Many fields require practitioners to develop the dispositions, reflection, and reflexivity skills to navigate complex professional demands. Yet, there are limited methods for fostering these skills. Given that the act of qualitative coding is both iterative and reflexive, this paper shares an innovative approach to teaching students how to apply coding to their own reflective writing. We feature our process of teaching preservice teachers our self-coding method and lessons learned along the way from engaging 100 teacher candidates in the practice. Over four years, across three different higher education settings, graduate and undergraduate teacher candidates alike demonstrated insightful reflections about their developing professional dispositions and exhibited reflexivity. We conclude with suggestions on how other fields can adopt the self-coding process to develop reflexive practitioners.


qualitative coding, pedagogy, professional dispositions, reflection, reflexivity

Author Bio(s)

Kristina M. Valtierra, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Education at Colorado College. A scholar-practitioner, she spent over 15 years as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and educational consultant. Her expertise is in literacy, curriculum, and instruction with an emphasis on inclusive studies. Her research examines urban teacher preparation with a focus on promoting teacher reflection, teacher identity, and teacher thrival. She is the author of Teach and Thrive: Wisdom from an Urban Teachers Career Narrative, co-author of Schooling Multicultural Teachers: A Guide to Program Assessment and Professional Development and two-time recipient of the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum (AATC) distinguished article award for her scholarship on teacher identity formation. Please direct correspondence to kvaltierra@coloradocollege.edu.

Lesley N. Siegel, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses on special education, research methods, and culturally responsive practices. Her current scholarship includes the experiences of LGBT faculty, dis/ability and public pedagogy, and the use of qualitative data analysis for teacher reflection. Please direct correspondence to lsiegel@wcupa.edu.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.







To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.