10 SES 05 D, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
Objectives and Research Questions
Due to educational reforms focusing on standard-based teacher education and performance-based assessment, some teacher education programs have used teaching portfolios to assess prospective teachers for licensure (Wray, 2001). With the advent of internet technology, electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) have been widely adopted in teacher education as an extension of the assessment portfolio movement (Barrett, 2000; Lyons, 1998; Pecheone, Pigg, Chung, & Souviney, 2005), but some teacher educators also use ePortfolios as a pedagogical tool to support prospective teacher learning through reflection (Davies & Willis, 2001; Milman, 2005; Fox, White, & Kidd, 2011; Sherman, 2006).
Since John Dewey’s masterpiece How we think (1933) in which he proposed the idea of teachers as reflective and Donald Schon’s (1983) notion of teacher as reflective practitioner, reflection has come to be regarded as a vital skill for teachers to develop (Handal & Lauvas, 1987; Hatton & Smith, 1995; Valli, 1992; Zeichner, 1996); some researchers and teacher educators have further argued that critical reflection is a particularly important skill for qualified teachers (Carr & Kemmis, 1986; van Manen, 1977).
Although research on ePortfolios based on prospective teachers’ self reporting suggests enhanced reflection results (Borko, Michalec, Timmons & Siddle, 1997; Lyons, 1998; Davies & Willis, 2001; Milman, 2005; Mansvelder-Longayroux, Beijaard, & Verloop, 2007). Zeichner and Wray (2001) identify a need for closer study of the nature and quality of this reflection. It is time, therefore, to shift attention from how prospective teachers talk about their ePortfolio experiences toward the implications of ePortfolio use in their learning. Following this suggestion, this research addresses the following questions:
(1) What is the content and quality of prospective teachers’ ePortfolio reflections?
(2) How can ePortfolio design and teacher educators support prospective teachers’ critical reflection?
While some research on reflective teaching adopts the phrase of critical reflection, the concept has become elusive. In order to address this issue, this paper lays out the theoretical foundation of critical reflection through reconceptualization. The major theoretical camps that undergird this paper include Dewey’s Openmindedness and Responsibility (1933), Schon’s concepts of reflective practitioner and knowledge-in-action(1983), Mezirow’s transformative adult learning and the notion of three triggers of critical reflection (1990), van Manen’s three levels of reflectivity, Brookfied’s stages of critical reflection (1995), and Zeichner (1996) and Valli’s (1992) beliefs of reflection derived from social reconstructivism. Based on the work these scholars, I utilize the following definition to guide the study: Critical reflection is a process of constant analyzing, questioning, and critiquing established assumptions of oneself, schools, and the society which underpins our process of meaning making, and implementing changes to the previous actions that have been supported by distorted presuppositions for the wellbeing of pupils and the society.
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