Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Reflective teaching; Middle school teachers; Teachers--Self-rating of; Middle school principals--Attitudes;


With the onset of the Iowa Quality Teacher Legislation, the Iowa Teaching Standards are mandated for use by all school districts in Iowa. These standards call for administrators to assist teachers in becoming self-reflective practitioners. The purpose of this study was to investigate administrative strategies employed by principals to assist teachers in becoming self-reflective toward the Iowa Teaching Standards. A secondary purpose of the study was to investigate the extent to which teachers are currently utilizing self-reflection as a method of improving their instructional effectiveness, as perceived by middle level teachers and principals in Iowa.

Four research questions were examined using a quantitative research methodology. Two separate questionnaires were developed to survey teachers and principals on their perceptions of the characteristics of self-reflection. The sample participants included 300 middle school teachers and 150 middle school principals in Iowa. Responses from 208 (69%) teachers and 133 (89%) principals were received which represented a total return rate of 76%. Statistical tests were performed at the .05 level of significance. In addition, frequency and mean data were compared to obtain a general analysis of the research questions in this study.

Results revealed teachers were utilizing many strategies indicative of self-reflective practitioners. Perceptions of teachers and principals were statistically discrepant in that principals perceived teachers to possess fewer self-reflective characteristics that teachers perceived; yet, both subgroups perceived quite a few strategies as being utilized by teachers.

Teachers and administrators reported the use of many strategies by principals during the evaluation process to assist teachers in self-reflection; however, principals perceived themselves as utilizing a greater number of strategies than what teachers perceived. However, when examining the use of administrative strategies to increase reflection toward the Iowa Teaching Standards, principals and teachers reported minimal implementation of those strategies. The analysis of variance revealed significant differences between perceptions of teachers and principals; yet, neither group reported a substantial number of strategies were being used to encourage self-reflection toward the Iowa Teaching Standards.

Perception data from teachers and principals revealed several strategies as having perceived benefits in increasing teacher self-reflection. Providing teachers with specific feedback and asking probing questions, assisting in goal setting, and providing peer collaboration opportunities were all found to be desirable in producing self-reflective practitioners.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

David Else, Committee Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xi, 177 pages)



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