Reflective Practice - Research Proposal Example

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Reflective practice in education has been around a long time, but its formal study is generally agreed to have occurred only during the last century, and primarily since the last half of the twentieth century, which is seen in the literature as follows. "Since at least the time…
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Proposal for Study of Reflective Practice Reflective practice in education has been around a long time, but its formal study is generally agreed to have occurred only during the last century, and primarily since the last half of the twentieth century, which is seen in the literature as follows. "Since at least the time of Dewey, such thinking about practice has been termed reflection and in teacher education courses there has been a focus on developing reflective practitioners" (Loughran, 1996, p. 3) There are many definitions of reflective practice, but they all include the idea that the practitioner reflects upon the effects of the educational practices in order make changes in techniques to improve the outcomes. A brief survey of the literature shows that the methodology, results and reportage of reflective practices vary and are highly interdependent. This project will survey the available literature as extensively as possible, categorize the different aspects of the practices, methodologies, and reported outcomes and attempt to extract a general understanding of what works and what does not work and why.
From the results of this intensive survey of the literature we should be able to come to some conclusions concerning reflective practices. From these conclusions we can identify any elements which may be missing in the body of literature which might suggest directions for future study. In addition, we expect to be able to create a template of sorts to aid teachers in developing and documenting reflective practice in order to make this process easier and more useful. This will include a synthesized description of the role of the reflective practitioner in education, an informative chart showing reflective practice strategies, the benefits and problems or disadvantages of each plus an analysis of various instruments/tools used to exercise reflective practice.
Many textbooks have described and analyzed reflective practices, and there have been some influential texts which concentrated only upon this subject, such as those of Osterman, K., & Kottkamp, R. (2004) and York-Barr, J., Sommers, W., Ghere, G., & Montie, J. (2005). However, there needs to be ongoing study of these practices in order to have continuous evaluation and ongoing availability of current information.
One major purpose projects like this can serve is to filter the available literature and offer some guidance to those who wish to read more about reflective practices. An initial search on survey overview of reflective practice in education resulted in, at the least with the exclusion of Gale Group, more than 10,000 results in each of several academic databases. (See Appendix A) This is a really intimidating number, especially to new teachers or undergraduate students. One might simply look through the first fifty results, but there is reason to believe that a great deal of valuable information will be missed if this method is used. Therefore, an annotated bibliography will be a major part of this project, and the results will be charted and analyzed, and suggestion will be made for how to use this information. It would be nice to go further with this, but the limitations of time and space will not allow such depth, so that will be left for future study. Perhaps with these results, some researchers will be able to study the various categories in much more depth.
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Loughran, J. J. (1996). Developing Reflective Practice: Learning about Teaching and Learning through Modelling. London: Falmer Press. Retrieved November 22, 2009, from Questia database:
Osterman, K., & Kottkamp, R. (2004) Reflective practice for educators: Professional development to improve student learning Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN: 0803968019
York-Barr, J., Sommers, W., Ghere, G., & Montie, J. (2005) Reflective practice to improve schools: An action guide for educators Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN: 1412917573
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