Attention: This site looks better in the latest Mozilla or Internet Explorer.

The Learning Conference 2003

Home | Newsletter | Call for Papers | Register

Presentation Details


Reflective Practice: Preparing Preservice Teachers to Become Reflective Thinkers

Deb Parkinson, Kristi Von Krosigk.

Professional literature contains a wealth of information on the importance teacher reflection and the goals of reflexivity. However, very little information has been written on teaching preservice teachers how to reflect. In the belief that effective educators must also be reflective practitioners, two university instructors gathered data over two years in their literacy methods courses to further investigate preservice teachers reflective thinking. They scaffolded opportunities for preservice teachers to develop reflective thinking skills through the implementation of a writing dialogic framework, using the genre of a friendly letter. Greene (1986), influenced by Dewey's theoretical thinking regarding teacher reflection, writes that reflection is much more than a simple process that merely involves logical and rational problem-solving processes. He suggests that intuition, emotion, and passion are also involved in reflection and that it cannot be packaged as a set of techniques for teachers to use. By using an affective format that most university students are familiar with, the friendly letter format, the data was rich and the reflections were deeper than in past years where preservice teachers recorded their reflections in solitary journal writing.

The reflective practice movement involves a recognition that teachers should be active in formulating the purposes and ends of their work, that they examine their own values and assumptions, and that they need to play leadership roles in curriculum development and school reform (Ziechner & Liston, 1996, p.5). This being the expectation of our teachers, we must begin early in our teacher education programs to promote effective ways to develop reflective thinking skills.


Deb Parkinson  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education
University of Wyoming

Dr. Debra Parkinson
Assistant professor at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. B.S. in Early Childhood Education, 1982, University of Iowa; M.A. in Education, 1984, University of Iowa; Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2001, University of Wyoming. Dr. Parkinson's research interests include literacy, preservice teacher education, and teacher efficacy. As an educator for over 20 years, she has taught in Wyoming, Oregon, Oklahoma, Iowa, and South Dakota at various levels including elementary, secondary, and higher education.

Kristi Von Krosigk  (United States)
Adjunct Faculty in Teacher Education
Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education
University of Wyoming

Adjunct Faculty of Teacher Education at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming. B.A. in Education, 1991, University of Wyoming; M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in Mathematics, 1997, University of Wyoming; Education Administration Endorsement, 2001, University of Wyoming. Research interests include professional development, literacy, preservice teacher education, and action research. Krisit has over ten years of educational experience teaching at various levels including elementary and higher education as well as serving as a college student placement coordinator and student teaching supervisor.

  • Reflective Practice
  • Preservice Teacher Education
  • Teacher as Researcher

(30 min Conference Paper, English)