The efficacy of reflection in improving teaching practices has long been recognized. Deconstructing reflective conversations provides a window into thinking; tracking changes in those conversations over time can reveal the level of understanding and levels of growth and development of those involved. This qualitative study analyzes the reflection of teachers participating in a six-week project, the goal of which was to improve reading instruction. It analyses the breadth, depth, and content of their weekly sessions and relates this to observed classroom practice. The sample for this pilot project was eleven teachers in two preparatory schools, one for boys and one for girls. Each team consisted of teachers in science, English, or scientific English from either the seventh or eighth grade level. Each week the groups were given a professional development session focused on some aspect of reading instruction, then collaboratively planned a lesson that one member of the team would teach the following week and that all members would observe. The focus of this study, however, is the collaborative reflection conducted at the first of the next week’s session, in which the team members evaluated and critiqued the lesson. These conversations, paired with the classroom observations of the lesson they were critiquing, revealed what they did and did not understand from the professional development and what was and was not incorporated into practice. The sessions were recorded, transcribed, coded, and entered into frequency charts. This presentation, however, will focus on the qualitative analysis of the sessions – the meaning making – of the interactions of the participants and what these interactions revealed about their learning and teaching of the targeted outcomes. A better understanding of the nature of collaborative reflection can help teachers and teacher educators use reflection to improve the effectiveness of professional development.


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  • Received: 30 April 2015
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