The supervision of student teachers: an emphasis on self-reflection
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This study investigated a style of supervision of student teachers that emphasizes self-reflection as differentiated from supervision that focuses primarily on the logistical matters of teaching. An assumption about self-reflective supervision is that it leads to analytical and critical thinking about the "self" which is beneficial to the education of student teachers. Four special-education student teachers were each videotaped three times while teaching. While viewing themselves on videotape in the presence of the investigator, each participant talked about what they saw of themselves and their teaching. These discussions, audiotaped and transcribed, provided the primary source of data used in the study. The following conceptual categories emerged from an analysis of those data: a) influences on their decisions to teach, b) concepts of teaching, c) responses to being video taped, d) metaphors depicting their teaching, and e) insights. The videotaping and subsequent review and discussion provided participants with an opportunity to a) analyze and critique their language and actions; b) explore what life experiences informed their choices to teach; and c) learn what events and people shaped their concepts and styles of teaching. As a result of examining what the subjects said about their concepts of teaching, the researcher was able to expand Schon's (1983) concept of knowing-in-action into a concept and model that emerged from the analyses of the data, self-reflection before, in, and on action. A heuristic model for self-reflective supervision came forth from examining the data. The study enabled the investigator to learn about what it means to practice self-reflective supervision as part of the preparation of student teachers.
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