Reflective learning, according to Boud & Fales (1983:99) “is the process of internally examining and exploring an issue of concern, triggered by an experience, which creates and clarifies meaning in terms of self and which results in a changed conceptual perspective”. Boud, Keough & Walker (1985:19) state that “reflection in the context of learning is a generic term for those intellectual and affective activities in which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to new understandings and appreciations. (McDury & Alterio, 2003:21). Daudelin (1996, 39) provides a definition of reflection that explicitly captures its relation to learning, "Reflection is the process of stepping back from an experience to ponder, carefully and persistently, its meaning to the self through the development of inferences; learning is the creation of meaning from past or current events that serves as a guide for future behaviour." This definition suggests that reflection is integral to learning, when learning is defined as making sense of past experience in order to affect and understand future experience. (www.compact.org). The key issues in reflection based on the above definitions, is the ability to use one’s past experiences to learn thereby shaping the future. According to Boud et al (1985:7) experience alone is not sufficient for learning rather, there must be an awareness of how the experience can be turned into learning and learners being able to gain maximum benefit from their situation as well as how experience can be applied in new contexts. These experiences and perceptions can be analysed in a learning journal. “A learning journal is an analytical record of a person’s learning which may be tied to an individual subject in a course, a particular topic within a subject or the experience of learning in general”. (www.binaryblue.com.au). The learning journal provides a growing understanding of a subject or experience, demonstrates development in learning, keeps records of thoughts and ideas throughout learning experience and helps identify strengths and weaknesses.(www.worc.ac.uk). In view of this, this learning journal will be divided into three sections. The first will give an overview of how the writer learns best using Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory and Bloom’s taxonomy of learning, the second section will be on skills development and four skills will be discussed which are communication, team work, time management and power. The third section will be the conclusion.
How I Learn Best
Using Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory. I found out that I am more into diverging category of learners. From Kolb’s model, the characteristics of my learning style are Concrete experience and Reflective observation. This style of learning according to Kolb (1984) suggests I am strong in imaginative ability, good at generating ideas and seeing things from different perspectives. I am also interested in people and have broad cultural interests. To further emphasise on my learning characteristics, CE/RO, Barmeyer (2000) states from the results of his assessment that a high score of RO indicates a tentative and reflective approach to learning. Suggesting that I rely heavily on careful observation and prefer learning situations such as lectures. CE, on the other hand is said to represent a receptive, experience based approach to learning. Suggesting that I also rely on feeling based judgements, I am people oriented and learn best from specific examples in which I can be involved such as discussions. In as much as I am basically oriented to the diverging learning style, I also possess some traits of other learning styles although the manifestation is strongly based on the situation, environment and what I am learning. This point is buttressed by Kolb and Roger (1975:35-36) that “effective learning entails the possession of four different abilities”. To further broaden my idea on...
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