10 SES 03 D, Programmes and Approaches: Reform and improvisation
Teachers are often considered to be the most important agents in reforming education and in bringing about change in practices (Lieberman & Mace, 2008). Since the publication of ‘Teaching Scotland’s Future’ (Donaldson, 2010), the teacher education sector in Scotland has gone through significant changes. One of the key changes is to allow teachers to develop as reflective practitioners. Reflection on one’s own perceptions, experiences and practices is at the heart of all activities that teachers do. Reflective practice enables learning by thinking back and articulating the acquisition of knowledge and strategies. For teachers at the pre-service stage, this can be particularly powerful and even transformative (Kramarski & Kohen, 2016). More recently, researchers have argued that the development of reflective skills can be enhanced by combining reflection with professional dialogue (Simoncini et al., 2014), enabling teachers to ‘maintain an awareness of their learning and be attuned both to evidence of changes to content and pedagogic knowledge as well as to the impact on professional and personal identity that can be revealed through the conversations themselves’ (Lofthouse & Hall, 2014, p. 759).
This paper addresses this important aspect of teacher education. We aim to investigate how student teachers on a Scottish teacher education programme learn by reflecting on their professional dialogue experiences. We are particularly interested in the self-regulated learning (SRL) and metacognitive processes in their reflection. Endedijk et al. (2015) note that the study of SRL and metacognition holds great potential to meet the challenge of transitioning from student teachers to teaching professionals. By asking student teachers to reflect on their dialogic interactions with university tutors, peers, more experienced teachers, we hope to gain insights into the ways in which they engage with the complex processes of professional learning. Therefore, the goal of this project is to measure how student teachers perceive their own learning through professional dialogue. We also explore this way of learning, conceptualised as metacognitive discourse awareness, and participants’ motivated strategies for learning (Duncan & McKeachie, 2005; Pintrich et al., 1993). The concept of metacognitive discourse awareness was underpinned by Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural psychology which proposed that language use and other semiotic tools could be perceived as mediating artefacts between the social world and the development of an individual’s inner thinking. The dialogic space created by professional dialogue may play a pivotal role in enhancing teachers’ instructional practices and in promoting learning through the (re)negotiation of meaning (Mercer & Littleton, 2007; Warwick et al., 2016). Building on current research on metacognition, SRL and teacher professional learning, we hope to uncover the interplay between language use, learning and thinking. Therefore, we focus on professional dialogue as reflective practice for teacher professional learning. We seek to address the following questions:
1. How do student teachers co-construct and negotiate meaning in professional dialogue?
2. Do their motivated strategies for learning predict the quality of their professional dialogue, or vice versa?
3. Is there any variation about student teachers’ learning in professional dialogue between university-based and placement-based learning?
4. Is there any variation about their motivated strategies for learning between university-based and placement-based learning?
Donaldson, G. (2010). Teaching Scotland’s Future: Report of a review of teacher education in Scotland. The Scottish Government. Edinburgh: The Scottish Government. Retrieved from www.scotland.gov.uk Duncan, T. G., & McKeachie, W. J. (2005). The making of the motivated strategies for learning questionnaire. Educational Psychologist, 40(2), 117–128. http://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep4002_6 Endedijk, M. D., Brekelmans, M., Sleegers, P., & Vermunt, J. D. (2015). Measuring students’ self-regulated learning in professional education: bridging the gap between event and aptitude measurements. Quality & Quantity. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-015-0255-4 Kramarski, B., & Kohen, Z. (2016). Promoting preservice teachers’ dual self-regulation roles as learners and as teachers: Effects of generic vs. specific prompts. Metacognition and Learning. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-016-9164-8 Lieberman, A., & Mace, D. H. P. (2008). Teacher learning: The key to educational reform. Journal of Teacher Education, 59(3). http://doi.org/10.1177/0022487108317020 Lofthouse, R., & Hall, E. (2014). Developing practices in teachers’ professional dialogue in England: using Coaching Dimensions as an epistemic tool. Professional Development in Education, 40(5), 758–778. http://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2014.886283 Menter, I., Hulme, M., Elliot, D., & Lewin, J. (2010). Literature review on teacher education in the 21st century. Education and Lifelong Learning. Retrieved from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/09/24144019/0 Mercer, N., & Littleton, K. (2007). Dialogue and the development of children’s thinking: A sociocultural approach. London: Routledge. OECD. (2005). Teachers matter: Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers. OECD Publishing. Paris: OECD Publishing. http://doi.org/10.1787/9789264022157-ja Pintrich, P. R., Smith, D. A. F., García, T., & McKeachie, W. J. (1993). Reliability and predictive validity of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Educational and Psychological Measurement, 55(3), 801–813. http://doi.org/10.1177/0013164493053003024 Simoncini, K. M., Lasen, M., & Rocco, S. (2014). Professional dialogue, reflective practice and teacher research: Engaging early childhood pre-service teachers in collegial dialogue about curriculum innovation. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(1), 27–41. http://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2014v39n1.3 Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Warwick, P., Vrikki, M., Vermunt, J. D., Mercer, N., & van Halem, N. (2016). Connecting observations of student and teacher learning: An examination of dialogic processes in Lesson Study discussions in mathematics. ZDM Mathematics Education, 18, 555–569. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-015-0750-z
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