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Pathways to reflection: Exploring the reflective analytical practices of novice teachers

H. Emily Hayden, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This mixed methods study explores reflective analytical practices of novice teachers who taught in a University Reading Clinic just prior to student teaching. Novices' reflective practices are compared to reflective practices of experienced teachers in a pilot study in the same setting. A theoretical model of novices' reflective analytical practices is developed and tested. Twenty-three novices wrote structured reflection notes after each week of teaching. Theoretical coding identified six themes: Descriptive Level, Confidence, Locus of Control, Adaptations, Discourse, and Transfer. Graduated scoring and repeated measures ANOVA explored trends, correlations, and effects among themes. Descriptive Level and Locus of Control were unchanged over time in the Reading Clinic. Confidence followed a significant positive linear trend. Adaptations, Discourse, and Transfer followed significant quadratic trends, rising through mid-term then leveling off. Significant correlations were found between Descriptive Level-Discourse, Locus of Control-Discourse, Locus of Control-Adaptations, and Discourse-Adaptation Slope. Significant effects were found between Descriptive Level-Discourse, Discourse-Locus of Control, Locus of Control-Adaptations, and Confidence-Adaptations. When compared to experienced teachers in the pilot novices relied more heavily on discourse, with a nearly significant effect (p<.051) on personal Locus of Control for teaching outcomes; and exhibited different trends in Confidence over the teaching term. Experienced teachers documented significant connections between Adaptations to lessons and observed Transfer to student. For novices, Locus of Control and Confidence had significant effects on Adaptations to lessons, but there was no significant correlation or effect on Transfer to student. Significant novice effects between Discourse-Locus of Control and the fact that Discourse on problems and dilemmas was the most frequent axial code indicate that Discourse around teaching should be carefully scaffolded and developed during teacher preparation. Confidence also needs to be observed and developed over time, so that novices become aware that teaching practice will have times of both high and low confidence. The ability to use the disequilibria that accompanies lowered confidence as an initiator for transformative growth and practice change is a hallmark of accomplished teachers.^

Subject Area

Education, Pedagogy|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Reading

Recommended Citation

Hayden, H. Emily, "Pathways to reflection: Exploring the reflective analytical practices of novice teachers" (2010). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3398189.