The extent to which a teacher can be responsible for their own professional development and by what means this can be achieved.

Essay by kiciek351University, Bachelor'sC-, January 2004

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What kind of teacher am I? What are my beliefs about teaching and learning? How should I communicate goals to my learners? What learning methods and techniques should I employ? How can I deal with discipline problems in my classroom? In discussing such intricate questions, teachers often point out that many conventional approaches and sources rarely help them find answers and give them practical hints for dealing with their problems. We are going to investigate how, by looking objectively and exploring classroom processes, we may set ourselves against them.

Much of what happens in teaching is unknown to the teacher. Certainly, a well-informed teacher has an extensive knowledge base about teaching. As it is a complex and multidimensional process, the awareness of its different components and dimensions helps the teacher make decisions and cope with what is happening in the classroom. Essential data and information the teacher acquires while studying may often result in appropriate judgements and generating effective solutions to some problems.

However, no-one can really foresee what may happen during a particular lesson and as a consequence no-one can teach you how to handle many moment-to-moment decisions that arise. The teacher's received knowledge, theory and research findings related to the profession is a crucial component of the teacher's education but not the only one. What the teacher also needs is experience in teaching. Still, the two elements are insufficient as a basis for development. Only by continuous and extensive reflection do teachers have a real chance to broaden their knowledge and their professional competence.

Through reflecting on our own action, examining our attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, and teaching practices, and using the obtained information in the future, the underlying practical theory may be revealed and developed. The application of the circle of action and reflection makes an important contribution...