Capstone/Dissertation Title

Reflective teaching practices: novice secondary teachers reflect on practice





Degree Name



Reflective teaching practice has been seen as a tool for continuous teacher improvement. However, before developing a novice teacher's capacity to effectively practice reflective teaching methods, we must understand what a novice teacher thinks about and why they have those considerations about their teaching practice. Thus, this research sought to gain a rich description of how novice teachers, in a traditional secondary setting, reflect in their daily teaching practice. This research explored how novice teachers describe their thinking as they prepare to teach and as they reflect back upon their teaching. This research project sheds light on what novice teachers tend to reflect upon, increasing the likelihood that mentors and preservice training programs may better support new teachers in developing reflective teaching practices. Ultimately, if as the literature suggests, when reflective teachers are more aware of the impact of their decisions and actions, then they can be more effective with their students and produce greater results. To explore this, a qualitative study involving anticipatory reflection, observation, and retrospective reflective interviews was conducted to explore how and what novice teachers reflected about in their teaching practice. This study found that novice teachers reflect in the three areas that Jay and Johnson (2002) describe: descriptive, comparative, and critical. Thus, suggesting that novice teachers are capable of reflecting at higher levels of complexity than previously noted in most of the stage theories in teacher development. The results also support a non-linear approach to teacher development, and suggest a re-conceptualization of Jay and Johnson's (2002) taxonomy. All participants identified barriers to maintaining reflective teaching practices. They also described that participating in this study had a positive impact on them and their practices. They reinforced the importance of having ongoing opportunities for structured reflection, time to reflect openly, and the benefits of non-evaluative feedback.

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