Re-conceptualizing Reflection: Helping Students Move from Reaction to Action
Student teaching is a pivotal experience for undergraduate teaching candidates, and this capstone experience is typically perceived as the most important component of teacher preparation programs. However, the coursework and experiences that precede the practicum are equally important. In the Duke teacher preparation program carefully aligned coursework and experiences prior to student teaching include critical, ongoing reflection, a practice that has long been recognized as a key tool for growth and improvement. This presentation focused on how a reconceptualization of the role of reflection helped to move students from describing actions to considering impact. As teaching candidates move through the sequence of courses, they begin to emphasize not only their actions, often focused on structural and technical concerns, but also the impact their actions have on student learning, and many move on to describe their future plan of action. The progression of reflection begins with undergraduates’ first experience with tutoring and concludes with the critical teaching reflection required of beginning teachers.