The topic of reflection in teaching has recently attracted the interest of educational researchers and has consequently captured a significant part of the educational literature. The number of studies devoted to this subject is growing constantly. ‘Why does the recent educational scene entertain reflection to such an extent?’, one may wonder, ‘What have teachers been doing all these years, have they not reflected?’ A negative answer to the latter question will do injustice to many teachers and distort the image of educational realities, as history reveals a number of ‘reflective’ great teachers, too large to mention here. The rise of reflection in teaching, as a topic of research and one that deserves to be encouraged in teacher professional development programs, may be understood on the background of the interest in teacher thinking. Considering the developmental phenomenon of differentiation of knowledge, reflection may be conceived of as one particular aspect of thinking. This interest is also embedded in the process of professionalization of teaching and in the societal demand for accountability. Nevertheless, the present study suggests that the literature on reflective teaching has limited itself to a great extent to a declared ideology concerning the desirability of reflection in teaching and

consequently to the need to include it as a central aim in teacher education programs. Programs and models for developing reflective teaching have been described in a number of studies (Berlak and Berlak, 1981; Peters, 1985; Zeichner and Liston, 1987). However, it appears that no systematic attempts to clarify and elaborate upon the concept itself have been made, and no specific research questions have been posed. The meanings of reflection that have been forwarded are too general and ambiguous to guide research studies and educational practices. The variety of conceptions and descriptions offered in today’s literature may enrich the field of enquiry but may also lead to vagueness and misunderstandings, if no clarification of the concept is forwarded (Clandinin and Connelly, 1986). Clark’s suggestion (1986) that after ten years of research on teacher thinking, it is time to ‘chart a new course for research on teacher thinking’ (p. 15), and Shulman’s call for a disciplined enquiry regarding the concept of pedagogical knowledge (1987), may well be extended to the need to clarify and investigate the concept of reflective teaching. Furthermore, following the line of thought that underlies Yinger’s call for the discovery of the ‘language of practice’ (1985), we advocate the importance of the discovery of a language, or rather of languages of teacher reflection.