Reflection and Reflective Learning

Reflection and Reflective
Re-cap (and questions?)
Reflective learning
• American John Dewey's philosophy proposed
that each experience builds upon previous
experiences and influences the way future
experiences will affect the learner. Note - not
restricted to childhood learning.
• Believed that informal education was
important – so learning can take place
anytime, anyplace, anywhere – not just in the
classroom or in a formal learning environment
• Read this for a slightly biased but interesting
overview of Dewey’s work
• Compare it with the wikipedia entry at
• Which is ‘more accurate’ do you think?
• Being able to write reflectively, self analytically
and critically is a skill that takes time to
• Being able to ‘do’ reflection is a lifelong
• It takes practice – the more you reflect the
easier it can become
Some models of reflection
One of the simplest approaches to
take is to consider:
what worked well?
what did not work well?
why not?
what will I do the same next time?
what will I do differently next time?
How or in what way will I do it differently?
• And a reflective learning log can be used to
capture this reflection • There is an example on Ebridge ‘Learning log
pro forma’ and how to do one guidelines
• What do you think are the essential ‘parts’ of
Roth (1989) summarises Reflective Practice
processes as follows:
• Questioning what, why, and how one does things and asking what,
why, and how others do things
• Seeking alternatives
• Keeping an open mind
• Comparing and contrasting
• Seeking the framework, theoretical basis, and/or underlying rationale
• Viewing from various perspectives
• Asking "what if...?"
• Asking for others' ideas and viewpoints
• Using prescriptive models only when adapted to the situation
• Considering consequences
• Hypothesising
• Synthesising and testing
• Seeking, identifying, and resolving problems
Very simple model based on the
‘experiential learning cycle’
Brookfield Critical Lenses
• Brookfield (1995) suggests that we employ
four “critical lenses” through which to view
and reflect upon our practice. These are:
1. our own view (autobiography);
2. that of our students/(learners);
3. that of our fellow professionals;
4. and the various theoretical perspectives
propounded in educational literature.
Brookfield Critical Lenses
• Simple version is
Self lens
Student lens
Peers lens
Theory lens
Boud – experience based learning
• Experience-based learning - where learners
analyse their experience by reflecting, evaluating
and reconstructing it (either individually, or in
groups collectively) in order to draw meaning and
understanding from it in the light of previous
• Reflection builds on previous learning that we all
uniquely have – so it is different for different
people and different for the same person at
different stages of life
Gibb’s model
Gibbs – little bit more detail
Atkins and Murphy
Kolb reflective learning cycle
(also learning styles)
Kolb (based on Lewin’s work)
Experiential Learning
• Learning is best conceived as a process, not in terms of outcomes.
• All learning is relearning. Learning is best facilitated by a process
that draws out the individual learner’s beliefs and ideas about a
topic so that they can be examined, tested, and integrated with
new, more refined ideas.
• Learning requires the resolution of conflicts between dialectically *
opposed modes of adaptation to the world, i.e. reflection and
action - and feeling and thinking.
• Learning is a holistic process of adaptation to the world, not just
cognition but also feeling, perceiving, and behaving.
• Learning results from synergetic transactions between the person
and the environment.
• Learning is the process of creating knowledge
* method of arriving at the ‘truth’ through process of exchanging logical
Two types of reflection:
1. reflection-in-action and
2. reflection-on-action.
Reflection-in-action helps us as we complete i.e.
‘do’ an task or activity
Reflection-on-action helps us afterwards – post
activity reflection
• ‘Critical Incidents’ – used to aid reflection on
• Term critical does not have to mean serious or
important – but that it is in some way
meaningful or relevant to you at that point in
Reflection in Action: Schon's The Sequence of
Moments (Reeves, 1994: 105)
· Routine Response
· Surprise
· Reflection
· Question Assumptions
· On the spot experiment
Argyris and Schon's Reflective
• The key to practitioner success is "developing
one's own continuing theory of practice
under real-time conditions' (Argyris and Schon, 1974: 157). This
requires the practitioner to be able to reflect
on his or her own microtheories of action
(that is, contextually specific ideas about what
works in the real world) and to relate these
microtheries to institutional norms and to
client expectations' (Brookfield, 1986: 245)
Do you agree with this statement?
• The process of reflection-in-action is
essentially artistic, that is, the practitioner
makes judgments and exercises skills for which
no explicit rationale has been articulated but
in which s/he nevertheless feels an intuitive
sense of confidence' (Brookfield, 1986: 247).
• Loosely meaning reflection on not just your
own work but on the subject discipline itself.
• Mainly for higher level research – but if you
are reading then you may come across the
One idea for reflection and personal
• Luft and Ingham’s Johari Window
• 4 quadrants – each showing a different
perspective of the same person
Johari Window – useful for self
reflection (Luft & Ingham)
That’s all