Reflection as a Means to Teaching Improvement for Novice University Science Faculty

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Title: Reflection as a Means to Teaching Improvement for Novice University Science Faculty
Author: Foster, Stephanie L.
Advisors: Dr. Eileen Parsons, Committee Chair
Abstract: This study explored the use of reflection as a professional developmental strategy to facilitate improvement of tangible classroom behaviors among novice university science faculty. Specifically, the study addressed the following questions: How did the novice college instructors perceive the reflection experiences to impact their teaching practice? During the progression of reflection experiences, in which teaching practices did the instructors' performances change? How? A mixed method approach was employed in answering the aforementioned questions. The participants' responses in semi-structured interviews and informal discussions, their written responses to reflective prompts, and the researcher's observations of their teaching were qualitatively analyzed for themes. Students' responses to a survey about the participants' instruction were analyzed quantitatively. Findings revealed that the participants developed self awareness and exhibited cognition-induced behavioral change consistent with their developmental goals. Findings also suggested that participation in the study facilitated development of cognitions supportive of sustained reform in instructional practice and bridging of gaps within participants' pedagogical content knowledge.
Date: 2006-04-28
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Science Education

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