Toward a reflective culture of teaching: a landscape for praxis
The concept of teachers as reflective practitioners has occupied a prominent place in the current educational reform agenda. In both teacher education and public school restructuring literature, frequent reference is made to the importance of teachers having opportunities to be reflective about their work; however, these references often reveal a rather narrow conception of what constitutes the work of teachers and, consequently, the scope of their reflectivity. The position taken here is that, for substantive educational change to occur, notions of teaching must be expanded beyond the single domain of pedagogical practice to include broader contexts of schooling and education in a democratic society.This work argues for a transformation of the culture of teaching from one primarily concerned with issues and techniques of classroom practice to one which includes dialogue and reflective inquiry regarding the moral and ethical aspects of schooling, social and political influences on the institution, and philosophical and theoretical foundations of pedagogy. A conceptual model of a "reflective landscape"--consisting of four domains embracing these broader issues--is presented to illustrate the inherent complexity of the act of teaching and to suggest that reflective practice is best considered as practice which is informed and guided by ongoing reflection in all of these domains. After examining aspects of the existing culture of teaching which deter or constrict reflective practice thus defined, qualities seen as essential to the development of a genuine reflective culture of teaching are discussed.
- Education - Seattle