Reflective practice as a mechanism for professional development : a narrative inquiry

Domingo, Cisca Elouise (2013-03)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Bibliography

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As a novice teacher I experienced many difficulties and obstacles in my first two years of teaching in a South African context. This experience was further disempowering as there were no support programmes like induction or mentoring programmes in place to support the transition from student to teacher and to grow professionally. It thus became my concern to ascertain the possibilities of professional development through reflective practice, to highlight some of the strategies which might bring about change, however imperfect, and to consider the human agency in all of this. The focus of the study is particularly on reflective practice as a potential process of professional development and a self-support mechanism for novice teachers. It thus is a study of processes to encourage and maintain a teacher’s professional development. I tell of my lived experience as a novice teacher through narrative inquiry. The data comprises of journal entries and field notes which were constructed from conversations and observations. Main ideas were developed within my narrative to analyse the narrated text. Four main themes emerged from my global analysis of data. These are: lack of support; lack of an induction programme; engaging in self-support activities to grow professionally; and the importance that agency plays in this process of personal and professional development. Based on this study of my personal experience as a novice teacher, it would seem that becoming a reflective practitioner could indeed contribute to a sense of empowerment and serve as a support mechanism in personal and professional development.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: As ‘n nuweling-onderwyser het ek baie probleme en struikelblokke in my eerste twee jaar van onderwys in ‘n Suid Afrikaanse konteks ervaar. Hierdie ervaring was verder ontmagtigend aangesien daar geen ondersteuningsprogramme soos induksie en mentorskap in plek was om die oorgang van student tot onderwyser en professionele groei te ondersteun nie. Ek het my dus daaroor begin ontferm om die moontlikhede van professionele ontwikkeling deur die praktyk van refleksie te ondersoek en lig te werp op strategieë wat moontlike veranderinge teweeg kon bring en menslike agentskap in alle betrokke prosesse kon inwerk. Die fokus van hierdie studie is op reflektiewe praktyk as ‘n potensiële proses vir professionele ontwikkeling en ‘n self-ondersteunende meganisme vir nuweling-onderwysers. Dit is dus ‘n studie van prosesse wat professionele ontwikkeling aanmoedig en volhou. Ek maak gebuik van narratiewe ondersoek om my beleefde ervaring as ‘n nuweling-onderwyser te deel. Die data bestaan uit joernaalinskrywings en veldnotas wat saamgestel is vanuit gesprekke en waarnemings. Kernidees is binne die narratief ontwikkel om die verhaalde teks te analiseer. Vier hooftemas is identifiseer vanuit die data-analise. Dit is onder andere: gebrek aan ondersteuning, gebrek aan ‘n induksieprogram, gebrek aan self-ondersteuning om professioneel te groei en die rol van agentskap in die proses van persoonlike en professionele ontwikkeling. Gebaseer op die studie van my persoonlike ervaring, wil dit voorkom dat indien ‘n nuweling-onderwyser ontwikkel as ‘n reflektiewe praktistyn, dit inderdaad tot ‘n sin van bemagtiging kan bydra en ook kan dien as ‘n self-ondersteunende meganisme in persoonlike en professionele ontwikkeling.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80185
This item appears in the following collections: