IELTS Academic Reading Practice 4

 
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This reading practice simulates one part of the IELTS Academic Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage and answer questions 1-14.

Questions 1-7

The reading passage has seven sections, A-G.

Choose the correct heading for sections A-G from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number i-xi in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
  1. The difficulties experienced by educators
  2. Reflection is different for teachers and students
  3. The help required from outside sources
  4. Ways in which to develop reflective learning
  5. Some of the doubts expressed by educators
  6. The negative effects of reflective learning
  7. How contemplation helps make for better learning
  8. The usefulness of working with your fellow students
  9. Examples of reflective learning in fiction
  10. How reflective learning is helping students pass exams
  11. Research carried out into the amount of time that should go into reflection

1. Section A
2. Section B
3. Section C
4. Section D
5. Section E
6. Section F
7. Section G
Questions 8-9

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write your answers in boxes 8-9 on your answer sheet.

8 It was believed that reflection could help teachers…

9 What did the teachers working with Wildman and Niles often fail to do when they attempted to practice reflection?

Questions 10-14

Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in the reading passage? In boxes 10-14 on your answer sheet, write

YES   if the statement reflects the claims of the writer
NO   if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN   if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

10. The experimental strategy involved having teachers record in writing their reflections about teaching.
11. Wildman and Niles worried that the teachers they were working with might feel that the concepts of teacher reflection were so abstract that they could not be applied.
12. Wildman and Niles identified three principles that teachers can use to help themselves cope with problems that may arise as a result of reflection.
13. Whether teachers can overcome the difficulties involved in reflection may depend on the nature and intensity of their motivation to reflect.
14. Many aspects of the motivation to reflect have not been studied, including the comparative benefits of externally motivated and habitual reflection among teachers.

Answer Sheet
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
N/A
16
N/A
17
N/A
18
N/A
19
N/A
20
N/A
21
N/A
22
N/A
23
N/A
24
N/A
25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
N/A
29
N/A
30
N/A
31
N/A
32
N/A
33
N/A
34
N/A
35
N/A
36
N/A
37
N/A
38
N/A
39
N/A
40
N/A


  • help Learn how to HIGHLIGHT & ADD NOTES
    1. HOLD LEFT CLICK
    2. DRAG MOUSE OVER TEXT
    3. RIGHT CLICK SELECTED TEXT

Reflective Teaching

Section A

Training of teachers has emerging global trends in education. The quality of education depends on the quality of teachers and teaching. The way teachers are trained is an important aspect to improve quality. The complexity of teaching requires teachers to question their practices for their own professional development in order to improve and to increase learner performance. Reflective practice, the ability to reflect on an action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning,  has become a focus of interest and a powerful movement in teacher education. Reflection simply means thinking about something,” but for some, it is a well-defined and crafted practice that carries very specific meaning and associated action. Reflective teaching, at a very general level involves ‘thinking about one’s teaching’. It is a process where teachers think over their teaching practices, analyze how something was taught and how the practice might be improved or changed for better learning outcomes.

Section B

Coaching and peer involvement are two aspects of reflective practices seen most often at the pre-service level. In a 1993 study on how student teachers develop the skills necessary for reflective teaching during their field experiences, Ojanen explores the role of the teacher educator as a coach. Teacher educators can most effectively coach student teachers in reflective practice by using students' personal histories and small and large-group discussions about their experiences to help students reflect upon and improve their practices. Kettle and Sellars (1996) studied the development of third- year teaching students. They analyzed the students' reflective writings and interviewed them extensively about their reflective practices. They found that the use of peer reflective groups encouraged student teachers to challenge existing theories and their own preconceived views of teaching while modeling for them a collaborative style of professional development that would be useful throughout their teaching careers.

Section C

The desirability of reflective practice in teaching is assumed in the literature — that it is good to be a reflective teacher. However, much of the literature is about reflection in student teachers. Sometimes it is difficult to dissociate the literature that concerns the development of reflective student teachers from that of reflective practising teachers, and as these two groups are substantially different in their likely uses of reflection.

Section D

Educators T. Wildman and J. Niles (1987) describe a scheme for developing reflective practice in experienced teachers. This was justified by the view that reflective practice could help teachers to feel more intellectually involved in their role and work in teaching and enable them to cope with the paucity of scientific fact and the uncertainty of knowledge in the discipline of teaching. They were particularly interested in investigating the conditions under which reflection might flourish - a subject on which there was little guidance in the literature. They designed an experimental strategy for a group of teachers in Virginia and worked with 40 practising teachers over several years. They were concerned that many would be drawn to these new, refreshing conceptions of teaching only to find that the void between the abstractions and the realities of teacher reflection is too great to bridge. Reflection on a complex task such as teaching is not easy. The teachers were taken through a programme of talking about teaching events, moving on to reflecting on specific issues in a supported, and later in independent manner.

Section E

Wildman and Niles observed that systematic reflection on teaching required a soundability to understand classroom events in an objective manner. They describe the initial understanding of the teachers with whom they were working as being “utilitarian … and not rich or detailed enough to drive systematic reflection.” Teachers rarely have the time or opportunities to view their own or the teaching of others in an objective manner. Further observation revealed the tendency of teachers to evaluate events rather than review the contributory factors in a considered manner by, in effect, standing outside the situation. Helping this group of teachers to revise their thinking about classroom events became central. This process took time and patience and effective trainers. The researchers estimate that the initial training of the teachers to view events objectively took between 20 and 30 hours, with the same number of hours again being required to   practice the skills of reflection.

Section F

Wildman and Niles identify three principles that facilitate reflective practice in a teaching situation. The first is support from administrators in an education system, enabling teachers to understand the requirements of reflective practice and how it relates to teaching students. The second is the availability of sufficient time and space. The teachers in the program described how they found it difficult to put aside the immediate demands of others in order to give themselves the time they needed to develop their reflective skills. The third is the development of a collaborative environment with support from other teachers. Support and encouragement were also required to help teachers in the program cope with aspects of their professional life with which they were not comfortable. Wildman and Niles make a summary comment: “Perhaps the most important thing we learned is the idea of the teacher-as-reflective-practitioner will not happen simply because it is a good or even compelling idea.”

Section G

The work of Wildman and Niles suggests the importance of recognizing some of the difficulties of instituting reflective practice. Others have noted this, making a similar point about the teaching profession’s cultural inhibitions about reflective practice. Zeichner and Liston (1987) point out the inconsistency between the role of the teacher as a (reflective) professional decision maker and the more usual role of the teacher as a technician, putting into practice the ideas of theirs. More basic than the cultural issues is the matter of motivation. Becoming a reflective practitioner requires extra work  and has only vaguely defined goals with, perhaps, little initially perceivable reward and the threat of vulnerability. Few have directly questioned what might lead a teacher to want to become reflective. Apparently, the most obvious reason for teachers to work toward reflective practice is that teacher educators think it is a good thing. There appear to be many unexplored matters about the motivation to reflect – for example, the value of externally motivated reflection as opposed to that of teachers who might reflect by habit.

Reading Passage Vocabulary
Reflective Teaching

Section A

Training of teachers has emerging global trends in education. The quality of education depends on the quality of teachers and teaching. The way teachers are trained is an important aspect to improve quality. The complexity of teaching requires teachers to question their practices for their own professional development in order to improve and to increase learner performance. Reflective practice, the ability to reflect on an action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning,  has become a focus of interest and a powerful movement in teacher education. Reflection simply means thinking about something,” but for some, it is a well-defined and crafted practice that carries very specific meaning and associated action. Reflective teaching, at a very general level involves ‘thinking about one’s teaching’. It is a process where teachers think over their teaching practices, analyze how something was taught and how the practice might be improved or changed for better learning outcomes.

Section B

Coaching and peer involvement are two aspects of reflective practices seen most often at the pre-service level. In a 1993 study on how student teachers develop the skills necessary for reflective teaching during their field experiences, Ojanen explores the role of the teacher educator as a coach. Teacher educators can most effectively coach student teachers in reflective practice by using students' personal histories and small and large-group discussions about their experiences to help students reflect upon and improve their practices. Kettle and Sellars (1996) studied the development of third- year teaching students. They analyzed the students' reflective writings and interviewed them extensively about their reflective practices. They found that the use of peer reflective groups encouraged student teachers to challenge existing theories and their own preconceived views of teaching while modeling for them a collaborative style of professional development that would be useful throughout their teaching careers.

Section C

The desirability of reflective practice in teaching is assumed in the literature — that it is good to be a reflective teacher. However, much of the literature is about reflection in student teachers. Sometimes it is difficult to dissociate the literature that concerns the development of reflective student teachers from that of reflective practising teachers, and as these two groups are substantially different in their likely uses of reflection.

Section D

Educators T. Wildman and J. Niles (1987) describe a scheme for developing reflective practice in experienced teachers. This was justified by the view that reflective practice could help teachers to feel more intellectually involved in their role and work in teaching and enable them to cope with the paucity of scientific fact and the uncertainty of knowledge in the discipline of teaching. They were particularly interested in investigating the conditions under which reflection might flourish - a subject on which there was little guidance in the literature. They designed an experimental strategy for a group of teachers in Virginia and worked with 40 practising teachers over several years. They were concerned that many would be drawn to these new, refreshing conceptions of teaching only to find that the void between the abstractions and the realities of teacher reflection is too great to bridge. Reflection on a complex task such as teaching is not easy. The teachers were taken through a programme of talking about teaching events, moving on to reflecting on specific issues in a supported, and later in independent manner.

Section E

Wildman and Niles observed that systematic reflection on teaching required a soundability to understand classroom events in an objective manner. They describe the initial understanding of the teachers with whom they were working as being “utilitarian … and not rich or detailed enough to drive systematic reflection.” Teachers rarely have the time or opportunities to view their own or the teaching of others in an objective manner. Further observation revealed the tendency of teachers to evaluate events rather than review the contributory factors in a considered manner by, in effect, standing outside the situation. Helping this group of teachers to revise their thinking about classroom events became central. This process took time and patience and effective trainers. The researchers estimate that the initial training of the teachers to view events objectively took between 20 and 30 hours, with the same number of hours again being required to   practice the skills of reflection.

Section F

Wildman and Niles identify three principles that facilitate reflective practice in a teaching situation. The first is support from administrators in an education system, enabling teachers to understand the requirements of reflective practice and how it relates to teaching students. The second is the availability of sufficient time and space. The teachers in the program described how they found it difficult to put aside the immediate demands of others in order to give themselves the time they needed to develop their reflective skills. The third is the development of a collaborative environment with support from other teachers. Support and encouragement were also required to help teachers in the program cope with aspects of their professional life with which they were not comfortable. Wildman and Niles make a summary comment: “Perhaps the most important thing we learned is the idea of the teacher-as-reflective-practitioner will not happen simply because it is a good or even compelling idea.”

Section G

The work of Wildman and Niles suggests the importance of recognizing some of the difficulties of instituting reflective practice. Others have noted this, making a similar point about the teaching profession’s cultural inhibitions about reflective practice. Zeichner and Liston (1987) point out the inconsistency between the role of the teacher as a (reflective) professional decision maker and the more usual role of the teacher as a technician, putting into practice the ideas of theirs. More basic than the cultural issues is the matter of motivation. Becoming a reflective practitioner requires extra work  and has only vaguely defined goals with, perhaps, little initially perceivable reward and the threat of vulnerability. Few have directly questioned what might lead a teacher to want to become reflective. Apparently, the most obvious reason for teachers to work toward reflective practice is that teacher educators think it is a good thing. There appear to be many unexplored matters about the motivation to reflect – for example, the value of externally motivated reflection as opposed to that of teachers who might reflect by habit.

 
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