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Cultivating a Reflective Disposition for Tools: Teaching and Learning

by Wendy Cividanes and Debbie Lebo
November/December 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/cultivating-a-reflective-disposition-for-tools-teaching-and-learning/5019648/

“Reflection is turning a topic over in various aspects and in various lights so that nothing significant about it shall be overlooked " almost as one might turn a stone over to see what its hidden side is like or what is covered by it.”
John Dewey, How We Think (1910)

A century ago, progressive educator John Dewey wrote about the importance of reflection in the teaching and learning process. For Dewey, reflection offered a way for teachers to reorganize their thinking, look at all sides of a situation, and avoid the impulse to do the same old things in the same old ways. Katz (1993) proposed that this kind of reflection can become a ‘habit of mind’ " a disposition " for teachers. In our current age of standards and standardization, we believe it is time to slow down and revisit these ideas and the foundations that underlie a reflective disposition for teaching and learning. In our work as teacher educators, we feel the pressure and consequences of a ‘drive-through’ professional development culture; teachers express concern that reflective, deeply child-centered teaching has been replaced with prescribed, ‘teacher-proof’ curriculums and communication tools, check-box assessments, and ‘quick fix’ teaching strategies. We have a sense ...

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