UBC Theses and Dissertations
Student-teacher reflection in the practicum setting Clarke, Anthony
This study demonstrated that the notions of reflective practice, as advocated by Donald Schon, are applicable to student-teachers in practica settings. For Schon, a practitioner is reflective when he or she becomes intrigued or curious about some element of the practice setting, frames it i n terms of the particulars of the setting, reframes it in terms of past experience and knowledge, and then develops a plan for future action. Reframing occurs as a response to the 'back talk' in the action setting where something does not happen as expected (producing the 'curious' or 'intrigued' response). A number of issues specific to student-teacher reflection emerged from the analysis of four student-teachers engaged in a thirteen week practicum. The analysis was guided by three research questions: What is it that student teachers reflect upon?; What precipitates that reflection?; and What factors enhance or constrain that reflection? The student-teachers in this study reflected upon three main issues: the ownership of their practice; pupil learning; and the different levels of their understanding of practice. From the analysis, it was possible to identify up to four different précipitants or triggers for the types of reflective activity documented: a primary and secondary precipitant at each of the framing and reframing stages. The secondary precipitant at the reframing stage was deemed to be the most significant i n terms of student-teacher reflection. Factors that either enhanced or constrained reflection have been summarized in terms of their implications for enhancing reflective practice. These factors included: exposure to a multiplicity of perspectives; intense examination of one's practice; theorizing about one's practice; and the ability to entertain uncertainty. Finally, the study contributes in three ways to Schon's conceptualization of reflection as it applies to student-teachers in practica settings. Firstly, reflection is bom of incidents but is thematic in nature. Secondly, ownership of one's practice is central to a variety of reflective concerns raised by student teachers. Finally, Schon's coaching models need to be reviewed in light of changes that occur in the relationship between student and sponsor as the action which students reflect upon moves from a virtual world of planning to the real world of performance.
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