A reflective practitioner approach to teacher preparation
MetadataShow full item record
The present study examined a group of prospective second language teachers’ process of learning to teach in a curricular innovation featuring implementations of service-learning and a web-based course tool (i.e., WebCT). The overarching research questions that guided this study included: (1) How does participation in service-learning impact academic learning from the participants' points of view? (2) How does participation in WebCT impact the participants’ professional identity development integral to their ongoing professional development? The situative perspective on learning provided a theoretical framework through which to consider the prospective second language teachers’ academic learning and professional identity development in the curricular innovation. The observed classroom was a TESOL methods course designed to prepare students for teaching English as a second or foreign language to adult learners. The methodology employed was a qualitative case study. The data collection methods for this study involved classroom observation, document collection, and online data collection. The collected data was analyzed using a constant comparative method to investigate the conceptual data (i.e., the students' video analyses, service-learning portfolios, and course evaluations) and a discourse analysis method was used to examine the textual communications that occurred in WebCT. Findings of the study indicated that this curricular innovation, with its focus on reflective practice, was proven to facilitate the prospective teachers’ process of becoming theoretically and pedagogically informed second language teachers. Specifically, the implementation of service-learning contributed to the prospective teachers’ academic learning and development. The implementation of WebCT was rich for fostering the prospective teachers’ professional identity development. Implications drawing from the research findings point to a holistic view of understanding reflection as both individualistic and social collective practices rather than advancing one at the expense of the other.