Engaging student teachers in meaningful reflective practice

Harford, J. and MacRuairc, G. (2008) Engaging student teachers in meaningful reflective practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24 (7). pp. 1884-1892. ISSN 0742051X (ISSN)


This paper examines the use of peer-videoing in the classroom as a tool to promote reflective practice among student teachers. Twenty pre-service teachers from a variety of subject disciplines participating in a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education programme in an Irish university participated in the study. The practice of encouraging student teachers working in the same school to participate in structured video analysis avoids the impact of external observers whose role is largely evaluative and endorses a collaborative model that promotes dialogue and shared learning. This practice promotes a culture of observation and critical dialogue in a profession which has traditionally been characterised by isolation, while at the same time fostering and validating the voice and experience of the student teacher. Locating the discussion within the framework of the theoretical literature on reflective practice, the purpose of this paper is to contribute to the international debate over best practice in supporting, encouraging and scaffolding reflective practice. It comments on the implications of reflective dialogue for the modernisation of teacher education and offers guidelines on how best to scaffold and promote reflectivity. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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