Developing reflective thinking through theory-practice connection
The present study aimed to improve reflective thinking skills of doctoral students from different fields taking the Instructional Planning and Evaluation course (IPE) during their studies in order to obtain findings that can contribute to enhance the quality of teaching at a state university. A total of 80 doctoral students in the spring (n= 47) and fall (n= 33) semesters of 2016 participated in the study which was conducted with the Technical/Scientific/Cooperative action research design and implemented two actions. Data were collected using the Reflective Thinking Scale and the Attitude Scale towards IPE Course. The main activities of the program implemented in the first action included small group work, teaching real students, writing reflective pieces and feedback. In addition, participants were better encouraged to think reflectively, participated in reflective discussions and took formative tests in the second action. Descriptive statistics results of the study showed that both actions helped the participants to reach the levels in the order of reflection, understanding, critical reflection and habitual action. On the other hand, participants’ attitudes towards the IPE course were found to be low. For future actions, it is recommended that participants gain experience in their own fields in order to improve their reflective thinking levels through theory-practice connection and conduct their reflection activities over these experiences.
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