Re: Reflection and change in a CHAT/Cultural Psychology paradigm
From: Kevin Rocap (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Mar 21 2004 - 22:17:15 PST
Thanks for your comment, and to elaborate briefly:.
I've seen this happen a lot in the arena of bilngual education when
teachers not well-versed in theories and practices of language
acquisition and development, or in theories and practices of
multicultural education engage in reflection on their own practices
using their own current repertoire of conceptual tools (that don't
include those I've mentioned above). I've seen that teacher-groups in
such a situation pretty roundly end up re-affirming and building off of
what I would say are fairly misinformed biases and/or misconceptions
and often come to some dubious conclusions and ideas about how their
practices should change (which often fly in the face of respectable
practice-based research in the field). So they may very well change,
but in the wrong direction (like determining that students just need a
lot more English instruction, of a certain variety, rather than
thinking about the effective design of a quality cross-cultural,
I think this occurs because people are often taught that they can
reflect on their own practices without necessarily examining the
conceptual tools they are employing within that reflection process.
"Reflection" somehow seems to have a widespread connotation of being an
ahistorical or "natural" process, that is not theory-driven or
theory-laden. It is first "descriptive" (as though descriptions are
not based on the application of theories and lenses) and then a process
of developing opinions or hypotheses in dialogue with one's peers
(without formally or systematically necessitating the consideration of
diverse external perspectives, outside experts or theoretical/practical
issues from relevant research - if one can even determine on one's own
or within one's peer group what the appropriate, relevant research
might be, hence the need for critical friends, imho).
In some ways I think part of the romance of "reflection" is that it is
empowering BECAUSE it validates one's ability to just engage in some
pure relation with one's own practices and to develop and test one's
own theories without a lot of external critical inquiry or external
validation for one's perspectives. I've actually seen communities of
reflective practice or reflective inquiry use their status as a
reflective community as a guard against the need to invite or rely upon
external experts or concepts (a kind of "no one knows my practices
better than I do" stance).
So, as others have said, these may be specifically situated notions of
what constitutes "a process of reflection" that differ from those
experienced or promoted by others in this discussion.
Eugene Matusov wrote:
I agree with you a lot!
From: Kevin Rocap [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2004 11:35 PM
Subject: Re: Reflection and change in a CHAT/Cultural Psychology paradigm
A reflection on reflection...
Carol Macdonald wrote:
What are we all referring to when labeling something as reflective? Is
it just metacognition?
[Carol Macdonald] Yes it is, but in the research, the reflective practice
passes from the researcher into the teacher, in a way which would make
Perhaps, but I think the caveats of a "reflective practitioner" approach
apply - that is, that an individual or a group that lacks external
theoretical, conceptual and/or alternative practices inputs and a
process of critical inquiry (including critical friends) to go along
with a process of "reflection" runs the risk of merely engaging in
self-fulfilling prophesies and a self-affirming of inadequate practices
(by reinforcing inaccurate or at least inappropriate notions), no?
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: Tue Nov 09 2004 - 11:42:23 PST