Assisting pre-service teachers in becoming reflective practitioners

Year: 1997

Author: Frid, Sandra, Reading, Chris, Redden, Ted

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

One emphasis in the recently released National Competency Framework for Beginning Teachers is that of reflection on and evaluation of one's own teaching practices and programs. This study investigated how these processes can be developed in pre-service teachers through involvement in peer and self-assessment activities. Specifically, four classes of third-year Bachelor of Teaching students (total of 95) participated in a series of eight seminars in which small groups of students presented a range of topics on general issues related to mathematics teaching. Two major components of the seminars were peer assessment of the presentations and ongoing development of an evaluation/feedback form. Following each seminar the presenters were required to prepare a self-evaluation report and re-designed evaluation form based on their peers' comments and their own reflections. Students' feedback comments and the various evaluation forms were analysed to determine what changes took place in what students perceived to be important issues, how the quality of their comments changed over time, what students felt they learned from peer and self-evaluation, and how students developed in their capacity to reflect critically. Similarities and differences from across the groups were examined, and the outcomes of the research are discussed here in relation to current trends in education to incorporate alternative, non-traditional assessment practices and to develop teacher competencies as reflective practitioners.