REFLECTIVE PRACTICES IN TEACHER EDUCATION
The research is based on lifelong and lifewide learning theoretical framework and its focus is on continuous learning. The development of lifelong and lifewide learning dimensions represents a key element in the promotion of a learning society, with more and new basic skills for all; innovation in teaching and learning; guidance and counseling activities; learning closer to home. These elements are essential to promote active citizenship, ensuring wider access to education; developing high quality systems for the “Accreditation of Prior” and “Experiential Learning”, and promoting full participation in all spheres of social and economic life. The focus on teacher training and the need to develop appropriate skills profiles are key elements in promoting quality in continuing education courses, which means that it is important for teachers to develop their competences, not only at the beginning of their careers but throughout their working lives.
Today teachers have to face various and complex challenges: considering specific needs (deficit or talents) for each learner, encouraging independent learning, promoting the acquisition and the development of key skills, using a variety of methodologies and technologies in learning, developing critical thinking and opening to different cultures.
Teachers’ quality and training are essential factors to promote a knowledge-based society (Lisbon Strategy 2000). Teachers are asked to ensure quality in teaching and to enable the acquisition of knowledge and skills that are useful in the process of personal and professional life. Nevertheless teacher training has lots of contradictions and negative points.
From the European document "Improving the quality of teacher education" (Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, 2007) negative data emerge about teachers’ training. Firstly investment in training and continuous improvement are insufficient. Equally inadequate is the grade of teachers’ participation in continuing education and training opportunities. As a result the lack of investment and participation doesn’t ensure a level of quality in teachers’ training.
The data TALIS-OECD "Teachers' Professional Development: Europe in international comparison" (2009), shows that teachers need an effective feedback on their work in order to take advantage of training opportunities, as well as the variety of experience training and a better working climate in schools are also important elements for an adequate professional development .
Objective of the research: to provide future teachers a tool-process that can support them in the design, monitoring and evaluation of their professional development paths, orienting and directing educational choices and supporting them to become "reflective practitioners"(Schon, 1983).