Identifying and supporting reflection in pre-service teacher education

a rubric fit for purpose


  • Maria Ellison


It is widely accepted that reflection and reflective practices are
necessary components of teacher education programmes. However, these
are not always explored or even fully understood by the very people who are
expected to reflect – the student-teachers themselves. Support for these practices
is therefore required so that students may understand what reflection is and
helped to become reflective practitioners. This article describes the construction
and use of a rubric to identify and support reflection in pre-service foreign
language teacher education. It begins by reviewing key literature on reflection
before moving on to a study of types of reflection and conceptual frameworks
in the literature. Four types of reflection were identified and attributed labels:
Type 0. Descriptive/behavioural; Type 1. Descriptive/analytical; Type 2.
Dialogic/interpretative; and Type 3. Critical/transformatory. These were then
used to construct the rubric which incorporated a matrix of five categories:
discourse; rationale; level of inquiry; orientation to self; and views of teaching.
Examples of how the rubric has been used to both capture and support reflection
are provided. It is not a stand-alone tool, but one which is situated within a
reflective practice model of teacher education which requires reflexive teacher
educators, tools and practices which provide opportunities for reflection. It is
flexible enough to allow teacher educators (and students) to identify types of
reflection in spoken or written accounts, which may help when self-assessing,
giving feedback, and supporting the momentum of reflection during a course
or practicum.