Recent Study on Reflection as a Source of Teacher Development: Pre-service and Experienced Teachers | Chapter 3 | Current Research in Education and Social Studies Vol. 4

This study traces evidence of reflection in teacher education and teaching practice by measuring reflection of pre-service teachers and experienced teachers and clarifying reflection-oriented reactions to possible confusions or problematic situations considering whether or not they are reflective practitioners. The data were collected from 514 volunteer pre-service teachers and 466 experienced teachers teaching science, math, English, Turkish and primary classes. Teacher Reflection Scale (TRS) [1] was used to collect data. In order to analyze the data and obtain descriptive statistics for the item results, SPSS 16.0 was employed. Statistical analyses gave evidence that pre-service primary teachers had a high mean of reflection. Under the light of the results gathered from data, experienced teachers did not attain higher reflection scores when compared to pre-service teachers. There is evidence that math teachers’ experiences in school settings might lead them to reflect on their practices in time. Experienced teachers of English, science, Turkish and primary education did not attain higher TRS scores when compared to pre-service teachers of the same subject areas. There was no statistically significant and meaningful difference between the rank averages of the mentioned groups’ reflection scores. Besides, pre-service and experienced primary teachers’ reflection scores seem higher than the ones obtained from other subject areas; also there is no significant difference between these two groups. Pre-service and experienced math teachers’ results demonstrate that the scores of experienced math teachers revealed a statistically significant difference at a meaningful level (p=.000).

Author(s) Details

Saziye Yaman
American University of the Middle East (AUM), Kuwait.

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The Effects of Mindfulness Training on Wisdom in Elementary School Teachers | Chapter 02 | Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3

Aims: School teachers have hundreds of spontaneous interactions with students each hour, requiring frequent decision-making. Often these interactions require social understanding, perspective taking and emotional self-regulation, constructs often identified with wise reasoning and mindfulness.  Increasing mindfulness could aid wiser reasoning in addressing the challenges of classroom demands. The present study evaluated effects of an online mindfulness course on measured wisdom in a sample of public elementary school teachers.

Study Design: This study used a pretest/posttest design using data collected immediately before taking the online mindfulness course and after completion of the course. End of the school year follow-up data was analyzed for all teachers.

Place and Duration of Study: Participants were enrolled from multiple cities across the United States including Boston, Columbus, Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle, and San Diego between June 2014 and June 2015. Data were collected online and analyzed at the University of Chicago.

Methodology: Public elementary school teachers (n = 12) were assigned to a mindfulness training or a matched wait-list condition (11 female, 1 male; age range 26 – 57 years). Teachers had a range of teaching experiences from 1 to 36 years (median =18 years) and taught grades K-4 at schools with 30% – 50% Caucasian students with 40%-60% students receiving free and reduced-price lunches. We used standardized measures for mindfulness, wisdom, emotion regulation, compassion, theory of mind, state/trait anxiety, stress, burnout, and efficacy.

Results: Online mindfulness training produced a significant increase in mindful awareness and changes in cognitive wisdom implying increased understanding of inter/intrapersonal concerns. There was a significant increase in mindful attention in those who completed both pre- and post-class online evaluations (n = 10) solicited by Mindful Schools (t (9) = 2.738, p = .02) from 54.3 to 59.9 following training (ΔM= 5.6, SD = 6.5). Wisdom, measured with Ardelt’s Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (n =12), demonstrated a significant increase in the cognitive dimension of wisdom (t(11) = 2.39, p =.03) with a non-significant increase in the affective dimension (t(11) =1.38, p =.19) and a non-significant reduction in the reflective dimension of wisdom (t(11) =.96, p = .35) following mindfulness training.

Conclusion:  Online mindfulness training may help develop wise decision making as a skill for teachers to aid classroom management and social problem solving.

Author(s) Details

Jean Ngoc Boulware

University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Brenda Huskey

University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Heather Harden Mangelsdorf

University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Howard C. Nusbaum

University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

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