individual teaching actions and the purposes of education in society” (p. 204). Hatton and Smith (1995) defined critical reflection as implying “the acceptance of a particular ideology” (p. 35) and called for consideration of moral and ethical issues that help educators make “judgments about whether professional activity is equitable, just, and respectful of persons or not” (p. 35). Jay and Johnson (2002) supported the “notion that critical reflection involves taking in the broader historical, sociopolitical, and moral context of schooling” (Farrell, 2004, p. 18). According to them, reflective teachers who adopt such broad view “come to see themselves as agents of change, capable of understanding not only what is, but also working to create what should be” (Jay & Johnson, 2002, p. 80). According to Richards and Lockhart (1996), critical reflection
involves posing questions about how and why things are the way they are, what value systems they represent, what alternatives might be available, and what the limitations are of doing things one way as opposed to another.
Teachers who are better informed as to the nature of their teaching are able to evaluate their stage of professional growth and what aspects of their teaching they need to change. In addition, when critical reflection is seen as an ongoing process and a routine part of teaching, it enables teachers to feel more confident in trying different options and assessing their effects on teaching. (p. 4)
Braun and Crumpler (2004) and Colton and Sparks-Langer (1993) find critical reflection as an essential component of education as it helps prepare students for a democratic society. This is because teachers’ critical reflection develops students’ intellectual, moral and social dispositions.
2.3.4 Reflective Teaching Inventories
Although the formulation of the concept of reflection by Dewey goes back to 1933, the idea of quantifying reflective teaching is relatively new (El-Dib, 2007). Many educators believe that the concept of reflection is an elusive one, and have concluded that it is difficult to measure (Akbari, Behzadpoor, & Dadvand, 2010; Akbari, 2007; El-Dib, 2007; Jay & Johnson, 2002). Hence, many researchers resort to qualitative methods to measure reflection (El-Dib, 2007). In the literature, the inventories available to measure reflection quantitatively include IRTAR, RTTS, and ELTRI.
22.214.171.124 Inventory of Re?ective Thinking via Action Research (IRTAR)
The Inventory of Re?ective Thinking via Action Research (IRTAR) was developed by El-Dib (2007). It aims to measure English teachers’ reflection as reflected in their action research. Developed based on a model described by Kember et al. (1999, cited in El-Dib, 2007), the inventory assesses the depth of reflection in the three stages of the action research: planning, acting, and reviewing. As the inventory focuses only on one technique used in reflection (action research) and does not embrace reflection in all the activities done by English teachers, it was not employed for this study.
126.96.36.199 Reflective Thinking Tendency Scale (RTTS)
Reflective Thinking Tendency Scale (RTTS) was developed by Semerci (2007) in order to measure the quality of reflection in teachers and student teachers. With 20 negative and 15 positive items, the questions were based on seven themes: “Continuous and intentional thinking, Open-minded, Interrogative and effective teaching, Teaching responsibility and science, Researcher, Foresighted and sincere, [and] Looking professional [sic.]” (Semerci, 2007, p. 1371). This scale was not used in this research because it was not designed for English teachers, and it did not encircle reflection in all its dimensions.
188.8.131.52 English Language Teaching Reflection Inventory (ELTRI)
English Language Teaching Reflection Inventory (ELTRI) was constructed by Akbari et al. (2010) to quantify English teachers’ reflections in a comprehensive manner. Akbari et al. followed the standard procedures to construct an inventory as proposed by Brown (2001; cited in Akbari et al., 2010) and Dornyei (2003; cited in Akbari et al., 2010). Prior to developing the inventory, Akbari et al. introduced a comprehensive model for reflection, because reflective thinking, as mentioned in section 2.4, has been described by many educators and it is difficult to find a universal agreed upon model for it. To develop the inventory, Akbari et al. reviewed virtually all the published models, and proposed an all-inclusive pattern. In the model proposed by him, there are five sub-scales that constitute reflection: Practical element, Cognitive element, Learner element (Affective), Meta-Cognitive element, and Critical element.
Practical element consists of those activities that comprise the actual act of reflection by the practitioner. Keeping journals, writing lesson reports, conducting surveys, audio and video recordings of the classes, and observation are examples of such actions (Richards & Lockhart, 1999; Murphy 2001; Farrell, 2004; Richards & Farrell, 2005; cited in Akbari et al., 2010).
Cognitive element includes all the attempts that the teacher makes in order to achieve professional development. Doing action research; attending seminars, conferences, and workshops; and reading professional literature are some of the activities done to reflect cognitively (Farrell, 2004; Richards & Farrell, 2005; cited in Akbari et al., 2010).
Learner element (affective) is concerned with reflecting on learners’ emotional responses to the lessons, their learning, and their background (Pollard et al. 2006; Hillier, 2005; Pacheco, 2005; Richards and Farrell, 2005Richards and Lockhart, 1999; Zeichner and Liston, 1996; cited in Akbari et al., 2010).
Meta-Cognitive element comprises teachers and their reflections on their own beliefs and personality, the way they define their practice, their own emotional make up, etc. (Akbari, Behzadpoor, & Dadvand, 2010). As Akbari (2007) states, “Teachers’ personality, and more specifically their affective make up, can influence their tendency to get involved in reflection and will affect their reaction to their own image resulting from reflection” (p. 10). This aspect is often neglected in the proposed reflective models (Pollard et al. 2006; Hillier, 2005; Richards and Lockhart, 1999; Stanley, 1998; Zeichner and Liston, 1996; cited in Akbari et al., 2010).
Finally, the Critical element includes items dealing with the socio-political aspects of pedagogy. Examples for this category are reflecting on issues such as race, gender and social class (Jay and Johnson, 2001; Bartlett ,1997; Zeichner & Liston, 1996; Day, 1993; cited in Akbari et al., 2010).
Based on the model, Akbari et al. listed 600 categories that described these elements. The number was reduced to 300 following revisions to omit overlapping items. In the next step, Akbari et al. used expert judgment, as proposed by Dornyei (2003; cited in Akbari et al., 2010), to eliminate redundant items. Ultimately, he chose 42 items to include in the inventory and devised a 5-point Likert scale ranging from “always” to “never” for it. After assessing its face validity, the inventory was piloted on 32 ELT teachers. The Cronbach alpha reliability of the inventory was 0.91.
To validate the inventory, they sent 650 copies to practicing English teachers at various language schools, high schools and centers of higher education across Iran. Out of the 425 completed questionnaires, 308 were chosen and the rest were discarded as they were incomplete or carelessly completed. 48% of the respondents were male and 52% were female. The respondents’ experience ranged from 1 to 40 years (Mean = 603, SD=5.9).
Subsequently, the validation scheme proposed by Mulaik and Millsap (2000; cited in Akbari et al., 2010), consisting of Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and model evaluation, was followed. The results of the statistical analyses yielded in a 29-item inventory.
On the final analysis of the inventory, Akbari et al. (2010) notes,
In order to determine whether this hypothetical model adequately fits the data, both the Fitting and Validation Datasets underwent model-fit analysis. Crucial to such an analysis is the Validation data since it had been reserved from the clustering stage and had not met the given model before. Nonetheless, in order to cross-validate the findings, the Fitting Data, which has already been subject to EFA and CFA, was also incorporated into this phase of fitting analysis. As Table 4 [renamed as Table 3.7 in this research, p. 125] shows, the assessment indices for both Validation and Fitting Data outstripped the minimum cut- off points, i.e. <3 for normed Chi-Squared; >.9, .85, and .08 for GFI, AGFI and RMSEA respectively; and .9 for (TLI) and (CFI). Despite a slight decrease in the assessment indices of the Validation data set, these model-fit estimates confirm the correspondence of the data to the CFA model. All this, in turn, verifies the construct validity of the final version of the instrument for its intended purpose. (pp. 221-222)
The questionnaire can be found affixed to the research as Appendix C.
2.3.5 Literature Related to Self-Efficacy and Reflective Teaching
In this section, reflection as it is reflected in the literature will be described. Following Schon, many educators acknowledged reflection as an indispensible ingredient for education. They wrote extensively on the theoretical and the practical aspects of reflective teaching, some guiding teachers on a step-by-step basis (Farrell, 2004; Shrum & Glisan, 2000; Richards & Lockhart, 1996) and some investigating and evaluating the theoretical basis of it (Akbari, 2007; Korthagen, 2001b; Griffiths, 2000; Zeichner & Liston, 1996).
The problem with reflective teaching is that it is very difficult to implement. Jay and Johnson (2002) assume that it is so because reflection is3>