What is reflective learning?
Reflective learning emphasises that learning derives from our experiences as well as the knowledge that we gain from studying. It involves applying knowledge to experiences to create new learning. Reflective learning is also termed experiential learning and is often associated with work-based learning. In HE reflective learning is used to enable you to assess your strengths and weaknesses and identifying areas of study that you want to develop further. This is also a valuable skill in graduate employment. Models of reflective learning
There are a number of models of reflective learning that are useful to prompt reflection. Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle (1988) identifies six stages of reflection. He uses Brookfield’s (1997) idea of identifying an experience or ‘critical incident’ to trigger reflection. Stage
Describe as a matter of fact just what happened during your critical incident or chosen episode for reflection Feelings
What were you thinking and feeling at the time?
List points or tell the story about what was GOOD and what was BAD about the experience. Analysis
What sense can you make out of the situation. What does it mean? Conclusion
What else could you have done? What should you perhaps not have done? Action Plan
If it arose again, what would you do differently? How will you adapt your practice in the light of this new understanding?
Reflective writing at University
There may be various situations at university when you are required to write reflectively: •
a reflective report about group dynamics for a group project which you participated in for an assignment •
a blog which records your learning development throughout a module •
a reflective report on an industrial or overseas placement •
a portfolio which shows your development and reflects on your process of learning What is reflective writing?
Reflective writing describes events. It also goes beyond this to question why...
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