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ERIC Number: ED517476
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 224
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-6919-7
The Role of Reflection: Preschool Teachers' Use of Reflective Thinking to Translate Higher Education Learning into Teaching Practice
Stewart, Karen Elaine
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
Use of reflection in developing quality teaching skills needs to be examined more closely in the context of early childhood education. Previous research has led to conclusions that greater education equals higher teacher quality, but education may not be the primary predictor of high-quality early education teachers, who as adult learners apply reflective, creative, and transformational thinking as mechanisms to engage with their own learning. It is not known how preschool teachers use reflection in the development of their teaching practices. Quality teachers and teacher preparation are as important in early childhood education as in K-12 education, but there are no consistent standards for preparation of early education teachers. A growing body of literature shows the benefits of early education, but there needs to be greater clarity about teacher quality. This study contributes to the current discussion in this area and addresses the connection between higher level thinking skills and the ability to reflect on professional practice. The purpose of the study was to explore reflective thinking, provide standards for validity of the data, and make recommendations for both practice and future study. The research objectives focused on the role played by reflection as early education teachers develop teaching skills, and relationships between self-reported reflection and teacher quality. Sub-objectives included institutional and social factors, types of preparation programs associated with reported use of reflection, and demographic variables. A mixed methods approach was used to collect qualitative and quantitative data and design a case study exploratory in nature; examining the results of the research questions and discovering themes, constructs, and patterns recommended for future research. One third (31%) of early education teachers sampled do use reflective practices that have translated from reflective learning. Another 31% of participants reported they do not use reflective practices; and 38% do not feel confident in their use of reflection. Relationships were established between reflective practice and teacher quality, institutional and social factors, and methods and mechanisms to help early educators emerge as teacher-practitioners. Development of professional opportunities and ongoing research is indicated in this study. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A