The Relation of Teachers' Reflective Judgment and Conceptions of Teaching and Learning

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Title: The Relation of Teachers' Reflective Judgment and Conceptions of Teaching and Learning
Author: Bowen, Kimberly Clark
Advisors: Ruie J. Pritchard, Committee Chair
Alan Reiman, Committee Member
Ronald Honeycutt, Committee Member
Chris Anson, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the reflective judgment of high school English language arts teachers, including how that epistemology relates to demographics and conceptions of teaching and learning. One of the most comprehensive and commonly accepted models of epistemic development, the Reflective Judgment Model provides a theoretical framework for understanding how personal epistemology influences the ways in which individuals approach ill-structured problems from late adolescence through adulthood. For the sample of 149 teachers, the mean score was 5.25, suggesting teachers most commonly access quasi-reflective levels of reflective judgment. Consistent with previous studies, graduate education was the only significant variable related to reflective judgment; age, gender, race, years of teaching experience, and National Board Certification were not significantly related to reflective judgment. A subset of 42 teachers completed the Teacher Beliefs Q-Sort and constructed metaphors about teaching and learning. Results suggest that overall teachers do not value teacher-centered environments or teacher-centered instruction, but they do hold negative views of student motivation. Pearson Product Moment Correlations revealed inverse relationships between age and valuing teacher-centered environments. Both age and race correlated with negative views of student motivation, with younger minority teachers likely to express the most negative views. Significant correlations between reflective judgment and two of the three teacher conception factors were found; no correlation existed between reflective judgment and negative views of student motivation. Stepwise linear regression revealed that reflective judgment accounted for 22% of the variance in teacher-centeredness values and 25% of the variance in teacher-directedness values. Further research about the relatedness of reflective judgment to teacher beliefs, as well as to teacher practice, may help shape graduate and professional development programs.
Date: 2009-08-11
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Curriculum and Instruction, English Education

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