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REFLECTIVE WRITING AMONG PRE-SERVICE TEACHER TRAINEES OF INSTITUT PERGURUAN BAHASA-BAHASA ANTARABANGSA

RESEARCH TEAM Jaya Pushani Ponnudurai Dr Yeow Poh Wha Hairati Abdullah Haslina Aris Norjah Norzilah Mohd. Zain Laila Hairani Easwary Alahakone Julina Amat

Jabatan Bahasa Inggeris Institut Perguruan Bahasa-Bahasa Antarabangsa

INTRODUCTION The inclusion of reflective writing in the teacher training curriculum has recently received wide interest in teacher education. In order to provide guidance effectively, teacher trainers need to employ appropriate strategies to develop thoughtful reflection in writing amongst teacher trainees. This research is an initial attempt to investigate elements of reflectivity in teacher trainees writing and find out whether intervention might lead to an improvement in their reflective skills. Fogarty (1994) refers to reflection as being aware and able to control ones own thought processes. In the pursuit to produce effective learners themselves, it is encouraged that trainees need to think about the process of learning itself, and work to adapt and modify their approach as necessary. As such, reflective writing has been used as a medium to allow for the opportunity to articulate ideas on how one learns, to think about ones self as a student and learner, and to work to be open to new approaches and opportunities that may not have been considered in the past. (Halsey, J.H.: DCC Homepage) Therefore, it is hoped that this study would provide some insight to enable course facilitators help trainees achieve some level of reflectivity in the direction of this goal.

BACKGROUND OF STUDY The English Studies Syllabuses for the teacher trainees have not undergone much change in content or structure. However, a new dimension has been added to the syllabuses which is Critical and Creative Thinking Skills (KBKK). The aim of this component is to introduce trainees to the cognitive and metacognitive

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processes involved in learning. (Sukatan Pelajaran KDPM and KPLI, 2000). As a result, one also notices an addition to the assessment format of teacher to reflect this change. The reflective essay in the form of self-evaluation is a component of the Practicum which is assessed. In addition, the extended coursework known as Kerja Kursus Berportfolio (KKB) for the KDPM and the KPLI (Garis Panduan Praktikum,2000) groups and the Special Project for the KSPK (Kursus Sijil Perguruan Khas) requires teacher trainees to write reflective reports. This recognises the importance of the need for trainees as learners to evaluate their own performanc, and that as teachers, actively teach and model self-analytic and questioning approaches to learning. However in their reports, trainees are found to be deficient in demonstrating the ability to be critical. This has given cause for concern especially so as it has implications on assessment and needs to be addressed in our efforts to improve teacher performance.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research attempts to investigate teacher trainees reflectivity in their writing. The three questions central to this investigation are: 1) Do trainees writing demonstrate elements of reflectivity? 2) What action can be taken to develop reflective skills? 3) How has this intervention influenced reflectivity in trainees writing?

LITERATURE REVIEW What is reflection? Boud, Keogh & Walker (1985: 18) state that reflection is an active process of exploration and discovery which often leads to very unexpected outcomes. They contend that experience alone is not enough for learning to take place. They believe that people who imagine thinking quietly, mulling over events in their minds or making sense of experiences they have had are going through the process of reflection. Activities which have some relation to reflection are people engaging in meditation or prayers, actively engaging in discussing recent events and issues, comparing notes, round table discussion, carrying out a post-mortem (metaphorically speaking) and having an informal group discussion. Similarly, Forgarty (1994) provides the appropriate framework for self-reflection in three areas: planning, monitoring and evaluating ones own thinking behaviour. The key element to reflection is being aware and able to control ones own thought processes (Fogarty, 1994). For example, when a learner considers a myriad of factors in planning a drama project such as stagecraft, setting, props, voice projection, distribution of characters, stage management roles and schedules for practice etc. the learner is actually experiencing metacognitive planning. In the

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actual process of performing the drama, a learner notices that he faces difficulty in acting out a sad scene, crying. He tries to overcome the difficulty by reflecting upon a tragic personal incident to internalize and expresses the emotion (sadness) vividly. In doing so, he manages to cry and thus, performs the act effectively. This change of action by the learner to suit the needs of the current situation is stimulated by the learners thinking process and awareness of the turns of events. This process is known as metacognitive monitoring. (Fogarty, 19994:viii) or reflective action (Zeichner and Liston, 1987:24) which Schon (1987) refers to as reflection-in-action when he describes the characteristics of a reflective practitioner. The ability to monitor ones thought processes and translate them into actions should be extended to evaluative thinking. The element of evaluative thinking is present in Schon's (1987) concept of reflection-on-action which is referred to as an action planned on the basis of post-hoc thinking and deliberation (Grimmett, 1988). It is this aspect of reflection that will be the guiding principle or working definition for this study which focuses on examining reflection in writing. Features of Reflective Writing Smith & Hatton (1993) and Smith & Hope (1992) identified four types of writing of which three were characterised as different kinds of reflection. The four types of writing are descriptive writing, descriptive reflection, dialogue reflection and critical reflection. The first is not reflective at all but merely reports of events or literature. The second, descriptive reflection, provides to some extent, reasons frequently based on personal judgement or on students reading of literature. The third type, dialogue is a type of discourse with ones self in which possible reasons are explored. The fourth, critical, is characterised by thoughts involving reason-giving for decisions or events which take into consideration the broader historical, social and / or political contexts. A more detailed description of the criteria for the recognition of evidence for different types of reflective writing is illustrated below: Types of Reflective Writing There has been a growing interest in the role of writing in learning, and a corresponding interest in finding ways to incorporate writing more effectively into learning experiences (Walker,D.1985in Boud, Keogh and Walker). The Teacher Training Programmes support Walker in making use of writing not only as an aid to writing but as a tool to foster reflection. Walker also used a portfolio to, among other things, provide the participants with an opportunity to express, in a personal and dynamic way, their self-development and to provide a means of reflecting on ones commitment to, and involvement, in a programme.

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Hatton and Smith (1995) refer to three types of writing which they consider reflective. They are descriptive reflection, dialogic reflection and critical reflection. They are however insistent that Descriptive Writing which is merely a description of events that occurred or a report of literature unaccompanied by reasons or justification for the event(s) cannot be considered as reflective writing. Dialogic Reflection Demonstrates a stepping back from the events / actions leading to a different level of mulling about discourse with self and exploring the experience, events, and actions using qualities of judgement and possible alternatives for explaining and hypothesising. Such reflection is analytical and/ or integrative of factors and perspectives and may recognise inconsistencies in attempting to provide rationales and critique, for example, While I had planned to use mainly written text materials I became aware very quickly that a number of students did not respond to these. Thinking about this now there may have been several reasons for this. A number of students, while reasonably proficient in English, even though they had been NESB learners, may still have lacked some confidence in handling the level of language in the text. Alternatively, a number of students may have been visual to employ more concrete activities in my teaching Critical Reflection Demonstrates awareness that actions and events are not only located in, and explicable by, reference to multiple perspectives butt are located in, and influenced by multiple historical, and socio-political contexts. What must be recognised, however, is that the issues of students management experienced with this class can only be understood within the wider structural locations of power relationships established between teachers and students in schools as social institution based upon the principles of control (Smith, 1992),. Reflective writing and its importance Writing is regarded as a tool to foster reflection (Walker, D. 1985). Writing tasks are often used to deliberately allow students to make explicit their own thoughts and actions and thus encourage critical reflection. (Andrews & Wheeler, 1990; Wedman, Malios, & Whitfield, 1989). Christenson, 1981; Yinger and Clark, 1981 and Rainer, 1980 have reflected explicitly on the relationship between writing and learning in general.

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Various names have been used to label the uses of writing for reflection such as journals, learner diaries, learner records, record books, portfolios, verbatim, sociological diaries, dossier and logs (Jarvis, 1992; Walker, 1995). Reflective writing through journals is the commonest way to promote reflection (Copeland, 1986; Zeichner and Liston, 1987). Through journal writing, trainee teachers keep a daily and regular journal according to specific guidelines provided by their supervisors in which they raise questions regarding their learning experiences. Zeichner and Liston (1987) elaborate journal writing as: intended to provide the supervisors with information about the ways in which their student think about their development as teachers, with information about classroom, school, and community contexts; as well as to provide student teachers with a vehicle for systematic reflection on their development as teachers and on their actions in classroom and work contexts. (Zeichner and Liston, 1987;33)

Therefore, reflective writing can be considered as an integral part of the supervisory process of trainee teachers personal and professional development throughout their training programme. The importance of using journals or diaries for teacher reflection is also stressed This study has selected Kolbs model (1985) to promote reflection among trainee teachers. Concrete experience

Testing implications Of concepts in New situations

Observation and reflections

Formation of abstract concepts and generalisations

Figure 1 Kolbs description of the learning cycle (Kolb and Fry, 1975)

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Kolbs Model stresses the importance of experiences, which forms a vital part in the learning process, which enhance learners ability to discover their own characteristics. In this experiential four stage learning cycle, he emphasizes that for learners to be effective, they need four kinds of abilities, which he referred to as stages. For each learning cycle, learners first draw on their experiences that form a bases for observation and reflection, which are then assimilated into a theory from which a learner deduces new implications of actions which are then used to indicate new experiences (See Figure 1 ). Various approaches have been put forward by researches to promote reflection. But to address the objective of this study, that is, to develop reflective skills among trainee teachers to become reflective practitioners, this study has employed Graham Gibbs practical exercises in learning. According to Gibbs(1981),

There is very little evidence for a clear strong relationship between study habits and academic success He argues that giving advice in a generalised way without regard to the individual student or course or method of assessment is not very likely to have a positive effect advice impossible threatening some advice does not lead to any change ( Gibbs, 1981: 91-92)

To initiate learners to think about their own learning, Gibbs (ibid) has suggested six ways to facilitate students' learning development which may initiate reflectivity. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Take a student centred approach Give responsibility to the student for his or her own learning Make change of methods and approaches a safe activity Emphasize the students purpose not technique Emphasize the re conceptualization of study tasks Emphasize the students awareness of his or her own learning

METHODOLOGY This study adopted a closed approach to Action Research. Improvement and involvement ( Carr and Kemmis in Robson,1998) are central to this research. The methodology used mirrors a Simplified Action Research Model as suggested by Hopkins in Robson, 1998: 1 2 Data collection and the generation of hypotheses. Validation of hypotheses through use of analytic techniques.

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3 4

Interpretation by reference to theory, established practice and practioner judgement. Action for improvement that is also monitored by the same research techniques.

A convenience sampling was used (Robson, C.1998) and the study was conducted in Five Stages: Data Analysis There are two parts to the data Collection Before and After Intervention. Both samples of writing are from the trainees KKB Project. After Intervention the KDPM participants wrote a reflective essay on their role in the Inter-College Choral Speaking Competition and the KPLI participants wrote a reflective essay on any teaching-learning experience.

ANALYSIS OF DATA
The research technique used for analyzing the data is documentary analysis commonly referred to as Content Analysis (Robson,1998). Content analysis was used because there was no direct observation, interview or questionnaire for the purpose of enquiry. We had instead reflective essays produced by the trainees. This is an unobtrusive measure for the enquiry since the person writing the reflective essay may in some way alter the behaviour after intervention by the trainer. The trainees reflective essays were analyzed using the Categories System for analyzing. The criteria or traits for the Categories System was identified bearing in mind the objectives of the KDPM and KPLI syllabuses where elements of the reflective practioner is seen running through the various components, especially in the Rancangan Orientasi Sekolah(School Orientation Programme), Portfolio Assessment and Practicum. There were specific criteria assigned to the rating scale which were drawn broadly from Liston,1998 and Smyth,1989 with references to Schon,D.,1990)(Buku Panduan Praktikum 2000) The design for the Categories System was drawn from Robson, C.(1994) Real World Research. Traits will be the construct category for the analysis of data in reflective writing. The explicit specifications for the indicators used are as below: Awareness Demonstrate a stepping back from the events/actions Demonstrate awareness that actions and events are related to previous experiences. Discourse with self / evaluating and explaining /justifying /experience events and actions

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Attempt to provide reasons/justification for events or actions Conflict Recognising a situation e.g. How do I come to be like this. Attempt to address or grapple with a situation, which puzzles or surprises when a state of doubt, hesitation, perplexity or mental difficulty engulfs the mind. Demonstrate reflection-in-action (i.e. an action is generated and tested through on the spot experimenting and reflection on-action (i.e. an action planned on the basis of post-hoc thinking and deliberation) Endings Reorganise or reconstruct experience that leads to new understandings of action e.g. How might I do things differently? (Source: Hatton,N. & Smith,D.,1995, Schon,D.1987, Grimmet,P.P.!993, Garis Panduan Praktikum 2000, Bahagian Pendidikan Guru, Gipe, J.P. & Richards, J.C.,1992) Each script was analysed according to meaningful units- when a group of words complete an idea and are to be coded accordingly: 0: 1: 2: Units unaccounted for in the categories system (including repetition) Units reflective in nature Units that were non-reflective in nature

At the end of the analysis of each script, a frequency count was tabulated. And converted to percentage.

PRESENTATION OF DATA AND INTERPRETATION Table 4.1: Reflectivity in KDPM written scripts
Percentage 81-100 71-80 61-70 51-60 41-50 31-40 21-30 11-20 0-10 Total No. of learners: Before Intervention 0 1 8 4 1 2 3 1 4 24 No. of learners : After Intervention 2 2 11 5 2 1 0 1 0 24

13 (54.2 %)

20 (83.3 %)

11 (45.8 %)

4 (16.0 %)

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Before intervention An analysis of the sample scripts in this set revealed a range of reflectivity extending from 0-80%. There were hardly any evidence of reflective traits in 4 ( 16.0 % )of these 24 scripts. 7 (29.1 %) of these scripts fell in the range between 11-50% of reflectivity. Therefore more than half of the number sampled (24) displayed features of reflectivity (51 100%) After Intervention After intervention, the percentage of scripts in the 0-50 % range of reflectivity fell to 16.0 %. While there were 4 scripts before intervention, there were no scripts that belonged to the 0-10 % category after intervention. Table 4.2: Reflectivity in KPLI written scripts Percentage of Reflection 81-100 71-80 61-70 51-60 41-50 31-40 21-30 11-20 0-10 Total Before Intervention 2 0 2 3 3 1 0 0 0 11 4 (36.4 %) 7 ( 63.6 %) After Intervention 0 1 0 0 1 3 3 2 1 11 10 (92.9 %) 1 ( 9.1 %)

Before Intervention An analysis of the scripts showed that 7 (63.6 %) of the 11 scripts fell in the range of 51-100 % reflectivity. This accounts for the majority of the scripts. 4 (36.4 %) of the scripts fell in the 0-50 % of reflectivity.

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After Intervention However, after intervention, the scripts that were in the 0-50 % reflectivity range increased from 4 to 10 (92.9 %) while the scripts which displayed more traits of reflectivity (51-100 % reflectivity ) dropped from 7 to 1 (9.1 %). Interpretation of data KDPM - How reflective were learners before intervention? Almost 50% of the learners could barely produce a piece of reflective writing. Their responses were heavily dependent on reporting or describing a sequence of events with little or no attempt to give thought to how they plan to achieve their objectives, what new learning had taken place nor were they critical enough as expected of pre-service trainees in the KDPM programme (Refer to Chapter One). Samples of non-reflective writing: * I got my KKB on 17th Febuary 2000. My supervisor is Mr Matthews. This KKB is based on finding and understanding the usage of grammar on nouns. There are 5 process to do this assignment (KDPM /BI/2) * After meeting Puan Eileen, I felt very happy and understood that I needed to do well. She was very helpful and taught us how to find the nouns from the syllabus. After that, I did all the tasks properly and correctly. I gave to Puan Eileen to recheck. (KDPM/BI/18) According to Gipe and Richards (1992) and Hatton (1995), the statements above would be categorised as non-reflective statements as they merely provided the learner with an opportunity for recap of their portfolio project experience and omitted attempts to brainstorm solutions to learning dilemmas. Although learners claim that new learning had taken place, they could not provide specific and concrete details of their new learning. For example, one learner commented that: * After learning and doing all about grammar, I easily can improved my * stail in making a sentences. (KDPM/BI/6) * Even though I faced so many problems while doing this Kerja Kursus Berkumpulan I learnt many good things (KDPM/BI/15) *Comments reproduced verbatim On the other hand, one needs to note that 54.2% of the samples contained traits of reflection ranging from 51-100 % of reflectivity. However, the majority of the

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units coded revolved around awareness and merely recognizing the problem or conflict. Furthermore, there doesnt appear to be an attempt to provide reasons or justification for events or reflection on action (Schon, 1987). Endings are totally absent. For example, trainees did not reflect on the possibility of how they might have done things differently. Moreover, expressions illustrating conflict were the most common. I found so many books for grammar but I didnt know which ones were suitable for reading materials (KDPM/BI/1) Some factors which may have hampered reflection- Before Intervention 1. Linguistic ability - writing skills - structural errors rendered some sentences unintelligible - limited vocabulary hampered communication of ideas Imperfect understanding of what reflection entails despite being guided with focus questions and task-based instructions

2.

Note: Grammatical inaccuracy is Trainees own 3. Attitude it was found that there were similar written samples. Although learners would have collaborated to produce the portfolio, they failed to realise that reflection was meant to be an individual task. Weak students resort to copying. Status of the task

4. 5.

Research shows that the most effective learners are those who think about the process of learning itself and reflective writings is an opportunity to share ideas, discuss experiences and communicate openly in a safe-environment (Internet: Reflective Writing) Therefore an assessed piece of work cannot be considered a safe or nonthreatening KDPM - How reflective were learners after intervention? After intervention, there was a marked increase in the written scripts which contained more reflective traits. There was an increase from 54.2 % to 83.3% in the range of reflectivity from 51-100%. While before intervention, none of the scripts belonged to the topmost range of 81-100% reflectivity. After intervention, 2 samples fell into this range. One displayed 87.5 % of reflective writing and the other was 83.2 % . None of the scripts fell in the 0-10% range of reflectivity. This

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is a positive sign that the intervention may have helped learners become more reflective in their writing. We found some of the reflective traits which were not evident in the before intervention scripts. The discourse with self included evaluating and explaining experience as well as providing reasons for actions such as: * From what I have learn and see, sometimes it is hard to get along with other people who has different character. For example, some of the choral speaking members are not punctual. If the rehearsal started at 8.30 pm, they came at 8.45 pm and even worse, some had never attend the rehearsal. Time management also important. Some of them use excuses like had to go to cyber caf, so much work to do. Actually, they have to know when should they finish the work because time for choral speaking practise already been told. (KDPM/AI/5) Overall the scripts displayed more reflectivity in terms of breadth rather than depth. In terms of quantity of units, there was a larger proportion of reflectivity compared to before intervention. Again, the reflective traits remained at recognition and awareness with very little traits displaying conflict and none had any evidence of endings. KPLI - How reflective were learners before intervention? More than half (63.6%) of the learners produced writing that was reflective in nature i.e. the percentage of relfectivity ranged from 51% - 100%. Their samples of writing were responses to their Portfolio Coursework which was submitted for assessment purposes. A percentage of the total marks was set aside for this section. Below is an example of reflective writing found in the samples: * I also interested in presenting the stories more creatively by using most of the Graphic Organisers and mind mapping that I have learned in the KBKK class"(KPLI/BI/4) The statement is at the Awareness stage where the trainee attempts to have discourse with self explaining the events and actions and maybe in the second art of the statement, there is a glimpse of the trainee drawing on past experience but the relationship is not explained, neither is a problem identified. There are positive signs evident that trainees are at least inquiry-oriented in that they at least reported their concerns about their Portfolio Coursework and reported how they went about managing the problem:

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*I was quite confused on what it is all aboutwhen she provided us with the outline on how to carry out the task, I was a bit reliefed but I was still unsure on what actually Communicative Approach to language means (KPLI/BI/1). The same trainee then started looking and searchingand started to look for some materials[on group work] as a beginning. However, no details were supplied to support the solution. *I waited until the following week to remove the ambiguity from my mind. Se we were informed to prepare 2 pieces of writing, one on the report and another on its reflection. It does not offer an answer to the trainees initial problem, i.e. what should I write for the report and the reflection. However it must be noted that trainees had facilitators at all stages of the Portfolio Coursework and it is highly probable that the section on reflective writing received feedback for review and re-writing, an element that will be found absent in the Intervention. Dewey (1933) in Grimmett,P.P.& Erickson G.L.,1993 characterizes reflection as a specialized form of thinking and that it stems from doubt and perplexity leading to problem resolution while Grundy (1982) believes that such an action could be a result of how each person, interacting with other group members, brings their informed practical judgement to bear on ideas relevant to the event resulting on new knowledge on ideas as displayed by trainees response in KPLI/BI/2: *After struggling for some time, I have chose a topic entitled. The use of literature in teaching English Language. But later, I found out that my own friend has legally chose this topic while I am still considering it. So, again I need to change the topic. Later, after some little talks with my friends, I have decided to narrow my topic from Literature to Literature in terms of printed and electronic media. Awareness was a prevalent feature: * to become aware of some advantages of working with other. Besides developing my communication skills, I could also understand what make a good group work. In my opinion, we should also be supportive and encouraging to each other so that others would not feel stress during the discussion. I learn how to give constructive criticism whereby we should phrase our suggestions in a positive way. (KPLI/BI/3) Schon (1987), as referred to in Grimmetts article The Nature of reflection and Schons Conception in Perspective (1993) describes the experience of learning

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professional practice a attempting to learn things, the meaning and importance of which cannot be grasped ahead of time. He summarises the learning predicament as: a student cannot at first understand what he needs to learn, can only learn it by educating himself through self-discovery, and can only educate himself by beginning to do what he does not yet understand. Trainees can only make informed choices derived through reflection in and on action, as seen in the following trainees response: * That question remains in my mind when I went back that day.(KPLI/BI/4) The trainee then resorted to further discussions and materials search and finally managed to narrow down the topic for the assignment and continues to justify the choice made from among the alternatives made available. What is more interesting is that this trainee experienced an active process of exploration and discovery which appears to have led to a much unexpected outcome at least she appears surprised by it: * Finally, the discussion I did with my peers has open up my mind into new ideas about my topic. Their suggestions helped me to develop and narrow my topic. Now, I am looking forward to find books on my topic. I am glad that we did the discussion Some factors which may have encouraged Reflection before Intervention 1. Status of the task Trainees were asked to produce a piece of reflection which was part requirement of their Process-based Portfolio Assignment. Stage 4 of the Portfolio Assessment contributed 20% to the final mark. As such, trainees may have placed a higher level of importance to the task thereby assigning more effort to it. Status of the learner The KPLI trainees were graduates who had completed an additional four to six years of tertiary education. In addition, a number had work experience. Furthermore, they appeared to have a higher level of English Language proficiency. Timing The sample taken for analysis before the intervention constituted a natural part of trainees learning process and it had been scheduled to allow ample time for completion bearing in mind interruptions. The intervention itself was squeezed in barely two weeks before trainees were making preparations for Practicum. It is therefore highly possible that exams,

2.

3.

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syllabus coverage and practicum were their primary concern relegating the intervention to a secondary position. 4. Topic Trainees had a specific area of focus in which they were actively involved. This provided opportunities for both reflection-in-action and reflectionon-action. Furthermore, trainees were given handouts on characteristics of reflective writing What to Look for? Educational Context The Teacher Training Curriculum is still product oriented and trainees performance is driven by grades.

5.

After Intervention How Reflective were Learners? Quite the reverse happened after intervention. Because (92.9%) of the eleven writing samples analysed were found to be non-reflective in nature i.e. the writing samples contained only 50% reflective statements or less. In fact four of the samples did not even begin to be reflective, merely producing descriptive writing (Hatton, N. & Smith,D.(1995) Reflection in Teacher Education: Towards Definition and Implementation). Statements were description of events that occurred and there was no attempt to provide reasons or justification. There was a glimpse of another level of critical reflection by way of endings but the writing stops short of elaborating on the experience nor explaining what new understandings arose. For example: * We learn about the problems students faced based from the lecturer own experience (KPLI/AI?13).

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION


It is clear that there is a difference in the degree and type of reflection displayed by the two groups. Both Groups are Pre-service course participants and both have had input on reflection in the Critical and Creative thinking component as well as additional guidelines for their Portfolio Coursework. The KDPM group showed more promise after the intervention but it was the reverse for the KPLI. Furthermore, the degree of reflection is not what one would have liked to see based on the expectations of the Syllabus. The Teacher Training Curriculum rrequires reflection at all stages of the course, be it in the classroom, School Orientation Programme or Practicum including it being a specific component in Critical and Creative thinking. Prospective teachers are encouraged to maintain journals for reflection (School Orientation programme), include self-evaluation

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after every lesson carried out during Practicum, it being the application of what is obtained during Critical and Creative Thinking classes. An objective of the KPLI Practicum is that trainees will be able to reflect and self-evaluate in all aspects of teacher responsibility (Membuat renungan dan penilaian kendiri dalam semua aspek tugas guru. (Maktab perguruan Seri Kota,2000 Garis Panduan Praktikum). One of the objectives during ROS (School Orientation Programme), is for trainees to record their experiences to inculcate a culture of creative and reflective thinking (merekod pengalaman yang dilalui dalam portfolio untuk memupuk budaya pemikiran kreatif dan reflektif) (Maktab Perguruan Seri Kota, 2000,Garis Panduan Praktikum). Trainees are also expected to use the portfolio and school experience as a basis for reflection when they return to College. The assessment criteria are also rather demanding. The highest level calls for reflection that is focused and significant clearly incorporating elements of critical and creative thinking. During Practicum, KPLI trainees are expected to: a. b. c. d. evaluate strengths and weaknesses relate past experiences, reasons and consequences to decisions made and action taken make inferences and draw conclusions based on cause and effect to be able to interpret situations and suggest possible courses of action

Unfortunately, many of the candidates do not appear to progress from Level One, i.e. Reporting (Catatan sekadar melaporkan situasi). With so much emphasis on reflection running through every component of the teacher education, the question is: Do trainees know what is expected of them? Can reflection be taught as part of the curriculum? Secondly, a certain level of proficiency is necessary for trainees to be able to verbalise their thoughts, actions and rationale. There were instances of unintelligible comments such as: The lack of discipline among the trainees made the practise in term of late processing The victory realises among us however it also help them to cover the language used more easily. It has been given such serious attention that reflection in Portfolio Assessment and elsewhere has become a measuring instrument as well. It is also becoming clear that the goal of the teacher education programmes is to make trainees both technically competent and reflective and self-critical in the hope of producing good teachers. However one must add that there has been no conclusive correlation between the ability to reflect and good teaching.

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Learning to learn is not a one stage process. As such, it is not surprising that the intervention has not brought about a marked improvement. Interventions do not bring about immediate changes in study effectiveness the design of such interventions must take into account the fact that learning to learn is a continuous process (Gibbs & Northedge, 1979).

RECOMMENDATIONS 1. 2. Study the gap in perceptions on reflection between trainees and lecturers Provide training to lecturers so that understanding of criteria for assessing reflective writing is standardised and marking is therefore reliable. Provide guideline for students to focus on specific areas that require response. Include a more sustained effort for reflection as an on-going activity rather than an end product waiting to be assessed.

3. 4.

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REFERENCES Andrews,S. and Wheeler, P. (1990 November). Tracing the effects of reflective classroom practice. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the national reading conference, Florida. Boud, D., Keogh, R. and Walker, D. (eds.) (1985) Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. London: Kogan Page Ltd. Copeland, W. D. (1986) in Burden, P.R. and Byrd, D.M. (1994) Methods For Effective Teaching. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Christensen, R.S. (1981) Dear diary: a learning tool for adults, Lifelong Learning: the Adult Years, 5,2, pp. 4-5 and 31. Cutler, B., Cook, P., and Young, J. (1989) The empowerment of preservice teachers through reflective teacher. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the association of teacher educators, St. Louis. Freidus, H. (1991) Critical issues in the curriculum of teacher education programs.. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago. April. Further Education Curriculum and Development Unit (1981) Experience, Reflection, Learning. London: Department of Education and Science, Further Education Unit.
Gibbs, G (1981) Teaching Students To Learn: A Student Centred Approach, Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Grimmett, P.P. (1988) The Nature of reflection and Schons conception in perspective in Grimmett, P. & Erickson, G. L. (1988) Reflection in Teacher Education. Pacific Education Press.

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