Posted: August 3rd, 2022
1.According to the texts, how can teachers and teacher candidates engage in reflective practice?
2. According to the texts, how can teachers develop pedagogy that is both “engaged” and “culturally-responsive”?
3. How have your personal, cultural, and social experiences formed your understanding of the world?
Elina Lampert-Shepel, Ed.D.
Chair, Childhood Education and Special Education Program
Director, Teacher Residency Program
Graduate School of Education
Professional educators build their own praxis, i.e. their own theory of
practice. Through reflection on their own teaching and learning, they
weave theory and practice together and create the fabric of their own
cultural practice of teaching and learning. Good educators know
how to practice theory and theorize practice, they care about human
growth, they teach for students’ learning to lead to development.
Although reflective practice is claimed to be important, “teacher-
proof” scripted curricula, however, and related reforms centered on
testing, now often focus teacher reflection on efficient technical
implementation rather than on inquiry and meaning-making. Most
often, reflection is thus deemed an isolated technical skill. More than
ever, the craft of teaching requires the acceptance of ambiguity, and
engagement in active meaning-making. In the context of growing
diversity, moral uncertainty, conflicting intellectual demands and
views on teaching and learning, teachers’ reflection as a mere ability
to implement the pre-packaged curriculum is insufficient to support
meaningful educational practice. Also, for teachers engaged in
reflective practice as self-emancipation and inquiry it supports their
ability to facilitate students’ classroom inquiry.
As a Vygotskian scholar, I consider reflection as a higher
psychological function that is socially constructed in the course of
culturally mediated human activities. Reflection is socially
constructed, because it is first developed in the form of shared
cognition among the community of learners and then transformed
through the process of internalization into individual consciousness.
Reflective practice, like any other human activity, is mediated by
cultural tools. Reflection is a human ability of the agent of the action
to be self-conscious. It is the ability to regard oneself or one’s own
action as the other, as the subject of purposeful change. It is meta-
cognitive since it requires thinking about thinking. Thus, reflection is
manifest through our cognition and practice, developed in the course
of specific socio-cultural interactions, and influenced by our attitudes
and moral values.
On the basis of my research findings, I argue that continuous
teachers’ reflective practice is vital for ongoing inquiry and learning
about their practice and, therefore, their development as professionals
capable of critical inquiry and transformation of their own practice.
Certain conditions are necessary for the development of teachers’
reflective practice. Since professional teachers’ reflection is part of the
craft of teaching, teachers must learn how to reflect on practice, the
array of mediational means of reflection, and ways of developing
psychological tools of reflection (narrative, schema, dialog, etc.) that
mediate their thinking about practice and help to conceptualize it.
They need to know what the process of reflective action entails, and
possibilities and limitations of various ways of reflection. To meet the
needs of diverse students, teachers need to be educated how to
identify the problem in practice and the matching mediational means
to reflect on it. Since reflection as a higher psychological function
develops in the course of social interaction, teachers should have an
opportunity to belong to a community of inquiry that offers
continuous reflective dialog to construct emergent meanings,
challenge existing understandings, and conceptualize practice. There
is a dialectical relationship between the level of the development of
reflection and teacher’s agency. The more developed the teacher’s
reflective practice is, the better is the ability to conceptualize her own
practice and transform it into praxis, the stronger is the ownership of
one’s own approaches to teaching and learning, the teacher’s agency
in continuous meaning-making.
In higher education, As many educational leaders and faculty expect
their students to engage in reflective practice as a natural ability of
the mind, the former need to be educated in reflective practice as a
professional learning activity.
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Journal Entry Quality
1. Candidate responds to the guiding questions/discussion prompts by synthesizing information from course readings; 2. Candidate cites at least 3 specific points from the reading(s). 3. Candidate responses are 300-500 words long.
1. Candidate responds to the guiding questions/discussion prompts by synthesizing information from course readings; 2. Candidate cites at least 2 specific points from the reading(s). 3. Candidate responses are 250-300 words long.
1. Candidate responds to the guiding questions/discussion prompts by synthesizing information from course readings; 2. Candidate cites at least 1 specific points from the reading(s). 3. Candidate responses are 150-250 words long.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeConnections
Candidate makes substantive connections to self as teacher/candidate/learner.
Candidate makes some connections to self as teacher/candidate/learner.
Candidate makes little or no connections to self as teacher/candidate/learner.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWriting Style and Composition
Assignment contains 2 or fewer errors.
Assignment contains 3 – 5 errors.
Assignment contains 6 or more errors.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeTimeliness
Journals are submit on time each Module.
Total Points: 10
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