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Maralani et al., Int. J. Rev. Life. Sci.

, 5(5), 2015, 261-264

ISSN 2231-2935
Research Article
www.ijrls.pharmascope.org

EFL Teachers Reflective Teaching and Their Amount of Experience


1

Narjes Maralani , Majid Farahian *


1

Department of ELT, College of Literature and Humanities, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University,
Kerman-shah, Iran
Department of ELT, College of Literature and Humanities, Kermanshah Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad
University, Kermanshah, Iran
2
Department of ELT, College of Literature and Humanities, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University,
Kerman-shah, Iran
ABSTRACT
The motive behind the study is to explore the reflective teaching practices among EFL (English as foreign language)
teachers in a tertiary education context. The present study consisted of two parts. For the quantitative part, a
questionnaire was employed to collect the necessary data regarding the participants (n=40) reflective teaching. Ttest analyses showed that there was a meaningful relationship between participants amount of reflection and
their teaching experiences. For the qualitative part, 6 EFL teachers who were randomly selected from the original
sample of 40 teachers took part in a semi-structure interview. Results revealed that, all participants were aware of
reflective teaching, and they practiced reflective teaching before, during, and after their teaching.
Keywords Awareness; EFL Learners; Reflective Teaching; Teaching Experience.
INTRODUCTION
Reflective teaching has been one of the important
trends in education since it helps teachers and learners
in problem solving and decision-making processes and
it fosters critical-thinking abilities. Reflective teaching
means looking at what teachers do in the classroom,
thinking about why they do it and thinking about if it
works before, during, and after their class. In other
words, it is a process of self-observation and selfevaluation.
The first two influential researchers who investigated
the concept of reflection in their studies were John
Dewey (1933, 1993) and Schon (1983, 1987 & 1991).
Dewey considered reflection as an action which was
based on the active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed from of knowledge with
regard to the grounds that support it (cited in Akbari
et al., 2010, p. 212). The definition of reflection by
Dewey set the background for Schon to propose three
different kinds of reflection as reflection about action,
reflection in action, and reflection on action.
Reflective practice is utilized at the pre-service and inservice levels of teaching too. The two aspects of reflective practice are coaching and peer involvement,
which seen most often at the pre-service level. In a
Ojanens (1993) study of how student teachers develop
the skills inevitable for reflective teaching during their
* Corresponding Author
Majid Farahian
farahian@iauksh.ac.ir

field experiences, Ojanen did a study on the role of the


teacher educator as a coach large-group. As he reports,
by using the students personal
histories, dialogue
journals, and small and large-group discussions about
their experiences to help students reflect upon and
improve their practices, teacher educators can most
effectively coach student teachers in reflective practices. Kettle and Sellars (1996) analyzed extensively the
students reflective writings and interviewed them
about their reflective practices. They explored that the
use of peer reflective groups motivated student teachers to challenge existing theories and their own preconceived views of teaching while modeling for them a
collaborative style of professional development that
would be fruitful throughout their teaching careers.
Kettle and Sellars extensively analyzed the students
reflective writings and interviewed them about their
reflective practices. They found that by practicing reflective teaching the student teachers were able to
challenge existing theories and their own preconceived
views of teaching finding in professional development
that would be useful throughout their teaching careers.
In the same line, several research studies have proved
that critical reflection upon experience continues to be
an useful technique for professional development.
Freidus (1997) describes a case study of one teacher/graduate student struggling to make sense of her
beliefs and practices about what composes good
teaching. Based on Freidus, her initial instruction for
teaching was based on the traditions and practices of
direct teaching. Her traditional socialization into teach-

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Maralani et al., Int. J. Rev. Life. Sci., 5(5), 2015, 261-264

ing made it difficult for her to understand that her


views of good teaching were being challenged in her
practice.

selected from the original sample of 40 teachers who,


had already filled out the Reflective Teaching instrument.

As far as the researchers knows, there is no study to


explore reflective teaching among Iranian English
teachers. In other words, no study has explored the
effect of the reflection on their teaching and professional development in EFL context. As such, the following questions were formulated:

2. Instruments

1. What is the relationship between Iranian EFL teachers teaching experiences and their amount of reflection?
2. How much the participants are aware of the effect
of the reflection on their teaching and professional
development?
METHOD
The design of the research was both qualitative and
quantitative since both a test and an interview were
employed.

The present study used the English Language Teaching


Reflection Instrument (ELTRI) developed by Akbari et
al., (2010). The aim of this questionnaire was to find out
the relationship between Iranian EFL teachers experiences with their amount of reflection. Moreover, a
semi-structured interview was employed to explore the
EFL awareness of reflective teaching.
3. Procedure

The participants were asked to answer the ELTRI questionnaire. As the next step, an interview was also held
in which six participants were required to answer a total
of 10 questions. All the instructors who voluntari-ly took
part in the study had taught several courses in a college
in Kermanshah, a city in west of Iran. They ac-cepted to
answer the questions at the school and felt free to add
any comments and express their ideas freely.

1. Participants
In the quantitative phase, 40 English teachers (10 RESULTS
males and 30 females) teaching in different language
Therefore, to find whether there is any relationship
institutes of Kermanshah were the available sample in
between participants reflection and their teaching
this study. These participants hold M.A or B.A degrees experience, the researchers decided to consider the
in English Language Teaching(ELT), English translation mean of participants teaching experiences as a scale
or English literature. The Participants for the qualita- for defining more or less experienced teachers.
tive phase consisted of 6 English teachers 3 with M.A
degrees and 3 with B.A degrees, who were randomly
Table 1: Means for Two Groups of Participants Based on Their Teaching Experiences
VAR0000

Mea

1.00

20

2.00

20

3.400
0
9.450
0

2
VAR0000

Std. Deviation
1.46539

Std. Error
Mean
.32767

3.03445

.67852

As it can be seen in Table 1, the overall mean for the


first group with the teaching experiences equal or less
than 5 years is 3.4 and the overall mean for the second
group with teaching experience more than 5 years is
9.45. Comparing the overall mean scores of the two
groups of participants reveals that there is 0 a subtle
difference between the overall means of the groups.
Those participants who were more experienced (M>5
years) used reflective teaching categories more than
those with relatively lower teaching experience (M<5
years).

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Maralani et al., Int. J. Rev. Life. Sci., 5(5), 2015, 261-264

Table 2: T-Test for Investigating the Relationship Between Total Means of Reflection for Each Group and Their
Teaching Experiences
Levene's
Test for
Equality of
Variances
F
Sig.

VAR0000

Equal variances assumed


Equal variances not
assumed

6.77
8

.01
3

t-test for Equality of Means

Df

Sig.
(2tailed)

Mean
Difference

Std. Error Difference

8.02
9
8.02
9

38

.000

-6.05000

.75350

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference


Lower
Upper
-7.57538 -4.52462

27.40
5

.000

-6.05000

.75350

-7.59499

-4.50501

According to the results of Table 1, the overall mean of


reflection for participants with teaching experiences
equal or less than 5 years is 3.4 and that of those with
more than 5 years is 9.45. However as can be seen in
Table 4.3, the observed T is -8.029 and the minimum
level of significance (sig= 0.05) is 0.013 which is less
than 0.05. It means that the participants amount of
teaching experience has meaningful relationship with
their amount of reflection and having less or more than
5 years of teaching experience makes meaningful difference in their amount of reflection.

of reflection namely reflection about action, reflection


in action, and reflection on action that are respectively
similar to allocated different times to reflect on their
teaching by these participants (before teaching, during
teaching, and after teaching).

According to the participants Report in the interview


they did not have any courses or training programs on
reflective teaching in their university studies or in their
teaching programs before and during their teaching
experiences but they were aware of reflective teaching.

2. Their previous teachers/professors

The findings of the interview revealed that the participants of this study allocated three different times to
think/reflect on their teaching:
a. Before teaching
b. During teaching
c. After teaching
CONCLUSION
The point that was revealed from findings of the quantitative analysis was that there is meaningful relationship between these participants amount of reflection
on their teaching and their teaching experience.
The semi-structure interview shows that there is no
specific and predetermined time for reflection and
teachers can reflect on their teaching at different times
based on their personal capacities and situations.
Sometimes, they used a combination of these three
times or three kinds of reflection.
Therefore, the results of the present study are in line
with Schons (1983) definitions of three different kinds

Qualitative analysis of the present study revealed that


these interviewees used six sources as guides to reflect
on and develop their own teaching method. These resources are:
1. University courses and related teaching materials
3. Teacher training courses (TTC)
4. Observation
5. Their own teaching experiences
6. Students feedback.
As the findings suggest, these teachers use one or a
combination of these sources to develop their teaching
methodology. Therefore, the obtained results of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the present study
show some basic similarities with that of Wallace
(1991). In his article, Wallace refers to two main
sources of knowledge as the raw material on which
reflection can be done. Received knowledge (which is
the main information and skills which the profession
recognizes, and promotes as valuable) and experiential
knowledge (which is implied understanding of teaching
and learning which teachers develop through their own
teaching experiences). This finding also has some similarities with Brookfields four critical lenses for reflection. These lenses are as follows:
1. Our own view (our autobiography-our previous
teachers models of teaching)
2. That of our students (students view-student feedback)

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Maralani et al., Int. J. Rev. Life. Sci., 5(5), 2015, 261-264

3. That of our fellow professionals (peers viewobserving other teachers teaching)


4. The various theoretical perspectives presented in
educational literature.
Another finding of the present study which was based
on the interview analysis and addresses the second
research question was the fact that participant teachers enter the teaching profession with some ideas and
pre-conceptions. Sometimes these pre-conceptions are
rooted in their own learning background and their previous. teachers methods of teaching. This finding is in
line with that of Debreli (2012) who stated that preservice teachers started the teacher-training program
with various beliefs about teaching and learning. According to Debreli, on most occasions, it is found that
pre-service teachers derive these beliefs from their
previous learning experiences during their school years
(from their previous teachers and learning experiences). Moreover, as can be seen from the interviews,
these pre-conception and default ideas can affect participants methods of teaching.
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