A teacher educator's reflection upon the practice of teaching: An application of the Systematic Process for Improvement through Research on Learning (SPIROL)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

Abstract

Following Dewey's tradition, reflective action involves a willingness to engage in constant self-appraisal and development, which implies flexibility, rigorous analysis, and socia awareness. As a teacher of teachers, my conviction that teacher educators should be competent teachers drives the engine of constant reflection upon my own practice. The System Process for Improvement through Research on Learning (SPIROL) is a way, when applied to teacher education, for teacher educators to reflect upon their teaching both at the individual and collective levels. As a participant of the SPIROL project, I utilize some of the components of the SPIROL- the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle, the Classroom Assessment Techniques, and the action learning group - in my inquiry into two pieces of teaching experience unique to teacher educators. The first piece of experience is teaching practice supervision in teaching practice schools. The second piece of experience is my recent teaching in a primary school during a period of attachment which aims at updating teacher educators' practical experience with primary school teaching. The inquiry into my own practice is done by the following means. First, I reviewed my practice by the use of taped supervisory meeting in teaching practice supervision and video-taped lesson in the attachment, which fitted into the PDSA cycle. Second, I made use of a Classroom Assessment Technique to obtain feedback from the student teacher after a supervisory meeting. Third, the SPIROL process was extended to peer observation and systematic post-lesson discussion between another teacher educator and me, with reference to an English lesson taught at the Primary Three level in the attachment. Finally, reflection was enhanced by my professional dialogue with trusted colleagues. Examples of such collective pursuit of reflection include post-lesson discussion with another teacher educator after the attachment, and discussion about issues related to teaching practice supervision in an action learning group. Reviewing the two pieces of experience, a framework is developed highlighting SPIROL activities as a means of reflection into one's practice. Four forms of reflection are identified in my experience in the SPIROL project, namely, (1) self-review on recorded events, (2) self-review on receiver feedback, (3) peer review on recorded events, and (4) peer review on reported events and pointing out some of the issues related to its use. Such a framework can be extended to examine the reflection of professional practice in general. Finally, I conclude by pointing out some of the issue related to SPIROL activities as means of self-study which helps improve professional practice. Copyright © 1999 Reprographic Unit of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuality in teaching & learning in higher education: A collection of refereed papers written from the 63 extended abstracts presented at the first conference on Quality in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
EditorsJeff JAMES
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherReprographic Unit of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Pages95-102
ISBN (Print)9623672675
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Citation

Tang, Y. F. S. (1999). A teacher educator's reflection upon the practice of teaching: An application of the Systematic Process for Improvement through Research on Learning (SPIROL). In J. James (Ed.), Quality in teaching & learning in higher education: A collection of refereed papers written from the 63 extended abstracts presented at the first conference on Quality in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (pp. 95-102). Hong Kong: Reprographic Unit of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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