ERG SES G 06, Primary Education
This study is a PhD project centered in reflection as investigation and its implications on teachers’ development during their internship. The study is focused in primary school teachers’ initial education institutions in Oporto, Portugal, after the transformations caused by Bologna Process.
Our main goal is to identify reflection practices during internship and in what way it becomes a disposal of investigation and professional development.
Initial primary school teachers’ education has been a subject of several changes (Pereira, 2007) and studies (cf. Estrela, Esteves and Rodrigues, 2002; Campos, 2013), but it doesn’t necessarily mean more quality (Zeichner, 2008). The last change occurred when the Bologna process was implemented. One of its consequences was the need of a Master degree to professionalization (cf. Campos, 2013). In Portugal, most of institutions, allied primary school teachers’ education with childhood education or with the 2nd cycle (5 and 6 years of school education) teachers.
Internships are considered by authors (Lopes, Pereira and Sousa, 2014) and by students as well, as a very important part of initial education. This term is rich in activities which promote the application of the knowledge and ideas studied during training first years (Moreira, Paiva, Vieira, Barbosa and Fernandes, 2006). In this way, it is a proper moment for students to reflect about what they do in practice, which may lead to their growth. During this term, they are guided by a cooperating teacher, who as Pereira (2011: 47) says “constitutes the interface, the means of communication between the scientific discourse and the practice discourse”, and promotes “conditions that enabled the experimentation, confrontation and agreement on a sustained basis, both theoretically and empirically” (ibid.). Along with the internships, education promotes classes and seminars, where students may reflect about their practice and connect it with theory (Lopes, Pereira and Sousa, 2014: 80; Alarcão and Roldão, 2008: 54-55).
Zeichner (2008: 539) points that "the movement of reflective practice involves, at first sight, the recognition that teachers should practice, along with other people, an active role in the formulation of the purposes and objectives of their work and that they must take on leadership roles in school reforms". For that, training is the ideal moment to develop reflection abilities on students. In order to achieve it, professors must have a critical approach about their own practice.
Although “the official speeches reveal a tendency to reconceptualize the educational problems in technical terms” (Pereira, 2011: 34), nowadays we have moved from a technical-rationality paradigm and teacher is conceptualized as someone who finds problems and tries to solve them, instead as a mere technician, because “when the practitioner tries to solve the problem he/she has set, he/she seeks both to understand the situation and to change it” (Schön, 1995: 134; Campos, 2013: 26-27). It is said that schools are yet too much academic (Alarcão, 2001: 15) and researches don’t always pay attention to practice problems. In this way, academics and school teachers would beneficiate if they are partners on researches (Elliott, 1998: 142).
Furthermore, initial teacher education has a huge impact on teacher’s identity. Everyone has been at school and thinks to know what is like to be a teacher. Therefore, this is a time to rebuild the ideas students have about their profession. Pereira (2011: 44) says that “the professional development of the teacher is related to his/her capacity to discern the direction that an action should take in a particular case”. In this way, reflection allows the analysis of lived situations to take decisions in the future, which is reflected on personal and professional development.
- Alarcão, Isabel (2001). Escola Reflexiva e supervisão. Uma escola em desenvolvimento e aprendizagem. In Isabel Alarcão(Org.) Escola reflexiva e supervisão. Uma escola em desenvolvimento e aprendizagem. Porto: Porto Editora. 11-23. - Alarcão, Isabel; Roldão, Maria do Céu (2008). Supervisão. Um contexto de desenvolvimento profissional dos professores. Mangualde: Edições Pedago. - Bardin, Laurence (2004). Análise de Conteúdo. Lisboa: Edições 70. - Bogdan, Robert & Biklen, Sari (1994). Investigação Qualitativa em Educação. Porto: Porto Editora. - Campos, Bártolo (2013). Políticas docentes: formação e avaliação. Porto: Mais Leituras. - Elliott, John (1998). Recolocando a pesquisa-ação em seu lugar original e próprio. In Corinta Maria Grisolia Geraldi, Dario Fiorentini e Elisabete Monteiro de Aguiar Pereira (Orgs.). Cartografias do trabalho docente: professor(a)-pesquisador(a). Campinas: Mercado de Letras. 137-152. - Estrela, Maria Tersa, Esteves, Manuela & Rodrigues, Ângela (2002). Síntese da investigação sobre formação inicial de professores em Portugal (1990-2000). Porto: Porto Editora. - Lopes, Amélia, Pereira, Fátima, & Sousa, Cristina (2014). Internship and education in Portugal in the new millennium. In Javier Mora, & Keith Wood (Eds.), Practical knowledge in teacher education: Approaches to teacher internship programmes. New York: Routledge, 75-89. - Moreira, Maria Alfredo, Paiva, Madalena, Vieira, Flávia, Barbosa, Isabel e Fernandes, Isabel Sandra (2006). “A investigação-acção na formação reflexiva de professores em formação inicial: percursos e evidências de um projecto de supervisão”, in Flávia Vieira, Maria Alfredo Moreira, Isabel Barbosa, Madalena Paiva e Isabel Sandra Fernandes, No Caleidoscópio da Supervisão: Imagens da Formação e da Pedagogia. Mangualde: Edições Pedago, Lda, 45-76. - Pereira, Fátima (2007). Idealizar a vida, gerir o presente e projectar o futuro: O governo da infância nos discursos em formação inicial de professores. PhD Thesis, FPCEUP, Porto, Portugal. - Pereira, Fátima (2011). In-service teacher education and scholar innovation: The semantics of action and reflection on action as a mediation device. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(11), 33-50. - Schön (1995). The Reflective Practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot: Arena. - Vieira, Flávia (2006). “Para uma pedagogia transformadora na formação pós graduada em supervisão”, in Flávia Vieira, Maria Alfredo Moreira, Isabel Barbosa, Madalena Paiva e Isabel Sandra Fernandes, No Caleidoscópio da Supervisão: Imagens da Formação e da Pedagogia. Mangualde: Edições Pedago, Lda, 151-187. - Zeichner, Kenneth M. (2008). Uma análise crítica sobre a “reflexão” como conceito estruturante na formação docente. Educação & Sociedade, 29 (103), maio/agosto 2008, 535-554.
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