Pre-service primary school teachers' self-reflective competencies in their own teaching
Much contemporary educational literature exhorts teachers, at all educational levels, to undertake continuous self-reflection on their teaching practices. However, at pre-service university level, many student teachers do not appear to understand the concept very deeply. Teacher educators and student teachers could benefit from knowing more about the characteristics and scope of student teachers' reflective competencies. This paper explores the competencies identified by primary school student teachers in their abilities to self-reflect on their own teaching capacities during practice teaching. Some 166 student teachers each wrote a 1500-word essay focusing on their reflective competencies. These essays were subjected to a Narrative Content Analysis using a modified version of Bain et al's. theoretical framework, with six components containing 19 levels of reflection. The results show that most of these student teachers were able to reflect in terms of reporting, responding, and relating, but were unable to do so in terms of reasoning, reconstructing, and representing reflection. Females generally performed better except in terms of responding, where males were more likely to respond in terms of significant aspects of teaching the incident or issue, to make judgments about the incident or issue, or to pose questions or identify problems. These outcomes have implications for teacher educators and pre-service students in terms of developing higher quality self-reflections about teaching and learning.
European Journal of Psychology of Education
Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development