June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Educational Research and Methods
26.1323.1 - 26.1323.24
Reflecting on reflection: How educators experience the opportunity to talk about supporting student reflectionAs part of their research into the types of strategies that can help STEM education betteraccomplish its goals, Henderson, Beach, and Finkelstein identified the strategy of helping 1educators become increasingly reflective as teachers as an important area of activity. Thisraises the general question: What are ways to help educators become more reflective? Ofparticular interest to us is the question: How can we help educators grapple with the issue ofpraxis--the issue of bringing one’s beliefs in line with one’s activities?We have had the opportunity to think about how to help educators in the context of a projectthat is, on the surface, about finding ways to support student reflection. Our focus on studentreflection stems from the belief that learners need dedicated opportunities to reflect on theirexperiences in order to connect, learn from, and prepare for future experiences. While studentreflection is considered important, the engineering education community has historicallyfocused little dedicated attention to this issue. As a result, there is a lot to be learned abouthow to support student reflection. At the same, it seems likely that there are pockets ofexpertise among the educators around us.Recently, we have engaged several educators in individual discussions about activities thatthey use to help students engage in reflection. While our original purpose was to learn moreabout the activities, we see evidence of the impact such a discussion can have on theeducators and their practices. We now see that we have been inviting educators to reflect ontheir efforts to support reflection. The educators’ feedback has been that the opportunity totalk through one of their reflection activities was enjoyable, challenging, thought-provoking,and even eye-opening. In their comments about what made the experience valuable, theeducators have been noting issues that are reminiscent of praxis.In this paper we will use a “multiple perspectives methodology” to explore the question--how 2does talking about a reflection activity inform, change, or redirect current educators’ workand approach? A “multiple perspectives methodology” involves making diverse perspectivesvisible through first-hand accounts, and then identifying and explaining themes that areillustrated by the diverse perspectives. A core element of our proposed paper will be first-hand accounts of educators’ experiences with talking about their reflection activities. In thepaper, we will theoretically frame these accounts, and use both sequencing of these accountsand subsequent articulation of themes across the accounts to illustrate the potential for suchconversation to help the educators advance toward Henderson, Beach, and Finkelstein’s idealof being a reflective teacher.Henderson, C., Beach, A., & Finkelstein, N. (2011). Facilitating change in undergraduate1STEM instructional practices: an analytic review of the literature. Journal of Research inScience Teaching, 48(8), 952-984.Adams, R., Evangelou, D., English, L, Dias De Figueiredo, A., Mousoulides, N, Pawley, A.,2Schiefellite, C., Stevens, R., Svinicki, M., Trenor, J.M., Wilson, D.M.., (2011). MultiplePerspectives on Engaging Future Engineers, Journal of Engineering Education, 100(1), pp.48-88.
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