Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Joanne K. Olson


The purpose of this study was to identify the levels of explicit reflection-on-action and criteria with which teachers self-assess their teaching, and to compare these levels and criteria to classroom practices. These reflections and practices were then compared to the participants' preservice preparation to determine the extent to which strategies taught transferred to classroom practice. To investigate these issues, this study utilized classroom observations, interviews, and relevant documents from thirteen second-, third-, fourth-, or fifth-year teachers who had graduated from a traditional elementary teacher education program at a landgrant university in the Midwestern United States. Classroom observations were rated using the Local Systemic Change Observation Protocol (Horizon Research, 2004). Teacher interviews examined the criteria teachers consider, as well as the reasoning and reflection they use to make sense of the assessment criteria and their classroom decisions. Interviews were coded using the five reflection levels used by Manouchehri (2002);This study responds to Kagan's (1990) concern about the lack of information linking reflection to practice, and provides evidence that such a relationship exists. This relationship is most evident in the use of theory. Only the most effective teachers spoke of theory and educational literature, and their use in personal teaching practices. In addition, the content and focus of teachers' reflections differed markedly as teachers demonstrated more effective teaching practices. Even though self-assessment and reflection practices were taught to the participants of this study during their preservice education program, such knowledge bases were often implemented in a piecemeal fashion, particularly by the least effective teachers in this study. Only the most effective teachers in this study implement self-assessment practices in ways that will most likely lead to changes consistent with current reform documents. Implications for preservice and inservice elementary science education professional development and recommendations for further study are discussed.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Andrea Jean Madsen



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

163 pages