A Case Study of Teaching High-level Reflection to Teachers: Dissecting My Failing Journey

Jung-ah Choi


While the teacher education literature stressed the importance of teachers’ reflection for the purpose of their professional growth, very few focus on teacher’s personal intellectual growth, intelligent dispositions. In fact, teacher educators are concerned about teachers’ anti-intellectualism, as most teachers stay at their comfort zone and resistant against complex higher order thinking. This case study is an attempt to showcase how to enhance teachers’ intellectual growth in the university classrooms. Using Valli’s typology of reflections, this study first identifies what level of reflections teachers engage, and documents what attempts I, as a teacher educator, made to promote higher order thinking. The finding confirms the existing literature that teachers tend to engage in pragmatic/practical thinking, and are not ready, or not willing, to take up a deeper level of intellectual reflections. My efforts to cultivate a culture of inquiry became unsuccessful, because teachers’ practicality-oriented mindset conflicts with my goal of promoting nonpragmatic inquiry, i.e., higher order thinking. This study leaves an implication for teacher educators: Teacher education curriculum oughts to undergo a paradigmatic change from pragmatic inquiry into non-pragmatic inquiry to allow teachers beyond the normative framework, and nourish teachers’ intellectual life.  

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v8i9.4950


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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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