Reflective Teaching: An Introduction

Reflective Teaching: An Introduction

Reflective Teaching: An Introduction

Reflective Teaching: An Introduction


This volume outlines the assumptions and beliefs that distinguish the concept of the reflective teacher from the view of the teacher as passive and a mere technician -- a view that teacher education programs and schools have historically promoted. The authors demonstrate how various conceptions of reflective teaching differ from one another. They believe that it is only through teachers' reflections on their own teaching that they become more skilled, more capable, and in general better teachers.

This is the first volume in the "Reflective Teaching and the Social Conditions of Schooling" series. The major goal of both this book and of all of the volumes to follow in this series is to help teachers explore and define their own positions with regard to the topics and issues at hand within the context of the aims of education in a democratic society.


Whereas many readers rarely read introductory material, we hope you will continue. The success of this book depends, in large part, on how you use it. In what follows we outline some of our key assumptions and we suggest ways for approaching the material in each book of this series entitled, "Reflective Teaching and the Social Conditions of Schooling." First we identify some of our reasons for creating this series. We then relate a bit about our dissatisfaction with how teacher education is usually conducted and how it can be changed. Finally we outline suggestions for ways to best utilize the material in this and subsequent texts.

About 4 years ago we were asked to develop further the ideas outlined in our book Teacher Education and the Social Conditions of Schooling (Liston & Zeichner, 1991). It was suggested that we take our basic approach to teacher reflection and our ideas about teacher education curricula and put them into practice. The proposal was attractive and the subsequent endeavor proved to be very challenging. It never seems easy to translate educational "shoulds" and possibilities into schooling "cans" and realities. But we think (and we hope) we have made progress in that effort by designing a series of books intended to help prospective, beginning, and experienced teachers to reflect on their profession, their teaching, and their experiences. We are pleased and delighted to have the opportunity to share this work with you. We hope you will find these texts to be engaging and useful.

We are two university teacher educators, both former elementary teachers, who have worked in inner-city, small town, and suburban elementary . . .

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