Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 1993 Issue »

    Zen and the Art of Reflective Practice in Teacher Education

    Robert Tremmel
    In this article, Robert Tremmel explores the possibility of enriching reflective teaching and teacher education programs by transcending the limitations imposed by technical and analytic views of reflective practice through the incorporation of non-Western notions of reflection, particularly the Zen Buddhist tradition of "mindfulness." Tremmel discusses Donald Schön's notion of reflection-in-action as an alternative and broader approach to reflection, and connects this approach to central dimensions of Zen teachings. In contrast, the author points out how some teacher education programs committed to reflective practice are not successful because they rely on narrow conceptions of reflection that ignore the need of "preparing our minds" as an initial step towards reflection. Finally, Tremmel draws from his own practice as a teacher educator to discuss his work in teaching students the art of "paying attention" as a way of nurturing reflective practice.

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