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Teacher as reflective practitioner : some implications for professional development

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Peacock, Dianne Patricia 1990 , 'Teacher as reflective practitioner : some implications for professional development', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This study explores. the notion of teacher as researcher, as reflective
practitioner, and contends that the professional development most likely
to enhance teachers' practice in classrooms is that which engages them in
systematic, self-critical inquiry into their own practice, or in other words,
assists them to become reflective practitioners.
Teaching is viewed as creating and sustaining the predisposition and the
conditions for learning to occur; it follows that the teacher's role is seen as
engendering students' engagement in learning, and that learners are
perceived as constructors of their own knowledge. Implicit in this view is
the acknowledgement that teaching is inherently complex and
problematic. It might be expected that the way we view teaching has a
direct bearing on the way we view professional development. Yet past
practices in professional development have generally been unsuccessful in
bringing about change in teachers' classroom work, largely because they
have tended to be incompatible with the complexity of the teaching and
learning process.
In endeavouring to find a conception of teaching adequate to its essential
nature, several models of teaching are explored: teaching as craft, as
applied science, as fine art, as moral endeavour and, finally, as moral
science. The conception that emerges as the most promising is that of
teaching as moral science, the reflective practice of a professional ethic,
with the teacher in the role of researcher, systematically inquiring into his
own practice. Stenhouse's (1975) notion of teacher as researcher, Schon's
(1983) conception of the reflective practitioner and Eisner's (1979) concepts
of connoisseurship and educational criticism are analysed for their
contributions to our understanding of the teacher as reflective
practitioner. Central to their theories is the premise that reflective
practitioners progressively construct their own knowledge through
heuristic and hermeneutic approaches to their professional experience.
This view of knowledge as personal construct, it is argued, is essential to
any conception of reflective practice, and moreover, it involves a
significant paradigm shift in theories about teacher knowledge. In
attempting to develop an explanation of this notion, the study looks to
theories of language development and aesthetics; turning in particular, to
the work of Britton, Polanyi and Langer. What emerges is that all
knowledge relates to experience. Thus reflective practitioners
progressively construct their knowledge, deriving practice from theory,
and theory from practice.
The inquiry-based approach to professional development, which follows
from this view of practitioner learning, contends that teachers' reflection
on their systematic inquiry into their teaching will provide them with
insights that- can be applied and tested in practice: a continuous-process of
learning about their practice and about how they can make-changes to it.
Thus professional development programs have a key role in supporting
teachers' sustained and critical inquiry, and in encouraging collaborative
ways of learning, to support the development of a discourse which will
enable teachers to talk and write about their practice in increasingly precise
ways. In sum, inquiry-based professional development programs
empower teachers to take responsibility for their learning and for
enhancing their teaching.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Peacock, Dianne Patricia
Keywords: Teaching, Teachers
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 142-149). Thesis (M.Ed.Stud.)--University of Tasmania, 1991.

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