Facilitating reflection in a teacher education program

Joan Apostle Pallante, University of Pennsylvania


The purpose of this study was to examine what changes occurred in preservice teachers when they received systematic and deliberate instruction in critical pedagogy during concurrent experiences in a college senior seminar and a practicum field experience. The teacher-researcher of this study was a participant observer. This research consistently observed the preservice teachers and the teacher-researcher in the decision making process. The preservice teachers were encouraged regularly to reflect upon their implicit and explicit values and beliefs in order to enrich them in the decision making process, and to ascertain how their values and beliefs affected their actions as teachers. This research employed the case study method. Data from various oral and written texts, interviews, and observations were collected and analyzed. The research revealed that as a result of systematic and deliberate instruction in critical pedagogy two of the preservice teachers were transformed to actualize critical pedagogy during both the senior seminar and their teaching practice. Another preservice teacher gave evidence that she was beginning to transform but had not yet demonstrated the ability to actualize her potential. The fourth preservice teacher withdrew before the completion of the study. The teacher-researcher regularly adapted her teaching strategies to comport with the needs and the spirit of the dialectical processes central to this study. The research supported the belief that systematic and deliberate instruction in critical pedagogy can transform preservice teachers. The transformation is facilitated by a relatively risk-free environment, and requires a conscious understanding of the tensions between internal beliefs and social constraints. For transformation to occur within a single semester, sustained mediation by a more capable peer is required. The quality of transformation is affected by the attitudes and beliefs of the cooperating teachers, and enriched when the preservice teacher's college instructor and practicum supervisor are the same person.

Subject Area

Teacher education|Higher education|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Pallante, Joan Apostle, "Facilitating reflection in a teacher education program" (1991). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9130285.