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A major concern in recent decades is that teachers are equipped with pedagogical knowledge through pre-service teacher education programs but know nothing about how to put pedagogical knowledge into their own teaching scenarios. Hence, an increasing attention has been attached to teachers’ contextualized understanding of pedagogical knowledge for effective teaching. Reflection has often been recommended as an instrument for constructing teachers’ context-specific knowledge of teaching. This self-study has identified an approach of reflection by which I, as a beginning Chinese language teacher-researcher, employed to develop contextualized understanding of a generic pedagogical model known as Quality Teaching (QT). The essence of such reflection, named as tension-focused reflection, is to reflect on and then manage tensions arising from implementing the generic pedagogical model in my own teaching. Tension-focused reflection enhanced my contextualization of QT in Chinese language classroom by prompting deep thinking about the contextual restrictions for implementing QT, the subject-specific usefulness of QT, and the consequences of such implementation on subject-specific practice. Yielded by such thinking was my contextualized application of QT that was useful for my teaching Chinese as a foreign language. While unfolding the process of developing and applying tension-focused reflection, this self-study also confirmed the value of teacher reflection for beginning teachers’ development and encouraged teachers’ innovative approaches of reflection which meets their own needs.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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