THE EFFECT OF REFLECTIVE TEACHING ON THE CLASSROOM ACHIEVEMENT OF PRESCHOOL TEACHERS

THE EFFECT OF REFLECTIVE TEACHING ON THE CLASSROOM ACHIEVEMENT OF PRESCHOOL TEACHERS  


ABSTRACT
This research project is designed to review the effect of
reflective teaching on the classroom achievement of preschool teachers in Efon
Local Government Area of Ekiti State. The purpose of the study is to examine
the influence of reflective teaching on the classroom achievement of preschool
teachers. Secondly to identify the awareness of reflective teaching by
preschool teachers. Thirdly, to examine the willingness of preschool teachers
to seek professional development. The data used for the study were collected
through the use of one hundred (100) viable questionnaires. It is so much
expected of the UBE [i.e. Universal Basic Education] of Nigeria to
equip the preschool teachers with adequate workshops and trainings to enhance
the effect of reflective teaching on their classroom achievements. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE                                                                        
CERTIFICATION                                                                          
DEDICATION                                                                      
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                 
TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                               
ABSTRACT                                                                           
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1           
Background to the Study                                                       
1.2           
Statement of the Problem                                                       
1.3           
Objective of the Study                                                  
1.4           
Research Questions                                                      
1.5           
Significance of the Study                                              
1.6           
Limitation of the Study                                                  
1.7           
Definition of Terms                                                      
CHAPTER TWO:        REVIEW OF RELATED
LITERATURE                                 



CHAPTER THREE:    RESEARCH METHOD
3.1           
Introduction                                                                           
3.2           
Research Design                                                          
3.3           
Population of the Study                                                
3.4           
Sample and Sampling Techniques                                
3.5           
Method of Data Collection                                           
3.6           
Validity of Instrument                                                
3.7           
Method of Data Analysis                                                       
CHAPTER FOUR:       ANALYSIS OF DATA AND RESULTS
4.1           
Result Analysis                                                             
4.2           
Discussion of Findings                                                 
CHAPTER FIVE:        SUMMARY, CONCLUSION
AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1           
Summary                                                                       
5.2           
Conclusion                                                                    
5.3           
Recommendations                                                                  
REFERENCES                                                                      
APPENDIX
                                           

                              

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1     Background
to the Study
It is necessary for us to first identify who a child is
before discussing anything about early childhood education. (i.e. who is a
child?). If we are able to do this, then it will not be difficult for us to
classify children into early, middle or later childhood. A child is anyone that
is below the age of 18 (N.P.E., 1998).
In Nigeria,
the number of children with working parents is growing nationwide, the
proportion of children under 6 years with employed mothers percent in 1980 and
labour force participation rate for women between ages of 25 and 54 (who have
traditionally been the primary caregivers of young children) is projected to rise
to 83 percent by the year 2005. This means that a growing number of children
even every young children, will be cared for by people other than their
parents.
Welfare Reform which requires mothers to work, will greatly
increase the numbers of children needing child are in the future. With more
women entering the workforce and increasing numbers of individuals entering the
work force in welfare-to-work programs, a growing number of children spend
their critical early years in day care. During these years, it is especially
important that children have a quality childcare experience that addresses
their developmental needs (Ibid, 2005).
According to Brunet (1995), children exposed to positive stimulating
experiences as young children develop enhanced learning capabilities which
improve their odds for excelling in school. Children who attend preschool or
other early education programs have:
·                   
balanced cognitive, verbal and school development
·                   
significantly higher IQ(s) (i.e. Intelligent Quotient). NICHO
Early childcare Research Network (1997)
·                   
can enter school better prepared to learn
·                   
are lens likely to exhibit later delinquency and anti-social
behaviour.
·                   
tend to demonstrate higher levels of school achievement and
better social adjustment.
·                   
are less   likely to have to repeat a grade or be placed
in special education classes.
·                   
are more likely to graduate from high school (Brunet, 1995).
Clearly, there can be long-term benefits from quality early
childhood education. Infact, according to one researcher for many children,
preschool programs can mean the difference between falling and passing regular
or special education, staying out of trouble or becoming involved in
delinquency, dropping out or graduating from high school Ibid (2005).
Children from impoverished environments tend to reap the most
dramatic benefits from early childhood programs. Early education can increase
parents’ and teachers’ expectations of children’s performance. Children growing
up in poverty or near poverty face many health and environmental risks. They in
particular need to get of to a good start in quality early education programs
Barnett, Steven Ph.D (1995).
There are some reasons why Early childhood education is made
available everywhere. According to the National Policy on Education (1998), in Nigeria,
government has realised the importance of pre-school education (i.e. early
childhood education), hence it has stated the purpose of this level of
education in the National policy on Education (1998) as:
·                   
to effect a smooth transition from home to school
·                   
to prepare the child for the primary level of education.
·                   
to provide adequate care and supervision for the children
while their parents are at work (on the farms, in the markets, offices etc.).
·                   
to develop a sense of co-operation and team-spirit
·                   
to learn good habits, especially good health habits
·                   
to teach the rudiments of numbers, letters, colours, shapes,
forms e.t.c. through spontaneous play.
The concept of reflective teaching stems from Dewey (1933),
who contrasted ‘routine action’ with ‘reflective action’. According to Dewey,
routine action is guided by factors such as tradition habit and authority and
by instructional definitions and expectations. By implication, it is relatively
static and is thus unresponsive to changing priorities and circumstances.
Reflexive action on the other hand involves a willingness to engage in constant
self appraisal and development. Among other things, it implies flexibility,
rigorous analysis and social awareness.
Dewey’s notion of reflective action, when developed and
applied to teaching, is both challenging and exciting. In this section, we
review its implications by identifying and discussing what we have identified
as seven key characteristics of reflective practice. These are:
·                   
Reflective teaching implies an active concern with aims and
consequences, as well as means and technical efficiency.
·                   
Reflective teaching is applied in a cyclical or spiralling
process, in which teachers monitor, evaluate and revise their own practice
continuously.
·                   
Reflective teaching requires competence in methods of
evidence-based classroom enquiry, to support the progressive development of
higher standards of teaching.
·                   
Reflective teaching requires attitudes of open-mindedness,
responsibility and wholeheartedness.
·                   
Reflective teaching is based on teacher judgement, informed
by evidence-based enquiry and insights from other research.
·                   
Reflective teaching, professional learning and personal
fulfilment are enhanced through collaboration and dialogue with colleagues.
·                   
Reflective teaching enables teachers to creatively mediate
externally developed frameworks for teaching and learning. Dewey (1933)
Each
of these characteristics will now be considered more fully:
Reflective issue relate first to the immediate arms and
consequences of classroom practice for these are any teacher’s prime
responsibility. However, classroom work cannot be isolated from the influence
of the wider society and a reflective teacher must therefore consider both
spheres. An example from the history of educational policy-making in England will
illustrate the way in which changes outside schools influence actions within
them. Following the initiation of a ‘Great Debate’ by Prime Minister Callaghau
(1976) many of the ‘taken-for-granted’ in education were progressively
challenged during the 1980s and 1990. Successive conservative governments
introduced for reaching and cumulative changes in all spheres of education.
Many of these reforms were opposed by professional organization (see for
example, Haviland, 1988 and Arnot and Barton, 1992) but with no noticeable
effect on political decision making. Indeed, the allegation was made that
educational policy was being influenced by a closed system of beliefs – an
‘ideology’ deriving from a small number of right-wing politicians and pressure
groups. Meanwhile, teachers and pupils worked to implement the new forms of
curriculum, assessment, accountability, management and control which had been
introduced despite the fact that the profession at the time was largely opposed
to the principles on which the reforms were based. Such a stark example of the
contestation of aims and value in education raises questions concerning the
relationship between professionals, parents and policy-makers. It is possible to
start from the seemingly controversial argument that in a democratic society,
decisions about the aims of education should be ‘democratically’ determined.
However, it has been suggested (White, 1978) that teachers should adopt a role
as active ‘interpreters’ of political policy. Indeed, that most teachers accept
this argument is shown by the way in which they have implemented legislation
even when they did not support it though in the 1990s, an unusual number of
teachers in England
did leave the profession. More recently, Bramall and White (2000) analysed the
National Curriculum 2000 and suggested that, whilst, there are explicit aims
and a rationale, these may not be owned by teachers and may not relate to the
operationalization of these in the actual curriculum. Indeed, there may be a
gap between the official rationale of the National curriculum and the day-day
experience of many classroom teachers – a problem that reflective teachers may
wish to address.
These kinds of stance were very different from the idea of
the autonomous professional with which many teachers once identified. Yet, it
can be argued that the existence of unconstrained autonomy is only reasonable
and practical if ends, aims and values are completely uncontroversial. However,
as soon as questions about educational aims and social values are seriously
raised, then the position changes. In a democratic society, the debate
appropriately extends to the political domain and this of course is what has
happened on recent years.
This does not mean though, that teachers even as interpreters
of policy, should simply ‘stand by’ in the procedure. Indeed, there are two
important roles that they can play. In the case of the first, an appropriate
metaphor for the teacher’s role is, as both White (1978) and Sacks (2003) have
suggested that of ‘activist’. This recognizes the primary, school teachers and
individual members of society who, within normal political process, have rights
to pursue their values and beliefs as guided by their own individual moral and
ethical concerns. They should thus be as they wish to be in contributing to the
formation of public policy. Second, whilst accepting a responsibility for
translating politically determined aims into practice, teachers should speak
out, as they have done in the past, if they also view particular aims and
policies as being professionally impracticable, educationally unsound or
morally questionable. In such circumstances the profession experience,
knowledge and judgements of teachers should be brought to bear on policy-makers
directly. Whether or not the policy makers wish for or act on the advice which
is offered (for interesting development of this argument, see Thompson, (1997).
Indeed, it is important that within a modern democratic society, teachers
should be entitled to not only a hearing, but also some influence on
educational policy. Professional and the Geographical Association (GA) together
with the General Teaching Councils of each part of the UK, provide
collective forms of organisation for such voices. However, in recent years,
teacher unions such as the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Association of
Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and Nigeria Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)
have undoubtedly been the most effective in making their voices heard.
The reflective teacher should thus be aware of the political
process and of its legitimate oversight of public educational services. They
should also be willing to contribute to it both as a citizen and as a
professional.
1.2     Statement
of the Problem
Educational issues and demand of classroom teaching are so
complicated which makes teacher’s work to be so enormous, challenging and never
finished. The teachers practicalities, performance standards in personal ideas,
classroom management and educational concerns are put together may becoming
overwhelming. These challenges are frequently expressed by experienced
teachers, new teachers and student – teachers.
Hence, this work intend to examine how reflective teaching
can enhance the classroom achievement of preschool teachers.



1.3     Objectives
of the Study
The objective of this study is to examine the influence of
reflective teaching on the classroom achievement of preschool teachers.
Specifically, this study will:
i)                  
Identify the awareness of reflective teaching by preschool
teachers.
ii)                 
Examine the willingness of preschool teachers to seek
professional development.
iii)               
Examine the attendance of preschool teachers at professional
training
iv)               
Examine the relevance of teachers’ personality in reflective
teaching.
v)                 
Examine the teachers’ reflection on their classroom.
1.4     Research Questions
1.       To what
extent are preschool teachers aware of reflective teaching?
2.       Are
preschool teachers willing to develop themselves professionally?
3.       Does
preschool teachers’ attendance at professional trainings and workshops
contribute to reflective teaching?
4.       What
is the relevance of teachers’ personality in reflective teachings?
5.       Does
teachers’ classroom activities contribute to the effectiveness of reflective teachings?
1.5     Significance of the Study
The essence of this research work is to critically and
chronologically examine the effects of impacts that reflective teaching can
have on the classroom achievement (i.e. attainable goals) of preschool teachers
in Efon local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Classroom teaching can be somehow complicated which makes
teacher’s work to be so enormous, challenging and unfinished. Therefore, this
research work will help to find out the source of this problem since the aim of
reflective teaching virtually mean active actions carried out for efficiency
purpose.
In addition, this research will also enable parents to
identify or know what their children learn in their schools from day-to-day.



1.6     Limitations
of the Study
This research work is limited to the preschool teachers in
Efon local Government Area Only.
1.7     Definition
of Terms
Reflective Teaching – This is a careful thought
that a person have towards impacting knowledge.
Classroom – This is a place where
teaching and learning takes place.
Achievement – This is a particular thing
that someone has gained in order to be successful.
Classroom Achievement – This is a particular thing
that someone gain in the process of a teaching – learning situation.
Preschool – This is a kind of
education that is given to children who are too young to go to school from the
age of 2 – 5 years. E.g. kindergarten, crèche, day care e.t.c.
Teacher – This is a person whose
work is to teach and to impact knowledge.



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