Reflection, Ethics and
• “The knowledge and understanding which
should properly inform the professional
consciousness of the competent teacher
is…a kind of moral wisdom or judgement
which is rooted in rational reflection about
educational policies and practices and
what is ethically, as well as instrumentally,
appropriate to achieve them” (Carr, 2000)
What is reflective teaching?
1. Reflecting as looking back…
2. “routine” action and “reflective” action
3. Reflecting on different views of
More on Dewey
Routine action –
practice in light
(Hatton & Smith, 1995)
Why should teachers be reflective?
Personal and interpersonal (Korthagen
& Wubbles, 1991)
Sociological (Zeichner, 1992)
Technical (Cruikshank, 1987)
Professional (Dobbins, 1996)
Zeichner and Liston’s criteria of
Did I maintain order?
Did students achieve predetermined objectives?
In what ways did my teaching context influence teaching
How did my teaching meet differing educational goals?
How does my teaching align with moral and ethical aspects
of teaching and education?
How did power operate in my classroom?
• CRITICAL REFLECTION –
Consciously taking account of wider historic,
cultural and political values of beliefs in
framing and reframing problems to which
solutions are being sought.
Conscious detachment from an activity
followed by a distinct period of detachment
– with a view to explore alternatives which
might be implemented in the future
(Hatton & Smith, 1995)
Valli’s focus possibilities (1993)
Non - reflective
Ethical / Critical
Skill Development Practical Decision Making
Indoctrination Moral Development
Schön’s reflective processes (1983,
An attempt to understand past events
The focus and process of reflection can be
explicit and deliberate
Occurs “on the run”
Problems need to be identified, resolved and
tested almost subconsciously
The focus and process of reflection is usually
What are common barriers to reflective
If it’s so easy why don’t teachers do it?
Killen (2003) suggests barriers such as:
Preoccupation with subject matter
Fear of failure
Perceived limited potential of reflection
Feelings of powerlessness
Additional barriers might include:
False sense of competence
Perceived lack of time
Lack of (extrinsic and intrinsic) motivation
Feelings of isolation
Some methods of reflection
• The next section of the lecture will outline
some approaches to reflection…
Modes of reflection - Critical
• The goal of ‘critical dissonance’ or ‘incongruity
based on a critical perspective’ is to interrupt the
potentially conservative influences of student
teachers school-based experiences and instead
help to develop stronger, more critical
perspectives that confront issues of race, class,
power, and gender.
• WHAT CAN YOU DO IN SCHOOLS TO
MAINTAIN A CRITICAL DISONANCE?
Modes of reflection - Collaborative
• The goal here is to prolong and intensify
the influences of university and school
experiences, both of which are viewed as
potentially liberalizing. Teachers, from
both the inside (schools) and outside (uni,
research and pre-service teachers) alike
critique the cultures of teaching and
schooling and call into question the
policies and language of schooling that is
taken for granted.
How can teachers reflect on their
Portfolios - NSW Institute Professional Standards
Cross-cultural teaching experiences
Analysis of classroom discourse
How can teachers use Quality
Teaching as a lens for reflective
For classroom practise, ask questions like:
What am I already doing that is consistent
with the model?
What needs development or change?
For assessment practise, ask questions like:
Can you see evidence of all three
What could you have changed to increase
the intellectual quality, quality learning
environment and significance?
Clarifying Intentions to Achieve
• Keep track of your thought process
– One way of keeping track of our thought
processing is to note moments when we
experience surprise, especially in the
educational context. This is important
because surprise is one of the reactions we
have when our expectations are violated.
– Identify a moment when you experienced
surprise in a classroom or school. Then
explore these questions:
• 1. Why were your surprised?
• 2. What assumptions did you bring to that
• 3. What does the existence of these
assumptions suggest for you as a
participant in the education process?
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Dobbins, R. (1996). The challenge of developing a reflective practicum. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 24(3), 269-
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development, Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco.
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2010, from: http://alex.edfac.usyd.edu.au/localresource/Study1/hattonart.html
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reflection: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago.
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MI: National Center for Research on Teacher Learning.
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Teacher College Press.
Zeichner, K., & Liston, D. (1985). Varieties of discourse in supervisory conferences. Teaching and Teacher Education, 1, 155-174.