Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

A Study on Reflection in In-Service Teacher Development: Introducing Reflective Practitioner Development Model

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

A Study on Reflection in In-Service Teacher Development: Introducing Reflective Practitioner Development Model

Article excerpt

The continuous development of societies requires a growing need for individuals who are well prepared for their profession. In order to ascertain whether individuals are well prepared, measurement and evaluation procedures can be used. Although the literature does not contain any research measuring the reflective development of language teachers in EFL programs, extensive research does exist on language teacher education, reflection, and teacher beliefs as independent areas (Avalos, 2011; Craig, 2013; Peacock, 2009; Riley, 2009; Schunk & Pajares, 2002). In this way, although the effect of a program focusing on improving teachers' reflective behavior and selfefficacy remains under-researched, these areas should be subject to critical scrutiny and well-organized study. As Brown (1995) pointed out, evaluation is 'the heart that connects and provides blood to all the other program elements.' In this regard, the primary focus of this study is to measure language teachers' reflective development using a new model of reflective practitioner development, abbreviated RPDM, based on a quasi-experimental design so as to ensure and maximize teachers' self-efficacy and reflection skills. The model emerging from "experiential learning" (Kolb & Fry, 1975) strives for two main constructs: reflection and continuous development in order to provide the best possible practices in language teachers' professional development. As is known, not every teacher is able to acquire or continue to develop the knowledge and skills that they need or which are required by the institution in which they are employed.

Reflection here plays a major role because the nature of practice is such that improvement can only be fostered depending on how the professional understands the concept of self and the nature of the practical (Calderhead, 1987). Moreover, reflection enables teachers to make careful considerations about what their experience are all about and to form a habit of continually learning from their own experiences by framing problems of practice, by critiquing and reframing problems within broader perspectives, and by taking action that is fostered by such reframing (Kayapinar, 2013). In this sense, teachers may become reflective practitioners, adopting a reflective stance toward their practice as a means of on-going professional development (Reis-Jorge, 2007).

Continuous development, just as reflection does, holds learning to be a continuous process grounded in experience that requires the resolution of conflicts relating to or resulting from experience (Kolb, 1984).

Self-efficacy refers, as Bandura (1997) stated, to people's convictions about their own capabilities to successfully execute a course of action leading them to a desired outcome. It concerns one's judgment of his or her capabilities and sense of competence within a specific framework. Basically, it focuses on one's own assessment of his/her own abilities in relation to goals and standards, built on personal past experiences of mastery.

It was students' complaints about their teachers' poor performances, high attrition rates of the previous academic year, and the belief that their teachers' performances should be improved that paved the way to in-service teachers' professional development processes using a new model to develop teachers' reflective abilities and self-efficacy beliefs. Not only can teachers improve reflective abilities and self-efficacy beliefs in such an educational process, so too can their awareness of the potential of engaging in problem identification be raised through noticing and questioning events of their everyday practice (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1982). In this regard, the Reflective Practitioner Development Model was developed and introduced by the researcher.

The RPDM Context

Requiring personal and intellectual growth of oneself and of others, reflection is both a process which builds meanings and a systematic, rigorous way of thinking moving a learner from one experience to the next all while facilitating a deeper understanding in the learner through interaction with others (Rodgers, 2002). …

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