In Search of Empirical Evidence for a Growth Path to Critical Reflection

Jean Claude Callens
VIVES, Belgium


During their studies, pre-service teachers are continually asked to reflect. Hereby is mainly expected that they reach a level of critical reflection. Critical reflection is often described as a growth path in different phases, with critical reflection as endpoint. It is unclear whether empirical research confirms this growth path. To check whether a growth path with critical reflection as endpoint can be empirical confirmed, 596 reflections from four different empirical studies with pre-service teachers were taken in a secondary analysis. The results from this secondary analysis reveal that 1) participants score very low on critical reflection and 2) the idea of a growth path with critical reflection as endpoint cannot be confirmed. Focus shift is possibly a description that is closer to the empirical findings. Based on the results of this study, possible implications for the supervision of students are described.

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