Technique 1.80 Reflection

Introduction

The intention of reflection is to

"...- deepen learning

- consider relevance of experience

- explore personal and group values

- recognise application of knowledge, skills and attributes

- identify strengths and areas for development

- gain a greater understanding of self and others

- place experience in a larger context

- generate relevant ideas on questions

- consider improvements in individual and collective choices and actions

- transfer prior learning to new situations

- generate and receive constructive feedback

- develop the ongoing habit of thoughtful and reflective practice..."

Churchie 2018

Reflection is a dynamic means of self- knowing, learning and decision-making. It is more about quality than quantity. Ideally should be a personal choice and the timing can be important, ie choose a significant moment as a basis for reflection like

- a moment of discovery

- mastery of a skill

- challenges confronted

- emotions provoked

- achievement deserves celebration

Once the important moment is identified, discuss a possible learning outcome, recognise personal growth and achievement and plan for your next activities. By embracing experiences that add meaning and self-knowledge, you can add depth, adopt and integrate reflection into a lifetime experience to

"...make connection, develop awareness of choices and consequences and acquire sensitivity to the experiences of self and others..."

Churchie 2018

This is linked with experiential learning that

"...Involves personal observation and reflection of feelings and interactions, analysis of perceptions, identifying achievements, outstanding issues, personal strengths and challenges, evaluating actions and thinking about new understandings. Reflections are not simply descriptions or list of events..."

Churchie 2018

It involves 4 elements; with the first two forming the foundation of reflection and the last two adding greater depth and expanding perspectives, ie

i) describing what happened 

- recall the memorable events

- identify what was important or influential

- identify what went well or was difficult

- identify the obstacles and successes

ii) expressing feelings

- articulate emotional responses

iii) generating ideas

- rethink or re-examine choices and actions to increases awareness about self and situations

iv) asking questions

- pose questions about people, processes or issues that will prompt further thinking and ongoing enquiry

Expanding reflection

Further develop skills by critically examining thoughts, feelings and actions, thereby synthesizing learning by considering emotions, ability to reason and how to use language. Some questions to promote this process:

- Why did I make this particular choice?

- How did this experience reflect my personal ideas and values?

- In what ways am I being challenged to think differently about others and myself?

- How do I feel about the challenges?

- What happened that prompted particular feelings?

- What choices might have resulted in different feelings and outcomes?

This can be linked with peer feedback. This provides acknowledgement, confirmation or clarification of understanding and insights, and opportunities for further development. Feedback can take many forms, such as informal or formal discussions, written responses like blog posting, group discussion, etc.

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