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

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  • Zeichner, K. M., & Tabachnick, B. R. (1991). Reflections on reflective teaching. In B. R. Tabachnick & K. M. Zeichner (Eds.), Issues and practices in inquiry-oriented teacher education (pp. 1-18). New York: Falmer Press.

Ziechner and Tabachnick discuss the rise of reflection as a strategy in teacher education programs as a tool to improve educational practice. Though they do not disagree with the possible improvements that can come from a more thorough understanding of teaching practice, they take exception to uninformed reflective investigation. If there is no focus or priority in the reflection, then it is an ineffective tool. They identify four traditions in reflective teaching: academic tradition, emphasizes the role of the teacher as a scholar and content specialist; social efficiency tradition, stresses the scientific study of teaching in order to build a strong teacher education curriculum; developmentalist tradition, stresses the teacher as a researcher who determines what should be taught and how it should be taught based on interaction with the learner; and social reconstructionist tradition, stresses the importance of education in creating a more just and humane society. They provide anecdotal evidence of the presence of each of the traditions in teaching practice. Many times a teacher will label his/her activities as one approach, but, in reality, is teaching using another. However, these teachers did begin to move their practice to a more reflective one as their reflective conversation continued. They conclude that this shared meaning making experience engages the participants in a process that allows students and instructors to learn the value of reflective practice.

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