Relationships between epistemology and reflective thinking of instructional paraprofessionals in an elementary teacher education program

Alcione Negrao Ostorga, Fordham University

Abstract

This multiple case study uses adult learning theories to examine the development of reflective thinking as it relates to epistemology in preservice teachers who are instructional paraprofessionals. It examined the relationships between the two variables by looking at the levels of reflective thinking exhibited in reflective journals, emerging patterns and themes within the journals, the relationships between the levels of reflection and the patterns of reflection and the participants' epistemology, and the relationships between epistemology and the participants' personal history narratives related to early educational experiences, as well as generation of teaching metaphors. Theoretical triangulation was achieved by determining the levels of reflectivity with the use of 3 theoretical frameworks ^ The participants were 4 paraprofessionals in the last year of a 4-year undergraduate teacher preparation program who were enrolled in the first of 2 student teaching internship courses. They included 1 African American woman, 1 Puerto Rican born woman, 1 one woman of Puerto Rican descent and 1 man of Puerto Rican descent. They were all of nontraditional college age. ^ The analysis of the data was the result of convergence of data from many sources including individual interview, questionnaire, reflective journals, audiotaped class discussions, personal narratives, and teaching metaphors. ^ Among the 6 hypotheses generated the findings suggest that reflective thinking is a function of ways of knowing and patterns of reasoning, levels of reflective thinking are not hierarchical or linear but dynamic processes that flow from one to the other, and emerging themes in reflective journals are the result of issues of importance rooted in the social construction of epistemology. ^

Subject Area

Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Alcione Negrao Ostorga, "Relationships between epistemology and reflective thinking of instructional paraprofessionals in an elementary teacher education program" (January 1, 2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3056152.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3056152

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