Prompts for reflection are a part of teachers online journal tool. They appear as sentence starters or questions listed on the left side of a teachers online journal. Two to six prompts are listed under each of three different categories - thinking about today, planning ahead and general thoughts. A teacher selects a prompt from the left column and the prompts appears in the journal. For example I selected the prompt how will I know if my obectives are met under the category planning ahead. This prompt appeared in my journal and I began writing thinking about this question.
The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
Guidance on Demand Principle: Reflection-on-action is an important part of learning how to teach (Schon, 1982). It helps teachers identify weaknesses in their knowledge and make links between pedagogical teacher knowledge and subject matter knowledge.
Productive reflection is often challenging for learners, including teachers. Prompts for reflection provide scaffolds that make it easier for teachers to reflect on action productively. Online access to the journal and prompts also allow teachers to receive guidance to support their reflection-on-action when they want the help.
Reflection-on-action influences student learning outcomes by helping teachers to think critically about their lessons and teaching methods, and in turn, make more effective decisions in real time in the classroom.
Context of Use:
The prompts for reflection are a part of a larger free, online support system for preservice and inservice elementary and middle school science teachers. Anybody can register to use the support system but only U Michigan teachers can use the teacher communities.
Davis, E. (2003) Knowledge Integration in Science Teaching: Analyzing Teachers Development. Research in Science Education, (34) 21-53.
Davis, E. A. (2006). Characterizing productive reflection among preservice elementary teachers: Seeing what matters. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22(3), 281-301. Davis et al., Designing an online environment for new elementary science teachers: supports for learning to teach., NARST meeting in Vancouver, 2004.