Examining thinking about how teachers improve: distinguishing between clinical reasoning and reflective practice discourses in teacher education

Year: 2013

Author: Kriewaldt, Jeana

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

As a growing number of teacher education programs are underpinned by the concept of clinical teaching and which draws on clinical education research in the health professions, it is timely to investigate how discourses of clinical reasoning constitute beliefs about effective teaching and to compare this with discourses of reflective practice.This paper takes a conceptual approach informed by theoretical and empirical literature. It outlines and contrasts clinical reasoning and reflective practice discourses that are used in initial and ongoing teacher education. I argue that an emphasis on reflective practice configures thinking to make explicit clinical reasoning in initial and ongoing teacher education an improbable concept. By expanding conceptions of the introspective and collaborative reflective practitioner that are prevalent in teacher education, I propose that an increased focus on reasoning can reframe teachers as professionals who articulate reasoning for their pedagogical choices drawing on both school-based and research-based evidence.