Reflective Development in the Computing Curriculum

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This research project was initiated by the realisation that although the development of Computing learners’ reflective skills is essential, reflection is a vague and a poorly defined concept. The dearth of literature (compared to other disciplines) with regards to supporting and defining reflection in the Computing discipline creates facilitation and assessment issues.
This study starts with an investigation on the topic of reflection from disciplines who have a more mature practice of using reflection with their learners. The lessons teased out demonstrate the strong links between reflection and learning but also its key dimensions and complexity.
The thesis progresses with the establishment of Computing teachers’ views and perceptions of using reflection as a learners’ evaluation tool. This investigation enabled the distillation of explicit variables (themes) considered key for the support and development of reflective skills in Computing. This work led to the introduction of the new concept of reflective development which entails one’s own transformation and growth through a profound and inner meaningful change. Additionally, the thesis supplements existing literature on reflection by proposing a new reflective development framework to support teachers through the nurturing of their learners’ reflective skills.
Finally, the thesis explores how reflective development can be defined in Computing by analysing sets of learners’ reflections and identifying development patterns and concepts which constitute reflective processes. This part of the study enabled the formulation of the reflective development model and attributes of good reflections in Computing.
Action research was used throughout the study as a practice-based, problem-solving methodology as the research focuses on the enhancement of teachers and learners’ practice but also contributes to educational theories. Four action research cycles were required to formulate the main contribution to knowledge of the thesis i.e. the reflective development concept including its framework and model.
Date of Award20 Jun 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Teesside University
SupervisorJulie Porteous (Supervisor) & Ladan Cockshut (Supervisor)

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