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An investigation into the cognitive transformation that English language teachers go through when engaging in Collaborative Reflective Practice

An investigation into the cognitive transformation that English language teachers go through when engaging in Collaborative Reflective Practice
An investigation into the cognitive transformation that English language teachers go through when engaging in Collaborative Reflective Practice
Nowadays there is a longstanding recognition in the field of English language education that teachers must continually reshape their knowledge of teaching and learning and therefore engage in continuing Teacher Development (TD). Current TD literature considers Reflective Practice (RP) to be a fundamental component of its process (Dewey 1934; Schön 1983; Wallace 1991) hence, it was the focus of this research study. However, a prevailing theory on RP assumes that development is largely deliberative and linear enabling an automatic and permanent change in teachers to better their practices (Larrive 2008; Louw, Watson and Jimarkon 2014; Vieira and Marques 2012; Vo and Nguyen 2010). More recent empirical studies have opposed this view and advanced that only given the appropriate circumstances can RP be successful in promoting ongoing teacher development (Eröz-Tuga 2013; Farrell 2001, 2008, 2012; Gün 2011; Slimani-Rolls and Kiely 2014).
Accordingly, the idea under which this Reflective Practice study was carried out was oriented towards learning from experience by means of evidence-based critical thinking eased through collaboration with others (Richards and Lockhart 1994; Wallace 1991). It was precisely through evidence-based cooperative discussions that participants were able to uncover themselves as teachers bringing to the foreground how they think about what they do and why and how they have grown from their experiences. These co-constructed rationalizations enabled teachers to transform their teaching cognitions leading to new actions and practices in their classrooms.
Hence, this collaborative action research was conducted with 5 in-service English language teachers from an ELT undergraduate program of a university in the central part of Mexico over a period of 9 weeks by means of 2 video recorded classroom observations and different spaces for professional dialogue such as a focus group, one on one feedback discussions and final personal interviews. Overall, this collaborative reflective practice study showed that teachers’ abilities to be critically reflective about their teaching are enhanced given the appropriate conditions which RP necessitates such as opportunity, time and assistance from others, often lacking in everyday teaching scenarios, evaluative classroom observations and traditional teacher education programs. By challenging the ‘status quo’ of classroom observations and TD in this context, this RP process helped teachers understand and reconstruct their teaching knowledge especially in terms of students’ responses to their instructional decisions and the impact this had on how their classes unfolded. It promoted an alternative way to fulfill the goal of teacher development, not through a ‘transmission’ model of education in which knowledge is simply deposited into the brains of teachers, but through a process in which teachers learn and continue to develop their skill in dialogue within a professional community (Johnson 2006; Mann 2005).
University of Southampton
Godinez Martinez, Jovanna, Matilde
131e4446-11e8-4c94-a1fa-28c9792e8787
Godinez Martinez, Jovanna, Matilde
131e4446-11e8-4c94-a1fa-28c9792e8787
Patino, Adriana
6a3c90b1-c110-4c9e-8991-afb409e76ef7
Stevenson, Patrick
7b8878de-4a5b-4eaf-88d2-034d9041f41d

Godinez Martinez, Jovanna, Matilde (2017) An investigation into the cognitive transformation that English language teachers go through when engaging in Collaborative Reflective Practice. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 317pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Nowadays there is a longstanding recognition in the field of English language education that teachers must continually reshape their knowledge of teaching and learning and therefore engage in continuing Teacher Development (TD). Current TD literature considers Reflective Practice (RP) to be a fundamental component of its process (Dewey 1934; Schön 1983; Wallace 1991) hence, it was the focus of this research study. However, a prevailing theory on RP assumes that development is largely deliberative and linear enabling an automatic and permanent change in teachers to better their practices (Larrive 2008; Louw, Watson and Jimarkon 2014; Vieira and Marques 2012; Vo and Nguyen 2010). More recent empirical studies have opposed this view and advanced that only given the appropriate circumstances can RP be successful in promoting ongoing teacher development (Eröz-Tuga 2013; Farrell 2001, 2008, 2012; Gün 2011; Slimani-Rolls and Kiely 2014).
Accordingly, the idea under which this Reflective Practice study was carried out was oriented towards learning from experience by means of evidence-based critical thinking eased through collaboration with others (Richards and Lockhart 1994; Wallace 1991). It was precisely through evidence-based cooperative discussions that participants were able to uncover themselves as teachers bringing to the foreground how they think about what they do and why and how they have grown from their experiences. These co-constructed rationalizations enabled teachers to transform their teaching cognitions leading to new actions and practices in their classrooms.
Hence, this collaborative action research was conducted with 5 in-service English language teachers from an ELT undergraduate program of a university in the central part of Mexico over a period of 9 weeks by means of 2 video recorded classroom observations and different spaces for professional dialogue such as a focus group, one on one feedback discussions and final personal interviews. Overall, this collaborative reflective practice study showed that teachers’ abilities to be critically reflective about their teaching are enhanced given the appropriate conditions which RP necessitates such as opportunity, time and assistance from others, often lacking in everyday teaching scenarios, evaluative classroom observations and traditional teacher education programs. By challenging the ‘status quo’ of classroom observations and TD in this context, this RP process helped teachers understand and reconstruct their teaching knowledge especially in terms of students’ responses to their instructional decisions and the impact this had on how their classes unfolded. It promoted an alternative way to fulfill the goal of teacher development, not through a ‘transmission’ model of education in which knowledge is simply deposited into the brains of teachers, but through a process in which teachers learn and continue to develop their skill in dialogue within a professional community (Johnson 2006; Mann 2005).

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An investigation into the cognitive transformation that English language teachers go through when engaging in Collaborative Reflective Practice - Version of Record
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Published date: February 2017
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages and Linguistics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411239
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411239
PURE UUID: 265f0ff7-7629-4fc1-a7f5-0685eb4c42f3

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Date deposited: 15 Jun 2017 16:32
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:05

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Contributors

Author: Jovanna, Matilde Godinez Martinez
Thesis advisor: Adriana Patino
Thesis advisor: Patrick Stevenson

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