Change Within a Teacher Education Program and Laboratory: A Reflective Commentary

Oct. 30, 2009

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 30, Issue 4 October 2009 , pages 404 – 417.

Intentional, systemic philosophical change on an educational program level and on an individual level is often a slow and cyclic process.

In this article, the authors reflect on the journey of philosophical change and growth from a traditional philosophy to an inquiry-based, Reggio-inspired one that occurred on both levels in an early childhood teacher education program and laboratory school over a period of 7 years.

As an inquiry group, the authors reflected on the change the authors experienced in their own teaching methods, their interactions with staff members and each other, and their perceptions of change in interaction with their students.

After carefully and systematically reviewing their reflections, five trends in change were identified.
They were (a) recasting the image of the teacher and reevaluating the process of teaching and learning,
(b) valuing dialogue,
(c) cultivating a reflective mindset,
(d) valuing outside perspectives, and
(e) building meaningful relationships.

The process of reflecting on and documenting their journey has improved their ability to articulate the change the authors made and to see their growth. Further it has illuminated future teaching and learning directions and aims that the authors intend to pursue.
Finally, the authors hope that sharing this process will encourage others to examine what, how, and why of their teaching and learning in order to enhance their own professional development journey.

Updated: Jan. 12, 2010