Document Type

Article

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

A considerable amount of research conducted in Europe and elsewhere except in Pakistan indicates that the in-service teacher education programmes facilitated in the implementation and institutionalization of change at school level geared towards the school improvement process (Dalin et.al, 1992). In the past, the in-service education programmes for teachers in Pakistan received little attention of the government since its focus was on the quantitative expansion rather than qualitative augmentation of education. The teachers who attended in-service education programmes found their experiences as a ‘luxury activity’. Most of them seemed to be interested in their traveling and daily allowances (T.A./D.A.) rather than professional development (Warwick and Remiers, 1995). In order to depart from the traditional in-service teacher education programmes, the government sector generally and particularly the private sector have launched some reflective and practial in-service teacher education programmes in Pakistan. These programmes allow teachers to reconceptualize their teaching practice that might lead to equality improvement in their schools. The Institute for Educational Development of the Aga Khan University, organized an eight week in-service teacher education programme for Balochistan primary school teachrs from three districts (Quetta, Kallat and Killa Saifullah) from January 5 – March 6, 1997. This programme was known as Visiting Teachers (VT) programme. Among other practices and processes used in this programme for the professional development of these teachers leading to school improvement, reflective journal was used to develop their critical thinking which is essential for the effective teaching and learning process. In other contexts, reflective journals have been used effectively in various teaching and learning situations for different purposes. In this case the purpose of using reflective journals was to allow teachers to think critically and analyze their thinking and actions for making necessary modification in their teaching behaviour that is required for improving quality education. Furthermore, reflective journal helped them to see relationship between written account and reasoning and raise critical issues to their learning for their professional development. This paper aims to underline the importance of reflective journal as a useful device for VTs to ‘unfreeze’ their age old notions of their teaching and learning, question the relevance of new ideas to their practical life, initiate ‘change’ and ‘refreeze’ new practices which are required for sustainable change for school improvement (Cheng 1996).

Publication

Journal of Elementary Education