Developing a Reflexive Teaching Model

Developing a Reflexive Teaching Model

Neal Shambaugh (West Virginia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9279-2.ch076


A reflexive teaching model, which has both instructor and students examine their learning beliefs and teaching decisions during a course, has been used for 23 years in the teaching of a graduate instructional design course. Teaching model development is reported across four time periods. During Period 1 (1994-1999) the model was studied in a five-year case study using design and development research and is summarized using the Models of Teaching framework (Joyce, Weil, & Calhoun, 2014). Period 2 (1999-2001) reports the use of scenarios to test out new participation structures within the model. Period 3 (2001-2006) documents how the model was used in blended deliveries. Period 4 (2007-2016) summarizes changes in teaching procedures and participation when the course was delivered totally online. The chapter concludes with comments on developing a teaching model and a longitudinal agenda for studying one's teaching.
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According to Dewey (1916), “the classic definition of teaching is the design and creation of environments. Students learn by interacting with those environments and they study how to learn” (Joyce, Weil, & Calhoun, 2009, p. 24). This stance shifts the teachers’ concerns from content delivery to the design of learning environments (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996). A teaching model can be viewed as a representation of a means to create a learning environment in which to conduct instruction. Teaching models provide a theoretical basis for leveraging learning theories into methods of instruction, based on research on what works in educational settings. Models also provide steps to guide a new user or a starting point for experienced teachers. Developing a teaching model enables one to scrutinize its basis and features systematically and make improvements.

Steinitz and Rogers (1970) classified models into four types, including descriptive, predictive, explorative, and planning models. Period 1 of the reflexive model development provided a fundamental description of the model and reasonable evidence that the teaching moves would produce a stable set of student responses and instructor adjustments. Explorative models allow for systematic examination of new possibilities by varying features of the model. Period 2 documented the use of scenarios across two deliveries as a test of how to speed up the design-revise cycle. Period 3, which documents the course moving from a F2F delivery to a blended delivery, provided field tests of new online participation structures. These results informed the design of a 100% online course delivery documented in Period 4. The fourth stage of model building, that of planning models, contributed to the design of an online course.

A reflexive teaching model has been used over 20 years for teaching a graduate instructional design course to public school teachers, trainers, and college faculty members. A reflexive approach to teaching views the instructor and students as co-learners with different roles, and learning tasks were configured as activity or participation structures. A learner-centered approach used activities to help students develop their own foundations for teaching and applying learning principles extracted from learning theory to the design of learning settings for both F2F and online teaching. A reflexive approach for teaching the course was first used in 1994 and documented in a 5-year case study (Shambaugh & Magliaro, 2001). A design and development research methodology was used (Richey & Klein, 2007), in which multiple data sources were collected and analyzed across design, implementation, and evaluation phases of course development.

This chapter provides a longitudinal case study of one’s teaching. Section one describes the features of a reflexive teaching model in terms of the Models of Teaching framework (Joyce, Weil, & Showers, 2014), which includes syntax or procedures, necessary conditions, support system, student reactions, and direct and indirect benefits. Subsequent sections summarize the development of the model across four time periods. Period 1 used a design and development research framework to establish stable classroom teaching features of the model. Period 2 introduced the use of scenarios as a new participation structure. Period 3 documented blended delivery, while Period 4 documented 100% online deliveries with consequent changes in participation by students and instructors.

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