Media and the development of student teachers' reflective thinking
Dina B. Rosen, New York University, United States
New York University . Awarded
Reflection is important to teacher performance because by thinking about classroom experiences teachers can become more responsive to changing classroom needs. This quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of different forms of instruction on student teachers' reflections about teaching and learning. Three groups employed one of three modes of instruction: traditional instruction, hypermedia-case instruction or written-case instruction.
Pre-treatment and post-treatment reflections of 60 participants were analyzed using the Reflective Thinking Scale by Sparks-Langer (1989). An analysis of the RTS scores using ANOVA, Tukey Post Hoc tests, and means analysis revealed that the improvement found in the hypermedia group was statistically significant. The findings indicate that the reflections of the hypermedia participants were closer to expert quality reflections than the reflections written by either the written or control groups. The Reflective Thinking Rubric was used to identify changes in categories that emerged in pretest and posttest reflections. In the pretest, most participants in the groups focused on primarily novice level categories. In the posttest, there was a sharp decrease in the number of hypermedia participants who focused on novice level categories, accompanied by a strong increase in the number of participants who focused on more advanced categories.
I advocate the use of the case instruction, especially hypermedia case instruction, in student teaching seminar classes to encourage substantive discussions about issues that are important to teaching and learning. I suggest several explanations for the higher performance found in the hypermedia group including the difference between reading text cases—a word-focused activity—and viewing hypermedia cases—a multi-sensory activity. I suggest that the visual information observable in the digitized cases encouraged or enabled hypermedia participants to focus more on the students.
Rosen, D.B. Media and the development of student teachers' reflective thinking. Ph.D. thesis, New York University.
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