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|Title: ||EARLY CHILDHOOD STUDENT TEACHERS' REFLECTION ON THEIR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRACTICE: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY|
|Authors: ||Sumsion, Jennifer|
|Keywords: ||teaching, early childhood, student teacher, student, reflection, development, teacher, educator|
|Issue Date: ||1997|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney, -|
|Abstract: ||During the past fifteen years there has been increasing interest in the role of reflection in professional development, especially amongst teacher educators. Yet although many preservice programs now place considerable emphasis on encouraging and assisting student teachers to reflect on their practice, reflection remaings a problematic notion. There is little consensus, for example, about what constitutes reflection, how it might be identified, and whether it can be promoted. This thesis reports a longitudinal study conducted over four years which explored the above issues within the context of an early childhood teacher education program, in Sydney (NSW), Australia. The specific purpose of this study was to investigate changes in student teachers' reflection on their professional development and practice during their enrolment in the Guided Practice component of their preservice program. A strength of this study is its focus on reflection as a multidimensional phenomenon involving far more than the processes of analytical thought typically addressed by most previous research in this area. Drawing on an eclectic range of literature, this thesis argues that emotion, imagination, intuition, and contemplation can also play an integral role. As such, it asserts that reflection can be seen, in effect, as a complex and holistic search for meaning. Conceptualising reflection in this holistic manner raises numerous methodological challenges. These challenges and the methodological decisions made in response to them are outlined prior to developing profiles of the participants' reflection. These profiles indicated that there was little consistent change in the reflection of eight of the 18 participants. For four student teachers, on the other hand, there was some change, while for six, there was considerable change. Several factors which appeared instrumental in hindering or promoting these student teachers' reflection are identified. These include commitment (or lack of) to teaching and to reflection; an epistemological perspective of received or constructed knowing; and the extent to which the learning environment was perceived as supportive. The study concludes with a discussion of some of the implications for teacher educators and for those intending to undertake further research into reflection.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||Copyright SUMSION, Jennifer;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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