University of Leicester
2012khanmiphd.pdf (6.53 MB)

Reflection as a Teacher Education Concept, Connotation and Implementation: A Qualitative Case Study of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Secondary) Programme at a UK University

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posted on 2012-10-05, 13:58 authored by Muhammad Ilyas Khan
This thesis reports a qualitative case study exploring the connotation and implementation of reflection as an educational concept in a PGCE (secondary) programme at a UK university in the light of the perceptions of university tutors and student teachers. Reflection has been an important concept in many teacher education programmes but it has consistently been intricate in terms of its connotation and implementation and despite a vast amount of research aimed at deconstructing its complexity, the matter does not seem to have been resolved. Despite its conceptual complexity it has often been taken in its common sense meaning by practitioners in educational programmes and is, at times, turned into a slogan. This study was, therefore, aimed at an exploration of the meaning and implementation of the concept and the various factors that influence it in the programme under study. The findings of the study reveal that, true to its reputation, the concept defies any agreed upon understanding. On a conceptual level there was recognition of its complexity among the university tutors, although this did not come out in the case of student teachers who predominantly defined it in its common sense meaning. At the implementation level the common sense practice-oriented connotation appeared to prevail among both groups. Factors influencing this orientation included the practical emphasis of the PGCE, the focus on response to the centralised QTS standards, the time-work balance and the under-appreciation for theory in its technical-rational conceptualisation in the predominantly skill-oriented and subject-teaching focused structure of the training. The study implies that for reflection to be appreciated and implemented at the deeper, conceptual and critical level, it should be put into practice more overtly with elaborate theoretical underpinnings. This would call for changes in this and similar programmes in terms of structure, content and aims.



Comber, Chris; Dymoke, Sue

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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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