The need for reflective pedagogical practices in teacher education to enhance preservice teachers' understanding of teaching, and to assist the link between theory and their own practice, has long been accepted. This study sought to investigate the use of reflective strategies to develop attitudes and skills in teaching dance in physical education by a group of first year preservice physical education teachers (N=90)undertaking an introductory course in dance in an Australian university. Monitoring occurred at regular intervals during the course to identify any longitudinal developmental trends in attitudes. Inductive analysis of weekly journal responses was undertaken to identify major themes or focus areas using the Reflective Framework for Teaching in Physical Education (Tsangaridou and O'Sullivan, 1994). Attitudinal data from questionnaire responses were analysed using SPSSPC and focus group discussion data were transcribed and analysed for dominant themes using NVivo software. The results indicated an increase in the focus and level of complexity of reflections and analytical responses in line with changes in attitudes and confidence in teaching dance experienced during the course. Significant gender differences in attitudes to teaching dance prior to undertaking the course and in the early journal entries were identified. Improvement in and value given to journal writing was evident, however, some preservice teachers felt hindered by a lack of personal reflective writing skill.
European Journal of Physical Education Vol. 6, Issue 1, p. 5-15