Using Van Manen's model to assess levels of reflectivity among preservice physical education teachers
Ballard, Kristy Kay
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The intent of this study was two-fold. The first purpose was to apply Van Manen's model to specific strategies (i.e., written assignments) and supervisory practices (i.e., interviews) to examine levels of reflectivity demonstrated and if there were any changes in the reflectivity of student teachers throughout a student teaching period. The second purpose was to assess the applicability of Van Manen's model to a preservice physical education setting. Five physical education majors enrolled in a student teaching experience volunteered to participate. Five weekly web-based written assignments were selected and analyzed using Van Manen's model of reflection. In addition, two interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and subjected to thematic analysis techniques. Using Naturalistic Inquiry as a method of analysis suggests that utilizing supervisory approaches, written assignments, and reflective teaching can foster important changes in reflectivity levels which encourage reflective thinking in physical education student teachers. Increased levels of sophistication among the participants as the semester progressed were noted and may be attributed to a developmental effect similar to Fuller's Concerns Theory. The results also support Pultorak's (1993) assertion that students can increase reflective thinking when fostered and encouraged in preservice programs. This study combines available resources (i.e., technology, supervisors) with Van Manen's model to assess reflectivity levels in a physical education setting. Findings indicate that Van Manen's model can be used objectively in a physical education setting and can be utilized in applying a quantitative measure to qualitative responses.