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ERIC Number: ED502899
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct-12
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
Adopting a Reflective Approach to Professional Development
Sarsar, Nasreddine Mohamed
Online Submission
The bulk of literature about education places enhancing teacher professionalism at the core of any educational improvement. In fact, researchers in the field of education have premised their arguments on the assumption that raising students' levels of performance necessitates promoting the professional growth of teachers. It is no wonder, then, that professional developers have designed and implemented numerous PD programs in an effort to bring about positive educational change and improvement. It is incontrovertibly true that the success of any professional development endeavor depends greatly on the willingness and readiness of the target participants, teachers. Since most, if not all, professional development programs in the context where I work are "grounded in a disease model" (Clark, 1992: 79), almost all the teachers flinch at their mention and show great reluctance to get involved. I side with Diaz-Maggioli (2004) to admit that "the term 'professional development day' conjures only images of coffee breaks, consultants in elegant outfits, and schools barren of kids" (p. 1). This negative attitude towards professional development is caused by the assumption "that teachers need to be forced into developing [and that they] have deficits in knowledge and skill that can be fixed by training" (Clark, 1992: 79). Operating on this premise, professional developers find it compelling to adopt a technical-rational approach to professional development cramming teachers with external and ready-made solutions and ignoring their reflective practice. In this research paper, I argue that professional development based on such a premise and such an approach would hardly yield any positive outcomes. Drawing on the work of Dewey (1933) and Schon (1983 and 1987), the notion of the teacher as a reflective practitioner will be brought into the topic in an endeavor to encourage teachers to slot in reflection into their daily teaching practice. My belief is that by doing so, teachers will adopt a self-directed professional development approach that will get them easily involved in the process of lifelong learning.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia