As educators we talk about reflection a lot, especially in the context of future learning (the new term for 21c learning). In reflecting on that :-) and knowing that many students and teachers dislike having to document what they think, it started me thinking about where, why and how we use reflection as a strategy.
Boud, Keogh & Walker (1985) in their introductory chapter discuss the 3 stages of reflection: preparation; engagement in the activity; and processing what has been experienced. They go on to discuss the role of the affective domain in learning and how it can present barriers. As teachers we usually engage in reflection at the end of the activity using templates very like the ones for project based learning but is it too late by that stage if the student has a cognitive or emotional barrier to learning?
I often use what I call M&M's in my teaching - no... not the chocolate .. they are metacognitive moments - where I stop the class and ask them questions to make them think about what we have just been talking about or learning. Perhaps we all need to think of reflection not as a strategy in itself but as a part of every teaching strategy?
I know that the cognitive aspect is engaged when we enable rigorous project based learning as we engage their curiosity and need for collaboration. But getting the learner to think about their learning is only one part of effective learning. How do we engage the emotional aspect of the learner? Perhaps something to think about......
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