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Title: An analysis of the concept reflective practice and an investigation into the development of student teachers’ reflective practice within the context of action research
Author: Zwozdiak-Myers, Paula
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 0639
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2009
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In recent decades, reflective practice has become a key driver and an increasingly influential referent in the professional development of student teachers. Yet, the complex, somewhat elusive boundaries of reflective practice make this phenomenon difficult to define. The purpose of this study was to analyse and synthesise existing literature and research in order to better understand the multi-faceted nature of reflective practice. From an informed platform, a new conceptual framework was designed both to capture and investigate nine dimensions of reflective practice in which student teachers could demonstrate capacity and commitment. Eighty year 4 student teachers, who had undertaken action research projects during their final school experience, and thirteen university lecturers, who had guided the student teachers throughout this enterprise, were participants in this study. Data were gathered through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews that incorporated a series of closed and open-ended responses. Quantitative data were analysed to calculate statistical frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations; and, qualitative data via analytic induction methods to identify common themes and to extract narratives of experience. Findings showed that a majority (>90%) of student teachers perceived their capacity and commitment to engage in six dimensions of reflective practice [and most (>80%) in eight] had influenced their professional development. These perceptions were not wholly congruent with those of dissertation supervisors with variance between supervisors also evident. Qualitative distinctions, in the use of three types of reflective conversation, were found between male and female student teachers and within each gender group. Several constraints in the development of student teachers’ reflective practice also emerged. Further research is recommended into: what evidence and criteria shape judgments about reflective practice; how school-based staff might effectively support student teachers’ development of reflective practice; and, how the framework designed for this study might be replicated and refined to enhance reflective practice in personal professional development across disciplines.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Professional development ; Dimensions of reflective practice ; Critical reflection and critical thinking ; Reflective judgement and reasoning