r advancing our current understanding of professional knowing f o r the b e n e f i t of improving p r a c t i c e .  Schon conjectures that there i s a kind of  t a c i t knowing i m p l i c i t i n competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' performance i n resolving problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n action.  Competent  performance reveals the t a c i t kind of knowing of and i n p r a c t i c e . This t a c i t kind of knowing i s described i n terms of a process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , which i s not available t o 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 i n t e r n a l conceptual d i f f i c u l t i e s and p r a c t i c a l implications for professional education.  I w i l l now turn t o a c r i t i c a l  assessment of Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e . 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 p r a c t i c a l endeavour.  Teacher  educators, who design programs, teach various foundational and methods courses, and supervise p r a c t i c e teaching, are susceptible to, and a t the same time, suspect of various kinds of external influence.  In the case of Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e , 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 f i n d f a u l t with i t from t h e i r respective p o s i t i o n s (Adler, 1991; Berrie, 1992; Eraut, 1994; 97  Fenstermacher, 1988; Erickson, 1992;  1988;  Furlong and Maynard, 1994;  Liston and Zeichner, 1991;  Grimmett and  Pearson, 1989;  Ross,  Shulman, 1987b, 1988). Three l i n e s of c r i t i c i s m l e v e l l e d at Schon's epistemology of  p r a c t i c e are p a r t i c u l a r l y pertinent to programmatic deliberations i n teacher education.  These l i n e s of c r i t i c i s m point to the  i n t e r n a l conceptual d i f f i c u l t i e s i n Schon's t h e s i s (Eraut, Grimmett and Erickson, 1989),  1988,  1994;  chapters 9, 10, and 11; Pearson,  Schon's d i s p o s i t i o n towards the r e l a t i o n s h i p between  s c i e n t i f i c knowledge and professional practice (Fenstermacher, 1987,  1988;  Shulman, 1987b, 1988), and a perceived  on the world of p r a c t i c e (Adler, 1991; Ross, 1992;  Selman, 1988).  narrow focus  Liston and Zeichner,  1991;  I w i l l subsequently discuss each of  these three areas of c r i t i q u e . Schon's Conceptual  Difficulties  Coombs and Daniels  (1991) advise us that  i f our conceptual structures lack l o g i c a l coherence, blur important d i s t i n c t i o n s , or create useless dichotomies, or i f we understand them so poorly that we are unable to t r a n s l a t e them adequately into research instruments and p o l i c y p r e s c r i p t i o n s , c u r r i c u l a r p o l i c i e s 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  i n Schon's epistemology of  p r a c t i c e should be dealt with f i r s t . Knowing vs. doing Central to Schon's analysis of professional knowing which i s revealed  i n a p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s competent performance of resolving  problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n practice are the notions of knowing-in98  action and r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . Knowing-in-action i s the kind of t a c i t knowledge we reveal i n what we do.  In a reverse order,  routine performance reveals t a c i t knowledge, at l e a s t the knowhow  kind. R e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , on the other hand, i s described  as a  process which involves taking note of and responding to surprises or problematic s i t u a t i o n s .  When, f o r instance, Dorothy's d a i l y  d r i v i n g route t o work i s blocked by a detour sign, she w i l l , a l a Schon, r e f l e c t - i n - a c t i o n , taking note of the s i t u a t i o n , decoding the sign, thinking about and deciding what alternate action to take.  R e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n seems to denote a succession  of  mental a c t i v i t i e s of a person i n responding to and r e s o l v i n g an unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n and implies at the same time a capacity for doing so i n dealing with unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n s .  I t i s pertinent  here to ask what enables p r a c t i t i o n e r s to r e f l e c t i n action. Schon's answer to the question i s quite straightforward.  Over  the years, The p r a c t i t i o n e r has b u i l t up a repertoire of examples, images, understandings, and actions.... [which] includes the whole of h i s 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 p r a c t i t i o n e r . . . hinges on the range and v a r i e t y of the repertoire that he brings to unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n s . Because he i s able to see these as elements of h i s repertoire, he i s able to make sense of t h e i r uniqueness and need not reduce them to instances of standard categories. Moreover, each new experience of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n enriches h i s r e p e r t o i r e . . . . R e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i n a unique case may be generalized to other cases, not by g i v i n g r i s e to general p r i n c i p l e s , but by contributing to the p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s repertoire of exemplary themes from which, i n the subsequent cases of h i s practice, he may compose new v a r i a t i o n s , (p. 140) 99  Schon stops short there.  I t seems to me reasonable t o i n f e r from  the two statements quoted above that the l e v e l of a r t i s t r y displayed i n a p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s competent performance i s related, quite obviously,  t o the range and v a r i e t y of the r e p e r t o i r e the  p r a c t i t i o n e r brings to an unfamiliar, unique s i t u a t i o n .  The  greater the range and v a r i e t y of the repertoire a p r a c t i t i o n e r brings to the s i t u a t i o n , the more a l t e r n a t i v e ways there w i l l be f o r the p r a c t i t i o n e r to make sense of i t . A repertoire of a narrow range and v a r i e t y w i l l put a l i m i t to a p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s a b i l i t y to respond t o a problematic s i t u a t i o n . Presumably, when an experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r and a novice encounter a surprise i n action, both would respond t o i t . What makes the difference i n the eventual outcome would be the richness of the personal repertoire each of the two brings t o the surprise and with which each of the two r e f l e c t s about and deals with the surprise. and v a r i e t y .  The novice's repertoire has a l i m i t e d range  This makes i t d i f f i c u l t f o r the novice t o get a  proper sense of the surprise encountered.  Consequently, the  novice w i l l not be able to get the same r e s u l t the experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r i s able to achieve. My reading of Schon's exposition also suggests t o me that the t a c i t knowing inherent  i n competent professional p r a c t i c e i s  dependent on a combination of several f a c t o r s : 1) a problematic s i t u a t i o n or surprise experienced i n the midst of action, 2) the process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i n response to the s i t u a t i o n , 3) a working repertoire as the cognitive basis of r e f l e c t i o n - i n action, and 4) successful resolution of the s i t u a t i o n . The  f i r s t three factors are self-evident. 100  The process of  r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n requires that there i s something t o r e f l e c t about (a surprise i n action) and something to r e f l e c t with (a repertoire).  The fourth factor that evidence of competent  performance that leads to or predicts the successful r e s o l u t i o n of a problematic s i t u a t i o n w i l l be required to make a case of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n needs some q u a l i f i c a t i o n . I t could be argued that r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n does not necessarily always lead to successful r e s o l u t i o n of a problematic s i t u a t i o n i n action. This argument i s acceptable as long as we are only concerned with a cognitive process i n the context of a problematic s i t u a t i o n i n action, i r r e s p e c t i v e of whatever outcome the process eventually leads to.  But i t c e r t a i n l y w i l l not take us very f a r when we  want t o better understand the kind of professional a r t i s t r y t o which Schon draws our attention.  This i s not only that the kind  of professional knowing Schon describes observation  i s i n f e r r e d from the  of p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' competent performance i n r e s o l v i n g  unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n s i n action.  Also, i f both novice and  experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r s w i l l r e f l e c t i n action but produce d i f f e r e n t outcomes, one wonders whether r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s c e n t r a l to professional a r t i s t r y that competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s d i s p l a y and novice p r a c t i t i o n e r s are yet t o develop.  May we also  conclude then that which makes the difference i n performance outcome rather than the cognitive process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s r e a l l y c e n t r a l to (our understanding of), professional knowing, to professional a r t i s t r y ? The process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i t s e l f i s admittedly a complex one as Schon makes of i t . When caught up i n an unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n , the p r a c t i t i o n e r has l o t s of things t o 101  think back and  f o r t h about, (re-)frame the s i t u a t i o n , engage i n a  r e f l e c t i v e conversation with the materials  of the s i t u a t i o n and  experiment with s t r a t e g i c moves improvised on the spot.  However,  complex as i t i s , the process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n w i l l u n l i k e l y be possible without the cognitive base of a working repertoire.  For t h i s reason, shouldn't professional knowing be  better understood i n terms of the p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s repertoire instead of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n ?  Wouldn't i t be more  advisable  to consider knowing i n p r a c t i c e as an i n q u i r i n g person, with his/her working repertoire, interacts with the materials problematic situation?  of a  That would allow us to further explore  the nature of a p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s professional r e p e r t o i r e and how  competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n t h e i r respective  ask  f i e l d s of  professional practice b u i l d up t h e i r repertoire as r i c h as i t would enable them to resolve problematic s i t u a t i o n s through reflection-in-action. Reflection-in-action In reading Schon's description of an a r c h i t e c t ' s studio, Eraut (1994) points out  that  Schon makes i t quite c l e a r that he regards the a c t i o n ' as being the design process rather than the teaching process.... Presumably the design process i s normally a r e l a t i v e l y s i l e n t d e l i b e r a t i v e process combining thinking, sketching and accurate drawing over a long period of time. Yet Schon treats i t as an archetypal example of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , without a c t u a l l y s t a t i n g which parts or aspects of the master designer's behaviour are r e f l e c t i v e and which are not. (p. 146) x  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 i n the book.  But even for the 15% cases that are written i n the books, 102  i t i s very u n l i k e l y that they would present themselves as predetermined i n p r a c t i c e .  Their p a r t i c u l a r features have to be  i d e n t i f i e d as representing those cases written i n the books.  In  other words, i n professional practice, framing w i l l always be required of both competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s and novices, whatever s i t u a t i o n s they are dealing with.  Or, perhaps the physician  engages i n r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n only when there i s a surprise a r i s i n g i n t r e a t i n g any i n d i v i d u a l case, whether or not the case has been written i n the books.  I f there i s no surprise i n  action, knowing-in-action w i l l s u f f i c e .  Reflection-in-action i s  required only when there i s a unique, unfamiliar  problematic  s i t u a t i o n occurring i n the midst of action. Some readers are doubtful about the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e f l e c t i o n I N action.  Court (1988), f o r instance, argues that  Schon's examples seem t o i l l u s t r a t e several rather d i f f e r e n t kinds of * r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n ' and most, upon examination, appear to involve removing oneself from the action i n order to r e f l e c t . [It seems that r e f l e c t i o n ] requires a time out, a l b e i t a b r i e f one, from the action, (pp. 145-146) Eraut  (1994) observes that many of [Schon's] long examples f a i l t o provide any evidence that r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s occurring, and i n several examples, including a l l those from science, engineering and management, r e f l e c t i o n - o n - a c t i o n appears to have been at l e a s t as l i k e l y a cause of reframing as r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . (p. 148)  In t h e i r essay review of Schon's two books on r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e , Munby and Russell (1989) suggest that the confusion about r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n and r e f l e c t i o n - o n - a c t i o n may have to do with how the phrase of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s read. write, Several years of research a c t i v i t y i n which we have 103  They  attempted t o apply and better understand the term * r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n have led us t o r e a l i z e that t h i s phrase so central to Schon's argument i s e a s i l y misread, by focusing on r e f l e c t i o n rather than on action. * R e f l e c t i o n t y p i c a l l y suggests thinking about action, but the c r u c i a l phrase on our reading i s i n a c t i o n . The r e f l e c t i o n that Schon i s c a l l i n g attention to i s i n the action, not i n associated thinking about action. (p. 73) 7  7  x  7  But, t h i s sympathetic move from " r e f l e c t i o n " t o " i n - a c t i o n " gives l i t t l e help t o these two reviewers themselves i n getting a c l e a r sense of what Schon's cases are cases of [and what] case studies as examples of what happens when r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n begins, as examples of what causes i t t o 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 s perspective, r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s d i f f i c u l t t o detect and challenging t o document. While we f i n d observation of teaching e s s e n t i a l t o the process of interviewing teachers about t h e i r professional a c t i v i t i e s and professional knowledge, we would not expect t o observe d i r e c t l y the "event" of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . (p. 185) 7  According t o Schon (1987), [reflection-on-action] has no d i r e c t connection t o present action, [whereas r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n ] occurs i n an action-present — a period of time, v a r i a b l e with the context, during which we can s t i l l make a difference t o the s i t u a t i o n a t hand — our thinking serves t o reshape what we are doing while we are doing i t . (p. 26) The d i s t i n c t i o n between reflection-on-action and r e f l e c t i o n - i n action i n terms of being able t o make a difference t o the s i t u a t i o n a t hand seems unmistakable. kind of knowing inherent  Schon i s t a l k i n g about a  i n competent professional p r a c t i c e i n  resolving unique s i t u a t i o n s a r i s i n g i n action.  I t would not make  much sense t o t a l k about competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s d i s p l a y i n g t h e i r professional a r t i s t r y while disregarding what they a c t u a l l y 104  accomplish. Let us follow Munby and Russell's sympathetic move and focus our attention on the phrase " i n - a c t i o n " and take a look at Schon's idea of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n from a d i f f e r e n t angle.  The  question t o be raised here i s what i s meant by "action-present" or " i n a c t i o n . " example.  Take an a r t i s t doing an o i l p a i n t i n g f o r  I f we use the phrase " i n - a c t i o n " i n the sense of during  the e n t i r e range of a c 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 i n f e r , a l a Schon, that anything the a r t i s t does during the process could be the a r t i s t ' s response t o 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.  I f 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 mixing of colours.  frame of reference t o the  Suppose that i n the process of mixing colours  to get a desired shade, some surprise occurs. the surprise and responds t o i t .  The a r t i s t notices  As a r e s u l t , the a r t i s t i s able  to get a d i f f e r e n t shade than the one she o r i g i n a l l y desired, thereby bringing some unique feature to the p a i n t i n g she i s working on. There does not seem t o be anything ambiguous or confusing about r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . Perhaps, the confusion may have something t o do with the way Schon t r i e s t o describe r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . r e f l e c t i o n as a process of mental doing. r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n constitutes "action." impression  Schon describes  In other words, I t may thus create an  that there has to be some time lapse between the 105  a c t i v i t y of r e f l e c t i o n and some other a c t i v i t y or anything that precedes or i s preceded by r e f l e c t i o n .  Such confusion could  perhaps be avoided when the phrase r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s written as reflection-about a problematic s i t u a t i o n - i n an action present.  In the phrase "reflection-on-action," a c t i o n r e f e r s to  the object that a person r e f l e c t s on, whereas i n " r e f l e c t i o n - i n action," a c t i o n denotes a s p e c i f i c context i n which r e f l e c t i o n takes place.  R e f l e c t i o n aims at resolving a problematic  s i t u a t i o n that occurs within that context.  The r e s o l u t i o n of the  problematic s i t u a t i o n bears d i r e c t consequence on the course and outcome of (a predesigned program of) action. I t i s perhaps h e l p f u l to remind ourselves that descriptions of competent performance are not descriptions of p r o f e s s i o n a l knowing i n and of p r a c t i c e . knowing.  Doing t h i s or that i t s e l f i s not  Observed competent performance of resolving problematic  s i t u a t i o n s i n a c t i o n provides at best the c i r c u m s t a n t i a l evidence upon which knowing may be conjectured.  What Schon says i s  involved i n the process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s imaginative. There i s another complication i n regard to "action present." The question i s what constitutes the action context i n which a problematic s i t u a t i o n arises and r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n occurs i n response t o i t .  As Court (1988) suggests, a teacher can be said  to be r e f l e c t i n g about a s i t u a t i o n that occurred during a lesson she taught a few minutes ago or l a s t week.  No matter how she  r e f l e c t s about the s i t u a t i o n , she cannot bring any change to the outcome of that p a r t i c u l a r lesson. reflection-on-action.  So we have a case of  However, the same teacher can a l s o be said  to be r e f l e c t i n g - i n - a c t i o n when the lesson constitutes part of a 106  larger unit of i n s t r u c t i o n .  By r e f l e c t i n g about the same  s i t u a t i o n , the teacher may be able to do something about i t i n a subsequent lesson, increase her understanding of teaching,  enrich  her teaching repertoire, and make adjustments i n her long-term teaching s t r a t e g i e s .  The action present now becomes more  extensive than a s i n g l e lesson that took place i n the past.  In  t h i s sense, the teacher's r e f l e c t i o n on the s i t u a t i o n becomes reflection-in-action. extensive  However, when the action frame becomes  i n time and place, i t may be d i f f i c u l t t o see c l e a r l y  to what s i t u a t i o n at hand r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n responds and how r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n helps to make a difference t o the s i t u a t i o n . I f a design p r o j e c t constitutes a problematic s i t u a t i o n that provokes r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , what i s i t s action present? I t i s easy t o understand why novice p r a c t i t i o n e r s are unable to respond adequately to problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n p r a c t i c e . I t i s l a r g e l y because they do not have the kind of knowing that makes competent performance of professional p r a c t i c e possible, not that they do not r e f l e c t i n action.  We also have cases where  very i n t e l l i g e n t and decent professional people f a i l t o resolve t h e i r problems, no matter how hard they t r y .  Worse s t i l l ,  sometimes, a l o t of hard thinking even leads them to erroneous decisions that r e s u l t i n serious undesirable consequences.  or disastrous  In those cases, we could assume that those  i n t e l l i g e n t and decent professionals had also r e f l e c t e d i n action.  I f r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n could also lead to f a i l u r e to  resolve a unique, unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n i n action, on what ground could one assert that r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s c e n t r a l t o the a r t i s t r y of competent professional practice? 107  Do we ever  associate competent professional p r a c t i c e with f a i l u r e to solve problems? We also know that sometimes i t i s possible for two  persons  to engage i n r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i n response to the same problematic s i t u a t i o n but come up with two d i f f e r e n t solutions. For instance, Dorothy runs into a detour sign on her way  to work,  she r e f l e c t s about the s i t u a t i o n at hand and decides to take an alternate route.  When Dorothy's co-worker, G l o r i a , comes to the  detour sign, she too r e f l e c t s about the s i t u a t i o n at hand but ignores the detour sign and drives r i g h t through.  Imagine that  Dorothy i s l a t e f o r work and G l o r i a gets to the work place time as usual.  on  I f getting to work on time were the c r i t e r i o n for  judging competent performance i n these two cases, we might say that only G l o r i a had engaged i n r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , which i s evidenced i n her getting to work on time.  I f we use a more  complicated evaluative scheme f o r judging competent performance i n t h i s case and take other things into account, we w i l l come to a very d i f f e r e n t 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 t a l k i n g about professional knowing inherent  i n competent performance also involves the question of  what c r i t e r i a we use for judging competent professional p r a c t i c e , even i n the context of dealing with problematic s i t u a t i o n s . "What works" i s too vague to be u s e f u l .  When c r i t e r i a f o r  judging competent professional performance are i n doubt or i n dispute,  i t becomes d i f f i c u l t to t a l k about professional knowing  i n terms of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . Eraut (1994) remarks candidly that "to rescue Schon's 108  o r i g i n a l contribution from t h i s morass, I believe i t i s necessary to take the term * r e f l e c t i o n ' out of h i s 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 metacognition to account f o r p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' competent performance i n diverse s i t u a t i o n s .  For exploring the cognitive process involved  i n the context of problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n action, Schon's other metaphors such as "conversation with the s i t u a t i o n " and "the s i t u a t i o n ' s backtalk" seem to me to be more useful.  Yet,  r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s the p i l l a r stone of the epistemology of p r a c t i c e Schon proposes to replace the model of Technical Rationality.  Without the notion of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , there  w i l l not be much l e f t of h i s epistemology of p r a c t i c e . "Seeing ... as Pearson  ..."  (1989) challenges Schon's c l a r i o n c a l l to abandon the  model of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y .  Focusing on two c e n t r a l features  of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , namely, problem s e t t i n g and  on-the-spot  experimentation, Pearson argues that whereas Schon has r i g h t l y c r i t i c i z e d the model of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y f o r the omission of problem framing i n dealing with indeterminate s i t u a t i o n s , he has not made a case f o r abandoning the model. Recall that Schon bases h i s argument f o r a new  epistemology  of p r a c t i c e on the observation that " i n real-world p r a c t i c e , problems... must be constructed from the materials of problematic s i t u a t i o n s which are puzzling, troubling, and uncertain." According to Schon, each and every unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n i s a unique case i n i t s own r i g h t and therefore has t o be d e a l t with 109  as such.  What the p r a c t i t i o n e r does or must do i s to frame and  reframe a s i t u a t i o n 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 d e s c r i p t i o n . . . . To put some case under a d e s c r i p t i o n 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 i n terms of some other general d e s c r i p t i v e category i t would not seem to be unique any more.... Once the s i t u a t i o n has been formulated as an instance of a general type, the p r a c t i t i o n e r can use the standard theories and techniques f o r s i t u a t i o n s of t h i s 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 p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the MIT Teacher Project were shown a video-tape of two boys playing a game i n which one player gave out i n s t r u c t i o n s and the other put some blocks of various colours, shapes, and s i z e s into a structure according to the i n s t r u c t i o n s given.  At one moment, something happened and the  game became chaotic.  The teachers noted the s i t u a t i o n and  interpreted i t as presenting "a communication problem" on the part of the player who  received i n s t r u c t i o n .  A f t e r being prompted t o a small d e t a i l which they had f a i l e d to notice, the teachers came to a d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the situation.  I t appears to me that the teachers already possessed  two d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t i v e frameworks f o r framing the s i t u a t i o n . One helped them to i n t e r p r e t the s i t u a t i o n as presenting "a communication problem" on the part of one player and the other enabled them to "see" the s i t u a t i o n quite d i f f e r e n t l y , with the added information.  (Note: The o r i g i n a l purpose of the teachers  viewing the video was d i f f e r e n t from my discussion here.) as s e t t i n g the problem and what comes a f t e r are concerned, 110  As f a r  Pearson concludes that Schon's model i s l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t from the Technical R a t i o n a l i t y model. Pearson suggests that Schon may r e j e c t h i s challenge on the ground that when a p r a c t i t i o n e r makes sense of a s i t u a t i o n he perceives to be unique, he sees i t as something already present i n h i s repertoire. To see t h i s as that i s not to subsume the f i r s t under a f a m i l i a r category or r u l e . I t i s , rather, to see the unfamiliar, unique s i t u a t i o n both s i m i l a r to and d i f f e r e n t from the f a m i l i a r one, without at f i r s t being able to say s i m i l a r or d i f f e r e n t with respect to what. (Schon, 1983, p. 138) In response, Pearson further contends that Schon has not made a c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n 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 r i g h t ,  though, i n noting that the term which follows "as" i s a c a t e g o r i c a l term, grammatically speaking.  But seeing something  as something else can d i f f e r from category subsumption also i n what comes a f t e r "seeing." The term following "seeing" may r e f e r to some unspecified object (an indeterminate situation) to be put under some general category, p r o v i s i o n a l l y or d e f i n i t i v e l y .  In subsuming something  under a general category, the object of i n t e r e s t i s yet to be known, to be s p e c i f i e d , f o r instance, the thing on my desk, an animal or even a dog. the  The question to be asked i s whether or not  object of i n t e r e s t i s a p a r t i c u l a r case of a general type.  Is the thing on my desk a telephone? that dog a spaniel? contempt of court? of X, or Y, or Z?  Is that animal a dog?  Is  Does the defendant's behaviour constitute Does the puzzling s i t u a t i o n present a problem To be sure, i n verbal communication, the act 111  of subsuming something under a general category may  not a c t u a l l y  require the employment of the phrase "seeing ... as...." More often, "seeing...as..." i s implied i n a metaphorical expression, i n which case, what comes a f t e r "seeing" denotes something already subsumed under a general category, as, f o r instance, the product developers seeing a paintbrush as a pump i n one of Schon's examples.  In the metaphor "the paintbrush as a  pump," "paintbrush" apparently denotes a general type of thing. I t was the design of paintbrushes, not an unknown something, that the product developers were t r y i n g to improve. pumps are two d i f f e r e n t types of things. under the other and v i c e versa.  Paintbrushes and  One cannot be subsumed  Seeing something of one general  category as something else of a d i f f e r e n t category i s thus d i s t i n c t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from subsuming something unknown under a general category.  I t i s possible, though, to subsume two general  categories of things under one broader category, such as magazines and newspapers under the category of p r i n t material. But that i s a d i f f e r e n t matter. Schon's use of "seeing...as..." can now be reconsidered.  On  the one hand, a p a r t i c u l a r case of a general type could always be expected to possess some unique features of i t s own.  Paintbrushes  are of d i f f e r e n t sizes and made of d i f f e r e n t materials. extreme, we may same as another.  To the  even say that no one paintbrush i s exactly the However, whatever unique features a p a r t i c u l a r  paintbrush may have, i t nonetheless belongs to a general type of thing c a l l e d paintbrush.  Likewise, we may  say t h a t no  problematic s i t u a t i o n i s exactly the same as another.  But that  does not mean that each and every s i t u a t i o n c o n s t i t u t e s a type of 112  i t s own.  U n t i l an experienced indeterminate s i t u a t i o n i s  understood as presenting a p a r t i c u l a r kind of problem, that i s , subsumed under a general category of problem, p r o v i s i o n a l l y , does not know what i t pertains t o .  one  To frame an indeterminate  s i t u a t i o n i n t o a problem that can be meaningfully dealt with i s i n essence t o subsume i t under a general category of problems or an explanatory framework. P r a c t i t i o n e r s do run into problematic s i t u a t i o n s that defy category subsumption, on rare occasions though. physician may  For example, a  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 t r y to understand the nature of the disease on the basis of the currently a v a i l a b l e medical knowledge and at the same time t r e a t the case t e n t a t i v e l y 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 s i t u a t i o n , improvising and t e s t i n g s t r a t e g i c moves, and l i s t e n i n g to the backtalk of the treatment.  As a  r e s u l t , 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 r e l y on the  currently a v a i l a b l e knowledge and technology. That every problematic s i t u a t i o n needs to be "framed ' does 1  not necessarily make each and every s i t u a t i o n a type of i t s own. Nor does a problematic s i t u a t i o n constitutes a type of i t s own because i t could be framed i n several d i f f e r e n t ways.  I t can be  argued that the complexity of an indeterminate s i t u a t i o n i n professional p r a c t i c e does not lend i t s e l f to c l e a r - c u t category subsumption.  The p o s s i b i l i t y of clear-cut categories f o r  problems of p r a c t i c e could also be questioned. 113  However, i f  action i s required to resolve an indeterminate s i t u a t i o n , i t seems to me that the s i t u a t i o n has to be subsumed, p r o v i s i o n a l l y , under some general type of problems.  I t i s inconceivable to me  that competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s do not know what problems they are dealing with but somehow manage t o come up with some s o l u t i o n through r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n .  For the act of framing t o be  i n t e l l i g e n t , some kind of a r u l e and category has t o 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 r e l y on the currently a v a i l a b l e technical means, s c i e n t i f i c or p r a c t i c a l . I understand that Schon i s t r y i n g to emphasize professional a r t i s t r y i n i n t e r p r e t i n g and dealing with complex problematic s i t u a t i o n s , not a c t u a l l y s i t u a t i o n s that cannot be subsumed under currently a v a i l a b l e explanatory categories nor problems that defy solution.  Admittedly, a problematic s i t u a t i o n can be framed i n  d i f f e r e n t ways, as a r e s u l t of attention being d i r e c t e d t o some of i t s c o n s t i t u t i v e elements at the expense of others.  Also,  a  great many problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n professional p r a c t i c e 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 t r i e s t o draw our attention. Schon's argument i s a c t u a l l y s e l f - d e f e a t i n g i n terms of the context i n which he would l i k e us t o use "seeing... as  " What  Schon means by "seeing... a s — , " i f we read between h i s l i n e s c a r e f u l l y , i s a suggestion of seeing, d e l i b e r a t e l y , an unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n i n a novel or, to be exact, a metaphorical way. hopefully, w i l l lead to a novel s o l u t i o n to the s i t u a t i o n . 114  This,  Irrespective of i t s l i t e r a r y 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 a n a l y s i s ,  the  verb "see" i s generally used as an upshot term denoting the outcome of the complex workings of human neuro-physiological and p s y c h o - l i n g u i s t i c mechanisms. a l e t t e r on the desk,  w  That i s , when someone says "I see  the utterance i s preceded by a complex  process of neuro-physiological and p s y c h o - l i n g u i s t i c a c t i v i t i e s . I t 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 a r t i c u l a t e with respect to what paintbrushes were s i m i l a r to and d i f f e r e n t from pumps, the thinking job on the s i m 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, a l b e i t t a c i t l y , that paintbrushes are s i m i l a r to pumps i n respect to the way they function.  Otherwise  the product developer might as well t r y t o discover a novel way of improving the paintbrush by seeing i t as the witch's h a i r or dandelion.  What kind of metaphorical understanding could  possibly be a r r i v e d at, then?  "Seeing" i s determined by the  i n t e r p r e t i v e , cognitive frameworks a v a i l a b l e to the person who sees (Erickson and MacKinnon, 1991), not a deliberate but vain e f f o r t i n t r y i n g to see a problematic s i t u a t i o n as A, B, C, or D I understand that Schon wants t o use "seeing... as..." to imply a d e l i b e r a t i v e e f f o r t .  Try to see A (situation) as B  (problem) so as to a r r i v e at a novel C (solution). 115  Try to see  one unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n as a f a m i l i a r s i t u a t i o n and then a r t i c u l a t e i n respect to what the two are s i m i l a r and d i f f e r e n t . This would somehow help one to make sense of the uniqueness of the s i t u a t i o n and a r r i v e at a novel s o l u t i o n to i t (Schon, 1990). But, l e s t we need be reminded, a problematic s i t u a t i o n needs, f i r s t of a l l , t o become known, to be framed into a problem that could be dealt with.  Whereas the problematic s i t u a t i o n a t 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.  I f the product developers d i d not know what a  paintbrush was, how would i t be p o s s i b l e f o r them to t r y and improve i t with some kind of metaphorical  understanding?  Schon's observation i s correct that often i n the process of problem solving, where deliberate t h i n k i n g and language are involved, metaphors are generated.  Some metaphors can be linked  to a novel way of thinking that leads t o novel solutions to the problems a t hand, as i t i s i n the case of the product developers improving the design of paintbrushes.  Yet, that observation does  not seem to me t o lend i t s e l f to the supposition that we could d e l i b e r a t e l y make metaphors so as t o get to know what problem an unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n presents. Schon may secure h i s use of "seeing.. .as...  11  i n the  Nietzschean p o s i t i o n : " 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 d i s t i n c t i o n 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 f o r us t o understand Nietzsche's writings that express his d i s t i n c t i v e view of the world. 116  Cantor i l l u s t r a t e s h i s point  with Nietzsche's use of the term "war" and remarks that But l i k e Jesus, Nietzsche paid a p r i c e for the mode of expression he chose as the only means of embodying h i s d i s t i n c t i v e view of the world. By leaving the metaphoric status of h i s expressions unclear, Nietzsche exposed himself to the p o s s i b i l i t y of gross misinterpretations. In p a r t i c u l a r , Nietzsche made i t very easy f o r h i s readers to take the "wrong" metaphors i n h i s prose l i t e r a l l y , (p. 84) I f i n d the i n t e r a c t i v e theory of metaphor (Black, 1962, 1979) very h e l p f u l f o r considering Schon's use of "seeing... as...." Metaphor, according to the i n t e r a c t i v e theory, involves two d i s t i n c t (known) subjects.  I t functions t o h i g h l i g h t the  secondary, hidden feature(s) of the primary subject with the help of the prominent feature(s) of a d i f f e r e n t subject. For instance, the f a m i l i a r metaphor "Man i s a wolf" i s generally used, i f I understand  i t c o r r e c t l y , to h i g h l i g h t the beastly  aspect of human nature.  (There may be other interpretations.)  I f we do not know l i t e r a l l y that Man i s capable of c r u e l behaviour, the metaphor "Man i s a wolf" would convey as many d i f f e r e n t meanings as our knowledge about the wolf can a f f o r d . The metaphor of "the paintbrush as a pump" c l e a r l y involves two known objects —  paintbrush and pump.  Had the product  developer  not known about e i t h e r 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 u n f a m i l i a r what i s f a m i l i a r t o us, not vice versa (The i n t e r a c t i v e theory of metaphor and i t s relevance to teacher education was discussed i n my presentation a t the Canadian Learned Society annual conference, CSSE/CATE, Yang, 1994).  Lakoff and Johnson (1980)  suggest that the essence of metaphor i s t o help us b e t t e r 117  understand a subject i n terms of another but not i n the sense of replacing the subject with another.  To be sure, we r e l y on our  p r i o r knowledge i n t r y i n g to understand the s i t u a t i o n a t hand. That, however, should be recognized  on the basis of a c l e a r  d i s t i n c t i o n between the l i t e r a l and the metaphorical. Schon's Disposition Towards the Theory-Practice  Relationship  Schon (1988) owes h i s ideas to the influence of "a powerful intellectual tradition —  i n the work of thinkers l i k e Tolstoy,  Dewey, Vygotsky, Piaget, Wittgenstein,  Kurt Lewin, F r i t z  Rothelesberger, Geoffrey Vickers, and David Hawkins, among many others"  (p. 29). Schon (1992) r e l a t e s h i s work s p e c i f i c a l l y t o  Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e thinking.  He t e l l s us that  In the midst of w r i t i n g The R e f l e c t i v e P r a c t i t i o n e r I r e a l i z e d that I was reworking that [doctoral] t h e s i s now on the basis of empirical studies of professional p r a c t i c e that would have been out of order i n the Harvard philosophy department of the mid-1950s. I was attempting, i n e f f e c t , to make my own version of Dewey's theory of inquiry, taking " r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e " as my version of Dewey's " r e f l e c t i v e thought." (p. 123) f  In praise of Dewey's legacy to education,  he writes that  the greatest American philosopher of education, John Dewey, devoted h i s 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 r e s t of the modern world - the dualisms of thought and action, research and p r a c t i c e , science and common sense, the academy and everyday l i f e . The centrepiece of Dewey's r e v o l t against these dualisms, as against epistemological individualism and the quest for c e r t a i n t y , was h i s theory of inquiry, (p. 121) One would expect Schon, who has written a doctoral t h e s i s on the basis of Dewey's Logic and professes to develop the idea of r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e i n the s p i r i t of Dewey, to be p a r t i c u l a r l y attentive to the dangers of dichotomous thinking. 118  Ironically,  however, Schon's eulogy on Dewey's r e v o l t against dualisms seems to have s u r p r i s i n g l y l i t t l e impact on h i s own thinking about professional p r a c t i c e and professional education. Schon (1987) writes, In the v a r i e d topography of p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e , there i s a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, manageable problems lend themselves t o solution through the application of research-based theory and technique. In the swampy lowland, messy, confusing problems defy technical s o l u t i o n . The irony of t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s that the problems of the high ground tend t o be r e l a t i v e l y unimportant t o i n d i v i d u a l s or society a t large, however great t h e i r t e c h n i c a l i n t e r e s t may be, while i n the swamp l i e the problems of greatest human concern. The p r a c t i t i o n e r must choose. Shall he remain on the high ground where he can solve r e l a t i v e l y unimportant problems according t o p r e v a i l i n g standards of r i g o r , or s h a l l he descend t o the swamp of important problems and nonrigorous inquiry? (p. 3) The d i s t i n c t i o n between the high, hard ground and the swampy, lowland, according t o Schon, e n t a i l s two dilemmas.  The dilemma  of r i g o r or relevance bears e s p e c i a l l y on educational research i n terms of what problems academic researchers should study and how they should conduct t h e i r research.  The dilemma of abandonment  or a l i e n a t i o n concerns p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n the f i e l d .  The academy  grounded i n Technical R a t i o n a l i t y abandons p r a c t i t i o n e r s f o r i t s own i n t e r e s t s , and at the same time attempts t o prescribe e s o t e r i c knowledge that cuts p r a c t i t i o n e r s o f f "both from the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e f l e c t i n g and b u i l d i n g on t h e i r own know-how and from the confusions that could serve them as springboards t o new ways of seeing things" (Schon, 1992, p. 121). Katz and Raths (1992) suggest that a dilemma r e f e r s t o a predicament that has two main features: (a) I t involves a s i t u a t i o n that o f f e r s a choice between a t l e a s t two courses of action, each of which i s problematic, and (b) i t concerns a predicament i n which the choice of one of the courses of action s a c r i f i c e s 119  the advantages that might accrue i f the a l t e r n a t i v e were chosen, (p. 376) According t o t h i s d e f i n i t i o n , the dilemma f o r academic researchers and scholars seems quite obvious.  Given the "rules  of the game" of academic inquiry and the i n s t i t u t i o n a l reward system attached t o research i n c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n t o the p r a c t i c a l demands i n the world of practice, i t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r u n i v e r s i t y based researchers and scholars, e s p e c i a l l y the j u n i o r ones, t o choose between "the high, hard ground" and "the swampy, lowland" and decide what problems t o study.  One has t o be a p r a c t i t i o n e r  i n the p r a c t i c e world t o experience problematic s i t u a t i o n s and t r y t o deal with them through r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . Schon's charge that (social science) researchers i n the academy work on problems " r e l a t i v e l y unimportant  to individuals  or society a t l a r g e " instead of "problems of greatest human concern" i s , however, hard to substantiate.  How do we decide or  who i s t o decide which problems are of greatest human concern and therefore worth studying i n what p a r t i c u l a r way(s)?  Does  research mean the same i n the "swampy, lowland" as i t does i n the academy aside from the kinds of problems t o be studied?  A host  of l i k e questions about the nature and conduct of academic research and " p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' action research" i n r e l a t i o n t o professional p r a c t i c e have, as a matter of fact, been a s i g n i f i c a n t part of the current educational discourse.  So f a r ,  i n my view, a c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d , well grounded conception of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between theory and p r a c t i c e has yet t o be worked out.  Teacher educators are not i n a p o s i t i o n e i t h e r t o abandon  the "high, hard ground" nor t o keep the academic business as 120  usual, as f a r as pre-service  teacher education i s concerned.  The dilemma for p r a c t i t i o n e r s i s confusing to me.  Schon  makes i t as i f p r a c t i t i o n e r s must either depend on the academy's e s o t e r i c knowledge or r e l y on t h e i r own.  Yet,  i n h i s own  account  of professional a r t i s t r y , competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s do not at a l l seem to depend on the academy f o r t e c h n i c a l solutions to t h e i r problems.  In resolving problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n p r a c t i c e , they  r e l y on t h e i r knowing-in-action and r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n .  If  that i s indeed the case, perhaps, instead of f e e l i n g abandoned, p r a c t i t i o n e r s themselves should abandon the academic i n s t i t u t i o n , or the e s o t e r i c knowledge the academy t r i e s to prescribe,  and  Schon provides them with a seemingly good reason f o r doing so. The difference between researchers i n the academy and p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n the f i e l d of p r a c t i c e i s quite obvious i n terms of what problems they each t r y to solve and the ways i n which they each t r y to solve t h e i r respective problems.  I t i s also  c l e a r that academic researchers and scholars produce e x p l i c i t , propositional knowledge about the various aspects of the world of p r a c t i c e through systematic i n q u i r i e s sanctioned by t h e i r respective d i s c i p l i n e s .  Competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s , on the other  hand, produce t h e i r knowledge i n practice that enables them to resolve problematic s i t u a t i o n s .  Yet, Schon's preoccupation with  knowing i n the context of problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n professional p r a c t i c e should not stop us from further considering of construing  other ways  a p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between the academy's  e s o t e r i c knowledge and professional p r a c t i c e (see Boggs, Fenstermacher, 1979, 1991).  1986;  Selman, 1988;  Weiss, 1986;  1992;  Wittrock,  Many scholars working i n p o l i c y studies, a f i e l d Schon i s 121  quite f a m i l i a r 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  t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge are connected to p r a c t i c e i n ways that are i n t r i n s i c rather than e x p l i c i t , d i f f u s e d rather than d i r e c t (Bulmer, 1986;  Gagnon, 1990;  Weiss, 1980,  1991).  Shulman (1987b) comments that Schon... burdens h i s analyses by d i v i d i n g the conceptual world into dichotomous, non-interacting camps: t e c h n i c a l r a t i o n a l i t y and r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n . 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 r e f l e c t i v e cognition that occurs during complex processes of design, judgment and decision making. Schon's analyses... are i n s i g h t f u l and stimulating, but the hard and fast d i s t i n c t i o n between the t e c h n i c a l and the r e f l e c t i v e , the analyzed and the whole, the dispassionate and the impassioned, d i s t o r t s 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 i n t o Schon's topography and properly understand Schon as only t r y i n g to illuminate the problematic  r e l a t i o n s h i p between the academy's  e s o t e r i c knowledge and professional p r a c t i c e conceived under the influence of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y .  Schon i s mainly interested  i n the kind of t a c i t knowing revealed by competent performance i n resolving unfamiliar, unique s i t u a t i o n s i n p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e . And yet, he f a i l s to consider whether esoteric knowledge could be useful, say, i n the p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s framing and reframing problematic  situation.  of a  I would assume that a p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s r i c h  repertoire w i l l contain at l e a s t some (transformed) element of e s o t e r i c knowledge. The point i s that d i s s o c i a t i o n 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 i n t e l l i g e n t conduct i n s i t u a t i o n s of complexity, uncertainty, i n s t a b i l i t y , and value c o n f l i c t .  uniqueness,  When appreciating Schon's c r i t i q u e of the  Technical R a t i o n a l i t y model of professional p r a c t i c e and h i s unique way of probing into the realm of professional knowing, I think we are with good counsel to keep i n mind the E n g l i s h saying "do not throw out the baby with the bath-water." I t should be noted that Schon sometimes does not appear to stand very firm on h i s own ground when i t comes to the r o l e of e s o t e r i c knowledge i n professional education.  On the one hand,  Schon i s c r i t i c a l of professional education based on the Technical R a t i o n a l i t y model, which follows the t r a d i t i o n a l 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 i n p r i n c i p l e to applying classroom knowledge to the problems of everyday p r a c t i c e " (Schon, 1992, p. 119) . If what i s written i n the books cannot meet the demands of practice, what i s the use of anyone spending months and years studying i t on the u n i v e r s i t y campus? On the other hand, he concedes that Perhaps we learn to r e f l e c t - i n - a c t i o n by learning f i r s t to recognize and apply standard rules, facts, and operations; then to reason from general r u l e s t o problematic cases, i n ways c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the profession; and only then to develop and t e s t new forms of understanding and action where f a m i l i a r categories and ways of thinking f a i l . (Schon, 1987, p. 40) This acknowledgement apparently contradicts h i s own argument against the model of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y and p r o f e s s i o n a l 123  education based on that model.  A f t e r a l l , there seems to be  l i t t l e wrong with university-based  professional schools  that  teach a s p i r i n g p r a c t i t i o n e r s standard rules of p r o f e s s i o n a l practice, f a c t s , and operations what they need t o s t a r t with. f a c t s , and operations" recognize  of systematic  But, where do "standard r u l e s ,  come from?  them as such?  inquiry, i f that i s  How does an i n d i v i d u a l person  In what sense are they a p p l i c a b l e i n  practice? In a footnote to the statement j u s t quoted, Schon reinstates h i s argument, however, that the knowing-in-action c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n a professional f i e l d i s not the same as the professional knowledge taught i n the schools; i n any given case, the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the two kinds of knowledge should be treated as an open question. Ordinary knowing-in-action may be an a p p l i c a t i o n 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 p r a c t i t i o n e r s often have the capacity to generate new knowing-in-action through r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n undertaken i n the indeterminate zones of p r a c t i c e . The sources of knowing-in-action include t h i s r e f l e c t i o n in-action and are not l i m i t e d t o research produced by university-based professional schools, ( i b i d . , p. 40) The point Schon seems to be making here i s that p r o f e s s i o n a l knowledge learned at school may s u f f i c e i n the world of p r a c t i c e to some extent, as a s t a r t i n g ground, so to speak, but not s u f f i c i e n t f o r dealing with unique s i t u a t i o n s that are not written i n the book.  In dealing with unique s i t u a t i o n s ,  competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s 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 R a t i o n a l i t y model as f o r incorporating the kind of professional knowing as he describes i t . H i s 124  representation model has been turned into a p r e s c r i p t i o n of what to do i n professional education.  Schon's Narrow Focus on the World of Practice Whereas the f i r s t two  l i n e s of c r i t i c i s m are focused d i r e c t l y on  Schon's epistemology of practice, the t h i r d l i n e 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 i n presenting,  defending, and r e v i s i n g h i s t h e s i s .  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 p r a c t i c e . In h i s e x p l i c a t i o n of professional a r t i s t r y , Schon focuses his  attention on competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s resolving unfamiliar,  unique s i t u a t i o n s through r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n .  Schon presents  us with a p i c t u r e of the world of p r a c t i c e i n which competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s react to one unfamiliar, unique s i t u a t i o n a f t e r another, and i n between there are f a m i l i a r s i t u a t i o n s that are taken care of by t h e i r routine action.  He does not say what  makes some s i t u a t i o n s f a m i l i a r and others unfamiliar and  how  p r a c t i t i o n e r s manage to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r routine p r a c t i c e . The focus on professional knowing i n resolving unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n s has a double-edged e f f e c t on our reading of Schon's work.  On the one hand, i t seems to shed some i n t e r e s t i n g l i g h t  on an important aspect of professional p r a c t i c e which has been neglected  i n the academic discussions on professional knowledge -  the a r t i s t r y that competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s display i n dealing with unfamiliar, unique s i t u a t i o n s . 125  On the other hand, the focus on unfamiliar,  unique  s i t u a t i o n s seems to have diverted Schon's attention away from issues that do not a r i s e with those s i t u a t i o n s but rather are germane to professional practice as a whole i n connection to other aspects of s o c i a l l i f e .  In Schon's terms,  professional  p r a c t i c e , as a c o l l e c t i v e experience, operates on the basis of a shared body of "conventions, constraints, languages, and appreciative systems."  When professional p r a c t i c e i s regarded as  an i n d i v i d u a l experience, p r a c t i t i o n e r s depend upon t h e i r personal repertoire of exemplars, images, understanding, and actions that they each bring to t h e i r work.  Schon indicates that  r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n not only i s directed at a surprise  presently  experienced but also turns back on the knowing i m p l i c i t i n a person's response to the surprise. As [the p r a c t i t i o n e r ] t r i e s to make sense of i t , he also r e f l e c t s on the understandings which have been i m p l i c i t i n h i s action, understandings which he surfaces, c r i t i c i z e s , restructures, and embodies i n further action. (Schon, 1983, p. 50) But, i t i s not c l e a r i n Schon's account whether r e f l e c t i o n - i n a c t i o n would also extend t o the norms of professional p r a c t i c e or the exemplars, images, understanding, and actions we each hold i n our personal repertoire, e s p e c i a l l y when we f e e l they work f i n e f o r us. it?"  As a popular adage goes, "My wagon a i n ' t broken, why f i x  Understandably, t h i s omission has come to be considered as  a serious weakness i n Schon's p o s i t i o n on r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e . Selman (1988), f o r instance, charges that I t i s surely s i g n i f i c a n t 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, l e g a l , and other s o c i a l ramifications of professionalism. Even the obvious differences between the rights and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of 126  educators working as private tutors, and educators working i n p u b l i c l y funded-institutions, are barely noted. While Schon recognizes that the professions are invested with s i g n i f i c a n t power to define and c o n t r o l aspects of people's l i v e s , the aesthetic and i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c focus of h i s examples draws attention away from these questions. Even the obviously "loaded" d i s t i n c t i o n between "Major" and "minor" professions i s adopted without comment, (p. 188) In a s i m i l a r vein, Adler (1991) argues, more s p e c i f i c a l l y , that by focusing on surprises i n action, teachers' attention may  be  turned away from c r i t i c a l questions about curriculum content goals.  I t may  or  also i n e f f e c t diminish the p o s s i b i l i t y of the  a n a l y t i c a p p l i c a t i o n of s o c i a l science knowledge to broader and more s i g n i f i c a n t issues of education and Liston and Zeichner  schooling.  (1991) take issue with Schon i n regard  to what he considers to be the four constants —  "media,  language, r e p e r t o i r e ; appreciative system; overarching and r o l e frame" —  theory;  the e s s e n t i a l conditions that " a f f e c t the  scope and d i r e c t i o n of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n " (Schon, 1983, 275).  p.  L i s t o n and Zeichner r a i s e the concern that While Schon maintains that [the constants] are amenable to change through r e f l e c t i o n , he does not elaborate further the evolution or a l t e r a t i o n of these "constants." From our vantage point, these constants represent unquestioned assumptions that frequently contain s i g n i f i c a n t i m p l i c i t s o c i a l b e l i e f s and preconceptions, (p. 80)  Take the constant of language f o r example. developed a metaphorical  Schon himself  has  language to re-present the kind of  knowing inherent i n professional p r a c t i c e that other languages (academic and ordinary) have supposedly f a i l e d to capture.  I f we  are to take h i s language as a constant i n our thinking about the puzzling phenomenon of professional a r t i s t r y , our inquiry w i l l l i k e l y be confined within an e f f o r t to f i n d better empirical 127  evidence that would purport to show that r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i s occurring and help d i f f e r e n t i a t e r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n from knowing-in-action  and reflection-on-action.  But a l l that we can  a c t u a l l y do i s to i d e n t i f y competent performance and then make assertions about knowing-in-action  and r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n .  I f we do not take Schon's language as a constant and instead we turn i t i n t o a subject of inquiry, we may then, with Coombs and Daniels (1991), r a i s e questions about the conceptual c l a r i t y of the key concepts with which Schon constructs h i s 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 i n competent professional p r a c t i c e .  Is h i s language indeed more a  matter of r h e t o r i c (Fenstermacher, 1988; Shulman, 1988), a novel way of t a l k i n g about professional a r t i s t r y which has already been captured, a l b e i t i n fragmented pieces, i n both t e c h n i c a l 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.)? L i s t o n and Zeichner contend that teaching, as any other kind of p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e , i s always conducted within a p a r t i c u l a r i n s t i t u t i o n a l and s o c i a l context.  In the context of educational  reform i n North America, they have i d e n t i f i e d three general t r a d i t i o n s of educational thought and p r a c t i c e , namely, the conservative, the progressive, and the r a d i c a l t r a d i t i o n s .  These  t r a d i t i o n s embody conceptually d i s t i n c t i v e views of the teacher's r o l e and educational a c t i v i t y .  Each exerts i t s influence upon  the "constants" that p r a c t i t i o n e r s bring to t h e i r r e f l e c t i o n - i n action, appropriating language use, shaping up appreciative 128  systems, p r e s c r i b i n g overarching theories, and d e f i n i n g r o l e frame.  L i s t o n and Zeichner point out that  while i t does seem that, i n some sense, a "professional" community e x i s t s , we doubt that i t i s e i t h e r coherent or cohesive enough to ground s u f f i c i e n t l y the r o l e of the teacher or the a c t i v i t y we c a l l teaching. The unitary notion of a p r o f e s s i o n a l community overlooks deep d i v i s i o n s within the professional community. Conservative, progressive, and r a d i c a l educators share c e r t a i n views about teaching and, at times, the r o l e of the teacher; however, t h e i r educational views d i f f e r i n important and s i g n i f i c a n t ways. (p. 42) Since d i f f e r i n g conceptions of the teacher's r o l e and teaching e x i s t , the c r i t e r i a f o r judging competent p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e or the r a t i o n a l e behind i n d i v i d u a l or c o l l e c t i v e action w i l l also be i d e n t i f i e d with the d i s t i n c t sets of b e l i e f s and values associated with these competing t r a d i t i o n s . What's more, the bureaucratic and h i e r a r c h i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n a l conditions add further s t r u c t u r a l constraints on teachers' work. The p u b l i c school, Schon (1983) says, i s b u i l t f o r the purpose of e f f i c i e n t transmission of p r i v i l e g e d 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 e s s e n t i a l both t o teaching and administration, (p. 331) To achieve maximum e f f i c i e n c y i n transmitting knowledge, a system of controls i s put into place.  The teacher, who u s u a l l y works i n  i s o l a t i o n from her colleagues, controls student learning through quizzes and examinations,  rewarding  students who have  s u c c e s s f u l l y 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 o f f to remedial programs.  The teacher i s i n turn c o n t r o l l e d by the  supervisor who monitors her teaching performance i n implementing 129  the o f f i c i a l curriculum content and applying i n s t r u c t i o n a l techniques recommended by experts.  The teacher i s rewarded or  punished according t o the i n s t i t u t i o n a l measures of student achievements. Schon states that, at the c o l l e c t i v e l e v e l , as teachers attempted t o become r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r s , they would f e e l 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, i s o l a t e d 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 f o r the progressive transmission of measured doses of p r i v i l e g e d knowledge, (p. 334) And at the personal  level,  A p r a c t i t i o n e r who r e f l e c t s - i n - a e t i o n tends to question the d e f i n i t i o n of h i s task, the t h e o r i e s - i n - a c t i o n that he brings to i t , and the measures of performance by which he i s c o n t r o l l e d . And as he questions these things, he also questions elements of the organizational knowledge structure i n which h i s functions are embedded, (p. 337) To L i s t o n and Zeichner, Schon's recognition of the p r a c t i t i o n e r r e f l e c t i n g on the i n s t i t u t i o n a l constraints on t h e i r work i s not sufficient.  They assert that  to adequately r e f l e c t on these constraints, p r a c t i t i o n e r s need t o question t h e i r r o l e frames, appreciative systems, and overarching theories. Given Schon's penchant f o r i n d i v i d u a l action and h i s tendency to t r e a t the four constants' as backdrops t o r e f l e c t i o n , i t seems u n l i k e l y that these s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l constraints can become proper objects of r e f l e c t i o n , (p. 81) 1  They further argue that To be capable of examining these i n s t i t u t i o n a l obstacles, Schon's i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and action-oriented r o l e frame would have to expand to include more c o l l a b o r a t i v e action and d e l i b e r a t i o n and l e s s of an emphasis on only those changes that teachers can make within the classroom. In order f o r Schon's approach to 130  be used to r e f l e c t on the s o c i a l context of schooling, the four "constants" could no longer be treated as constants. They, too, would have to become objects of r e f l e c t i o n , (p. 81) Some might consider t h i s l i n e of c r i t i c i s m impressionistic too harsh. new  and  Yet, i t i s Schon's expressed intention to prescribe a  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 i n programmatic  deliberations about professional preparation  for teaching  and  are concerned about the e f f e c t that any i n s t i t u t i o n a l change  who may  have on t h e i r work and on t h e i r students' e f f o r t to learn to teach, the messages t h i s l i n e of c r i t i c i s m conveys are c l e a r and should be read with an open mind.  A Schonean Model of R e f l e c t i v e Teacher Education? Having provided an epistemology of p r a c t i c e to account f o r the professional a r t i s t r y that competent p r a c t i t i o n e r s d i s p l a y i n resolving s i t u a t i o n s of uncertainty, value c o n f l i c t , how knowing of and  uniqueness, i n s t a b i l i t y ,  and  does Schon r e l a t e h i s ideas of professional  i n practice to professional education?  What would  an RTE o r i e n t a t i o n based on Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e be like? In Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e , professional knowing of and i n p r a c t i c e i s inherent  i n competent performance, understood  as a process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , i n c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n to research  and t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge written i n books.  But  an  account of knowing-in-action and r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n i n the context of problematic s i t u a t i o n s i t s e l f i s hardly s u f f i c i e n t for 131  grounding professional education. p r a c t i t i o n e r s (continuously)  We need to know how competent  b u i l d up t h e i r personal r e p e r t o i r e  and capacity f o r r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n .  In other words, we need a  theory of professional learning f o r grounding RTE programs. Schon's t r e a t i s e on professional knowing contains two messages f o r teacher education: 1) prospective  teachers may need  academic knowledge to s t a r t with, and 2) academic knowledge cannot meet the p a r t i c u l a r demands of professional p r a c t i c e i n the context of problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n 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 s p e c i f i c a l l y , Schon (1987) has the following to say about learning a professional p r a c t i c e , when someone learns a practice, he i s i n i t i a t e d i n t o the t r a d i t i o n s of a community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s and the p r a c t i c e world they inhabit. He learns t h e i r conventions, constraints, languages, and appreciative systems, t h e i r repertoire of exemplars, systematic knowledge, and patterns of knowing-in-action. (pp. 3637) But how might prospective  teachers learn these things?  Schon  suggests that novices may learn a p r a c t i c e i n several d i f f e r e n t ways.  ( I t seems to me that the phrase "under d i f f e r e n t  conditions" would do better.) through apprenticeship  They may learn on t h e i r own, or  with a master professional, or by entering  what he r e f e r s to as "a r e f l e c t i v e practicum." own or through apprenticeship  Learning on one's  both have t h e i r respective  advantages, but t h e i r weaknesses make them unfavourable choices f o r professional education.  In short, learning on one's own may  keep the person away from the benefit of the accumulated 132  c o l l e c t i v e wisdom of professional p r a c t i c e , and apprenticeship may  often involve undue expectations and demands f o r performance.  Schon recommends the r e f l e c t i v e practicum. A practicum i s a s e t t i n g designed f o r the task of learning a p r a c t i c e . . . . a v i r t u a l world, r e l a t i v e l y free of the pressures, d i s t r a c t i o n s , and r i s k s of the r e a l one, to which, nevertheless, i t r e f e r s . I t stands i n an intermediate space between the practice world, the " l a y " world of ordinary l i f e , and the esoteric world of the academy. I t i s also a c o l l e c t i v e world i n i t s own r i g h t , with i t s own mix of materials, t o o l s , languages, and appreciations, (p. 37) In the practicum s e t t i n g , students work under the guidance of senior p r a c t i t i o n e r s who  "function as coaches whose main  a c t i v i t i e s are demonstrating, advising, questioning, and criticizing"  (p. 38) as well as teach i n the conventional sense  from time to time.  Schon refers to the senior p r a c t i t i o n e r s  involved i n the practicum as coaches rather than teachers. i s a reason f o r t h i s .  There  Schon asserts e a r l i e r 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 d e s c r i p t i o n of coaching should prove to be enlightening f o r teacher educators i n thinking about improving t h e i r own p r a c t i c e of teaching. of how  I w i l l leave to them the d e t a i l s  the senior p r a c t i t i o n e r coaches the novice (three kinds of  supervisory guidance — H a l l of M i r r o r s ) .  Follow Me, J o i n t Experimentation,  and  I w i l l explore some p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s  that would a r i s e i n an RTE program based on Schon's ideas about professional knowing and learning a p r a c t i c e . Schon makes quite c l e a r what should be learned i n professional education and i d e n t i f i e s r e f l e c t i v e practicum as an 133  i d e a l s e t t i n g f o r learning r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , but h i s language becomes elusive when i t comes to how prospective p r a c t i t i o n e r s a c t u a l l y learn.  I t i s rather odd that he makes no reference to  any theory of learning that might help to account f o r learning a p r a c t i c e i n the r e f l e c t i v e practicum.  He i s also ambivalent  about the r o l e of t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge.  He seems to suggest  that once we put prospective p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n the v i r t u a l world of a r e f l e c t i v e practicum under the guidance of an omnipotent master professional who knows the s t u f f of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , desirable outcome of learning on the part of the students w i l l ensue.  Learning outcome i n the practicum s e t t i n g i s said to be  achieved through the d i a l o g i c interactions between the novice and the coach engaged i n a project.  Schon (1987) states that  not s u r p r i s i n g l y , confusion and mystery reign i n the. e a r l y stages of a design studio or i n any r e f l e c t i v e practicum. Yet often, i n a matter of a few years or even months, some students begin to produce i n some s i g n i f i c a n t measure what they and t h e i r coaches regard as competent designing; and student and coach achieve a convergence of meaning evident i n the ease with which they appear t o understand each other, f i n i s h i n g each other's sentences, speaking e l l i p t i c a l l y i n ways that mystify the u n i n i t i a t e d , (p. 163) To the extent that [the student] has not mastered the s k i l l s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the dialogue, her attempts to learn to p r a c t i c e are hindered. But as she learns the r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n of the dialogue, she increases her a b i l i t y to draw from i t lessons useful f o r designing, (p. 165) In Schon's example of the a r c h i t e c t u r a l design studio, the students were given the assignment of a design project.  One of  the students Petra encountered a problematic s i t u a t i o n i n completing her design project.  The master designer Quist came  along and showed her how the problem could be reframed resolved.  and  The example shows Quist's competent professional 134  performance i n coaching Petra and helping t o solve her problem, but gives no d i r e c t i n d i c a t i o n of what Petra had learned from the process, i f she had learned anything at a l l . P r a c t i c a l l y speaking, teaching i s v a s t l y d i f f e r e n t from other kinds of p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e .  Professional education f o r  teaching and p r o f e s s i o n a l education f o r working i n those t e c h n i c a l f i e l d s such as engineering design take place under very d i f f e r e n t conditions.  In learning a r c h i t e c t u r a l design, the  q u a l i t y of a student's design project has no immediate e f f e c t beyond the practicum s e t t i n g i t s e l f .  No one i s going t o  construct a b u i l d i n g according to Petra's design.  The student  can stop the work i n progress and go t o the master p r o f e s s i o n a l f o r advice and help.  The two can t a l k through the p r o j e c t .  In learning t o teach, things are d i f f e r e n t .  I f we regard  p r a c t i c e teaching, that i s , d e l i v e r i n g i n s t r u c t i o n i n the classroom, as the action-present context, the prospective teacher i s under normal circumstances not i n a p o s i t i o n t o consult the master teacher when there i s a problematic s i t u a t i o n that threatens t o interrupt the flow of planned action.  The lesson  must go on whether or not the prospective teacher i s able t o resolve the problematic s i t u a t i o n .  I t i s also p o s s i b l e that a  prospective teacher may f a i l t o note a problematic s i t u a t i o n and f e e l that everything i s going well.  What the master teacher and  the prospective teacher can do i s engage i n r e f l e c t i o n - o n - a c t i o n . But, r e f l e c t - o n - a c t i o n i s not central to Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e i n the f i r s t place.  Reflection-on-action r e l i e s on  memory and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of a past event.  I t cannot make any  d i f f e r e n c e t o problematic s i t u a t i o n s already experienced i n 135  action.  I t s contribution to a student teacher's development of  professional a r t i s t r y depends on what lessons are drawn through r e f l e c t i o n - o n - a c t i o n and whether the lessons drawn w i l l be brought t o bear on any problematic s i t u a t i o n i n the future. Prospective p r a c t i t i o n e r s have to be i n action so that they can encounter problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n action.  But we know they  do not have the knowing of p r a c t i c e that enables a competent p r a c t i t i o n e r t o deal with emerging problematic s i t u a t i o n s , so why do we put them i n action then?  I t i s important t o remember that  teaching involves and a f f e c t s students.  I f we care about the  welfare of students and prospective teachers themselves, we w i l l not f i n d i t desirable and responsible to prepare prospective teachers i n action.  This may sound paradoxical.  But the seeming  paradox inheres i n a lack of proper understanding of the r o l e of p r a c t i c a l experience i n learning to teach.  I w i l l come back t o  t h i s point i n Chapter V. I i n f e r from Schon that the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of coaching prospective teachers must be entrusted with p u b l i c l y recognized master teachers, not with u n i v e r s i t y academicians.  I t i s the  master teachers who inhabit the p r a c t i c e world and have the knowledge of and i n p r a c t i c e .  But, "the t r a d i t i o n s , 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 t r i e s to describe.  T a c i t knowing i s i n f e r r e d from the observation of  competent performance i n resolving unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n s i n t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r action contexts.  I t i s not c l e a r whether the 136  t r a d i t i o n s , constraints, and languages can only be picked up i n an  action-present. It may  not be f a i r to say that Schon wants to throw out  t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge i n professional education.  A f t e r a l l , he  i s t r y i n g to make a case that competent professional performance i n resolving problematic s i t u a t i o n s i n practice requires a special kind of knowing, namely, r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , which i s d i f f e r e n t from the t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge written i n the books. Professional education should focus on two kinds of knowledge instead of one.  But why  do we need t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge i f i t  cannot meet the p a r t i c u l a r demands of practice? that prospective  do we know  teachers are developing t h e i r professional  knowing i n the practicum setting? structure RTE  How  How  programs i n such a way  can teacher educators  that prospective  teachers  w i l l get the help they r e a l l y need i n t h e i r e f f o r t t o learn to teach? Summary In t h i s chapter I have discussed  Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e  and three l i n e s of c r i t i c i s m towards i t . Schon's work on professional p r a c t i c e has i t s merit i n the p e r s i s t e n t c r i t i q u e of the model of Technical R a t i o n a l i t y and i n h i s novel way  of  t a l k i n g about knowing imbedded i n professional competence i n resolving unfamiliar s i t u a t i o n s i n p r a c t i c e .  His focus on  the  a r t i s t r y of competent professional performance i n resolving problematic s i t u a t i o n s with an emphasis on problem framing i s insightful.  His elaboration on r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , o f f e r s a  more complete picture of problem solving i n professional practice 137  than the Technical R a t i o n a l i t y model allows.  Yet, h i s general  argument about professional knowing and professional education i s d i l u t e d by the lack of conceptual c l a r i t y i n the key concepts he uses to construct h i s epistemology of practice, h i s dichotomous tendency towards the r e l a t i o n s h i p between theory and p r a c t i c e , and the narrow scope i n h i s approach towards the p r a c t i c e world. I t can be s a i d that Schon has offered us an imaginative, yet sometimes confusing,  account of how  s i t u a t i o n s of complexity, uncertainty,  and  p r a c t i t i o n e r s deal with i n s t a b i l i t y , uniqueness,  and value c o n f l i c t , that i s , r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n .  Nonetheless,  despite h i s continuing e f f o r t s , he has not been as successful  as  he himself believes i n advancing an epistemology of p r a c t i c e to i n i t i a t e further research  into professional knowing i n the realm  of p r a c t i c e and to ground professional education.  Schon's  i n a b i l i t y to e x h i b i t what professionals know i n and of p r a c t i c e beyond a metaphorical account of a process c a l l e d r e f l e c t i o n - i n action imbedded i n 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 t o r e v i s i t Dewey's theory of  r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, with the phenomenon of RTE  138  i n mind.  Chapter  IVt  DEWEY'8 LEGACY:  T H E THEORY O F R E F L E C T I V E  INQUIRY  The name of John Dewey (1859-1952) became known t o me some twenty years ago when I was learning to be a teacher of English as a Foreign Language i n East China Normal University.  As I  recall,  Dewey, and h i s 26-month-long v i s i t to China i n the 1920s, was mentioned very b r i e f l y i n a short introductory seminar on the modern history of education outside China, not meant t o be taken seriously.  Dewey was said to be a spokesperson  f o r the American  philosophy of pragmatism and "bourgeois reformism."  Dewey's  philosophy and educational ideas were denounced as incompatible with, and indeed reactionary t o the l a t e Chairman Mao's orthodox version of Marxist philosophy and s o c i a l i s t education.  That  reputation seems t o have sustained (see Zeng, 1988). My graduate study at Queen's U n i v e r s i t y Faculty of Education and the University of B r i t i s h Columbia Faculty of Education i n Canada has provided me with an opportunity to re-acquaint myself with Dewey and h i s most profound i n t e l l e c t u a l contribution to the culture and t h i n k i n g of American society.  I have time and again  come across i n the education l i t e r a t u r e references t o 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 i n the  resurgence of the American s t y l e of democratic l i b e r a l i s m (see Feinberg, 1993; Robertson,  1992; Rosenthal, 1993; Ryan, 1995) and  the growing influence of constructivism i n pedagogical t h i n k i n g (Garrison, 1995; P h i l l i p s , 1995).  There are c l e a r signs of a  r e v i v a l of i n t e r e s t i n the academia i n the philosophy of 139  pragmatism, i n Deweyan scholarship i n p a r t i c u l a r (Scheffler, 1991;  S e i g f r i e d , 1993a,b; Thayer, 1982). In promoting RTE as an a l t e r n a t i v e approach towards  teachers' i n i t i a l and continuing professional development, many teacher educators have referred to the d i s t i n c t i o n Dewey (1904, 1933)  made between routine a c t i v i t y and r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e as  well as the three r e q u i s i t e attitudes that he associated with r e f l e c t i v e thinking — responsibility.  open-mindedness, whole-heartedness, and  However, these often tend to be c i t e d as i f they  constituted some a p r i o r i p r i n c i p l e s . 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 e d i f i c e to be b u i l t . RTE  I t i s rather odd to me that proponents of  should have stayed away from exploring the  epistemological  implications of Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry f o r guiding t h e i r programmatic d e l i b e r a t i o n s . Hayon (1990), f o r instance, i d e n t i f i e s Dewey's conception  of  r e f l e c t i v e thinking with the idea of a c t i v e and p e r s i s t e n t c a r e f u l consideration of ends and means i n r e l a t i o n to s o c i a l , educational, and p o l i t i c a l contexts and the three r e q u i s i t e attitudes f o r r e f l e c t i v e 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 s u f f i c i e n t " (p. 59).  Another  example i s LaBoskey's (1993, 1994) preservice teacher education.  study of r e f l e c t i o n i n  A f t e r b r i e f l y describing the three  steps of what i s said to be Dewey's r e f l e c t i v e process, problem i d e n t i f i c a t i o n ,  (2) means/ends analysis, and  generalization, LaBoskey goes on to state that 140  (3)  (1)  One problem with t h i s model i s that i t tends to overemphasize the procedures of l o g i c a l thinking. I suggest that Dewey's attitudes of open-mindedness, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and wholeheartedness are more c r i t i c a l to the r e f l e c t i v e process than the s p e c i f i c steps. Though the stages do help to focus attention on p o t e n t i a l aspects of the general process, they are not a l l necessary to each act of r e f l e c t i o n . Any of the stages may be c a r r i e d out r e f l e c t i v e l y or u n r e f l e c t i v e l y . (p. 26) I suspect that both Hayon and LaBoskey may have read Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry the way one would read a cooking recipe i n the kitchen.  I t seems to me that they were looking f o r  a formula of r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e that could be l i t e r a l l y applied step by step i n teaching or learning to teach.  Consequently,  they f i n d t h e i r Deweyan models either i n s u f f i c i e n t or too formal. These two authors do not seem to be aware that i n developing h i s theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, Dewey was not at a l l t r y i n g to write out a recipe of or f o r r e f l e c t i v e teaching.  He was  trying  to develop an epistemological theory to account f o r knowing i n r e l a t i o n to i n t e l l i g e n t human conduct. The s i g n i f i c a n c e of Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry to teacher education today l i e s i n that i t i s a robust theory of knowing i n r e l a t i o n to i n t e l l i g e n t human conduct.  Instead of a  recipe of r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i c e that might somehow be followed through step by step i n teaching or learning to teach, we  should  read i t i n 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 r e f l e c t i v e inquiry that w i l l provide the epistemological and conceptual ground f o r RTE as a v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e approach 141  towards teacher education.  In t h i s way, the connection between  Dewey and the current i n t e r e s t i n RTE can be substantiated beyond the c l i c h e s we have become f a m i l i a r with. I do not intend t o make my own version of Dewey's theory o f r e f l e c t i v e inquiry.  My e f f o r t i n t h i s chapter i s devoted to r e -  introducing Dewey's theory and discussing the t h e o r e t i c a l implications for teacher education program development.  People  who are f a m i l i a r with Dewey's i n t e l l e c t u a l legacy know that Dewey had devoted a good part of h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e t o the development of a new theory of knowledge and he had written extensively, over a span of four decades, e x p l i c a t i n g , r e f i n i n g , and defending h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o s i t i o n .  Reviewing the e n t i r e  body of Dewey's work on the problem of knowledge w i l l go f a r beyond the scope of the present study.  I have chosen instead t o  focus on three of h i s major works, namely, The Quest f o r Certainty (1929), How We Think (1933), and Logic: The Theory of Inquiry (1938a).  I think these three works w i l l be s u f f i c i e n t  f o r answering two questions: Why d i d Dewey develop h i s theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry and what i s h i s theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry? Very b r i e f l y f o r the moment, i n The Quest f o r Certainty, we read Dewey's exposition of the problem of knowledge i n r e l a t i o n to human conduct and h i s approach towards t h i s problem.  In How  We Think. Dewey offered a summary d e s c r i p t i o n of the theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry and a discussion of i t s relevance t o education.  In Logic, the theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry was, i n  Dewey's own term, "symbolically formalized" i n the abstract realm of l o g i c . My proposal that Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry can 142  provide the necessary epistemological underpinnings f o r teacher education program development does not mean, however, that I am prepared t o take the theory f o r granted.  I f i n d i t necessary to  discuss several important elements of the theory that are p a r t i c u l a r l y pertinent t o the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach.  Making adjustment where necessary t o the i n t e l l e c t u a l  t o o l we use, I think, i s very much i n 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 r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, i t i s worthwhile to b r i e f l y look into the i n t e l l e c t u a l context of Dewey's t h e o r i z i n g on the problem of knowledge.  The problem of knowledge has been the subject of  philosophical i n q u i r i e s since antiquity.  Ryle (1989) summarizes  the h i s t o r i c a l debate between the absolute R a t i o n a l i s t and the c l a s s i c a l E m p i r i c i s t over the problem of knowledge, concluding that " t h e i r tug-of-war lacks a rope" (p. 100). To put the R a t i o n a l i s t vs. Empiricist debate i n a nutshell, from one end of the debate, the absolute R a t i o n a l i s t claimed that ultimate truths of the world were attainable only by exercise of pure reason.  From the opposing end, the c l a s s i c a l E m p i r i c i s t  i n s i s t e d 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 a c t u a l l y e x i s t s or happens f o r the absolute R a t i o n a l i s t , and the r e l i a b i l i t y of sense-data, theory-laden 143  observation f o r the c l a s s i c a l E m p i r i c i s t ) , both r a t i o n a l i s t and empiricist theories missed the c r u c i a l element of experience, which, Ryle seems to suggest, could be furnished by s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g (for more extensive discussions on the R a t i o n a l i s t vs. Empiricist debate, see Bernstein, 1983; Musgrave, 1993; Smith, 1989). Dewey had a d i f f e r e n t concern i n regard to the problem of knowledge.  He made i t very c l e a r i n The Quest f o r Certainty that  the question which prompted h i s systematic t h e o r i z i n g on the problem of knowledge was: What i s the bearing of our e x i s t e n t i a l knowledge a t any time, the most dependable knowledge afforded by inquiry, upon our judgments and b e l i e f s about the ends and means which are to d i r e c t our conduct? What does knowledge indicate about the authoritative guidance of our d e s i r e s and a f f e c t i o n s , our plans and p o l i c i e s ? (Dewey, 1929, p. 297) Concerned with the demands of p r a c t i c e i n the various s o c i a l f i e l d s i n the American Progressive era and keenly aware of the philosophical d i f f i c u l t i e s concerning knowledge i n respect of human conduct, Dewey (1949) believed that the problem of knowledge i n r e l a t i o n to human conduct should and could be resolved through an attempt to convert a l l the ontological, as p r i o r t o inquiry, into the l o g i c a l as occupied wholly and s o l e l y with what takes place i n the conduct of inquiry as an evergoing concern, (p. 321) Dicker (1976) has succinctly summarized Dewey's i n t e l l e c t u a l endeavour i n t h i s respect, Rather than attempt to describe or c l a s s i f y the objects of knowledge, or to e s t a b l i s h p r i n c i p l e s by appeal to which knowledge claims may be j u s t i f i e d , or t o analyze discourse i n which men make and defend such claims, Dewey ... t r 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  I t i s c l e a r that Dewey was theorizing about the problem of knowledge but the subject matter of h i s inquiry was  different  from what was being pursued by many other epistemologists of h i s time and before.  I t seems to me that t h i s very s t a r t i n g point of  Dewey's p h i l o s o p h i c a l thesis has rather unfortunately received very l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n from Dewey's sharp minded c r i t i c s . Dewey's p o s i t i o n on the problem of knowledge marks a r a d i c a l departure from t r a d i t i o n a l epistemology  i n two ways.  On the one  hand, Dewey d i d not pursue the question of knowledge as i t had been t r a d i t i o n a l l y pursued i n philosophy.  In reply to a  philosopher friend's query about h i s work on the theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, Dewey (1949) stated that whatever r e l a t i v e novelty may be found i n my p o s i t i o n consists i n regarding the problem [of knowledge] as belonging i n the context of the conduct of inquiry and not i n e i t h e r the t r a d i t i o n a l ontological or the t r a d i t i o n a l epistemological context, (p. 317) On the other hand, Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry e n t a i l s a r e j e c t i o n of a l l t r a d i t i o n a l theories of knowledge before h i s 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 e i t h e r the "mind's eye" of the Rational Thinker or the naked sense organs of the E m p i r i c i s t Observer.  The Kantian formula —  "The  truths of reason as the p r i n c i p l e s organizing the senseimpressions, and the sense-impressions  as the concrete material  to be organized by the truths of reason" —  would not be able to  r e p a i r those theories of knowledge, f o r i t had asserted that knowledge i s determined by the objective c o n s t i t u t i o n of the universe. But i t d i d so only a f t e r i t had f i r s t assumed that the universe i s 145  i t s e l f constituted a f t e r the pattern of reason.... His "revolution" was a s h i f t from a t h e o l o g i c a l to a human authorship; beyond that point, i t was an e x p l i c i t acknowledgment of what philosophers i n the c l a s s i c l i n e of descent had been doing unconsciously before him. (Dewey, 1929, pp. 273-274) In advancing h i s theory of inquiry, Dewey was, as Phenix (1966) and Schon (1992) have observed, at war against the dualisms c e n t r a l to t r a d i t i o n a l epistemologies.  The influence of the  d u a l i s t i c philosophical t r a d i t i o n was so profound and pervasive that, Dewey (1929) observed, We are so accustomed t o the separation of knowledge from doing and making that we f a i l t o recognize how i t controls our conceptions of mind, of consciousness and of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, (p. 25) Despite a general recognition of the problems associated with dichotomous thinking, the d u a l i s t i c t r a d i t i o n s t i l l exerts i t s unrelenting influence over the present-day t h e o r i z i n g i n and about education.  "There i s sometimes a nod i n the d i r e c t i o n of  the importance of healing the s p l i t between f a c t and value, between what can be c a l l e d true and what i s believed t o be r i g h t . S t i l l , the either/ors continue" (Greene, 1994, p. 432). The pervasiveness of dichotomous thinking i n current t h e o r i z i n g i n 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 p r a c t i c e , knowing and doing, experience and reason, subject and object, culture and nature, i n d i v i d u a l and society, etc., were symptomatic of the i n t e l l e c t u a l confusion,  i r o n i c a l l y , r e s u l t i n g from the very  i n t e l l e c t u a l development that nurtured Western academic scholarship.  The d u a l i s t i c philosophical t r a d i t i o n was, as Dewey 146  (1929) pointed out, a c u l t u r a l product of a p a r t i c u l a r time i n the  Western h i s t o r y —  "the t r a n s i t i o n of the medieval period  into that age that i s c a l l e d modern" —  and i t gained i t s  influence when "philosophy r e f l e c t e d upon i t and gave i t a r a t i o n a l 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 s e r i o u s l y debated f o r centuries over whether knowledge had to do with mind or with body, and whether i t would be possible to f u r n i s h an indubitable foundation f o r a l l knowledge claims. To Dewey, knowledge f o r guiding and regulating human conduct does not e x i s t i n 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 r e a l , except j u s t to know i t " (Dewey, 1929, p. 24), and be superimposed i n one way or another upon human conduct i n dealing with ordinary a f f 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 f o r the product of competent i n q u i r i e s " (Dewey, 1938a, p. 8).  That knowledge i s the  product of competent i n q u i r i e s 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 i n the context of the conduct of inquiry? Dewey's Theory of R e f l e c t i v e Inquiry "What i s the d e f i n i t i o n of inquiry?" Dewey (1938a) wrote, Inquiry i s the controlled or d i r e c t e d transformation of an indeterminate s i t u a t i o n into one that i s so determinate i n i t s constituent d i s t i n c t i o n s and r e l a t i o n s as to convert the elements of the o r i g i n a l s i t u a t i o n into a u n i f i e d whole, (pp. 104-105) 147  To Dewey, r e f l e c t i v e inquiry or r e f l e c t i v e thinking (Dewey seemed to use these two terms interchangeably)  i s neither the b i r t h r i g h t  of the highbrow nor the property of the p r o f e s s i o n a l .  Rather i t  i s "a human undertaking, not an aesthetic appreciation c a r r i e d on by a r e f i n e d c l a s s or a c a p i t a l i s t i c possession of a few learned s p e c i a l i s t s , whether men of science or of philosophy" 1989,  p. 97). In Democracy and Education.  1  (West,  Dewey (1916) stated,  We sometimes t a l k as i f " o r i g i n a l research" were a p e c u l i a r prerogative of s c i e n t i s t s or at l e a s t of advanced students. But a l l thinking i s research, and a l l research i s native, o r i g i n a l , with him who c a r r i e s i t on, even i f everybody else i n the world i s already sure of what he i s s t i l l looking f o r . . . . The c h i l d of three who discovers what can be done with blocks, or of six who finds out what he can make by putting f i v e cents and f i v e cents together, i s r e a l l y a discoverer, even though everybody else i n the world already knows i t . (pp. 148, 159) R e f l e c t i v e inquiry understood from Dewey's n a t u r a l i s t i c tendency i s , as Zedler (1960) puts i t , "a purely natural event no more mysterious than the process of digestion" (p. 78). I t i s nonetheless "a better way of thinking," better than e i t h e r the mere having of mental images or the recording and r e c a l l i n g of what i s believed to be true. R e f l e c t i v e inquiry e x h i b i t s both the natural b i o l o g i c a l and psychological tendency and the unique i n t e l l e c t u a l cognitive c a p a b i l i t y human beings develop throughout t h e i r l i f e and depend on i n searching f o r security under the p e r i l o u s conditions of life.  In times long past, r e f l e c t i v e inquiry enabled our ancient  ancestors to grow and store food, b u i l d shelters, use and make t o o l s , domesticate animals, etc.  R e f l e c t i v e inquiry i s such a  b u i l t - i n cognitive mechanism that we employ i t e f f o r t l e s s l y .  For  instance, when we move to l i v e i n a new neighbourhood, we w i l l 148  s t a r t taking note of, among other things, i t s physical lay-out. The p r a c t i c a l need of getting our way around, i n and out the new neighbourhood occasions the inquiry.  The r e s u l t of the inquiry  i s the acquired f a m i l i a r i t y with or knowledge of the physical environment that prevents us from getting l o s t there. To me, the f a r greater s i g n i f i c a n c e of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry l i e s i n that i t can also be a deliberate, purposive human conduct, "a process by which i n t e l l i g e n t beings d e l i b e r a t e l y seek and acquire knowledge" (Dicker, 1976, p. 1). As a deliberate, purposive, knowledge-seeking conduct, r e f l e c t i v e inquiry operates at a more conscious l e v e l and i t involves i n t e n t i o n .  For  instance, we read a road map before s t a r t i n g out on a t r i p t o decide which route we should take or to f a m i l i a r i z e with the route we are going to take.  I t i s i n the sense of r e f l e c t i v e  inquiry being a deliberate, purposive, knowledge-seeking conduct that Dewey's theory i s epistemologically s i g n i f i c a n t and pedagogically pertinent t o our understanding of PKT and learning to teach. R e f l e c t i v e inquiry s t a r t s with "a doubtful s i t u a t i o n . "  The  presently experienced doubtful s i t u a t i o n compels us t o inquire. "To see that a s i t u a t i o n requires inquiry i s the i n i t i a l step i n inquiry" (Dewey, 1938a, p. 107). In transforminq a doubtful s i t u a t i o n into one i n 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," r e f l e c t i v e inquiry evolves throuqh several phases: (1) Suggestion, Idea, (4) Reasoning,  (2) I n t e l l e c t u a l i z a t i o n ,  and (5) Hypothesis Testing.  these phases i s not necessarily fixed. 149  (3) the Guiding The sequence of  When we are caught up i n a doubtful s i t u a t i o n , our spontaneous reaction i s a f e l t need t o do something about i t . When the s i t u a t i o n i s understood as being problematic, some vague suggestion or idea comes forward f o r determining what i s the problem that the s i t u a t i o n presents (Phase I ) .  A doubtful  s i t u a t i o n cannot be meaningfully dealt with, l e t alone resolved, unless i t s p e r p l e x i t y i s i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d as presenting a p a r t i c u l a r problem that could be dealt with.  Few physicians w i l l  proceed with p r e s c r i p t i o n of medication upon hearing a patient's complaining of a headache.  The cause of the headache has t o be  determined before anything else i s t o be done.  The physician  w i l l inquire into the constituent elements of the s i t u a t i o n at hand, the patient's other symptoms, current p h y s i c a l condition, and medical h i s t o r y , etc., (Phase I I ) . In determining the problem that a doubtful s i t u a t i o n presents, or i n t e l l e c t u a l i z i n g the s i t u a t i o n , 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 c o r r e c t i o n and modification as the inquiry evolves t i l l i t becomes a d e f i n i t e supposition (Phase I I I ) . 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 s i t u a t i o n involves t r a i n s of reasoning which help t o l i n k present and relevant past ideas together.  More importantly,  reasoning helps t o elaborate the supposition r e f l e c t i v e inquiry has reached a t various moments of time and further develop i t into one that i s most congenial t o the s i t u a t i o n 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 I I .  These two  phases help bring out the complexity of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry. determining the problem a doubtful s i t u a t i o n presents, could often be more than one p o s s i b i l i t y .  I f my own  knowledge of medicine s u f f i c e s , a headache may  be  In  there  commonsense  (causally)  linked to one of the following physical conditions: brain tumour, common c o l d / f l u , a l l e r g y , stress, head injury, lack of sleep, excessive consumption of alcohol, or drug.  The physician w i l l  think back and f o r t h and consider as many p o s s i b i l i t i e s as necessary to determine the case i n hand.  To a r r i v e at a f i n a l  diagnosis that has a c e r t a i n 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 n e c e s s a r i l y follow the l i n e a r progression of formal l o g i c .  Reflective  inquiry i s continuous correction and modification of i t s own process and product, l i n k i n g past ideas with the present to the f i n a l  leading  conclusion.  The r e f i n e d idea or hypothesis f i n a l l y reached i s then put to experimental t e s t i n g e i t h e r i n overt action or i n thought (Phase V).  "The  (Dewey, 1933,  two methods do not d i f f e r , however, i n kind"  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 o f f e r i n g some medical advice f o r the benefit of the patient's recovery  from the sickness, the physician w i l l probably  also say to the patient, " I f the headache does not go away a f t e r a couple of days, please come back and see me." 151  This i l l u s t r a t e s  well the experimental nature of the practice of medicine. R e f l e c t i v e inquiry i s a continuous process i n two senses. In one sense, r e f l e c t i v e inquiry r e l i e s on the r e s u l t s of past i n q u i r i e s (prior knowledge) f o r suggestions and ideas as instrumentalities i n dealing with a s i t u a t i o n experienced i n 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 i n t e n t i o n " (Dewey, 1933, p. 42). Also, r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, while dealing d i r e c t l y with a present doubtful s i t u a t i o n , i s always c a r r i e d out i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of c e r t a i n desired e x i s t e n t i a l consequences, or with some ends-in-view, doubtful s i t u a t i o n .  i n the settlement of the  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.  I t should  be c l e a r therefore that r e f l e c t i v e inquiry involves a value commitment i n making choices of what ends-in-view are desirable and should be achieved. R e f l e c t i v e inquiry i s continuous also i n the sense that, i n Dewey's (1938a) own words, the attainment of s e t t l e d b e l i e f s i s a progressive matter: there i s no b e l i e f so s e t t l e d as not t o be exposed t o further inquiry. I t i s the convergent and cumulative e f f e c t of continued inquiry that defines knowledge i n i t s general meaning, (p. 24) In the example of medical p r a c t i c e 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 d i f f e r e n t program of treatment.  Physicians, as any other professionals, are f a l l i b l e 152  human beings. mistakes.  They may make hasty conclusions and sometimes even  There i s no guarantee that so long as we engage i n  r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, we w i l l always a r r i v e at the r i g h t conclusions or s e t t l e the doubtful s i t u a t i o n we are dealing with. The Deweyan conception of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry bespeaks thus also the f a l l i b l e nature of human knowledge and the need f o r "inquiry into inquiry" (Dewey, 1938a). capable of i n d e f i n i t e  R e f l e c t i v e inquiry i s "a process  continuance."  Having outlined the general features of Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, I could now go on to discuss the kind of t h e o r e t i c a l implications drawn from the theory t o help e s t a b l i s h and sustain RTE as a conceptual o r i e n t a t i o n towards teacher education.  However, I think i t w i l l be h e l p f u l t o pause f o r a  moment here and say a few words about the general reception of Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry. Reception of Dewey's Theory of R e f l e c t i v e Inquiry While agreement or harmony cannot be said to be a normal feature of the ordinary c o n t r o v e r s i a l 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 u n c r i t i c a l acceptance, e s p e c i a l l y i n 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 r e a l Dewey," t h e i r verbal skirmishes seem only to succeed i n making Dewey more obscure to the nonpartisan observer. For, i n disputes of t h i s kind the many problems of i n t e r p r e t i n g Dewey are quite often overlooked. Do we, f o r instance, comment on Dewey as a whole, consider h i s doctrines as a l l of a piece? Or, do we study h i s views i n h i s t o r i c a l contexts, i n the context of problems and purposes from which he s e t out? There may be, beside the understandable d i f f e r e n c e of emphasis a t d i f f e r e n t times, manifold c o n f l i c t s of doctrine and purpose within Dewey. I t i s also quite possible that there are serious inconsistencies and vagueness i n 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 i n what Dewey had written over h a l f a century ago.  I  am doubtful though i f i t i s at a l l p o s s i b l e f o r anyone t o be a non-partisan observer of "the r e a l Dewey" beyond recognizing the f a c t that people have reacted to Dewey's ideas d i f f e r e n t l y . There are challenges to be met and I believe they can be  met.  The challenges that I have i n mind come from Dewey's own writings on the theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry and from the many c r i t i c i s m s Dewey's c r i t i c s , past and present, have staged against it.  As mentioned e a r l i e r , i n developing the theory of inquiry,  Dewey was engaged i n theorizing on the problem of knowledge i n r e l a t i o n to human conduct i n the everyday a f f a i r s of American l i f e and society.  He was t r y i n g to develop a p h i l o s o p h i c a l  t h e s i s of knowledge that could help h i s fellow American c i t i z e n s i n c o n t r o l l i n g and d i r e c t i n g t h e i r personal and s o c i a l conduct i n an i n t e l l i g e n t manner i n an e f f o r t to b u i l d up a democratic society.  In other words, Dewey was t r y i n g to develop a theory of  knowledge f o r a p u b l i c audience at large who were d i r e c t l y involved i n the everyday a f f a i r s of l i f e and society.  But Dewey  was also a philosopher theorizing on a t h e o r e t i c a l problem i n 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 t r a d i t i o n a l l y concerned with.  He  was held accountable by philosophers who were also dedicated to the problem of knowledge but i n a quite d i f f e r e n t manner. I t seems as though Dewey was t r y i n g to address himself to two d i f f e r e n t audiences at the same time: a large p u b l i c audience 154  who,  with t h e i r mundane concerns of l i f e and society, turned to  philosophy f o r i n t e l l e c t u a l enlightenment  but do not command the  t e c h n i c a l p r o f i c i e n c y to engage i n the formal discourse of l o g i c and a small audience c h i e f l y made up of p r o f e s s i o n a l philosophers who,  with t h e i r expertise i n the formal discourse, would hold  Dewey accountable on the ground of t h e i r d i s c i p l i n a r y i n t e r e s t s . I t could be expected, and i t has been repeatedly pointed out, that Dewey's i n t e l l e c t u a l contribution would s u f f e r as much from some reading too l i t t l e of h i s work as from others reading into i t what i s not there.  Proponents of RTE,  f o r instance, have paid  scant attention to Dewey's p h i l o s o p h i c a l thought.  There i s  evidence to suggest that Dewey's own p r a c t i c e of teaching was enlightened by h i s theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry (Berube,  not  1995;  Ryan, 1995). I t i s important to note again that Dewey d i d not approach the problem of knowledge the way the problem had t r a d i t i o n a l l y preoccupied the p h i l o s o p h i c a l mind since a n t i q u i t y .  Dewey  (1938b) asserted that the business of philosophy, i n l o g i c 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 e f f e c t i n q u i r i e s a c t u a l l y proceed, g e n e t i c a l l y and f u n c t i o n a l l y , i n t h e i r e x p e r i e n t i a l context, (p. 633) In developing h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h e s i s , Dewey was c a l l i n g f o r reconsideration of the r o l e of philosophy beyond i t s own  self-  i n t e r e s t but h i s c r i t i c s seemed to be more interested i n what had been thought to be the proper subject of epistemology  —  the  d u a l i s t i c mind/body puzzle, and l a t e l y , the decontextualized and impersonal " j u s t i f i e d true b e l i e f . " 155  The established t r a d i t i o n of epistemological inquiry with i t s own subject matter, canons, methodology, and technical language was d e f i c i e n t f o r Dewey to develop h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l thesis.  In a sense, we could say that Dewey was compelled to be  inventive, i n a serious manner, with language.  He redefined some  of the t o p i c a l concepts that were considered t o be well established i n the f i e l d of epistemology, such as "experience," "knowledge," "propositions,"  "truth," and "mind."  He also  introduced a few of h i s own, such as "a doubtful s i t u a t i o n , " "organism-environment assertibility.  1 1  i n t e r a c t i o n , " "transaction," and "warranted  In doing so, he appeared to some philosophers to  have evaded many issues co-existing with those staple concepts of t r a d i t i o n a l epistemologies and at the same time s t i r r e d up some new controversies.  Kulp (1992) i s not alone i n recognizing that  the development of [Dewey's] c r i t i c i s m [of the Spectator's View of knowledge] i s rather l i k e the spinning of an elaborate web. P i v o t a l concepts are elaborated and integrated into Dewey's wider philosophical p o s i t i o n i n an e f f o r t to render i t s force ever greater. New concepts are added and developed as new connections and relevances are detected. I t i s t h i s kind of development, i n connection with Dewey's thankfully unimitated writing s t y l e , which does much to render the c r i t i c i s m so d i f f i c u l t t o grasp c l e a r l y , (p. 23) Dewey was aware of the d i f f i c u l t y that h i s p u b l i c audience would have with h i s t h e o r e t i c a l exposition.  In the preface to Logic.  he extended the following advice, Readers not p a r t i c u l a r l y conversant with contemporary l o g i c a l discussions may f i n d portions of the text too t e c h n i c a l , e s p e c i a l l y perhaps i n Part I I I . I suggest that such readers interpret what i s said by c a l l i n g t o mind what they themselves do, and the way they proceed i n 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 i n an i n t e l l e c t u a l way. I f they pursue t h i s course, I think the general p r i n c i p l e s w i l l be s u f f i 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 t e c h n i c a l d e t a i l s . I t i s possible that the same advice i s applicable i n the case of those whose very f a m i l i a r i t y with current l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e constitutes an obstruction to understanding a p o s i t i o n 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  r e f l e c t i v e inquiry were of two kinds.  of  Some considered Dewey's  terms r i c h i n meaning and others were c r i t i c a l of the same terms f o r t h e i r vagueness and lack of c l a r i t y .  Some spoke highly of  Dewey's s p i r i t e d ingenious philosophical thinking while others t r i e d to show where and how  he f a i l e d i n producing an  acceptable  p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h e s i s of knowledge as a whole or i n some s p e c i f i c aspects,  from t h e i r respective t h e o r e t i c a l vantage-point (see the  c o l l e c t i o n of c r i t i c a l papers on Dewey's philosophy 1939;  i n Schilpp,  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 h i s c r i t i c s i n defense of h i s p o s i t i o n , although he was  aware that t h i s was  a reply to a philosopher  not an easy thing to do.  In  friend's query, Dewey (1949) wrote,  When, however, I began to write to you i n reply, I found myself i n a quandary; i n fact, on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand i t seemed obligatory f o r 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 a t t a i n i n g the desired end of c l a r i f i c a t i o n . I f , I thought, I had not been able to make my p o s i t i o n c l e a r i n the course of several hundred pages, how can I expect to accomplish that end i n the course of a small number of pages devoted to a v a r i e t y of themes? The other horn of the dilemma was that f a i l u r e to take up a l l your points might seem to show a disrespect f o r your queries and c r i t i c i s m which I am very f a r from f e e l i n g , (p. 313) Dewey was  not f i g h t i n g a lonely b a t t l e (see f o r example essays i n  defense of Dewey's philosophy  i n Schilpp, 1939; 157  Burke,  1994;  Dewey and Bentley, 1949; Dicker, 1976; Handy and Harwood, 1973; Thayer, 1969).  P i a t t (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 d i f f e r s from most philosophers more than they d i f f e r from one another, because he challenges t h e i r common premises, misunderstandings e a s i l y a r i s e and are hard to remove. Insiders and outsiders speak a d i f f e r e n t language or, what i s worse, use the same words with d i f f e r e n t meanings, and there i s no recognized common referent f o r getting i n and out of Dewey's thought. In t h i s 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) I f P i a t t would be suspect of holding a partisan view, l e t ' s hear the B r i t i s h a n a l y t i c philosopher Bertrand Russell's (1939) concluding remark i n h i s analysis of Dewey's theory of knowledge. Russell stated, ultimately, the controversy between those who base l o g i c upon "truth" and those who base i t upon "inquiry" a r i s e s from a difference of values, and cannot be arqued without, at some point, begging the question. I cannot hope, therefore, that anything i n the above pages has v a l i d i t y except f o r those whose bias resembles my own, while those whose bias resembles Dr. Dewey's w i l l f i n d i n h i s book j u s t such an exposition as the subject seems to them to require, (p. 156) Whether there i s a hidden message i n Russell's statement i s of no concern t o me.  I t bears however c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n that  what i s at issue here i s not just how to think about some key notions of i n t e r e s t to l o g i c i a n s but more generally how to conceive of the very subject matter of l o g i c . Russell and Dewey's debate over the proper conception of p a r t i c u l a r l o g i c a l concepts i s ultimately a debate about what l o g i c i s . (Burke, 1994, p. 14) The fundamental difference between Dewey and h i s c r i t i c s seems to me t o l i e i n t h e i r respective d i s p o s i t i o n s towards the r o l e of philosophy and what constituted the proper subject matter of 158  epistemological inquiry.  For teacher educators today who  think  of PKT as something c o d i f i e d , transported into a curriculum,  and  transmitted to prospective teachers f o r future a p p l i c a t i o n i n practice, I doubt t h e i r concerns would draw them to what Dewey had to say h a l f a century ago on the problem of knowledge. for those who  But  are concerned with knowledge i n r e l a t i o n to  practice, e s p e c i a l l y the p r a c t i c e of teaching and learning to teach, Dewey l e f t behind a robust theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry to their benefit. I w i l l avoid rehearsing the d e t a i l s of the debate between Dewey and h i s 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 t h e o r e t i c a l debate between Dewey and h i s c r i t i c s i n s i g n i f i c a n t or uninteresting.  On the contrary, I f i n d the  esoteric conversation f a s c i n a t i n g and challenging, and sometimes a l i e n a t i n g due to my lack of the relevant background knowledge i n formal l o g i c on the one hand and, on the other hand, to the lack of a c l e a r connection between what was being debated on and what was  fundamentally  at issue.  Moreover, the t h e o r e t i c a l dispute  between Dewey and h i s c r i t i c s belongs to a d i f f e r e n t context of academic inquiry, where, i t seems to me,  there i s more i n t e r e s t  i n (safe-guarding) the r u l e s of epistemological i n q u i r y than concern about the purpose of inquiry i t s e l f (see the contrastive discussions by Fenstermacher, 1994 and educational research).  and Greene, 1994  on knowledge  To use Wittgenstein's metaphor of  throwing away the ladder a f t e r we have climbed up i t , I w i l l move 159  on to discuss how Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry can help us i n rethinking the issues concerning PKT and learning t o teach. But before I do that, i t i s necessary t o make some further notes on several elements of Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry that are pertinent t o the l a t e r discussion.  These are:  (1) the  antecedent condition of inquiry, a doubtful s i t u a t i o n " ; (2) M  p r i o r knowledge i n r e f l e c t i v e inquiry; (3) method of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry; (4) outcome of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry; and (5) the knower and the known.  Some Further Notes "Indeterminate/doubtful S i t u a t i o n " Since knowledge i s defined i n Dewey's theory as the product of competent i n q u i r i e s and r e f l e c t i v e inquiry s t a r t s with an indeterminate or doubtful s i t u a t i o n , i t i s important t o be c l e a r about the term "doubtful and elusive term.  situation."  Admittedly t h i s i s a vague  Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , some people have misgivings  about i t . The B r i t i s h philosopher Russell  (1939), f o r instance,  queried, The question a r i s e s : How large i s a "situation"? ... Although t h i s question i s nowhere e x p l i c i t l y discussed, I do not see how, on Dr. Dewey's p r i n c i p l e s , a " s i t u a t i o n " can embrace less than the whole universe; t h i s i s an i n e v i t a b l e consequence of the i n s i s t e n c e upon continuity. I t 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 s h a l l thus be l e d to Bradley's view that every judgment q u a l i f i e s R e a l i t y as a whole, (pp. 139-140) Dewey (1939) responded to Russell's query, and on a d i f f e r e n t occasion,  he explained  to a philosopher f r i e n d that 160  S i t u a t i o n ' stands for something i n c l u s i v e of a large number of diverse elements e x i s t i n g across wide areas of space and long periods of time, but which, nevertheless, have t h e i r own unity. The discussion which we are here and now carrying on i s p r e c i s e l y part of a s i t u a t i o n . Your l e t t e r to me and what I am w r i t i n g i n response are evidently parts of that to which I have given the name " s i t u a t i o n " ; while these items are conspicuous features of the s i t u a t i o n they are f a r from being the only or even the c h i e f ones. In each case there i s prolonged p r i o r study: into t h i s study have entered teachers, books, a r t i c l e s , and a l l the contacts which have shaped the views that now f i n d themselves i n disagreement with each other. I t i s t h i s complex of f a c t that determines also the a p p l i c a b i l i t y of "problematic" to the present s i t u a t i o n . That word stands f o r the existence of something questionable, and hence provocative of investigation, examination, discussion — i n short, inquiry. (Dewey, 1949, p. 315) x  A few philosophers have t r i e d to c l a r i f y t h i s p a r t i c u l a r concept (e.g., Burns and Brauner, 1962, pp. 174-180; O'Connor, Thayer, 1969).  1953;  On my part, I take from Dewey's explanation j u s t  quoted that we would be better o f f reading the term "doubtful s i t u a t i o n " as a convenient l a b e l or sign f o r any e x i s t e n t i a l phenomenon that provokes inquiry, instead of t r e a t i n g i t as an unrefined t h e o r e t i c a l construct.  What we need to do i s to focus  on one or another exemplary case of a doubtful s i t u a t i o n and see how  r e f l e c t i v e inquiry evolves and leads to knowledge that helps  resolve i t .  I do not see how t h i s would i n any way do damage to  Dewey's theory.  Dewey himself used many d a i l y l i f e examples of  doubtful s i t u a t i o n s f o r i l l u s t r a t i v e purposes,  f o r example, the  forked road and the mast pole. Doubtful s i t u a t i o n s that prompt r e f l e c t i v e t h i n k i n g can be divided into two kinds: one demands immediate action and the other requires a c t i o n i n the future.  In either case, r e f l e c t i v e  inquiry has an a c t i o n context i n which i t deals with a presently experienced doubtful s i t u a t i o n .  The context of a doubtful 161  s i t u a t i o n that demands immediate d i r e c t action can be described with phrases l i k e " i n the midst of doing something."  A doubtful  s i t u a t i o n here stands f o r some unexpected happening that threatens to i n t e r r u p t the course and progression of a predefined program of (routine) action.  Judgment made and action taken to  resolve a doubtful s i t u a t i o n 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 s t r e e t and decided not to make the turn, may appear to be so instantaneous that there seems t o be l i t t l e room f o r r e f l e c t i v e inquiry to take place.  Spontaneous action, when successful, i s  often accounted f o r i n terms of " r e f l e x e s " and "wits." I f we put the process i n slow motion i n our imagination, however, we can "see" that r e f l e c t i v e inquiry i s there, although, as we might say, c l i c k i n g at a sub-conscious l e v e l .  The doubtful  s i t u a t i o n i s experienced and comprehended t o present a p a r t i c u l a r problem.  What i s deemed necessary and s u i t a b l e action f o r  s o l v i n g the problem i s decided on and c a r r i e d out.  I t helps to  ensure the smooth progression of action t i l l i t s goal i s accomplished.  R e f l e c t i v e inquiry i n t h i s case i s Schon's  " r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n , " which i s , t o quote Schon again, an ephemeral episode of inquiry that a r i s e s momentarily i n the midst of a flow of action and then disappears, giving way to some new event, leaving i n i t s wake, perhaps, a more stable view of the s i t u a t i o n . We tend to "wipe i t out" as soon as i t i s over, l i k e the e r r o r one makes and quickly forgets on the way to discovering the s o l u t i o n t o a puzzle. Dewey (1929) asserted that " r e l a t i v e l y immediate judgments, which we c a l l t a c t or t o which we give the name of i n t u i t i o n , do not precede r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, but are the funded products of much thoughtful experience" (p. 249). 162  Doubtful s i t u a t i o n s that do not demand immediate action, on the other hand, assign r e f l e c t i v e inquiry with a l e s s r e s t r i c t i v e action context i n terms of time and space.  I t could be a context  i n which one prepares f o r the accomplishment of a s p e c i f i c task, f o r instance, teaching a u n i t of s o c i a l studies t o a Grade 10 c l a s s i n a suburban high school.  When i n q u i r i n g about such a  doubtful s i t u a t i o n , the teacher i s not standing i n front of a group of students and doing things such as t a l k i n g , explaining, demonstrating, questioning, l i s t e n i n g t o students' assigning exercises, administering a t e s t , etc.  responses,  The teacher i s  not responding t o a surprise i n the midst of carrying out a sequence of routine a c t i o n .  But the teacher i s i n action, doing  something i n advance i n order t o act i n t e l l i g e n t l y and achieve the intended goals of teaching that u n i t of s o c i a l studies. Doubtful s i t u a t i o n s that do not demand immediate a c t i o n o f f e r us an opportunity t o conduct r e f l e c t i v e inquiry i n a d e l i b e r a t i v e manner at a more conscious l e v e l .  For i n dealing  with t h i s kind of s i t u a t i o n s , we are afforded a duration of time which allows us t o not only inquire more c a r e f u l l y and more extensively into the s i t u a t i o n we are dealing with i n i t s multitude of c o n s t i t u t i v e elements, determine what kind of a problem i t presents, and consider the a l t e r n a t i v e solutions as our p r i o r knowledge would suggest.  More importantly, i t a l s o  makes i t possible f o r us t o subject t o re-examination  the p r i o r  knowledge our r e f l e c t i v e inquiry depends upon as w e l l as the conclusions reached a t d i f f e r e n t stages of inquiry so as t o make decisions with a higher degree of warranted a s s e r t i b i l i t y and p r e d i c t a b i l i t y over the e x i s t e n t i a l consequences. 163  Reflective  inquiry i n dealing with t h i s kind of a doubtful s i t u a t i o n i s deferred, preparatory, present exploratory action.  Dewey's  notion of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry denotes action, not i n action ( c f . , Schon's notion of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n ) . Since I am concerned with program development i n teacher education, the question I have here i s : I f we think of learning to teach as a process of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry to produce PKT f o r i n t e l l i g e n t teaching conduct, should prospective teachers' inquiry be directed at teaching as a doubtful s i t u a t i o n that provokes inquiry, or at the problem s i t u a t i o n s , speaking, that may  or may  literally  not occur i n a p a r t i c u l a r  classroom  setting? Prudence suggests that some preparation should be f o r prospective teachers before p r a c t i c e (teaching). problem-solving  necessary The  approach must assume that problems of teaching  can be i d e n t i f i e d and made known p r i o r to prospective teachers experiencing them i n the classroom context.  But, as Schon points  out, " i n real-world p r a c t i c e , problems do not present themselves to the p r a c t i t i o n e r as given.  They must be constructed from the  materials of problematic s i t u a t i o n s which are puzzling, troubling, and uncertain."  Competent professional p r a c t i c e of  teaching thus requires that teachers have, among other things, the a b i l i t y to i d e n t i f y or construct what i s problematic understanding  and p r a c t i c e of teaching.  in their  When problems of  teaching are taken as given i n the i n i t i a l stage of professional preparation, the opportunity i s l o s t f o r prospective teachers to develop that v i t a l a b i l i t y . Putting prospective teachers i n the classroom w i l l provide 164  them with endless opportunities to experience problem s i t u a t i o n s personally.  But, w i l l they be able to frame the encountered  problem s i t u a t i o n s properly, and what i f they f a i l to take note of some s i t u a t i o n s ? When a prospective teacher misinterprets and f a i l s t o resolve a problem s i t u a t i o n 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 normal circumstances,  affected by the consequence.  Under  from what I know, external intervention i n  the practicum s e t t i n g i s l a r g e l y l i m i t e d to an ad hoc b a s i s . Reflection-on-action can be pedagogically s i g n i f i c a n t and contribute to prospective teachers' development of t h e i r PKT. But are teacher educators r e a l l y sure how r e f l e c t i o n - o n - a c t i o n a c t u a l l y leads t o s i g n i f i c a n t , p o s i t i v e learning, i f i t does? I f learning to teach i s concerned with teaching as a doubtful s i t u a t i o n , a t o t a l e x i s t e n t i a l matrix that provokes M  inquiry" (Burns and Brauner, 1962, p. 175), things w i l l be quite different.  I t w i l l allow teacher educators t o think about  learning t o teach i n terms of the d i f f e r e n t phases of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry and about what external intervention measures would be necessary and h e l p f u l to prospective teachers i n c o n t r o l l i n g and d i r e c t i n g t h e i r inquiry into teaching to produce t h e i r PKT before they take t h e i r place i n the classroom.  As Dewey (1938) put i t ,  "preparation f o r possible action i n s i t u a t i o n s not as yet existent i n a c t u a l i t y i s an e s s e n t i a l condition of, and factor i n , a l l i n t e l l i g e n t behaviour"  (p. 49). Good preparation leads  to i n t e l l i g e n t teaching conduct and can help t o prevent at l e a s t some problematic s i t u a t i o n s from occurring, even though the 165  p o s s i b i l i t y of problematic s i t u a t i o n s occurring when one i s teaching can never be t o t a l l y eliminated. Teaching consists i n a multitude of c o n s t i t u t i v e elements, the teacher, students, curriculum, purpose of i n s t r u c t i o n , textbooks and other i n s t r u c t i o n a l materials, p h y s i c a l f a c i l i t i e s (the classroom),  seating patterns, external expectations, s o c i a l  values, teaching methods, and you name i t .  But what does i t mean  i n p r a c t i c a l terms that prospective teachers t r y t o s e t t l e the doubtful s i t u a t i o n we usually c a l l teaching through r e f l e c t i v e inquiry i n t h e i r preparation programs?  What programmatic  intervention measures should be designed to help them i n t h e i r inquiry?  These w i l l be discussed i n the next chapter.  P r i o r knowledge R e f l e c t i v e inquiry into teaching i s not c a r r i e d forward i n a void.  I t r e l i e s on the i n q u i r e r ' s p r i o r knowledge as the  i n t e l l e c t u a l 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 s o l u t i o n i s reached and put i n t o p r a c t i c e .  I use the term p r i o r knowledge broadly t o  cover the many d i f f e r e n t terms that denote the c o g n i t i v e basis of action, such as image or ideas, predisposition, presumption, perspective, b e l i e f system, preconception, repertoire, and the l i k e .  "When suggestions  understanding, (ideas) occur to us,  they come to us as functions of our past experience and not of our present w i l l and i n t e n t i o n " (Dewey, 1933, p. 42). Success or f a i l u r e i n resolving a doubtful s i t u a t i o n that requires immediate action i s l a r g e l y affected by the kind of p r i o r knowledge r e f l e c t i v e inquiry f a l l s back on t o comprehend 166  the s i t u a t i o n , determine the problem i t presents, and suggest solutions.  The difference between an experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r  and a neophyte i n dealing with a s i m i l a r doubtful s i t u a t i o n i n practice i s , from the cognitive side, a difference i n the richness of p r i o r knowledge each of the two possesses and deploys i n resolving the s i t u a t i o n .  This i s not to say that p r i o r  knowledge i s a l l that i t takes t o lead r e f l e c t i v e inquiry to the desirable outcome.  Attitudes towards r e f l e c t i v e inquiry —  mindedness, whole-heartedness, difference.  and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y —  open-  do make a  Also, r e c a l l what i s involved i n the f i v e phases of  r e f l e c t i v e inquiry and take into account the complexity and uncertainty of the world of p r a c t i c e . The s i g n i f i c a n c e of p r i o r knowledge i n r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, which i t s e l f i s the r e s u l t of past i n q u i r i e s , i s however doubleedged.  P r i o r knowledge may often be taken f o r granted, or  w i l f u l l y , and brought forth and used i n the present inquiry without i t s e l f being subjected to examination, and i s sometimes d i r e c t l y c a r r i e d over as the s o l u t i o n to the s i t u a t i o n currently experienced.  For instance, Chinn and Brewer (1993) have reviewed  research i n science education on the i n s t r u c t i o n a l strategy of presenting students with "anomalous data," evidence that contradicts t h e i r p r e - i n s t r u c t i o n a l theories.  The intention of  the strategy i s to cause students to change t h e i r currently held theories and adopt the target theory.  However, research findings  show that when students are presented with anomalous data incompatible with t h e i r held theory, they are often l e d by t h e i r p r i o r b e l i e f s t o d i f f u s e , i n various ways, the challenge that the anomalous data presents than to change t h e i r held theory. 167  I recently came across a c l a s s i c example i n 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 c a l l e d Neptune, i n the region where he, and other astronomers of the time, believed that no planets exited.  Although Lalande  recorded h i s observations c a r e f u l l y and even r e a l i z e d that the planet kept changing i t s p o s i t i o n r e l a t i v e to the s t a r s i n the region under h i s observation, h i s knowledge of the planets i n existence l e d him however t o decide that h i s observations had been erroneous.  F i f t y - t h r e e years l a t e r i n 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 p o s s i b i l i t y of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry being misled by p r i o r knowledge and asserted that One indispensable condition of c o n t r o l l e d i n q u i r y i s readiness and alertness to submit even the best grounded conclusions of p r i o r inquiry to re-examination with reference to t h e i r a p p l i c a b i l i t y i n new problems, (p. 141) Dewey (1938b) stated, on a d i f f e r e n t occasion, that Directing conceptions tend t o be taken f o r granted a f t e r they have once come i n t o general currency. In consequence they e i t h e r remain i m p l i c i t or unstated, or else are p r o p o s i t i o n a l l y formulated i n a way which i s s t a t i c instead of f u n c t i o n a l . F a i l u r e to examine the conceptual structures and frames of reference which are unconsciously implicated i n even the seemingly most innocent f a c t u a l i n q u i r i e s i s the greatest s i n g l e defect that can be found i n any f i e l d of inquiry, (p. 507) The presence and active r o l e of p r i o r knowledge i n any realm of human experience  i s a well-recognized fact, at l e a s t i n theory.  Popper (1972), among many others, asserts that 168  the growth of a l l knowledge c o n s i s t s i n the modification of previous knowledge — either i t s a l t e r a t i o n or i t s large-scale r e j e c t i o n . Knowledge never begins from nothing, but always from some background knowledge — knowledge which at the moment i s taken f o r granted — together with some d i f f i c u l t i e s , some problems, (p. 71) As f a r as teacher education i s concerned,  I believe that t h i s  point s h a l l be very worth (re-)making and emphasizing r i s k of s t a t i n g the obvious.  even a t the  For i n program development i n  teacher education, prospective teachers' p r i o r knowledge has u n t i l recently tended to be viewed as a negative f a c t o r i n t h e i r professional growth and i t s pervasive e f f e c t s on t h e i r learning to teach have been underestimated 1992;  (Buliough, Knowles, and Crow,  Feiman-Nemser, 1983; Pajares, 1993; Weinstein, 1988, 1990). Research and other scholarly writings are emerging on the  active r o l e of p r i o r knowledge i n the p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e of teaching and teacher preparation (e.g., Anderson, 1977, 1984; Buliough e t 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' p r i o r knowledge as a thematic focus at the programmatic l e v e l , the l i t e r a t u r e on teacher education bears c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n that at the p r a c t i c a l i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l , some teacher educators do make an e f f o r t t o provide an opportunity f o r t h e i r students to a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r personal views of teaching and being a teacher. However, such e f f o r t s often seem t o me, at the present moment, to concentrate on i d e n t i f y i n g and analyzing p r i o r 169  knowledge.  Access to such knowledge i s usually l i m i t e d to some  v e r b a l l y 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 i n  r e f l e c t i n g on events i n the practicum s e t t i n g .  What the research  says, at t h i s stage, appears to have more to do with a f f i r m i n g that teachers and prospective teachers do have something, rather inadequate,  i n t h e i r mind about teaching and that which  prospective teachers have i n t h e i r mind may  change over time or  otherwise r e s i s t change. I t i s almost a truism nowadays that prospective teachers should be encouraged to confront, challenge, re-examine, and change t h e i r p r i o r b e l i e f s .  The problem i s that at the  programmatic l e v e l the necessity and importance of examining personal b e l i e f s i s generally asserted, but the purpose of challenging personal b e l i e f s and the ways i n which personal b e l i e f s are to be challenged and changed are usually not made very c l e a r .  I t remains to be incorporated into a comprehensive  theory of learning to teach.  There are also questions to be  answered i n terms of what access we may have to i n d i v i d u a l prospective teachers' p r i o r knowledge, how prospective teachers' a r t i c u l a t e d personal knowledge i s a c t u a l l y related to p r a c t i c e , and what programmatic interventional measures are to be taken to help student teachers to change t h e i r knowledge s t r u c t u r e . Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry c a l l s our a t t e n t i o n to prospective teachers' p r i o r knowledge i n learning to teach not simply because what prospective teachers already know i s not adequate f o r the complex task of teaching but because, more 170  importantly, i t reveals t o us the conditions and operations of prospective teachers' inquiry of teaching.  The i m p l i c a t i o n i s  that i f teacher educators know what t h e i r students know, they w i l l then be able t o think and decide what kind of programmatic and pedagogical provisions should be made t o help prospective teachers i n better c o n t r o l l i n g and d i r e c t i n g t h e i r inquiry towards desirable outcomes. A r t i c u l a t i o n and analysis of personal p r i o r knowledge i s only one necessary step towards the achievement of the intended outcome of learning t o teach, the development of PKT.  Personal  p r i o r knowledge tends t o operate at the subconscious l e v e l .  The  purpose of r a i s i n g i t t o the conscious l e v e l should not be j u s t to f i n d some subject matter f o r the i n t e l l e c t u a l exercise c a l l e d analysis.  The e f f o r t should be made t o help prospective teachers  to take control of the d i r e c t i o n of t h e i r r e f l e c t i v e inquiry. Desirable outcomes of teaching and learning t o teach w i l l not r e s u l t from analysis and c r i t i c i s m .  They ensue rather from the  prospective teachers' increased understanding  of the doubtful  s i t u a t i o n of teaching and from c a r e f u l , responsible d e l i b e r a t i o n s on what action t o take on the basis of that This point can be b r i e f l y i l l u s t r a t e d .  understanding. Some prospective  teachers may conceive of teaching as a matter of caring f o r c h i l d r e n or a matter of transmitting knowledge.  But teaching  also involves administrative and parental expectations, curriculum content knowledge, methods of i n s t r u c t i o n , i n and a f t e r c l a s s a c t i v i t i e s , the teacher's own objectives and expectations f o r the students, i n d i v i d u a l students learning together i n a group, and each student's perception of and 171  reaction to the teacher's e f f o r t , among a myriad of other things. I t i s obvious that the conception of teaching as caring f o r the taught must be expanded or substantiated by incorporating these and other c o n s t i t u t i v e elements of teaching i f intended and desirable outcomes are to be achieved.  Analysis of p r i o r  knowledge may help prospective teachers t o reassess what they know but i t does not i t s e l f constitute experience  i n the sense  that they can derive new knowledge from i t to inform t h e i r teaching. Outcome or Ends-in-View of R e f l e c t i v e Inquiry R e f l e c t i v e inquiry i n the world of p r a c t i c e i s always engaged i n with some ends-in-view.  In medical p r a c t i c e f o r instance, a  physician inquires about a patient's case not j u s t to know what problem the patient has.  The physician's inquiry i s conducted  with the intention and a n t i c i p a t i o n of curing the patient of the illness.  This important  overlooked,  element of Dewey's theory can e a s i l y get  though, when attention i s drawn t o the procedural  aspect of inquiry. Ends-in-view towards which the movement of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry i s directed must however not be confused with the conclusions drawn at d i f f e r e n t stages of an inquiry.  They are  not the diagnosis of the problem that a doubtful s i t u a t i o n presents nor the hypothetical a l t e r n a t i v e solutions that one could choose and apply to the problem.  Ends-in-view e n t a i l some  intended e x i s t e n t i a l consequences to be produced by way of transforming a doubtful s i t u a t i o n into one that i s "clear, coherent,  s e t t l e d , harmonious.  11  The doubtful s i t u a t i o n becomes 172  "so s e t t l e d that we are ready to act upon i t , o v e r t l y or i n imagination" (Dewey, 1938a, p. 7). we see here how inquiry, knowledge, and action are intimately connected i n Dewey's theory. There i s a c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n i n terms of ends-in-view between prospective teachers' r e f l e c t i v e inquiry and academic inquiries.  Generally speaking,  educational research and  academic i n q u i r i e s , with the exception of what i s known as " p a r t i c i p a t o r y research" or " p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' a c t i o n research," are mainly concerned with advancing t h e o r e t i c a l  understanding.  Teaching i s an object viewed from distance and studied i n i t s fragmented pieces of i n t e r e s t t o p a r t i c u l a r researcher(s) or theorist(s).  Some t r y t o describe and explain what i t i s and  others argue what ought t o be. Outcomes of educational research and academic i n q u i r i e s are measured by the i n t e r n a l consistency of the l o g i c a l conclusions drawn between data and the operating theory.  Educational researchers and t h e o r i s t s are not required  to put the r e s u l t s of t h e i r work into p r a c t i c e themselves. make recommendations f o r p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e .  They  The thorny  question has been how research findings and academic scholarship about teaching may t r a v e l back to the world of p r a c t i c e , t o d i c t a t e or inform or transform p r a c t i c e . For prospective teachers and experienced teachers a l i k e , teaching i s fundamentally  a matter of both d e c i s i o n making and  acting upon the decisions made.  Their r e f l e c t i v e i n q u i r y i s  d i r e c t l y connected with p r a c t i c e and i s engaged i n with a view of knowing f o r the purpose of producing some intended, d e s i r a b l e e x i s t e n t i a l consequences of student learning.  To l e a r n t o teach  i s thus not j u s t to come to know what teaching i s or ought to be 173  but to know i n order to act i n t e l l i g e n t l y and achieve the goals which are also set i n the process of inquiry.  As Buchmann (1993)  puts i t , "the d e l i b e r a t i v e search i s not, i n the f i r s t place, a search merely f o r means but also a search f o r t r u l y pertinent concerns and the best s p e c i f i c a t i o n of p r a c t i c a l ends" (p. 97). The conclusions prospective teachers reach i n t h e i r inquiry, t h e i r understanding of teaching and the pedagogical decisions they make, are tested both i n thought and overtly i n p r a c t i c e . For instance, there i s much to be thought about and f i l l e d i n between a conception of teaching as caring f o r the taught and the kind of action a teacher takes i n the classroom as well as the intended p r a c t i c a l consequences that action w i l l b r i n g 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 p e r s i s t e n t l y : What do I intend to achieve i n teaching i n view of student learning?  Ends-in-view i n learning to teach may not always be  easy to envision.  There i s , on the one hand, a tendency f o r  ends-in-view t o be couched i n 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 " r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r s " and "transformative intellectuals."  Such ends-in-view are not r e a l i z a b l e unless i t  i s made c l e a r what constitutes a r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r and how a r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r d i f f e r s from an u n r e f l e c t i v e practitioner.  We must also know what i s necessary f o r a person  to do to become a r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r , i f i t i s l e s s desirable t o be an u n r e f l e c t i v e one. On the other hand, ends-in-view may be so narrowly defined 174  that they w i l l give r i s e to doubt about the s i g n i f i c a n c e , j u s t i f i c a t i o n , of achieving them. some teacher educators too, may  and  Some prospective teachers,  f e e l that what i s important  and  for  them to learn i s e f f e c t i v e ways of classroom management and methods of i n s t r u c t i o n a l d e l i v e r y that w i l l work.  Saving a  lengthy argument against the language and p r a c t i c e of management and control i n education, I w i l l maintain, and I b e l i e v e many w i l l agree, that learning to teach i s not j u s t about learning how to manage a group of people and keep them under c o n t r o l .  Nor i s  i t simply a matter of acquiring some e f f e c t i v e methods of instruction.  The purpose of learning to teach i s to develop  one's PKT f o r i n t e l l i g e n t conduct of teaching. elusive.  This may  sound  The discussion i n the next chapter w i l l show i t i s not.  The knower and the Known The s i g n i f i c a n c e of Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e i n q u i r y to programmatic d e l i b e r a t i o n s i n teacher education today l i e s not only i n i t s a f f i r m a t i o n of the inseparable connection between inquiry, knowledge, and i n t e l l i g e n t conduct.  I t also, more  importantly, comes from a d i f f e r e n t conception of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the knower and the known that the theory brings forth, even though Dewey's d e f i n i t i o n of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry does not e x p l i c i t l y include t h i s c r u c i a l element. Dewey's theory of knowledge r e i n s t a t e s the inseparable connection between a knowing or i n q u i r i n g person and what i s to be known.  Knowledge i s the product of competent i n q u i r y .  To  inquire so as to know, there must be an i n q u i r i n g person who the intention to know.  The knower, that i s , the i n q u i r i n g 175  has  person, i s not a passive r e c i p i e n t of what i s known as given. The knower comes to know through his/her i n t e r a c t i o n with the "doubtful s i t u a t i o n . "  This means that PKT i s a c t i v e l y produced  by the knower i n q u i r i n g into teaching, not something which i s produced by research and t h e o r i z i n g and then packaged i n t o the curriculum to be i n t e r n a l i z e d , and then applied. I t i s important  to note that the knower does not e x i s t as an  "autonomous" t r a d i t i o n a l 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, c l a s s , and gender, l i v e s and acts as a member of a (divided) community and society, with s e l f i n t e r e s t s , values, and b e l i e f s , and at the same time subjected to a l l kinds of i n t e r n a l and external influences and  pressures.  Knowing, i n short, i s thus also a s o c i a l act and knowledge a s o c i a l product.  I t i s "a matter of v i t a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a  world of which i t i s a part rather than the i d l e glances of a d i s i n t e r e s t e d and outside watcher" (Geiger, 1955,  p. 141).  For  prospective teachers, t h e i r PKT i s developed i n the process of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry they are engaged i n . The b r i e f account of the pursuit of PKT i n teacher  education  program development i n Chapter I shows that the thinking involved at the programmatic l e v e l 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 i n d i v i d u a l teachers' personal knowledge.  The on-going debate over the c l a s s i c question of  "What knowledge i s of most worth" has had s u r p r i s i n g l y e f f e c t on t h i s very fundamental thinking that guides 176  little  teacher  education program development and pedagogical p r a c t i c e .  The  assumption i s that once prospective teachers acquire the prescribed knowledge, they w i l l apply i t i n the classroom s e t t i n g , or, to put i t i n a d i f f e r e n t way, prepared f o r teaching i n the classroom. flow of knowledge:  There i s t h i s one  External knowledge —  Practice of Teaching.  they w i l l become way  Prospective teachers  —  The standard problems f o r teacher  educators are how to s e l e c t the curriculum content and get i t across to prospective teachers.  The nature of the t h e o r e t i c a l  knowledge transmitted has been debated upon l a r g e l y outside the realm of teaching and learning to teach. Dewey's theory of inquiry suggests a d i f f e r e n t way  of  thinking about the issues concerning PKT and learning to teach i n teacher education.  The focus i s on prospective teachers engaging  i n r e f l e c t i v e inquiry.  In other words, i t puts the knowing and  learning person f i r s t i n 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 t h e i r p r i o r knowledge into the process of learning to teach.  Through inquiry, they produce t h e i r  personal PKT to inform t h e i r p r a c t i c e .  They must therefore not  be treated as mere r e c i p i e n t s of prescribed knowledge, of what i s deemed necessary f o r them to know. Since knowing, both t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l , p r o f e s s i o n a l and ordinary, i s an evergoing concern of an inquirer i n t e r a c t i n g 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. 177  The  conclusions prospective teachers reach i n t h e i r r e f l e c t i v e inquiry into teaching r e s u l t from the i n t e r a c t i o n between t h e i r i n t e r n a l conditions — i n t e r e s t , etc., —  t h e i r p r i o r knowledge, d i s p o s i t i o n ,  and the external conditions that c o n s t i t u t e  the doubtful s i t u a t i o n that they t r y to resolve.  We  should  always be consciously aware of the p o s s i b i l i t y that the i n t e r n a l conditions of the i n q u i r e r are inadequate and need to be further developed, and deficiency i n the i n t e r n a l conditions w i l l lead to inadequate or even mis-interpretation of the doubtful s i t u a t i o n , which w i l l i n turn abort the e f f o r t to resolve the s i t u a t i o n . Possibly, confusion w i l l a r i s e i n both thinking and action. A doubtful s i t u a t i o n i s a t o t a l e x i s t e n t i a l matrix made up of c o n s t i t u t i v e elements that are obscure, d i s o r d e r l y , and sometimes c o n f l i c t i n g .  Through r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, an i n q u i r e r  i d e n t i f i e s the elements and t r i e s to organize them i n t o an orderly and coherent system as the i n t e l l e c t u a l basis of action. In dealing with a complex doubtful s i t u a t i o n , i t i s possible that r e f l e c t i v e inquiry as i t i s directed and c o n t r o l l e d may  neglect  some of i t s c o n s t i t u t i v e elements which nonetheless must be taken into consideration i f ends-in-view are to be set and met. neglected elements may irrelevant.  have been perceived as i n s i g n i f i c a n t or  Or, they may  realm of experience. having recognized  simply be outside of the i n q u i r e r ' s  Another p o s s i b i l i t y i s that the i n q u i r e r ,  the relevant elements, may  s t i l l f a i l to  construct them into a harmonious, u n i f i e d whole. between the recognized drawn.  A person may  The  c o n s t i t u t i v e elements may  The r e l a t i o n s be a r b i t r a r i l y  be able to a r t i c u l a t e several d i f f e r e n t  views of teaching which do not form a coherent system of 178  thinking.  In such a case, r e f l e c t i v e inquiry would very l i k e l y  f a i l t o produce adequate knowledge, leading action to undesirable consequences. Because of the conjectural nature of knowledge, r e f l e c t i v e inquiry cannot guarantee the achievement of ends-in-view i n practice.  For no b e l i e f , whether i n science or i n common sense,  can be " s e t t l e d i n such a way as not to be subject t o r e v i s i o n i n further inquiry" (Dewey, 1938a, p. 9). Where p r a c t i c e means the actual performance of a p a r t i c u l a r task, such as r e p a i r i n g a gate, l e c t u r i n g on the subject of freedom, etc., we have no other way out but, as Dewey (1929) put i t , "act, but a c t at your p e r i l " (p. 10). This does not mean that r e f l e c t i v e inquiry makes no difference.  What we come to know through r e f l e c t i v e inquiry  enables us to act i n the best i n t e l l i g e n t way we can. R e f l e c t i v e inquiry can turn back on i t s e l f , subjecting the completed operations and conclusions to re-examination. what Dewey (1938a) c a l l e d "inquiry into inquiry."  This i s  "Inquiry  into  inquiry" does not produce absolute knowledge e i t h e r but helps to reduce the degree of chance i n 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 r e s u l t s of inquiry as well as the inquirer's a b i l i t y of a n t i c i p a t i n g the existential  consequences.  Furthermore, r e f l e c t i v e inquiry i s an ongoing process, not only i n the sense that new s i t u a t i o n s a r i s e a f t e r o l d ones have been resolved,  but also i n the sense that some doubtful  s i t u a t i o n s are so complex that they can never be expected to be s e t t l e d once f o r a l l , f o r example, the o r i g i n of the universe, the assassination of the American president J.F. Kennedy, running 179  the government at the federal, p r o v i n c i a l , and municipal l e v e l s , etc.  Teaching i n the classroom i s also such a  situation.  doubtful  The more p e r s i s t e n t l y we inquire into teaching,  the  more knowledgeable we become and the better control we w i l l have over the e x i s t e n t i a l consequences of our teaching.  Reflective  inquiry i n the sense of reflection-on-action also enables us to evaluate and learn from the e x i s t e n t i a l consequences, whether they are regarded as success or f a i l u r e . A thoughtful person... while he cannot c a l l [his overt deeds] back and must stand t h e i r consequences, he gives a l e r t attention to what they teach him about h i s conduct as well as to the n o n - i n t e l l e c t u a l consequences. He makes a problem out of consequences of conduct, looking into the causes from which they probably resulted, e s p e c i a l l y the causes that l i e , i n h i s own habits and desires. (Dewey, 1933, p. 116) The ongoing process of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry into teaching i t s end only when a teacher stops teaching.  comes to  At that time, i t i s  not that the doubtful s i t u a t i o n of teaching has been s e t t l e d but rather that the teacher i s not confronted with the s i t u a t i o n any more.  Some r e t i r e d teachers may  s t i l l be interested i n thinking  and t a l k i n g about teaching and be concerned about what i s going on i n the classroom, but t h e i r i n t e r e s t no longer has any d i r e c t connection to p r a c t i c a l action, f o r no p r a c t i c a l a c t i o n i s demanded of them. Method One  of the topics that received extensive coverage i n Dewey's  epistemological  thesis i s the issue of method.  Dewey's p o s i t i o n  i n t h i s regard i s quite e x p l i c i t , although i t does not seem to to be always consistent.  Dewey saw 180  me  the issue of method a matter  within r e f l e c t i v e inquiry.  Methods of r e f l e c t i v e i n q u i r y are not  to be superimposed from outside i n but are developed and refined within the process of inquiry. The method that i s employed i n discovery, i n r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, cannot possibly be i d e n t i f i e d with the method that emerges a f t e r the discovery i s made. ... The common assumption that unless the p u p i l from the outset consciously recognizes and e x p l i c i t l y states the method l o g i c a l l y implied i n the r e s u l t he i s to reach, he w i l l have no method and h i s mind w i l l work confusedly or a n a r c h i c a l l y i s f a l l a c i o u s . (Dewey 1933, p. 128) A l l l o g i c a l forms (with t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c properties) a r i s e within the operation of inquiry and are concerned with control of inquiry so that i t may y i e l d warranted assertions. (Dewey, 1938a, pp. 3-4) The search f o r the pattern of inquiry i s , accordingly, not one i n s t i t u t e d i n the dark or at large. I t i s checked and c o n t r o l l e d by knowledge of the kinds of inquiry that have and that have not worked; methods which, as was pointed out e a r l i e r , can be so compared as to y i e l d reasoned or r a t i o n a l conclusions, (p. 104) Dewey also believed that the experimental method of modern science featuring observation,  abstraction, experimentation,  v e r i f i c a t i o n , and generalization would be the method f o r r e f l e c t i v e inquiry i n various s o c i a l f i e l d s .  Schon (1992)  comments that [Dewey] reveals, at l e a s t , i n Logic, a f a i t h i n the progress that can be achieved by applying to human, s o c i a l , and p o l i t i c a l problems the methods that he thought had worked so well i n f i e l d s l i k e metallurgy, agronomy, and medicine, (p. 122) The d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n i n s o c i a l 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 u n i f y i n g method f o r i n q u i r i e s i n  the various s o c i a l f i e l d s and i t i s doubtful that i t ever w i l l , unless the term "method" i s not l i m i t e d to the t e c h n i c a l , procedural aspects of s c i e n t i f i c inquiry. 181  Dewey himself seemed  sometimes to express views that appear to counter h i s own f a i t h i n the " s c i e n t i f i c method," e s p e c i a l l y when common sense and values are under consideration. Dewey (1929) asserted that there i s no kind of inquiry which has a monopoly o f the honourable t i t l e of knowledge. ... The c r i t e r i o n of knowledge l i e s i n the method used to secure consequences and not i n metaphysical conceptions of the nature of the r e a l . (pp. 210-211) He repeatedly pointed out i n Logic that The difference that now e x i s t s between common sense and science i s a s o c i a l , rather than a l o g i c a l matter. ... a difference of languages. (Dewey, 1938a, p. 77) The attainment of u n i f i e d methods (for s o c i a l inquiry) means that the fundamental unity of the structure of inquiry i n common sense and science be recognized, t h e i r difference being one i n the problems with which they are d i r e c t l y concerned, not i n t h e i r respective l o g i c s , (p. 79) [The difference between common sense and s c i e n t i f i c i n q u i r i e s ] resides i n t h e i r respective subject-matters, not i n t h e i r basic l o g i c a l forms and r e l a t i o n s ; that the difference i n subject-matters i s due to the difference i n the problems r e s p e c t i v e l y involved; and, f i n a l l y , that t h i s difference sets up a d i f f e r e n c e i n the ends or objective consequences they are concerned to achieve, (pp. 114-115) However, when Dewey turned h i s attention to the " s c i e n t i f i c method,"  the p o s i t i o n he took seemed to be subtly s h i f t e d , which  may help t o i l l u s t r a t e that Dewey's own thinking about r e f l e c t i v e inquiry i n respect of method was, i n h i s own words, " s o c i a l l y conditioned"  (p. 19). He drew h i s i l l u s t r a t i o n s from the  operations of i n d u s t r i a l a r t s and believed the p r i n c i p l e s of s c i e n t i f i c experimentation also underlay operations of s o c i a l inquiry.  Against t h i s observation,  common sense inquiry seems  suddenly to have l o s t 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 t o do with the interactions into which l i v i n g creatures enter i n connection with environing conditions i n order t o e s t a b l i s h objects of use and enjoyment, the symbols employed are those which have been determined i n the habitual culture of a group. They form a system but the system i s p r a c t i c a l rather than i n t e l l e c t u a l . I t i s constituted by the t r a d i t i o n s , occupations, techniques, i n t e r e s t s , and established i n s t i t u t i o n s of the group. The meanings that compose i t are c a r r i e d i n the common everyday language of communication between members of the group. The means involved i n t h i s common language system determine what individuals of the group may and may not do i n r e l a t i o n to physical objects and i n r e l a t i o n s t o one another. They regulate what can be used and enjoyed and how use and enjoyment s h a l l occur, (p. 115) The operations of common sense are r e s t r i c t e d because of t h e i r dependence upon l i m i t e d instrumentalities, namely, bodily organs supplemented by instrumental apparatus that was invented t o a t t a i n p r a c t i c a l u t i l i t i e s and enjoyments rather than f o r the sake of conducting inquiry. The cumulative e f f e c t of these operations conducted f o r a p r a c t i c a l end i s t o give authority t o a set of conceptions made f a m i l i a r i n a given culture, (p. 534) Should the " s c i e n t i f i c method" be i n s t i t u t e d i n i n q u i r i e s i n the various kinds of s o c i a l practice t o achieve t h e i r respective ends-in-view, those of "use and enjoyment"?  Does common sense  inquiry i n various s o c i a l f i e l d s already command i t s own methods developed out of p r i o r i n q u i r i e s and t o be refined i n 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 t h e i r epistemologies, but by t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r purposes and subject matters: the pattern of inquiry i s the same i n both" (p. 122).  Then the issue w i l l be turned back t o the process of  r e f l e c t i v e inquiry i t s e l f i n the various s o c i a l f i e l d s i n which i t i s engaged.  Greene (1994) comments on Dewey's f a i t h i n 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 i n terms of doing and i t s r e s u l t s and the importance of avoiding the assumption that what knowledge must be had to be known i n advance.... In another text, he objected once more to any supreme devotion to a s i n g l e t r u t h and, i n f a c t , 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 t h i s i n s p i t e of h i s e a r l i e r insistence on "the primacy of method." Treating science as truth meaning, he wrote that i t should not have "monopolistic j u r i s d i c t i o n " over a l l other meanings, (p. 434) Perhaps we should understand Dewey's f a i t h i n the  "scientific  method" not i n terms of the t e c h n i c a l , procedural aspect of inquiry i n modern physical sciences but i n terms of the r e q u i s i t e a t t i t u d e s he i d e n t i f i e d — responsibility —  open-mindedness, whole-heartedness and  that form a person's d i s p o s i t i o n favourable to  an on-going engagement of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry.  To quote Dewey  (1904) himself, I t cannot be too strongly emphasized that t h i s s c i e n t i f i c method i s the method of mind i t s e l f . The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s , interpretations, explanations, and generalizations which make subject-matter a branch of study do not l i e externally i n facts apart from mind. They r e f l e c t the attitudes and workings of mind i n i t s endeavour to bring raw material of experience to a point where i t at once s a t i s f i e s 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 f a c t 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 f a c t s from whatever source they come; to give f u l l attention to a l t e r n a t i v e 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 i n the b e l i e f s that are dearest to us. (Dewey, 1933, p. 30) Being whole-hearted means that we inquire i n t o teaching  f o r the  purpose of understanding i t s complexity i n order to act i n an i n t e l l i g e n t manner, not for the sake of j u s t knowing something 184  about teaching or meeting some i n s t i t u t i o n a l or administrative requirements.  For prospective teachers and teachers a l i k e , being  responsible means being consciously aware of the need to c a r e f u l l y consider the ends and means of teaching,  thereby  ensuring that what they plan to do for/with t h e i r students i n the classroom w i l l not lead t o undesirable or even harmful p r a c t i c a l consequences.  Teaching r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s fundamentally  a moral  responsibility. Summary Proponents of RTE often profess t o draw t h e i r i n s p i r a t i o n from Dewey's idea of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry.  However, few have given much  serious consideration to i t s epistemological implications f o r the development of teacher education programs.  In t h i s chapter, I  have introduced the major features of Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry and discussed several elements of the theory that I perceive to be p a r t i c u l a r l y pertinent to our thinking about PKT and learning to teach.  I have d e l i b e r a t e l y chosen to  stay away from the abstract, t e c h n i c a l aspects of Dewey's theory for the reason that they c o n s t i t u t e a d i f f e r e n t kind of subject matter and belong t o a d i f f e r e n t realm of inquiry. Feiman-Nemser (1990) suggests that i d e a l l y , a conceptual o r i e n t a t i o n includes a view of teaching and learning and a theory about learning to teach. Such ideas should give d i r e c t i o n t o the p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s of teacher preparation such as program planning, course development, i n s t r u c t i o n , supervision, and evaluation, (p. 220) Feiman-Nemser's notion of a conceptual o r i e n t a t i o n o f f e r s a very useful framework for thinking about the fundamental t h e o r e t i c a l 185  as well as p r a c t i c a l issues concerning the organization and p r a c t i c e of teacher education.  How can Dewey's theory of  r e f l e c t i v e inquiry help us address those issues? I t i s quite obvious that Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry does not contain an e x p l i c i t view of teaching, f o r the development of the theory i t s e l f was i n 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 i n any s i g n i f i c a n t 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 l e v e l s of education, i s i n the f i n a l analysis an i n t e n t i o n a l conduct of the teacher t o intervene i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l , moral, psychological, physical, and s o c i a l development of other people, often younger ones.  I f any measure of i n s t i t u t i o n a l intervention i s t o have  the intended e f f e c t on prospective teachers' l e a r n i n g to teach, i t i s e s s e n t i a l that programmatic and pedagogical decisions be made on the basis of an adequate understanding of learning to teach, instead of resorting t o 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 a f f o r d to ignore.  But, they are the  means t o be employed i n helping prospective teachers to develop t h e i r 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 e x p l i c i t view of teaching i s not a part of Dewey's theory of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, a theory about learning to 186  teach can be well derived from i t .  I n c i d e n t a l l y , one of the  c h i e f misgivings about Dewey's theory has been that " i n developing h i s own p o s i t i v e epistemological views, Dewey has spoken at length about what i s involved i n 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 p o s i t i o n i n  t h i s regard, 1976).  To quote Dewey (1938a) again, "knowledge,  as an abstract term, i s a name f o r the product of competent i n q u i r i e s " (p. 8). For prospective teachers to develop t h e i r PKT,  they must inquire into teaching.  As Perkinson  (1984)  asserts, knowledge i s not transmitted or transferred from one human being t o another, nor i s i t transmitted by a book. I t 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 c o n s t r u c t i v i s t conception of PKT may give r i s e to concerns about r e l a t i v i s m .  The worry i s not necessary,  though,  f o r the r e a l issue i n teacher education program development i s not about the comparative r e l i a b i l i t y and t r u t h values of t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge, objective and p u b l i c , measured against personal p r a c t i c a l knowledge, subjective and i n t u i t i v e .  What  needs to be c a r e f u l l y (re-)considered i s the r o l e of external knowledge rooted i n d i f f e r e n t p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n s , p o s i t i v i s t , i n t e r p r e t i v e , c r i t i c a l , as well as the norms and conventional wisdom of the teaching profession, i n prospective teachers' r e f l e c t i v e 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 p r a c t i c e of teaching? This question w i l l be discussed i n l i g h t of Dewey's theory of 187  inquiry i n 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  t h e s i s , the problem of knowledge i s considered i n the context of the conduct of r e f l e c t i v e inquiry, which i s an evergoing concern. I t i s competent inquiry that produces knowledge that d i r e c t s and controls human conduct.  While the unison of inquiry, knowledge,  and action i s emphasized, the d i s t i n c t i o n between the three i s as c l e a r as i t i s easy to see.  Knowledge claims can be tested i n  thought and/or i n overt action, i n terms of t h e i r "warranted a s s e r t i b i l i t y " and " p r e d i c t a b i l i t y " i n regard to t h e i r e x i s t e n t i a l consequences.  The implication for learning t o teach  and teacher education program development i s quite c l e a r : i f we could help prospective  teachers t o have better control of the  conditions and operations of t h e i r r e f l e c t i v e inquiry i n t o teaching,  they would be better able to develop t h e i r PKT f o r  i n t e l l i g e n t conduct of teaching. In contrast, Schon's epistemology of p r a c t i c e i s concerned with ascertaining and representing knowing i n and of p r a c t i c e .  a s p e c i a l kind of professional  In Schon's account, p r a c t i t i o n e r s '  knowing i n and of p r a c t i c e , the t a c i t kind, i s described process of r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o