Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Dorsch, Nina G.||Switzky, Harvey N.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Teaching and Learning


Student teachers--Rating of--United States


This study examined the way in which student teachers characterized the concept of reflection. An adapted phenomenological procedure was employed utilizing Flanagan’s critical incident technique to gather data through interviews of a small sample of student teachers at the conclusion of their clinical teaching experience. Critical incidents and reflections on critical incidents were analyzed. The dilemmas inherent in the critical incidents and the resolutions of those dilemmas were explored. This study drew on the works of Dewey, Schon, Van Manen, and Valli as providing the conceptual underpinnings of reflection. Because Valli’s conception of reflection incorporates many aspects of Schon’s and Van Manen’s frameworks, her model of reflection served as the primary framework for examining student teachers’ reflections in this study. Participants’ reflections manifested a range of types and levels of reflection. Central to those reflections were conceptions of what it means to be a good teacher based on personal theories derived from the participants’ experiences and belief systems. For most of this study’s participants, the critical incident brought into focus a gap between their professional identity as revealed in the incident and their desired identity— the image of the good teacher implicit in their belief systems and reinforced by cultural myths. Whether this perceived gap led to transformation depended on the level of reflection in which the participants engaged.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [170]-178).


viii, 216 pages




Northern Illinois University

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