Teachers as reflective practitioners with the function of improving educational practice in primary schools in Serbia Jelena Maksimović, Jelena Osmanović and Lazar Stošić
Summary: In modern schools directed towards change, teachers face ever-increasing expectations imposed on them by Ministry of Education and society itself. A teacher is not only a conveyer of knowledge; but also a reflective practitioner. This work discusses educational changes, advancement of educational practice, as well as new roles that teachers assume in contemporary school. Are teachers actively engaged in improving their own educational practice? Answering this question is one of the goals of this study, which is focused on investigating teachers’ reflectionson improving their teaching practice. More specifically, teachers’ reflections about exchanging experiences with their co-workers, self-evaluation of their own work, their activities aimed at professional development, collaboration with their students, and ways of raising student awareness about current social issues are analyzed. An evaluation scale (Akbari 2007) was used to gauge teachers’ attitudes about aspects of reflective practice with respect to the cycle of education (lower- and higher-grade teachers) and their experience level (up to 10 years, from 11–20 years, and over 20 years). Overall, this study was conducted on a sample composed of 240 teachers in Serbia. The empirical part of the research found a positive answer to the question: Are teachers actively included in improving their own teaching practice? This study was an effort to demonstrate the significance of reflective practice in advancing educational processes in Serbian elementary schools.