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Short Author Bio(s)

Denise McDonald is Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Program Coordinator of Teacher Education at the University of Houston – Clear Lake. She teaches undergraduate, masters and doctoral courses in management, curriculum, instructional strategies and qualitative research. Her interests include learning motivation and teacher preparation.

Michele Kahn is Associate Professor of Multicultural Education in the program of Studies in Language and Culture at the University of Houston – Clear Lake. She teaches undergraduate, masters and doctoral courses in multicultural education, intercultural communication, American pluralism and the study of language. Her areas of expertise include intercultural and multicultural education, language teaching and learning.

Abstract

This paper discusses and examines the effectiveness of course assignments designed to promote reflection processes and critical thinking of pre-service teachers. Specifically, the study explores and identifies the range of students’ level of reflectivity and critical examination of their own developing pedagogy, with foci on content knowledge, dispositions and teaching skills. In general, initial findings indicate students’ levels of reflectivity ranged from “self” to “outside of self” to “beyond self” concerns or focus. Analysis further revealed that the students’ existing epistemological beliefs possibly mediate their level of reflectivity by either inhibiting the reflective process (most evident with those focused on task, grade, time, procedures and some performance concerns), or supported the reflective thinking flow (most evident through focus on interest, identity, expectations, relevancy, development, personal and student impact concerns).

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