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LEARNING THROUGH REFLECTIVE PRACTICE.pdf

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The Pennsylvania State University The Graduate School College of Education LEARNING THROUGH REFLECTIVE PRACTICE: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF ADULT BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAM MANAGERS A Dissertation in Adult Education by Karen Lorraine Milheim ©2008 Karen Lorraine Milheim Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education December 2008 3346349 3346349 2009 ii The dissertation of Karen Lorraine Milheim was
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   The Pennsylvania State University The Graduate School College of Education LEARNING THROUGH REFLECTIVE PRACTICE: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF ADULT BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAM MANAGERS A Dissertation in Adult Education  by Karen Lorraine Milheim ©2008 Karen Lorraine Milheim Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education December 2008  3346349 3346349  2009  ii The dissertation of Karen Lorraine Milheim was reviewed and approved* by the following: Patricia A. Cranton Professor of Adult Education Dissertation Advisor Chair of Committee Elizabeth J. Tisdell Associate Professor of Adult Education Kimetta R. Hairston Assistant Professor of Education Roy B. Clariana Associate Professor of Education Academic Division Head, Education Penn State Great Valley Ian E. Baptiste Professor-in-Charge, Adult Education Programs * Signatures are on file in the Graduate School.  iii Abstract Reflective practice is a means towards professional development. Research has focused on various approaches toward reflective practice, emphasizing factors including overall goals of  professional development, process, action which is taking place (or took place), and approaches related to thinking through problems or making decisions. In the field of adult basic education (ABE), research focusing specifically on the professional development of managers of these programs is scarce. Also, research linking reflective practice and the professional development of managers of ABE programs is practically non-existent. The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to: 1) explore ABE managers‘  perceptions of how they develop professionally, and 2) explore the role of reflective practice in their  professional development process. Ten managers of ABE programs were interviewed through one-on-one, semi-structured questions, and data was analyzed through analysis of transcriptions. The data was further triangulated through follow-up e-mails, member-checking, and an electronic field journal. Findings of this study found that professional development of ABE program managers occurs through reflective practice. In particular, five kinds of reflective experiences emerged as the most prevalent among all of the participants, including: 1) reflective dialogue, 2) reflection on practice, 3) reflection on self, 4) reflection on decision-making, and 5) reflection on values. These experiences led managers to develop  professionally in a variety of areas of practice, including: working through difficult situations, developing relationships, discovering multiple solutions, self-management and monitoring of skills, understanding the importance of commitment, building trust in others, formulating opinions, developing an understanding of politics, reaffirming decisions, developing humility and introspection,
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