Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Karen Parker

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Teacher Training; Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Psychology, General

Keywords

explicit instruction, preservice teachers, reflective thinking

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Methods | Psychology | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Abstract

Reflective thinking is a developmental process that progresses over time from a technical, routine level to a critical, self-evaluating level. Preservice teachers, who tend to stay in the technical, routine level of critical thinking without guidance, need to be taught how to become reflective thinkers so that they are able to identify and analyze their own personal teaching practices, connect theory with practice, and understand why they are teaching. By learning to be more critically reflective in their thinking, preservice teachers will become more effective teachers, thus having a positive impact on student achievement. This dissertation research study quantitatively evaluated the written reflections of first semester preservice teachers during their first semester internship experience to determine if, after receiving explicit instruction about reflective practices, their reflective thinking abilities improved over the course of the semester. The findings in this study determined that after receiving explicit instruction on reflective thinking over the semester, 66% of the preservice teachers showed an increase in their total score suggesting that reflective thinking skills can, in fact, be taught. Although this study wasexplored through one specific teacher preparation program, the findings and suggestions are relevant to other programs and other state education standards.