Blogging as Online Reflection During Student Teaching

Blogging as Online Reflection During Student Teaching

Vicki Stewart Collet (University of Arkansas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0206-8.ch002

Abstract

One of the most vital forms of dialogue for a novice teacher is the inner dialogue of reflective practice. Reflection is an evidence-based practice that improves instruction during preservice teachers' practicum experiences. While student teaching, preservice teachers may be so caught up in implementing lessons that they are unable to reflect in action; therefore, reflection-on-action, which occurs after teaching episodes, is critical. This study explores use of blogs as tools for reflection during the student-teaching experience, finding that blogs serve as a means of both self-expression and reflection. Additionally, the study suggests that self-questioning may lead to deeper reflection, and that preservice teachers should balance the articulation of emotions with specific descriptions of teaching and judgments about student learning in order to support reflection that leads to increased professional knowledge.
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Statement Of Goal

The International Literacy Association has delineated Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals (ILA, 2018) to assist teacher preparation programs. These standards, developed by literacy experts across the United States, “focus on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for effective educational practice” (ILA, 2018). The Standards emphasize the need for practicum experiences as part of preservice teachers’ preparation. In the study described in this chapter, preservice teachers had “ongoing opportunities for authentic, school-based practicum experience” as they participated in their year-long student-teaching internship (ILA, 2018, Appendix A, p. 4). Because reflection provides evidence of preservice teachers’ skill in thinking productively about instruction (Davis, 2006) and is predictive of their teaching ability (Kersting, 2010), this study investigates interns’ reflective practice. ILA Standards (2018) note that technology can be used to enhance reflection during practicum experiences. I hypothesized that blogging, because it offers opportunities for multimodality and ease of asynchronous communication, might augment reflection. Noting the importance of practicum experiences, the benefits of reflection, and the affordances of technology, this study considers:

  • How does blogging support interns’ ability to reflect on their student-teaching experience? (ILA 7.3)

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Review Of Literature

Reflection is an important aspect of teacher preparation and ongoing learning. Decades of research on teacher reflection demonstrate its benefits for improving instruction. In addition, recent research suggests that blogging supports reflection. This body of research is discussed below.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Self-Expression: Communicating one’s own thoughts, feelings, and experiences, especially through writing or the arts.

Preservice Teachers: Students enrolled in courses to prepare them to join the teaching profession.

Evidence-Based Practice: Professional practices based on best-available research.

Reflection-on-Action: The act of considering experiences after performing them.

Blog: Originally a contraction for “web log,” blogs are an online platform for publication that is informational or of a diary-like structure.

Self-Questioning: Introspective questioning to examine one’s own actions or motives or the actions or motives of others.

Reflection-in-Action: The act of considering experiences while performing them.

Practicum: Course experiences that provide for supervised, practical application of professional knowledge.

Teacher Education: Courses that lead to a degree and certification for teaching.

Reflection: The act of recapturing one’s experience, mulling it over and evaluating it in order to learn about one’s practice.

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