Purpose:In this paper I will explore teacher students' experiences of reflection and discuss those in relation to silent knowledge and ambiguities within professional development. This research area seems relevant since reflection is emphasized as an important part of teachers' work today, but still reflection often is used quite un-reflected and with different aims.Method:The theoretical and methodological base used for the study is the life-world philosophy as formulated by Merleau-Ponty. In this study, artistic expressions such as individual drawings and physical interpretations in groups which were documented with photographs were used in combination as methods to voice teacher students' lived experience of reflection. The empirical material thus consists of drawings from 114 teacher students, and 24 photographs of physical interpretations were 117 teacher students participated, portraying the significant words. The material was first analyzed as two different parts and then put together as it showed that similar result appeared in both parts.Result:The preliminary result rendered in four major themes, each encompassing different dimensions of the lived experiences of teacher students' concerning reflection. The preliminary themes were classified as: 1) Diversity of voices, 2) To see and make visible, 3) Looking to the back, and, 4) Moving forward.Conclusion:The preliminary themes show that reflection is both regarded as an individual and collective tool for professional development. Silent knowledge-for example a feeling of when or how to act, a way of relating to the children, the situation or the content, or a way of handling your emotion-become explicit knowledge due to reflection. Thus, fingertip, prevision and tact of teaching are not easy to get hold of or improve, although reflection may be one tool to make the invisible visible and the silent knowledge expressed. Teacher students' experiences tell us that the distance needed for reflection is not easy to create but that notes, conversations, photos, big ears and eyes, and questions can help you out. The movement between looking back and moving forward seems to be significant as well. Hence, ambiguous dimensions of reflection are made visible, such as for example individual and social, looking back and moving forward, involvement and distance. These ambiguities thus not seem to be regarded as contradictions, but as parts of a whole, intertwined and mutual dependent when teacher-students use reflection to spot dimensions of silent knowledge and move forward in their profession.
Joint International Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) and the Asia Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA) : 02/12/2012 - 06/12/2012