Improving Teacher Preparation Through an Electronic Data Management System: A Lens for Reflective Practice

Improving Teacher Preparation Through an Electronic Data Management System: A Lens for Reflective Practice

Kim J. Hyatt (Duquesne University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2009041003

Abstract

The focus of this article is how technology, specifically, the utilization of an electronic data management system, can be integrated into the college classroom as a lens for reflective practice on teacher preparation. In addition to using a traditional Teacher Evaluation Questionnaire (TEQ) for feedback, the instructor documented the impact of instructional practices by entering assessment rubrics as fields in the electronic data management system. Teacher candidate scores were collected and analyzed over multiple semesters in order to make improvements to instruction. The changes to instructional practices were evidenced in higher scores on assessment rubrics following course revisions. Using an electronic data management system offers the instructor an additional resource to engage in reflective practice.
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Introduction

Learning to teach is developmental and a lifelong process. It requires essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions, delineated by professional teaching standards (National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2007), in order to navigate effectively in today’s diverse classroom. Teacher preparation programs typically include competencies related to professionalism, planning and instructional strategies, assessment and evaluation, classroom management, and reflective practices. In learning how to teach, “it is no longer sufficient for teachers to be warm and loving toward children, nor is it sufficient for them to employ teaching practices based solely on intuition, personal preference, or conventional wisdom… As experts and professionals, they are expected to use best practice to help students learn” (Arends, 2004).

As a form of best practice, reflection is continually referenced for teachers and students alike (Boyce, 2007; Orland-Barak & Yinon, 2007; Romano, 2004; Tsangaridou, 2005; Tucker, Jones, Straker, & Cole, 2003). Reflection is understanding consequences of past actions in order to gain a new perspective for future actions (Howard, 2003; Posner, 1989; Rogers, Bolick, Anderson, Gordon, Manfra, & Yow, 2007). For teachers, the integration of theory and practice requires systematically reflecting on instruction to enhance student learning (Carrington & Saggers, 2008; Korthagen & Vasalos, 2005); and, for students, reflection fosters various levels of cognition (Camp, 1998). Reflection, though complex and exigent, is a form of self-assessment that is a requisite part of the learning process, not only in the classroom but also in our daily lives (Bannink & van Dam, 2007; Genor, 2005; Shin, 2006).

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