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Title: Enhancing pre-service teacher training : the construction of an online model to develop reflective practice
Author: Brooke, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 5505
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis explored and analyzed an online virtual learning environment (VLE) as a vehicle for facilitating the reflective capabilities of third year pre-service ESOL teacher trainees during field experience block practice. This period was chosen for the study because it is an important time during which neophytes are encouraged, through reflection, to connect theory and practice by applying the learning from their Bachelor of Education tertiary programs to the dynamics of their classroom experiences. The VLE was selected because of the potential benefits of the asynchronous, collaborative discussion forums as a platform on which reflections could be posted and shared. Using action research methodology over eighteen months, three case studies were conducted and a model which could scaffold trainee online reflections constructed. This model entails trainees applying a well-known reflective practice development tool from Argyris and Schön (1978) to enable them to conduct their own small-scale action research projects based on their practicum experiences. It is also designed to facilitate critical thinking that examines events from different perspectives. Findings suggest that trainees could apply the initial single loop learning cycle to their work and report on the outcomes of this. They also suggest that neophyte reflections are improved through online collaboration and asynchronous communication. Thus, the online virtual learning environment can be an effective vehicle for facilitating reflective practice during practicum. However, more research in this field is required as despite these positive results, deeper levels of reflection attempting to apply the second or double loop learning cycle were found to be relatively rare, even when those interactions were co-constructed using tutor Socratic dialogue to guide participant thinking processes. The study concludes by arguing that there is a strong case for this kind of research as it provides trainee teachers with a virtual space to exploit the opportunities that arise during block practice for reflective practice capability development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available