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ERIC Number: EJ1216640
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1029-8457
Continuous Collaborative Reflection Sessions in a Professional Learning Community: The Development of Grade 8 Natural Sciences Teachers' Reflective Practice
Woolway, Jenny; Msimanga, Audrey; Lelliott, Anthony
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v23 n1 p1-13 2019
Learners come to class with a wealth of knowledge. Working with learner prior knowledge (LPK) is the foundation upon which new concepts get their meaning. Yet some teachers find interacting with LPK complex. Reflecting on practice, particularly within a professional learning community (PLC), has resulted in improvements in teaching. The focus of this study was to explore how teacher participation and the level of reflection changed as teachers collaborated in a PLC. Four Grade 8 Natural Sciences teachers from a suburban high school in Gauteng were participants. Data was collected using a practical action research, research design. Results from the reflect-and-plan sessions are reported. Cycle 1 focused on how teachers work with LPK in their baseline practices, with the following cycles focused on the same content (effects of electric current), taught in successive years. Data collected from reflect-and-plan sessions was audio-recorded. From the transcripts reflective episodes were identified. Reflective episodes occurred where teachers reflected on an aspect of practice needing restructuring. Combining Zeichner and Liston's levels of reflection with O'Sullivan's basic level of reflection, teacher utterances were coded as indicating moral craftsperson, craftsperson, technician or basic technician. Results showed that, as teachers attended more sessions, so their participation and the level of their reflection increased. Teacher participation was dependent on a trusted environment. Inexperienced teachers were reliant on a leader with sound content and pedagogical knowledge guiding sessions. The importance of identifying motivated teachers to lead PLCs is highlighted.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa