Narratives that nudge: Raising theoretical questions about reflective practice

Year: 2006

Author: Pierides, Dean, Lemon, Narelle

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The narratives of pre-service teachers in this paper tell a story which interrupts the notion that reflective practice can produce a transformative self. Although this argument is not new, the extent to which the utility of reflective practice is taken for granted in the current context of teacher education (beginning and continuing) remains greater than ever. Drawing on a variety of approaches to discourse analysis (Gee 2005, Luke 1995/1996, Fairclough 2003) we show how this normative construction of reflective practice and the understandings of self that it produces in the narratives of pre-service teachers are undermined in the context of schooling. We suggest that further research is needed in this area. Through this effort we raise questions about the spaces in which reflective practice is assumed to operate and the ways in which the reflective self it assumes has been disconnected from society and relations of power. We situate ourselves as teachers, teacher educators and researchers who desire theoretically informed positions from which we can begin to critically address, extend or displace our current understandings of these issues. This paper raises questions about reflective practice and its relationship to pedagogy within the current context of schooling.