The three main models of professional education and training that had historically appeared in the following order: a) The Craft Model, in which the trainees learn by imitating the expert's technique and following his instructions. b) The Applied Science Model, which is a research – based model. c) The Reflective Model, in which the trainees acquire both professional knowledge and skills through reflection.
The core of the reflective model of professional development is the reflective cycle involving professional action (practice) and reflection on the action.
This model highlights both the experience and the scientific foundation of the profession. According to this model, professionals reflect on their performance. They may find it either strong or weak, so they will probably ask themselves what goes wrong or why it goes so well. They will probably want to think what to repeat in the future.
Trainee’s existing conceptual schemata or mental constructs Professio nal compete nce Stage 1 Pre-training Stage 2 Professional education/development Goal Received Knowledge Experiential Knowledge Reflection Practice Reflective practice model
1.The pre-training stage. The stages of The process of professional development : 2. The stage of professional development. 3. The goal.
The pre-training stage: The reflective model emphasizes the trainees' existing conceptual schemata or mental construct. This means that when teachers come to their classes, they have background knowledge (schemata), which is teachers' teaching. When they are engaged into training, they change their schemata. As pointed out by Wallace, this model emphasizes the fact that people rarely enter into the training situation with blank minds and/or neutral attitudes. Teachers' beliefs and attitudes are part of their schemata which has been derived either from what has been read or taught or from professional experience. In this regard, our schemata shape our teaching.
In this stage, the main interest is increasing the trainees' professional practices and two elements are highlighted: 1. The received knowledge 2. The experiential knowledge
What is the difference between received knowledge and experiential knowledge?
Received knowledge means theory from different sources.
Experiential knowledge means practice under the supervision of others or teachers reflecting on their own teaching practice.
Received Knowledge and Experiential Knowledge: Received knowledge refers to facts, data, theories, etc. which are associated with the study of a particular profession. The received and the experiential knowledge bear a close, reciprocal relationship. The received knowledge should both directly inform the experiential knowledge and be directly informed by it. The experiential knowledge, which is considered the core of the reflective model, is also referred to as the knowledge of professional action (practical practice). Received Knowledge and Experiential Knowledge:
How can the relationship between received knowledge and experiential knowledge be described? Is it reciprocal or one- way?
The relationship between received knowledge and experiential knowledge The reflective model argues for making the relationship reciprocal, not one-way. In this way, the trainees can reflect on the received knowledge in the light of classroom experience, and so that classroom experience can feed back into the received knowledge sessions.
Practice and Reflection: When teachers reflect, they recall, reconsider and evaluate. Practice and reflection may include briefing, trial teaching, five minutes lesson to peers on one specific skill observed by a supervisor or others, videotaped, critique, videotaped and finally re-teach.
Trial teach A 5-m in lesson to peers on one specific skill Critique Re-teach Peers giving feedback Self-critique (the most reliable source of feedback) Observed by supervisor
Does every course have space for practice sessions?
Some in-service courses may consist of a series of inputs of different kinds. They may operate entirely in the area of received knowledge. The effectiveness of such courses will obviously depend on how well they relate to the trainees' own "reflection" and "practice". That is, the trainees may evaluate the inputs in terms of their own practice and either decide to change their teaching in some way, or not. If they incorporate the new techniques in their subsequent practice, they may then reevaluate them in the light of that practice.
Disadvantages of the use of practice for professional education 1- Experience is private, not shared. 2- The potential lack of focus on the discussion. 3- The lack of structure in the model of articulating the mode of reflection.
4- There should be machinery of course organization which allows the received knowledge subject tutors to harmonize their inputs, so that they can see, at least partially, how these inputs relate to one another, as well as to school experience. What are the aspects of the course that have to be examined carefully? 1- School experience or teaching practice should be organized and timed in a way that can feed into the received knowledge subject sessions, and also be influenced by them. 2- There should be a timetabled period when tutors deliver received knowledge inputs to give the trainees an opportunity to discuss the inputs as related to their school experience. 3- The assessment of the received knowledge inputs should be organized in a way that the trainees have an opportunity to display their ability to apply received Knowledge in a school or classroom context.
It is a shorthand way of referring to the continuing process of reflection on received knowledge and experiential knowledge in the context of professional action (practice). This reflection may take place before the event. As we are reading texts or listening to lectures, etc. we may well be reflecting on such inputs and understanding them with reference to our professional concerns. Reflection may also take place by a process of recollection: as we struggle with a professional problem, we recall relevant knowledge or experience that may help us with our evaluation of the problem. Or, finally, it may take place during the practice itself:' reflection in action'. The point that is being highlighted here is that the practice element which is the central focus of the knowledge base on the one hand and the reflective process on the other.
The teacher as a researcher It has been recommended by many writers that the process of reflection should be formalized, and that the classroom teacher should also become a researcher because this would help to undermine the dichotomy between theory and practice. However, there are real problems regarding doing research such as special expertise, a lot of time, financial resources, etc.
Goal: professional competence The term 'professional competence' can be used in two senses.
In one sense, it is the indication that someone has met certain minimum requirements for the exercise of his/her profession. Thus, one's competence to teach might be proved by a certificate gained at the end of a teacher education course many years ago.
There is another sense of “professional competence” in which a moving target or a horizon, towards which professionals travel all their life, but which is never finally attained. The variables are many: society's expectations, the nature of the subject, the examination system, the teacher's changes in responsibility, etc. Competence, here, has come along way from adequacy or even proficiency: it has the stronger force of expertise. Viewed from this perspective, professional certificate is not a terminal, but a point of departure.
The third stage refers to the goal, which is the professional competence. If the feedback is okay, the teacher does not need to re-teach. If the teacher finds that his teaching needs more, he reflects again and re-teaches. Either we use received or experiential knowledge, reflection is necessary in both. If we combine them together, we reflect on the practice. The goal