Reflection is at the heart of adult learning (Brookfield, 2009). As learners, how and what we learn, are greatly influenced by the way in which we view the world – the assumptions we bring to our learning experiences.
The act of reflecting enables us to question the integrity and validity of our assumptions and beliefs. This is not an easy task, as our assumptions are embedded in our individual identities, how we see ourselves, and how we engage in learning with others. Critical reflection requires time and space, and requires careful planning and design (Brookfield, 2012). It can emerge from purposeful questions and active learning strategies that we embed in the design of learning experiences (Cranton, 2016).
Purposeful questions may be asked: a) in advance of active learning experiences to help learners set the stage, b) during activities to draw attention to particular aspects of experiences, and/or c) after activities to draw learner attention to not only how they are learning throughout but to how their perceptions of self and others might be evolving as well Cranton (2016).
When learner and educator reflection are purposefully designed into learning experiences, we are all more likely to engage in deeper learning and connection – making sense of the content and the learning context, as well as become more aware of who we are and how we co-create learning together.
- Reflective Practice: Benefits of reflection and framework for reflection.
- Critical Reflection in Teaching and Learning: Why students should reflect and how to assess reflection.
- Designing Critical Reflections: Tips for designing meaningful reflective assignments.
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