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    Kirsten Lupinski, Patricia Jenkins, Audrey Beard, & LaTasha JonesEducational Foundations, Summer-Fall 2012

    Kirsten Lupinski is a professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation and Patricia Jenkins and Audrey Beard are professors in the Department of Teacher Education, all at Albany State University, Albany, Georgia. LaTasha Jones is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology in the College of Education at Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.

    OneofthemajoroutcomesoftheeducationalreformmovementintheUnitedStatesduringthepastdecadehasbeentheincreasedfocusontheprofessionalpreparationofeducators(Darling-Hammond,1997).AccordingtoSand-ersandRivers,numerousstudiesindicatethateducatorsmakeasignificantdifferenceintheirstudentseducation(1996).Inresponsetotheincessantcallstoimproveandassureeducatorquality,theeducationprogramsatAlbanyStateUniversityadoptedaconceptual framework thatintegratesstate,national,andprofessionalstandardsintoitseducationpreparationprograms.Assuchastandards-basedpreparationapproachwasdevelopedtoempowerfutureprofessionaleducatorswhograduatefromAlbanyStateUniversity. TheconceptualframeworkatAlbanyStateUni-versityconsistsofmultipleformsofknowledge,drawnfrommanydisciplinesandsources,includingresearch,

    Reflective Practicein Teacher Education

    Programsat a HBCU

    By Kirsten Lupinski, Patricia Jenkins,Audrey Beard, & LaTasha Jones

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    Reflective Practice in Teacher Education Programs at a HBCU

    best practices, historical and cultural perspectives, the learning communityofeducationpractitionersandprofessionalandcommunityvalues.Onetenetoftheconceptualframework isthegoalofareflectivetransformativepractitioner.Thisprincipleisbasedontheassumptionthattheknowledgethatsupportsourprogramisdynamicandcontinuestoevolveasinquiryandresearchaboutteachingandlearningareestablished. TheevolutionofreflectioninteachingandteachereducationcanbetracedbacktoJohnDeweywhousedtheideaofthescientificmethodtoscaffoldhowpeoplethinkandlearn.Deweymadeatremendousimpactoneducationandhowteachersusereflectioninordertoincreasetheirpersonalandprofessionalexperiences.Hedefinedreflectionasturningasubjectoverinthemindandgivingitseriousandconsecutiveconsideration,therebyenablingustoactinadeliberateandintentionalfashion.Reflectioninvolvesactive,persistentandcarefulconsideration(DeweyascitedinSweigard,2007). SincetheinceptionofDeweyslaboratoryschools,reflectionhasbecomeamajorcomponentforprogramsthatprepareeducators.Reflectioncanbearichsourceofcontinuedpersonalandprofessionalgrowth.Thisprovidesanopportunityforprofessionalstorenewandrevivetheirpractice.Educatorsgaininformationabout their teaching from their own observations of themselves, coupled withtheirownreflections(Paulson&KennethcitedinSweigard,2007).Reflectionisagiftprofessionalscanusetogrowfromexperiences.Throughreflection,profes-sionalsdevelopcontextspecifictheoriesthatfurthertheirownunderstandingoftheirworkandgenerateknowledgetoinformfuturepractice.Whenaneducatorengagesinmeaningfulreflection,conclusionscanbedrawnthatprovideinsightforfutureinstruction.Theprimaryemphasisistoprepareeducatorstocreatelearningenvironmentsthatareconducivetotheteachingandlearningprocesswhichwillpositivelyimpactstudentachievement. In order to become a reflective transformative practitioner, one must firstunderstand what a reflective practitioner is and what transformation means.Atransformativeleaderengagesinreflectionandaction.Thereforeinorderforaneducatortobecomeatransformativeleader,theymustfirstlearntheimportantskillofreflection.Thenextsectionofthisarticlewilldescribetheconceptofreflectionandtheconceptoftransformationindependently.TheseindependentdefinitionswillprovideafoundationforthecombinationofthetwoconceptsthatareusedintheteacherpreparationprogramatAlbanyStateUniversity.

    What Is a Reflective Practitioner? Ingeneral,reflectionusesthepasttoinformourjudgment,reflectonourex-periencesandfacenewencounterswithabroaderrepertoireofinformation,skillsandtechniques(Killion,Joellen,Todnem,&Guy,1991).Whenyoureflectonwhathasoccurredandconsequentlychangeyouractionsyouwillhopefullyexperienceadifferentoutcome.Therearenumeroustheoristswhoaddresshowreflectionisusedineducation.Onetheorist,DonaldSchon,describestwodifferenttypesof

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    Kirsten Lupinski, Patricia Jenkins, Audrey Beard, & LaTasha Jones

    reflection:Reflection-on-ActionandReflection-in-Action.Reflection-on-Actionoc-curswhenateacherreflectsontheirdailylessonsandclassroomactionsandusestheinformationgatheredtoadjusttheirlessons/teaching(Killion,Joellen,Todnem,&Guy,1991).Thegoalofthisformofreflectionisforeducatorstobecomemoreeffectiveandconscientiousteachers.Thistypeofreflectionisreflectingbackonlessonsthathavebeentaughtandisaskillthatteachersneedtoacquireintheirearlyteachingexperiences. ThesecondtypeofreflectionthatSchondescribesisReflection-in-Action.Thistypeofreflectionoccursduringteachingandinvolvesactingimmediatelytoimproveorbetteryourteaching.PaulsonandKennethdescribethedifferencebe-tweenthesetwotypesofreflection;ifateacherthinksreflectivelyaboutanepisodeofteachingafterclass,heorsheengagesinreflecting-on-action.Incontrast,iftheythinkabouttheepisodewhileinthemidstofteaching,thenreflection-in-actiontakesplace(Paulson&KennethascitedinSweigard,2007). Schonsreflectiontheoryhasbeenusedasafoundationforseveralresearchers.Killion,Joellen,Todnem,andGuy(1991)usedSchonstwotypesofreflection(reflec-tion-on-actionandreflection-in-action)andaddedathirdtype(reflection-for-action).Reflection-for-actionisstatedasthedesiredoutcomeofSchonsreflection-in-actionandreflection-on-action.Thistypeofreflectionlooksatwhathasoccurredinthepastandhowthiscanhelpchangeourteachingprocessinthefuture.Consequentlythiswillprovidestudentswithanenrichedlearningenvironment.Anexampleofreflec-tion-for-actionintheclassroomiswhenateachercritiqueseventsfromthepastandmakesaconclusionorjudgmentthatthatwillimpactfutureteachings/lessons. Valli(1997)statesthattherearesixcomponentsofateachersknowledgethatguidehowtheyteach:behavioral, technical, reflection-in-action, reflection-on-ac-tion, deliberative, personalistic, and critical.Allofthese(exceptbehavioral)involvetheconceptofreflection.Thebehavioralapproachinvolvesskillsacquisitionandassessmentbyeducationfacultyandcooperatingteachers.Theassessmentwillin-dicatewhatbehaviorsthestudentneedstoaddress.ThefiveotherwaysincorporatetheconceptofreflectionwhichisanexpansionofSchonsoriginalconcepts.Thefirst,technicalreflection,involvestheteachercandidatesreflectionoftheirownperformanceandexhibitsinternalmotivationtobetterthemselves.Reflection-in-actionandreflection-on-actionarethesecondwaysthatValliidentifiesandtheyhavepreviouslybeendescribed.Thethirdtypeofreflection,deliberativereflec-tion,involvestheconsolidationofseveralsourcesofinformationfromavarietyofperceivedexpertsastheteachermakesdecisionsaboutpractice(Killion,Joellen,Todnem,&Guy,1991).Personalisticreflectionrequirestheteachertodrawlinksbetweentheirprofessionalandpersonallife.Inessence,howdoesbeingateacherfulfilltheirpersonallifegoals(Killion,Joellen,Todnem,&Guy,1991).Thefinaltypeofreflectioniscriticalreflectionanditgoesbeyondthepersonandlooksattheinstitutionandpoliticalaspectsofeducationandsocialinjustices. EbyandKujawa(1998)describesixcharacteristicsofthereflectivepractitio-ner:

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    Reflective Practice in Teacher Education Programs at a HBCU

    Reflectivepractitionersareactivetheysearchenergeticallyforinforma-tionandsolutionstoproblemsthatariseintheclassroom.

    Reflectivepractitionersarepersistenttheyarecommittedtothinkingthroughdifficultissuesindepthandcontinuingtoconsidermatterseventhoughitmaybedifficultortiring.

    Reflectivepractitioners are carefultheyare concerned for self andother,respectingstudentsashumanbeingsandtryingtocreateapositive,nurturingclassroom.

    Reflectivepractitionersareskepticaltheyrealize that therearefewabsolutesandmaintainahealthyskepticismabouteducationaltheoriesandpractices.

    Reflectivepractitionersarerationaltheydemandevidenceandapplycriteriainformulatingjudgmentsratherthanblindlyfollowingtrendsoractingonimpulse.

    Reflectivepractitionersareproactivetheyareabletotranslatereflectivethinkingintopositiveaction.

    EbbyandKujawa(1998)alsocameupwithsiximportanttraitsthatareflectivepractitionershouldpractice:(a)Understandtheprocessofreflection-on-action;(b)Gobeyondmeredescriptionoflessons(thewhat?);(c)Learnaboutreflectionthroughinteractionwithteachereducators,cooperatingteachersandfellowpre-serviceeducators(throughjournalbuddyreading);(d)Learntoreflectonlearnersandthelearningprocessesaswellasthecontent;(e)Learntointegrateideasfromothers and experiences to improve teaching; and (f) Understand that reflectivepractitionersareactive,persistent,careful,skeptical,rationalandproactive. Onewaythesesixtraitscanbeaccomplishedordevelopedisthroughthepro-cessofreflectivejournalwriting.Theliteratureclearlystatesthatreflectivejournalwritingforstudentteachers/studentsundertakingtheirfieldworkexperienceisakeycomponenttobecomingaskillfulreflectivepractitioner.Journalwritingneedstogobeyondjustdescribingaroomsetuportalkingaboutthedifferentstudentsintheroom.Davis(2006)describesthedifferencebetweenproductiveandunproduc-tivereflection.Unproductivereflectionismainlydescriptivewithoutverymuchanalysis,usuallylistingideasratherthanconnectingideas.Productivereflectionislikelytopromoteeffectivelearningandinvolvesquestioningassumptionsandseeingthingsinavarietyofdifferentways.Areflectivejournalneedstoaddressthedailylessonandactivities;whathappened,whatchangescouldbemade,howyoucouldimprovethelesson,anyquestionsorissuesthatoccurredintheclassroomandhowyouaddressedthemorhowyoucouldhaveaddressedthem. In essence, onemust gobeyond just describing the lesson and include ananalysisofwhatcouldhavebeendonedifferently,makingconnectionswithotherexperiencesandunderstandinghowtointerpretateachingidea.Sweigard(2007)

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    Kirsten Lupinski, Patricia Jenkins, Audrey Beard, & LaTasha Jones

    statesthatteachersgaininformationabouttheirteachingfromtheirownobserva-tionsofthemselvescoupledwiththeirreflections.Thereforeareflectivejournalisalogicalfirststepinassistingateachercandidateinprogressingintoanexemplaryfutureteacher. Teachereducatorsmusttakeastakeinensuringthattheirteachercandidateshavethemeansandopportunitytodevelopthevaluableskillofreflection.Alongwithrequiringreflectivejournalwritingasapartoftheassessmentofstudentteachers,teachereducatorsmustalsomodelhowreflection-on-actionandreflection-for-actionwork.Teachereducatorscanbeassistedinthisendeavorbyincorporatingactionresearchintotheircourses.Thistypeofresearchinvolvesthesamecyclesofplan,act,observeandreflectthatreflectiondoes(Liston&Zeichner,1990). Teacherasaresearcherisoftenusedsynonymouslywithactionresearch.Althoughdifferencesexistbetweenthesetwoparadigmsregardingthetypeandlevelofresult-ingaction,theyaresimilarinthatteachersperformresearchaboutthemselves,theirstudents,classrooms,administration,parentsandcommunityforthesolepurposetoimproveteaching,learningandtheinstitution(DelCarlo,Hinkhouse,&Isbell,2010).Thisconceptcanbeusedtoincorporateanassessment/actionresearchcomponentintothestudentteachingexperience.Wherestudentteachersaretheresearchersinwhichtheyresearchandreflectontheirdailylessons/teachings. Thecriticalrolethattheteachereducatororcooperatingteacherplaysistoassiststudentteacherstobesuccessfulinengaginginreflectivepractices.NolanandHuber (1989)state that theaimsofsupervision(teachereducator)are: (1)engagingtheteacherintheprocessofreflectivebehaviorwhile(2)fosteringcriti-calinquiryintotheprocessofteachingandlearning,thereby(3)increasingtheteachersunderstandingofteachingpracticeand(4)broadeninganddeepeningtherepertoireofimagesandmetaphorstheteachercanutilizetodealwithproblems.Byincorporatingstudentsreflectionswiththeirownreflectionsandconsideringthestabledataprovidedbytheparticipant-observer,teacherswereabletobetterunderstandclassroomevents(Nolan&Huber,1989). Therearenumerouspositiveoutcomesthatteacherscanseewhentheyengageinreflection;increaseintheirteachingandlessonplanning,increaseinself-es-teem,havegreatercontroloftheirteachingpractice,greaterbeliefthattheycaninfluencestudentlearning,greaterinterestingatheringdataandinformationontheirteachingandanincreaseinencouragingtheirstudentstoengageincriticalthinkingpractices.CruickshankandApplegate(1981)statethefollowing;reflectiveteachinggivesstudentstimetothinkcarefullyabouttheirownteachingbehaviorsandanopportunitytoviewotherexperiencesofprofessionalsinaction.Teachersfind themselves engaged in ameaningful processof inquirywhich leads themtowardrenewedself-esteemandinterestinteaching.Asaresult,teachersbecomemorereflectiveaboutteachingandmoreinterestedinself-improvement.Reflectiveteachingisanopportunityformeaningfulteachergrowth.

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    Reflective Practice in Teacher Education Programs at a HBCU

    What is a Transformative Practitioner? Reflectionisattherootofbecomingatransformativeleader.Throughresearchopportunities,readings,reflection,dialogueandcollaboration,teachersexplorenewideasanddifferentperspectives,addressingfundamentalepistemological,culturalanddevelopmentalissues.Astheystudy,reflect,anddiscusschallengesintheirownclassrooms,andexploretheirroleasprofessional,teachersgainnewperspectivesonteachingandstudentlearningthatleadthemtomakecriticalchangesintheirclassrooms(DeMulder,Cricchi,&Sockett,2001).Thesecondaspectofdefiningatransformativereflectivepractitioneristounderstandwhatatransformativeleaderis.TransformativeleadershiphasbeendescribedbyFreire(1991)asacontinuousloopofreflectionandaction.Teacherswhoputthisintopracticenotonlybecometransformativeleadersandmastertheskillofreflection,butalsoearnthetrust,respectandpraiseoftheirstudentsandpeers.Atransformativeleaderintheclass-room(teacher)cantransformtheirclassroomintoademocraticandempoweringlearningspacethroughengagingincriticalreflection,dialogueandcollaboration(View,DeMulder,Kayler,&Stribling,2009). Becomingatransformativeleaderandreflectivepractitionerisnotsomethingthathappensovernight.Teachercandidatesshouldbetaught theseskillsduringtheircourseworkandthenrefineandadaptthemintheirownprofessionalpractice.Transformativeleadershipisnotwieldingauthority,butratherisaboutempoweringstudentstobeactiveparticipantsinademocracy.Thisteachersclassroombecomesaspacethatembracescriticalinquiry,creativity,imagination,andcollaboration(View,Demulder,Kayler,&Stribling,2009).Inessence,theteachersarecreatinganenvironmentthatnotonlyempowersstudentstotaketheirownlearningintotheirhands,butalsogivesthemtheopportunityandskillstointeractwithotherstudentsandthelargercommunityinordertocreateanenvironmentthatstimulateslearning.Transformative teachersare reflectivepractitioners thatareconstantlydevelopingnewwaysofteachingandlearningandconsequentlypassingtheseskillsandbehaviorstotheirstudentsinordertobettertheirlearningopportunities.

    Methods and Purpose TheCollegeofEducationfacultyatAlbanyStateUniversitysoughttoim-provethecomponentsofitsConceptualFramework.Thus,researchersconductedasystematicliteraturereviewofonecomponentthereflectivepractitioner.Therese...

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