The effect of intercultural narrative reflection in shaping pre-service teachers’ future practice

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Journal Article
Reflective Practice, 2015, 16 (1), pp. 96 - 108
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© 2014 Taylor & Francis. Teachers’ development of critical cultural skills is integral to their awareness of what and how they teach as well as how they communicate with students in the multilingual, multicultural classrooms of today. This research reports the analysis of 33 pre-service teachers’ written narrative reflections. The reflective writing task was designed to elicit description and analysis of their experiences of linguistic and cultural difference (termed ‘intercultural’). The study examined what learning is afforded by the reflective task and how this learning is evaluated by the participants. The reflective narratives were analysed using a four-type model to identify writing characteristics and degree of intercultural awareness. Findings show that overall, the reflective narrative was a catalyst for critical intercultural understanding for the pre-service teachers, was effective in supporting personal affirmations of background and prior knowledge, and sharpened awareness of their role in opening up critical cultural thinking in their future classrooms. This study demonstrates that a structured reflective narrative task can enhance an active and continuous process of personal and professional growth for all teachers.
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