10 SES 07 C, Enhancing the Quality of Teacher Education
This paper reports the theoretical framework, objectives, methodology, and expected findings of a project recently awarded an innovative teaching grant at the Education University of Hong Kong (EDUHK). The threefold project objectives are aimed at developing reflective competence in preservice teachers:
1. Develop reflective teaching through knowledge and teaching practice sharing with non-local preservice teachers (African and European) as critical friends;
2. Enhance pedagogical awareness through lesson observation and micro-teaching activities in a self-accessed program at Moodle designed to support block practice;
3. Support adoptions of flipped classroom in diverse classroom contexts.
Reflection is regarded as an aspect of quality teaching (Jay, 2003; Taggart & Wilson, 2005) as well as a . Emphasising reflective practice has been considered as a hallmark of excellent teaching strategies in higher education (Boud & Walker, 1998; Kane, Sandretto & Heath, 2004; Yost, Sentner, & Forlenza-Bailey, 2000). Reflection is important because it underpins professional judgement, provides a channel for learning and professional advancement, and serves as a means to teaching improvement, learning enhancement and a steady growth in performance standards for both schools and national education systems (Pollard et al., 2014).
Teaching is complex activity that requires real time response and knowledge integration of learners, subject matter knowledge, assessment, and instruction. Effective teachers can be characterized by their ability to consider interrelationships of these multiple aspects of teaching (Davis, 2006). Reflection is defined as “deliberate thinking about action with a view to its improvement” (Hatton & Smith, 1995, p.40).
Reflection is productive for preservice teachers when it requires them to integrate their knowledge about different aspects of teaching. This reflective process is proactive if it is taken before the lesson at the lesson planning stage, while it is reactive if the focus is what has happened in a past lesson. Very often this is a mixed process.
Reflection is a valued emphasis in the current field experience requirements of the EDUHK because preservice teachers are expected to develop the “ability to facilitate learning and talk meaningfully about [their] practice” (Tyrrell et al., 2013, p.15) in their conferences with supporting teachers and supervisors as well as in their lesson plans, learning journals, and a portfolio.
This project will offer an innovative approach to encourage reflection by student teachers through: 1) e-learning activities involving lesson observation, 2) peer sharing, and 3) practices on flipped classroom during their practicum. These learning activities will share the same three key characteristics identified in other focal reflection frameworks in the literature (see Lee, 2005; Ward & McCLotter, 2004): cyclic nature, broad perspective, and inquisitive stance to integrate theory and practice.
Engaging in lesson observation and micro-teaching activities could help preservice teachers build a repertoire of teaching skills, but also enhance preservice teachers’ pedagogical awareness in our previous Teaching Development Grant project, PEERS. We will explore whether preservice teachers can develop a global perspective of teaching through regular reflections and weekly experience sharing with other non-local preservice teachers. Student teachers are expected to take full advantage of multimedia and technologies in sharing.
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