The Reflective Framework for Teaching in Physical Education: A Pedagogical Tool

Article excerpt

Preparing teachers to become reflective practitioners, as well as to become proficient in the technical skills of teaching, is increasingly the focus of many teacher education programs (Goodman, 1991; Valli, 1992). The development of reflection is advocated in the National Standards for Beginning Physical Education Teachers (National Association for Sport and Physical Education [NASPE], 1995) in standard eight, which suggests that the teacher become a reflective practitioner who is able to evaluate the effects of his or her actions on others. In addition, a beginning physical educator should have knowledge of "a variety of self-assessment and problem-solving strategies for reflecting on practice and its influences on learning" (NASPE, p. 16). The NASPE/NCATE Guidelines for Teacher Preparation in Physical Education further supports the development and facilitation of reflective thought by challenging PETE programs to prepare prospective teachers to consistently demonstrate use of a reflective cycle by describi ng, justifying, and critiquing teaching performances; to set personal teaching goals; and to implement change in the teaching/learning environment (NASPE, 2001).

A variety of pedagogical strategies can be used to enhance preservice teachers' (PTs') reflectivity. They include the use of metaphors (Carlson, 2001), student-created case studies (Wilson & Williams, 2001), and reflective journaling (Van Manen, 1990). Systematic observation, role simulations, debates, and action research are additional pedagogical strategies that can stimulate reflection. If teacher educators expect PTs to be reflective teachers who ask questions, are open to new ideas, and challenge traditional practices when they become inservice teachers, then strategies to extend thinking and connect theory to practice during professional preparation must continuously be developed. The purpose of this article is to describe and illustrate how the "Reflective Framework for Teaching in Physical Education" (RFTPE; Tsangaridou & O'Sullivan, 1994) can be used as a pedagogical tool to facilitate reflection and connect theory to practice during field experiences. It also includes potential advantages of using t he RFTPE, comments from PTs, and hints for facilitating reflection.

Connecting Theory to Practice

Educators have long been concerned with the separation between theory-based knowledge and practice in school settings (Armaline & Hoover, 1989; Bain, 1984; Zeichner, 1986). Linking knowledge to action is a critical component of inquiry and reflective practice in field experiences (Zeichner, 1981). It is especially important to facilitate reflection during classes that contain field components because these experiences allow PTs to compare and contrast theoretical perspectives learned at universities with their personal conceptions of teaching physical education in "real world" settings. Dodds (1989) suggests:

Continuous practice in making conscious choices about teaching and in reflecting about the consequences of such choices enriches the impact of field experiences and gives trainees enhanced opportunities to become students of their own teaching--the ultimate goal of effective teacher-training programs. (p. 101)

Although preservice and inservice teachers acclaim field experiences as the most valuable part of the undergraduate teacher-preparation program (Bell, Barrett, & Allison, 1985; Dodds, 1985, 1989; Locke, 1984), it is often difficult for university supervisors to provide close supervision and to capture those trial and error incidents that can be valuable learning expenenses for the PT. The RFTPE can be employed as a guide to reflective journaling to shed light on those meaningful moments.

Reflective Framework for Teaching in Physical Education

The RFTPE was conceptualized and developed after reviewing the literature on reflective teaching (Tsangaridou & O'Sullivan, 1994). …