Becoming reflective practitioners: Mathematics student teachers' experiences

Elizabeth Ndeukumwa Ngololo(1), Leena Ngonyofi Kanandjebo(2*)

(1) Multi-disciplinary Research Centre, University of Namibia
(2) Faculty of Education, University of Namibia
(*) Corresponding Author

Abstract

The level of quality reflective practice remains low among student teachers majoring in Mathematics education. This paper aims to identify the levels of reflective practice possessed by Mathematics education student teachers in a teacher training program at higher learning institutions in Namibia. The professional status requires that teachers become reflective practitioners to develop their effectiveness- a skill they can acquire during their training. A reflection framework was used to identify levels of reflective practices among Mathematics student teachers. This study is qualitative and employed a narrative inquiry approach to assess the effectiveness of reflective practice as experienced by student teachers. A total of ten third-year undergraduate students majoring in Mathematics Education participated in the study by generating reflective journals. The results show that student teachers have insufficient reflective skills which are limited to the first two levels of the reflection framework:  technical reflection and reflection-in-and-on-action. This could be due to little guidance offered on developing reflective skills and its use by student teachers. This study's findings will be used to improve the rationality, social and educational practices among the student teachers.  

Keywords

Reflective practice, student teachers, Mathematics, teacher training program

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References

Abovich, R. R. (2016). Reflective practice: A case study of four pre-service teachers of English (Master’s thesis, Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile). Retrieved from http://repositorio.unab.cl/xmlui/handle/ria/13219

Aldahmash, A. H., Alshmrani, S. M., & Almufti, A. N. (2017). Secondary school science teachers' views about their reflective practices. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 19(1), 43-53. https://doi.org/10.1515/jtes-2017-0003

Alsuhaibani, Z. (2019). Perceptions and practices of EFL pre-service teachers about reflective teaching. Arab World English Journal, 10(4), 62-73. https://doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol10no4.5

Amukugo, E. M., Likando, G. N., Shakwa, G. N., & Nyambe, J. (2010). A critical review of teacher education in Namibia. In K. G. Karras & C. C. Wolhuter. (Eds.). International Handbook on Teacher Education Worldwide: Issues and Challenges for teacher education. Athens: Atrapos editions, 805-822.

Cavanagh, M. & Prescott, A. (2010). The growth of reflective practice among three beginning secondary Mathematics teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 38 (2), 147-159. https://doi.org/10.1080/13598661003678968

Chapman, J. (2012). A new agenda for a new society. In K. Leithwood, J. Chapman, D. Corson, P. Hallinger, and A. Hart (Eds.), International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Clandinin, D. J, & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in Education (6th ed.). London and New York, NY: Routledge Falmer.

Connelly, F.M. & Clandinin, D. J. (2001). Exploring the landscape of Canadian teacher education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education and Development, 4(1), 1-12.

Craig, C. J. (2011). Narrative inquiries into curriculum making in teacher education, Advances in Research on Teaching, 13, 19–42. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3687(2011)00000130005

Cruickshank, D. (1985). Uses and benefits of reflective teaching. The Phi Delta Kappa, 66(10), 704-706. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20387492

Dahlström, L. (2019). Toward learner-centered and democratic teacher education. In Democratic teacher education reform in Africa, 47-63. Routledge.

Driscoll, J. (ed.). (2007). Practicing clinical supervision: A reflective approach for healthcare professionals. Edinburgh: Elsevier

Driscoll, K. (2015). Improving the effectiveness of mathematics teaching through active reflection. In M. Marshman, V. Geiger, & A. Bennison (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (pp. 205–212). Sunshine Coast, QLD: MERGA. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED572435.pdf

Erdogan, F. (2019). Effect of cooperative learning supported by reflective thinking activities on students' critical thinking skills. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 80, 89-112. https://doi.org/10.14689/ejer.2019.80.5

Erdogan, F. (2020). The relationship between prospective middle school mathematics teachers' critical thinking skills and reflective thinking skills. Participatory Educational Research, 7 (1), 220-241. https://doi.org/10.17275/per.20.13.7.1

Farrell, T. S. (2004). Reflective practice in action: 80 reflection breaks for busy teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Fleck, R. & Fitzpatrick, G. (2010). Reflecting on reflection: Framing a design landscape. In Proceedings of OZCHI 2010. ACM, New York, pp 216–223. Retrieved from https://publik.tuwien.ac.at/files/PubDat_192739.pdf

Gibbs, G. (1998). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit, Oxford Polytechnic.

Gore, J. & Zeichner, K. (1991). Action research and reflective teaching in pre-service teacher education: A case study from the United States. Teaching and Teacher Education,7. 119-136. https://doi.org/10.1016/0742-05191)90022-H.

Harrison, J. K. & Lee, R. (2011). Exploring the use of critical incident analysis and the professional learning conversation in an initial teacher education program. Journal of Education for Teaching, 37(2), 199-217. https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2011.558285.

Jasper, M. (2013). Beginning reflective practice. Andover: Cengage Learning.

Khan, M. I. (2012). Reflection as a teacher education concept, connotation and implementation: a qualitative case study of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Secondary) Programme at a UK university. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Leicester]. Retrieved from https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.558007

Kihlgren, P., Spanager, L., & Dieckmann, P. (2014). Investigating novice doctors' reflections in debriefings after simulation scenarios. Medical Teacher 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2014.956054

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Krishnamurthy, S. (2007). Reflexive inquiry and reflective practice: Critical reflection and pedagogy in English language teaching. Nawa Journal of Communication, 1(2), 14-22. Retrieved from http://ir.nust.na/jspui/handle/10628/16

Lau, W.W.F. (2018). Reflective practice of pre-service mathematics teachers in an asynchronous online discussion forum. In T. Bastiaens, J. Van Braak, M. Brown, L. Cantoni, M. Castro, R. Christensen, G. Davidson-Shivers, K. DePryck, M. Ebner, M. Fominykh, C. Fulford, S. Hatzipanagos, G. Knezek, K. Kreijns, G. Marks, E. Sointu, E. Korsgaard Sorensen, J. Viteli, J. Voogt, P. Weber, E. Weippl & O. Zawacki-Richter (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 643-647). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/184255.

Lee, H. (2005). Understanding and assessing pre-service teachers' reflective thinking. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21, 699–715. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2005.05.007

Mathew, P., Mathew, P. & Peechattu, P.J. (2017). Reflective practices: A means to teacher development. Asia Pacific Journal of Contemporary Education and Communication Technology (APJCECT), 3(1). Retrieved from https://apiar.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/13_APJCECT_Feb_BRR798_EDU-126-131.pdf

Moore, A. (2004). The good teacher: Dominant discourses in teaching and teacher education. London: Routledge Falmer.

Nambira, G. (2015). Analyzing the determinants of teachers' mathematics teaching competencies in upper primary phase: Evidence from Namibia. International Journal of Innovation and Economic Development, 2,35-47. https://doi.org/10.18775/ijied.1849-7551-7020.2015.24.2004

National Institute for Educational Development (NIED). (2008). The national mathematics subject policy guide grades 5-12. Okahandja Namibia. http://www.nied.edu.na

Nyambe, K. J. (1996). Teacher education and societal transformation in post-apartheid Namibia: The limits and possibilities of the basic education teacher diploma program. https://doi.org/10.7939/R36Q1SS43

O'Sullivan, M. C. (2002). Reform implementation and the realities within which teachers work: A Namibian case study. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 32(2), 219-237. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057920220143192

Posthuma, A. (2011). The nature of mathematics teachers' reflective practice. Published Doctoral thesis. University of Pretoria. Johannesburg. Retrieved from https://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/24143

Posthuma, A. (2012). Mathematics teachers' reflective practice within the context of adapted lesson study. Pythagoras, 33(3), 54. https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v33i3.140.

Richardson, V. (1990). The evolution of reflective teaching and teacher-education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Robins, A., Ashbaker, B., Enriquez, J. & Morgan, J. (2003). Learning to reflect: Professional practice for professionals and paraprofessionals. International Journal of Learning, 10, 2555–2565.

Schön, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.

Schon, D. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Schon, D. (1991).The reflective practitioner: How professionals think and act. Oxford: Avebury.

Schön, D. A. (1988). From technical rationality to reflection-in-action. Professional judgment: A reader in clinical decision making, 60-77.

Sellars, M. (2017). Reflective practice for teachers. Los Angeles: SAGE. Retrieved from https://uk.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/59229_Sellars.pdf

Shaningwa, L.M. (2005). The relationship between learner achievement and qualification, training and experience of grade 6 teachers in Namibia. Research Paper submitted partial fulfillment of the requirement of the SACMEQ Research Conference. Namibia.

Sibahi, R. (2015). Exploring reflective practice among college EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), 6(2), 337 – 351.

Simasiku, E.L. (2013). Teachers' perceptions on reflective practice in teaching at Dawid Bezuidenhout High School (Unpublished Master’s Thesis). University of Namibia, Namibia.

Sleegers, P., Geijsel, F.,& van den Berg, R. (2012). In K. Leithwood, J. Chapman, D. Corson, P. Hallinger, and A. Hart (Eds.). International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

University of Cambridge. (2020). Reflective practice toolkit. https://libguides.cam.ac.uk/reflectivepracticetoolkit/models

University of Namibia. (2020). Prospectus: Faculty of Education. Retrieved from https://www.unam.edu.na/sites/default/files/newsletter/education_faculty_prospectus_2020.pdf

Uzum, B., Petrón, M., & Berg, H. (2014). Pre-service teachers’ first foray into the ESL classroom: Reflective practice in a service-learning project. TESL-EJ, 18(3).

Valli, L. (1992). Reflective teacher education. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Valli, L. (1997). Listening to other voices: A description of teacher reflection in the United States. Peabody Journal of Education, 72(1),67–88. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327930pje7201_4

Van Manen, M. (1977). Linking ways of knowing within ways of being practical. Curriculum Inquiry, 6,205–228. https://doi.org/10.1080/03626784.1977.11075533

Wahyudin, D., Ahman, Rusmono, D., Rahmawati, Y., & Monika, W. (2019). Teaching philosophy of selected teacher education institutions in Indonesia. International Journal of Technical Research and Application, 5(4), 67-78.

White, D. (2004). Reflective practice: Wishful thinking or a practical leadership tool? Practising Administrator, 26 (3): 41–44.

Zeichner, K & Ndimande, B. (2008). Contradictions and tensions in the place of teachers in educational reform: Reflections on teacher preparation in the USA and Namibia. Teachers and Teaching, 14(4), 331-343. https://doi.org/10.1080/13540600802037751

Abovich, R. R. (2016). Reflective practice: A case study of four pre-service teachers of English (Master’s thesis, Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile). Retrieved from http://repositorio.unab.cl/xmlui/handle/ria/13219

Aldahmash, A. H., Alshmrani, S. M., & Almufti, A. N. (2017). Secondary school science teachers' views about their reflective practices. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 19(1), 43-53. https://doi.org/10.1515/jtes-2017-0003

Alsuhaibani, Z. (2019). Perceptions and practices of EFL pre-service teachers about reflective teaching. Arab World English Journal, 10(4), 62-73. https://doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol10no4.5

Amukugo, E. M., Likando, G. N., Shakwa, G. N., & Nyambe, J. (2010). A critical review of teacher education in Namibia. In K. G. Karras & C. C. Wolhuter. (Eds.). International Handbook on Teacher Education Worldwide: Issues and Challenges for teacher education. Athens: Atrapos editions, 805-822.

Cavanagh, M. & Prescott, A. (2010). The growth of reflective practice among three beginning secondary Mathematics teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 38 (2), 147-159. https://doi.org/10.1080/13598661003678968

Chapman, J. (2012). A new agenda for a new society. In K. Leithwood, J. Chapman, D. Corson, P. Hallinger, and A. Hart (Eds.), International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Clandinin, D. J, & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in Education (6th ed.). London and New York, NY: Routledge Falmer.

Connelly, F.M. & Clandinin, D. J. (2001). Exploring the landscape of Canadian teacher education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education and Development, 4(1), 1-12.

Craig, C. J. (2011). Narrative inquiries into curriculum making in teacher education, Advances in Research on Teaching, 13, 19–42. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3687(2011)00000130005

Cruickshank, D. (1985). Uses and benefits of reflective teaching. The Phi Delta Kappa, 66(10), 704-706. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20387492

Dahlström, L. (2019). Toward learner-centered and democratic teacher education. In Democratic teacher education reform in Africa, 47-63. Routledge.

Driscoll, J. (ed.). (2007). Practicing clinical supervision: A reflective approach for healthcare professionals. Edinburgh: Elsevier

Driscoll, K. (2015). Improving the effectiveness of mathematics teaching through active reflection. In M. Marshman, V. Geiger, & A. Bennison (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (pp. 205–212). Sunshine Coast, QLD: MERGA. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED572435.pdf

Erdogan, F. (2019). Effect of cooperative learning supported by reflective thinking activities on students' critical thinking skills. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 80, 89-112. https://doi.org/10.14689/ejer.2019.80.5

Erdogan, F. (2020). The relationship between prospective middle school mathematics teachers' critical thinking skills and reflective thinking skills. Participatory Educational Research, 7 (1), 220-241. https://doi.org/10.17275/per.20.13.7.1

Farrell, T. S. (2004). Reflective practice in action: 80 reflection breaks for busy teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Fleck, R. & Fitzpatrick, G. (2010). Reflecting on reflection: Framing a design landscape. In Proceedings of OZCHI 2010. ACM, New York, pp 216–223. Retrieved from https://publik.tuwien.ac.at/files/PubDat_192739.pdf

Gibbs, G. (1998). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit, Oxford Polytechnic.

Gore, J. & Zeichner, K. (1991). Action research and reflective teaching in pre-service teacher education: A case study from the United States. Teaching and Teacher Education,7. 119-136. https://doi.org/10.1016/0742-05191)90022-H.

Harrison, J. K. & Lee, R. (2011). Exploring the use of critical incident analysis and the professional learning conversation in an initial teacher education program. Journal of Education for Teaching, 37(2), 199-217. https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2011.558285.

Jasper, M. (2013). Beginning reflective practice. Andover: Cengage Learning.

Khan, M. I. (2012). Reflection as a teacher education concept, connotation and implementation: a qualitative case study of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Secondary) Programme at a UK university. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Leicester]. Retrieved from https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.558007

Kihlgren, P., Spanager, L., & Dieckmann, P. (2014). Investigating novice doctors' reflections in debriefings after simulation scenarios. Medical Teacher 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2014.956054

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Krishnamurthy, S. (2007). Reflexive inquiry and reflective practice: Critical reflection and pedagogy in English language teaching. Nawa Journal of Communication, 1(2), 14-22. Retrieved from http://ir.nust.na/jspui/handle/10628/16

Lau, W.W.F. (2018). Reflective practice of pre-service mathematics teachers in an asynchronous online discussion forum. In T. Bastiaens, J. Van Braak, M. Brown, L. Cantoni, M. Castro, R. Christensen, G. Davidson-Shivers, K. DePryck, M. Ebner, M. Fominykh, C. Fulford, S. Hatzipanagos, G. Knezek, K. Kreijns, G. Marks, E. Sointu, E. Korsgaard Sorensen, J. Viteli, J. Voogt, P. Weber, E. Weippl & O. Zawacki-Richter (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 643-647). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/184255.

Lee, H. (2005). Understanding and assessing pre-service teachers' reflective thinking. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21, 699–715. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2005.05.007

Mathew, P., Mathew, P. & Peechattu, P.J. (2017). Reflective practices: A means to teacher development. Asia Pacific Journal of Contemporary Education and Communication Technology (APJCECT), 3(1). Retrieved from https://apiar.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/13_APJCECT_Feb_BRR798_EDU-126-131.pdf

Moore, A. (2004). The good teacher: Dominant discourses in teaching and teacher education. London: Routledge Falmer.

Nambira, G. (2015). Analyzing the determinants of teachers' mathematics teaching competencies in upper primary phase: Evidence from Namibia. International Journal of Innovation and Economic Development, 2,35-47. https://doi.org/10.18775/ijied.1849-7551-7020.2015.24.2004

National Institute for Educational Development (NIED). (2008). The national mathematics subject policy guide grades 5-12. Okahandja Namibia. http://www.nied.edu.na

Nyambe, K. J. (1996). Teacher education and societal transformation in post-apartheid Namibia: The limits and possibilities of the basic education teacher diploma program. https://doi.org/10.7939/R36Q1SS43

O'Sullivan, M. C. (2002). Reform implementation and the realities within which teachers work: A Namibian case study. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 32(2), 219-237. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057920220143192

Posthuma, A. (2011). The nature of mathematics teachers' reflective practice. Published Doctoral thesis. University of Pretoria. Johannesburg. Retrieved from https://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/24143

Posthuma, A. (2012). Mathematics teachers' reflective practice within the context of adapted lesson study. Pythagoras, 33(3), 54. https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v33i3.140.

Richardson, V. (1990). The evolution of reflective teaching and teacher-education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Robins, A., Ashbaker, B., Enriquez, J. & Morgan, J. (2003). Learning to reflect: Professional practice for professionals and paraprofessionals. International Journal of Learning, 10, 2555–2565.

Schön, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.

Schon, D. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Schon, D. (1991).The reflective practitioner: How professionals think and act. Oxford: Avebury.

Schön, D. A. (1988). From technical rationality to reflection-in-action. Professional judgment: A reader in clinical decision making, 60-77.

Sellars, M. (2017). Reflective practice for teachers. Los Angeles: SAGE. Retrieved from https://uk.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/59229_Sellars.pdf

Shaningwa, L.M. (2005). The relationship between learner achievement and qualification, training and experience of grade 6 teachers in Namibia. Research Paper submitted partial fulfillment of the requirement of the SACMEQ Research Conference. Namibia.

Sibahi, R. (2015). Exploring reflective practice among college EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), 6(2), 337 – 351.

Simasiku, E.L. (2013). Teachers' perceptions on reflective practice in teaching at Dawid Bezuidenhout High School (Unpublished Master’s Thesis). University of Namibia, Namibia.

Sleegers, P., Geijsel, F.,& van den Berg, R. (2012). In K. Leithwood, J. Chapman, D. Corson, P. Hallinger, and A. Hart (Eds.). International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

University of Cambridge. (2020). Reflective practice toolkit. https://libguides.cam.ac.uk/reflectivepracticetoolkit/models

University of Namibia. (2020). Prospectus: Faculty of Education. Retrieved from https://www.unam.edu.na/sites/default/files/newsletter/education_faculty_prospectus_2020.pdf

Uzum, B., Petrón, M., & Berg, H. (2014). Pre-service teachers’ first foray into the ESL classroom: Reflective practice in a service-learning project. TESL-EJ, 18(3).

Valli, L. (1992). Reflective teacher education. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Valli, L. (1997). Listening to other voices: A description of teacher reflection in the United States. Peabody Journal of Education, 72(1),67–88. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327930pje7201_4

Van Manen, M. (1977). Linking ways of knowing within ways of being practical. Curriculum Inquiry, 6,205–228. https://doi.org/10.1080/03626784.1977.11075533

Wahyudin, D., Ahman, Rusmono, D., & Rahmawati, Y. (2017). Teaching philosophy of selected teacher education institutions in Indonesia. International Journal of Technical Research and Application, 5(4), 67-78.

White, D. (2004). Reflective practice: Wishful thinking or a practical leadership tool? Practising Administrator, 26 (3): 41–44.

Zeichner, K & Ndimande, B. (2008). Contradictions and tensions in the place of teachers in educational reform: Reflections on teacher preparation in the USA and Namibia. Teachers and Teaching, 14(4), 331-343. https://doi.org/10.1080/13540600802037751

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