A corpus-based investigation of critical reflective practice and context in early career teacher settings

Brona Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reflective practice is at the core of teacher education programmes and is highly regarded as an essential component in the education of new and experienced teachers. Given the recent interest in language use and the role of discourse in articulating knowledge of one’s practice, this paper focuses on how two groups of early career teachers from distinct teaching contexts engage in reflection. The study aims to (i) investigate how they reflect and (ii) explore to what extent their reflections may be influenced by their contexts. The paper mines two small written sub-corpora, which are part of the larger 200,000-word Corpus of Reflective Practice (CoRP). Using corpus-based tools and methodologies, the paper identifies distinct trends which reveal insights into different conceptualisations of reflective practice. As a result, the paper raises awareness of the need to consider (inter)national cultural sensitivity, and questions the assumption that early career reflective practice is flexible enough to work across cultural, social and institutional differences and influences without more careful guidance and consideration. The paper also highlights a predominant shared trait across the data which signals the need to see reflective practice as a process and to value the kind of reflective practice in which early practitioners engage as being reflective of their stage in the process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-123
JournalClassroom Discourse
Issue number2
Early online date7 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2015


  • reflective practice
  • corpus linguistics
  • teaching and learning contexts
  • early careers teachers


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