03 SES 11 B, Curriculum Reform and Practices
Countless scientific and political efforts have taken place worldwide in the past decades to promote a reflective attitude of educators to their own teaching. In spite of these initiatives, the mainstream teaching practice in a great number of countries still lacks self-directed learning, classroom research, learner-centredness and other forms of reflective teaching. It is difficult to address this issue through educating student and practicing teachers, partly due to their alienation from the institutional and political environment of their profession. Teacher professionalism has been weakened by such global trends as the massification and standardisation of education, the adoption of business models in the management of schools and ultimately, the shrinking professional authority of educators. On the other hand, satisfaction with their current way of teaching and acceptance of their current professional status are both potential factors which may discourage teachers from considering a departure from the mainstream approach.
The aim of this paper is to develop the thematic and methodological framework of a teacher education module applicable in both initial and continuous teacher education. The participants are to be persuaded by this module about the necessity of reflection in their professional practice, and provided with a set of knowledges and skills about reflective teaching. The contents of the module will be designed with a special emphasis on such approaches and practices that can be applied within the remaining professional authority of teachers, even in cases where no significant change can be expected in the existing institutional, political or financial environment of teaching.
The conceptual framework of this curricular innovation is based on the notion that beside the dissemination of practical and theoretical contents, efficient instruction of reflective teaching should also comprise the creation of an awareness about the professional status of teachers in the given institutional, socio-cultural and political setting, with a particular emphasis on the extent and limitations of their professional authority and rational autonomy. The development of the module will be realised through summarising the theories, reforms, grassroots initiatives and good practices aimed at a learner-centred teaching practice around the world, complemented by empirical evidence from an Asian setting about the professional identity of practicing teachers.
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