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Realization of Effective Reflective Practices in Teacher Professional Development in International Schools in Egypt

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posted on 14.01.2022, 13:16 by Nevine El Souefi
There is a growing demand for authentic continuous professional learning (Webster-Wright, 2009; El-Fiki, 2012; Hunzicker, 2011). This demand increases with national teachers working in international schools in developing countries, as they are teaching curriculums that were designed in a context different than their own. Although the concept of reflection was viewed as a successful mean for professional renewal and professional learning (Dowey, 1933, Schon, 1983), very few actually used it in their practical life, even when it was mandatory (Marzano, et. Al., 2012). The study was exploring conditions affecting reflection from the perspective of teachers in the context of international schools in Egypt. The study took place in a first-year candidate IBPYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme) school in North East Cairo. Teachers participating in the study were a homogenous group of seven Egyptian teachers. Teachers went through five cycles of reflection-on-action in six weeks. These were; a collaborative reflection, three lesson reflective questionnaires, and a reflective journal. A qualitative approach was adopted to provide a detailed rich description seizzing the feelings, perceptions, and views of teachers. Data was collected through a focus group discussion with all the seven teachers, three in-depth interviews with three volunteering teachers from the seven participants, a document review of the action plan resulting from the collaborative reflection, the lesson reflective questionnaires answered by teachers and the Reflective Journals written by teachers. The study was mainly set to explore conditions affecting reflection as a mean for professional learning in the context of international schools in Egypt. The exploration dug deeper into the reflective process itself, which led to three major findings for the study; the reflective spiral with its specific facets and how they work, the conditions and sub-conditions and how they affect the reflective spiral facets, and how some aspects of sub-conditions can be used to create a spiral of conditions supporting the reflective process. Furthermore, the study offered insights to a new angle to see reflection from the teachers’ perspective, shedding light on the complexities and the sensitivity that teachers face going through the reflective process. This insight led to introducing a solution to support reflection by instilling a spiral of conditions focusing on key aspects that move all the rest. The study investigated the effectiveness of the lesson reflective questionnaire designed and provided an amended version of the questionnaire to support teachers in reaching critical reflation. The research adds to our understanding of the role different levels of context in shaping teachers’ feelings, thoughts, actions and reaction.



Christopher Wilkins; Laura Guihen

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School of Education

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University of Leicester

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