Award Date

Spring 2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

Advisor 1

Pamela Salazar, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Patrick Carlton

Second Committee Member

James Crawford

Graduate Faculty Representative

Porter Troutman

Number of Pages

139

Abstract

With the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, administrators have faced extreme pressure to provide professional development to teachers to enhance their skill and knowledge base, make school improvements, and increase student achievement. Research indicated that critical reflection leads to lasting school change and professional growth of teachers. However, few studies examined reflection using the principles of adult learning and reflective practice theory. In this study, this perspective was explored using three distinct ways of reflecting in combination with various reflective practice models.

The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions of elementary administrators and teachers from three states in the west regional area of the United States concerning reflective practice. The study also explored the perceived professional practice of administrators and teachers as it related to reflective practice. Teachers completed a Reflective Attitude Survey with open-ended questions. A modified version of the survey was completed by administrators.

An analysis of the data determined that teachers believed reflection was important and worthwhile. They liked reflecting about their own teaching. Teachers often reflected in the midst of teaching to make adjustments. Teachers felt that reflection helped them improve their teaching performance. Additionally, teachers needed time to reflect and preferred to dialogue/collaborate with peers.

Further analysis revealed that administrators felt reflection was interesting and important. They believed reflecting was useful in improving teacher performance and promoting professional development. Principals promoted reflection using professional learning communities.

A comparison of the data suggested that there were significant differences in the perceptions of teachers and principals in 10 areas. However, both groups believed that establishing a supportive environment and developing a shared vision were important to employ reflective practices.

Keywords

Teacher development; Professional learning communities; Reflection; Reflective practice; Self-reflection

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Language

English


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