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ERIC Number: EJ821340
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1354-0602
Developing Reflective Practice in Student Teachers: Collaboration and Critical Partnerships
Parsons, Margaret; Stephenson, Maggie
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, v11 n1 p95-116 Feb 2005
This paper considers ways in which trainee teachers can be helped to develop their ability to engage in reflection on their practice. The context for the research is a Block School Experience developed by tutors in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of Sunderland. An exploration of the nature of reflective practice shows that a common element is the need for individuals to be aware of, and able to monitor, their own thinking, understanding and knowledge about teaching and to be aware of the different kinds of knowledge upon which they can draw to help develop their practice. Social interaction as a means of developing abilities in this area is considered important. In order to help students identify their own understanding of their practice and to engage in reflection on this, a placement in which they work in close collaboration with a critical partner from their peer group and members of school staff was introduced to their programme. The aim of the collaboration is to enable deeper thinking about practice in an atmosphere of supportive and constructive but honest feedback. The placement also included structured tasks to give focus to the reflection carried out. On completion of the placement, a sample of students and the teachers with whom they had worked completed questionnaires in which they were asked to respond to questions about the collaborative nature of the placement, the role of the tasks and the nature of the partnerships(s) which developed. Analysis of the responses showed that the design of the placement had encouraged students to consider a range of aspects of their practice and that the partnership with peers and experienced colleagues had enabled them to gain more understanding of their teaching. Some reservations about the collaborative nature of the placement were also expressed; students were concerned about difficulties in establishing a working relationship with their partner, whilst teachers were concerned about equity within the critical partnership. Insufficient data relating to the students' use of theoretical knowledge in reflection means that no claims can be made in respect to the influence of such knowledge on their practice. The authors suggest that this is an area in which further research would be valuable in light of the increased role given to use of research by initial teacher training students in DFES/QCA (2002) "Qualifying to teach. Professional standards for qualified teacher status and requirements for initial teacher training." (Contains 3 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom