ERIC Number: ED391044
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
The Use of Reflection-in-Action by Adult Educators: An Inquiry into Schon's Epistemology of Practice.
Ferry, Natalie M.
A qualitative study documented the use of reflection-in-action by adult educators in problematic situations. Its focus was to investigate the mental processes involved in problem solving. Since individuals engage problem situations from a personal conceptualization that is unobservable, qualitative interviewing was used to provide respondents with the greatest opportunity to express their understanding of their decision processes. A standardized open-ended interview protocol with think-aloud problem situations was used to collect data that revealed the individual's inferences and identified salient features of a situation and strategies used. During phase 1, a questionnaire with a problematic situation was sent to 52 novice and experienced extension educators. In phase 2, an interview protocol was used to generate descriptions of individuals' problem-solving processes. Data were inductively analyzed using Strauss and Corbin's (1990) coding process. Five primary themes emerged: definition of problematic incident, generation of solution alternatives, testing-in-action of selected solutions, reaction to incongruence, and reflection-in-action: a learning strategy. Reflective educators, whether novice or experienced, used reflecting-in-action and reflecting-on-action as a means of developing expertise. Results indicated that experience alone was not the master teacher of the reflective process. (Contains 18 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Kansas City, MO, November 1995).