Critical reflection and teacher capacity : the secondary science pre-service teacher population

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


This qualitative study seeks to understand the development of secondary science pre-service teachers. A case study is developed about each of the five participants, in effort to answer the research questions, which are: How did critical reflection inform teacher capacity within the secondary science pre-service teacher population? What knowledge, skills, and dispositions facilitated secondary science pre-service teachers in developing a critically reflective practice? It is the author's expectation that by teaching these pre-service educators to develop their skills of critical reflection by using external methods of assessment such as videotaping, peer feedback, and student work, the participants in this study will increase and expand their capacity as teachers, or their "innate potential for growth, development, and accomplishment" (McDiarmid & Clevenger-Bright, 2008), and be better prepared to accomplish the goals that are expected of a master teacher. Data is collected from interviews, participant work samples, and observations from the researcher and other key individuals who worked with each participant, such as: the methods instructor, university supervisors, and cooperating teachers. Over the course of two semesters, the researcher developed a detailed description of each of the participants through analyzing passages selected from interview transcripts and student work samples for reflection type, factor of teacher capacity, and commonplace interaction group. The first outcome of this study includes an understanding of the relationship between critical reflection and teacher capacity and the knowledge, skills and dispositions that facilitate the development of a critically reflective practice. The second outcome of this study was the development of a new adaptation of a teacher interaction model (commonplace interaction groups) based on Schwab's Commonplaces of Educating. Lastly, three conclusions were drawn about the five participants in this study: There was a change in the participants' reflection level from the methods semester to the student teaching semester, most shifted their focus of reflection from teacher-self to teacher-student, and the weakest area of reflection with all participants was content / subject area and curriculum / standards.




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