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Reflective Writing as a Means Towards Teacher Professional Development 

Evangelia Kosmidou, Maria Sfyroera
Faculty of Early Childhood Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Abstract. The aim of this study is to present how reflective writing contributed as a means for teachers’ professional development in the context of an action research project where a group of teachers engaged themselves on approaching diversity issues in their settings. During the preparation phase, participants were systematically involved in a variety of educational activities and workshops in order to approach reflective writing. At the next phase of the research, they were, thus, asked to carefully observe their contexts and their own practice and keep written records both from important “flash-points” they identified in their classroom and from the anti-bias sessions they conducted. As part of the process, they were invited to reflect on and submit copies of their records. Their writings were then discussed and commented on during feedback group meetings, where all participants shared their views and experiences in order to enrich their understandings. The different research data collected were analysed using qualitative and quantitative content analysis. According to the results, reflective writing proved an effective and powerful means for teacher professional evolution, although a number of significant challenges teachers were faced with were recognised. In order to overcome difficulties, individual and team support proved valuable allies. The small community of learning and practice that was gradually created seemed to have led to participants reconsidering their pedagogical perceptions, in the light of their critical interaction. The results of the study could contribute to the discussion about the significance of using reflective writing for teachers’ professional evolution.

Keywords: Action research, Critical feedback, Critical incidents, Critical thinking, Reflective writing, Teachers professional development

About the authors

Evangelia Kosmidou is a PhD candidate at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is an early education teacher and she has also worked for many years as a pre-service teachers’ supervisor and a discussion leader at the Department of Early Childhood Education of the University of Athens. Her research interests focus on teacher education and training, differentiated pedagogy, inclusive education and anti-bias education.

Maria Sfyroera is an Associate Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her specialization area is Teaching Approaches in Early Childhood Education and her research interests are educational practices, literacy, differentiated learning, learning and teaching practices, teacher education and minority education.

To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator, 2022. Proceedings of ATEE Annual Conference
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2023. 985 p.
EdL. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-019-0