Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Baird, J. R., Fensham, P. J., Gunston, R. F., & White, R. T. (1991). The importance of reflection in improving science teaching and learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 28, 163-182.

Three fields of theory and researchÑmetacognition, constructivism, and the nature of individual changeÑwere explored in this three-year science education study. The authors state that constructivism complements metacognition in effecting personal change. Their study was designed to explore the role of personal and collaborative reflection in changing teaching practice. The first component of the study involved preservice teachers who did reflective writing and participated in clinical interviews and group discussions. The authors concluded that reflection is important for individual teacher developmentÑattitudes, perceptions, conceptions, and abilitiesÑand that collaboration fosters reflection. The second component of the study involved first year and experienced teachers and their students. The teachers and their students completed written responses about a lesson, and the consultant facilitated a classroom discussion about those responses. The teacher and the students then agreed to make specific changes. They reflected on their progress during classroom discussions and in reflective journals. Overall the process was successful and improvements were seen in both teaching and learning in these science classrooms. Findings from the study affirm the importance of personal and professional reflection and collaboration on change.

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