Enhancing Teacher Awareness and Professionalism through Prolonged Critical Reflection

Influences of Socializing Forces on Educational Beliefs and Practice


  • Lisa Winstead California State University, Fullerton
  • Hanem Shehab University of Las Vegas Nevada
  • Michelle Brye California State University, Fullerton


Reflection, critical reflection, Dewey, teacher beliefs, teacher practice, professional development, educational philosophy, socializing forces


A graduate course in curriculum and instruction was utilized as an intervention to enhance teacher awareness about their teaching practice. The researchers employed a purposeful and prolonged critical reflection approach for graduate students, who are also teachers, over a 15-week period. The teachers juxtaposed their prior experiences against a frame of educational philosophies. The researchers found that prolonged critical reflection about educational philosophies and associated approaches increased teacher ability to discern and disentangle their teaching dispositions from their teaching practices and articulate these distinctions. Additional significant outcomes included teachers questioning of socializing forces that influence their instruction, prompting action and agency. Similarly, teachers commented about gaining increased open-mindedness and a willingness to transform schools. Triangulation of data corpuses that included journal reflections/blogs, field notes, and assignments revealed four salient phases associated with their enhanced awareness and transformation: (1) Uncertainty, (2) Development and Growth, (3) Realization and Agency, and (4) Self-Characterization associated with this critical reflection process.