Values education, reflective practice and initial teacher training

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of California Santa Cruz]On: 10 October 2014, At: 17:10Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Irish Educational StudiesPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:</p><p>Values education, reflective practice and initial teachertrainingMargaret Reynolds aa Senior lecturer in Education , Stranmillis CollegePublished online: 18 Jul 2008.</p><p>To cite this article: Margaret Reynolds (1999) Values education, reflective practice and initial teacher training, IrishEducational Studies, 18:1, 129-140, DOI: 10.1080/0332331990180114</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content) contained in thepublications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representationsor warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Anyopinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not theviews of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should beindependently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses,actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoevercaused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in anyform to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>Irish Educational Studies, Vol.18, Spring 1999 129</p><p>VALUES EDUCATION, REFLECTIVE PRACTICE ANDINITIAL TEACHER TRAINING</p><p>Margaret Reynolds</p><p>Introduction</p><p>Values education has become a priority for development in recentyears, as indicated, for example, by Great Britain's SchoolCurriculum and Assessment Authority.1 The role of schools inteaching values has been recognised as particularly important and inGreat Britain various initiatives have been launched to emphasise theimportance of values education. The Home Office,2 for example, hassponsored the Citizenship Foundation to produce CitizenshipEducation packs to help teachers promote social and moralresponsibility. There is considerable interest in the role thatcitizenship education can play in values education and the final reportfrom the advisory group on citizenship has recently been published.3</p><p>In Northern Ireland the report of the Values in Education project,4</p><p>sponsored by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations andAssessment, was published in 1997 and further development inschools is under way.</p><p>The principle aim of such moves is to highlight the role whichschools have in developing morally aware and responsible pupils.5</p><p>There are several obvious difficulties associated with this. There isgrowing cultural diversity which has led to differences in acceptedvalues.' This has led, in part, to an erosion of a core of traditionalvalues and negates any sense of taken-for-grantedness in relation tovalues education.7 On what basis can be assume that parents willagree with the values which the school is promoting? What approachshould be taken if values education is not linked directly to religiouseducation? Are teachers sufficiently equipped with the necessaryskill and understanding to teach values?</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alif</p><p>orni</p><p>a Sa</p><p>nta </p><p>Cru</p><p>z] a</p><p>t 17:</p><p>10 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>130 Annual Conference, 1998</p><p>Values education is a highly complex area which does not allowfor complacency or lack of expertise or understanding about valueson the part of teachers. In this paper values education is examined interms of the need to develop practitioners who are capable ofteaching values constructively and are aware that values educationand values in education are mutually dependent. The need topromote the kind of teacher who is aware of his/her influence onpromoting subscription to values is linked to the reflectivepractitioner model of practice. The paper concentrates on discussingapproaches to the development of reflective practice in studentteachers in initial teacher training (ITT). Considerable differencescan be found in interpretations of reflection, particularly withreference to the importance which is placed on values and evaluationof practice. The Teacher Training Agency (TTA),' for example,adopts the view that teachers need to evaluate their own classroomperformance to ensure effectiveness, but little reference is made inthe recently published national standards to the values which operatein practice. This paper examines the inadequacies of concentratingon situational performance as a focus for reflection. It is argued thatthe promotion of reflection should involve evaluation of the role ofvalues in performance and decision-making. In conclusion,implications of current approaches to ITT in Great Britain for valueseducation are indicated.</p><p>Values education, values and professional practice</p><p>Values education can be approached in a number of ways. It isviewed, for example, by some' as teaching children to thinkeffectively about values issues, the assumption being that this willinfluence the quality of the decisions they make. Values educationclasses in this view would entail, for example, teaching the thinkingskills needed for evaluative decision-making. Another approachtakes the view that values are promoted through the hiddencurriculum.10 In this view the manner in which teachers interact withpupils, the rules adopted by the school, the mode of managementemployed and the ethos of the school in general, are grounded in, andreveal, foundational values which are conveyed to pupils.Furthermore, the expectations teachers have of pupils, the prioritiesteachers set, the habits of behaviour they encourage or discourage,the values revealed in the teaching process are crucial to values</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alif</p><p>orni</p><p>a Sa</p><p>nta </p><p>Cru</p><p>z] a</p><p>t 17:</p><p>10 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>Irish Educational Studies. Vol.18, Spring 1999 131</p><p>education. In this approach it is recognised that pupils are in aposition to scrutinise their teachers' actions and identifycharacteristics such as, respect for pupils, honesty and fairness.Through their actions, then, teachers cannot avoid communicatingvalues to pupils."</p><p>Whichever approach is adopted to values education it is a truismto say that teachers have a pivotal role to play both in terms of themethodology they employ to teach values and in their generaldemeanour in the classroom. Understanding and skill in teacherscannot be guaranteed by relying on an implicit ability to follow agiven curriculum programme, a point made by Rowe and Newton.12</p><p>Values education requires a refinement of teaching techniques:13 thekind of questioning, for example, which is used to promote criticalthinking in pupils is not identical to that which is used in teaching theacademic subjects of the curriculum. Also in values education,teaching pupils how to evaluate situations and their role in them is animportant factor.14 Values teaching then is not merely focussed onfactual recall or application of existing knowledge to new situations.Furthermore, teachers need to be aware of the values they convey inschool13 and that their teaching is framed by values.1'</p><p>To teach values effectively, teachers need to reflect critically ontheir own values and learn how to discuss values issues." In addition,Taylor" claims that schools can only become effective valuing andvalues learning communities by critically reflecting on practice.Reflection of this kind refers as much to the values which influenceteaching as to moral values because values education and the valueswhich operate in education are closely interlinked.1' Initial teachertraining has a seminal role to play in promoting reflection on values.Hartnett and Naish20 have said that learning about the "teacher ascitizen" is an important aspect of the training process. By this theymean that the student needs to confront his/her values and to realisethe role which they play in determining the kind of teacher he/shebecomes. Furlong and Maynard21 also point out that for students togain control over their own practice they need to come to realise thevalues which are implicit in the decisions they make and in the tenorof their teaching.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alif</p><p>orni</p><p>a Sa</p><p>nta </p><p>Cru</p><p>z] a</p><p>t 17:</p><p>10 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>132 Irish Educational Studies, Vol.18, Spring 1999</p><p>The issues of values education and values in education arecomplex. Effective values education depends as much on the qualityof the total school environment as it does on auricular provision22</p><p>because values permeate and are foundational to the life andfunctions of schools.23 In terms of curricular provision, effectivevalues education requires the promotion of teachers' expertise andconfidence in employing appropriate methodology.24 This requiressystematic professional development for teachers, beginning in initialteaching training. An important aspect of this area of teachereducation is the need for student teachers to be encouraged to reflecton their own values so that they do not pass them on uncritically.25 Itis also crucial that student teachers are aware that they reveal theirvalues implicitly in the way in which they teach and in how theyinteract with children.2*</p><p>Teacher educators have the remit27 of providing training forstudent teachers in values education. It could be argued that animportant factor in this kind of professional development isencouraging students to become reflective practitioners. Dependingon the interpretation of reflection adopted, reflective practice requiresstudents to analyse professional practice in terms of "the 'technical,'the 'practical' as well as the 'moral' dimensions of teaching".2' Thekind of awareness which such reflection promotes gives students afoundational understanding of values and how they function, inaddition to developing awareness of their own values. Thepromotion of this kind of evaluative practice provides the basis forthe development of expertise in employing values educationmethodology.</p><p>Teacher training and the development of reflective practice</p><p>In recent times, teacher training in Great Britain has been largelyunderpinned by the view29 that reflection has an important impact onthe success of our teaching. ITT courses have been widelyinfluenced by this idea and although, during the 1990s, variouscompetence-based initiatives were introduced many higher educationinstitutions remained committed to the promotion of reflectivepractitioners. Reflection on practice, however, has been interpretedin a number of different ways, although there is a homogeneity in therange of methods used. Keeping diaries, recording student</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alif</p><p>orni</p><p>a Sa</p><p>nta </p><p>Cru</p><p>z] a</p><p>t 17:</p><p>10 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>Irish Educational Studies, Vol.18. Spring 1999 133</p><p>performance on video,30 completing personal journals31 and actionresearch are all used as means of helping students review theirclassroom experience, reflect on the efficacy of their performanceand analyse problems. There has been little agreement, however,about the way in which reflection works and why it makes adifference to the quality of personal practice. Differences indefinitions of reflection are revealed in the ways in which methods,such as video-taping student performance, are used, kinds ofquestions which are asked and the type of thinking which isencouraged.</p><p>Reflection as problem-solving</p><p>The divergence in the ways in which these methods are employedreveals two general approaches to reflective practice. The firstconcentrates on promoting problem-solving and has its focus on theworkplace situation and analysis of performance. Here the reflectiveprocess is viewed as a means of investigating alternatives for action.This is reminiscent of the work of John Dewey" for whom problem-solving was the focus for education. He emphasised that Findingeffective solutions depends on the process of reflection throughwhich alternatives for action are examined for their possibleeffectiveness. This approach to professional proficiency which &gt;emphasises the need for flexibility in practice demands the promotionof reflection on tactics. To this end, aspects of ITT focus on helpingstudents to review classroom practice in order to develop a range ofeffective teaching strategies. This kind of training emphasises theparticular: individual problems are met, reflected on, discussed andsolutions tried out in practice. This is not the kind of reflection whichis fully consistent with developing a general, or broad, considerationof the appropriateness of performance because it concentrates onpractical outcomes rather than considering also the desirability of theperformance within the broader framework of practice. It does notallow students to distance themselves from the immediacy ofclassroom life in order to consider practice from a wider perspectiveof the role of accepted values and their function in decision-making.Students are offered a somewhat fragmented view of their role asteachers and, at best, a narrow grasp of the issues involved in areassuch as pastoral care, for example.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alif</p><p>orni</p><p>a Sa</p><p>nta </p><p>Cru</p><p>z] a</p><p>t 17:</p><p>10 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>134 Irish Educational Studies, Vol.18, Spring 1999</p><p>This first approach to reflection implies foundational valueswhich inform the development of reflection and are conveyed tostudents in the training process. These values are associated withpragmatism33 and are linked to the efficiency of the means used toachieve requisite goals. Such goals are largely immediate and arerelated to solving the current exigencies of practice or shorter termcurriculum objectives such as teaching number. They do not referdirectly to more enduring goals such as the promotion of valueswhich, in addition to immediate objectives, are traditionallyassociated with education. Where promotion of the accepted andnormative values associated with teaching is concerned, students areleft to catch these from the school situation. It is self evident thatexperience in schools is an important factor in lear...</p></li></ul>