Learning Facilitation by Reflecting


While observation works on collecting, questioning on expanding, reflecting works on looking into or investigation or analysis. We ask why, we understand the cause – effects, connections, relationships, characteristics and the dynamics of the human mind and its world.

So while questioning is akin to looking for different foods, observation is eating it, reflection is digesting what we have eaten.

Understanding in a way is figuring out the relationships/connections between things/actions/phenomena etc. But understanding is plural, which means looked from different points of view, we can find different connections between the same things.

Hence, a learner or facilitator constantly strives to see these relationships from a different point of view.

This can be done consciously by effort, by using various tools and obviously using peers (and authors) who would invariably offer us a variety of perch points.

While Socrates preferred to ‘talk’ as a way to do inquiry, writing to many of us helps in better assimilation (and yes documentation). Also available to us are so many tools (many called as graphic organizers) to help us do reflection visually.

Sometimes it is interesting to have a reflection agenda and then go into an activity or go into observation. Sometimes even deciding the reflection tool I would use in advance helps.

Let us take an example – suppose with my child I do an activity (say make lemonade) – here are some aspects which I can reflect on:

  • What all I / child was feeling before, during and after the activity?

  • What all I / child was thinking before starting, what all did we plan?

  • What all discussions we had, where we agreed, disagreed, debated, ideated, etc during the activity?

  • What expectations I had from myself, from the child, from the ingredients, tools, procedures, etc and which were met, which failed, which changed, which were pleasant/unpleasant?

  • What all skills i / Child used?

  • What all concepts of science and maths we explored?

  • In what way I / child used characteristics like kindness, impatience, perseverance, reasoning, etc (you can make any list of characteristics to reflect on)?

  • Which all thinking skills we used, analysis, applying known concepts, creativity, judgment, and evaluation?

  • Where all I used listening, observing, and sensitivity to the child’s needs and wants?

  • What were my beliefs which were operational during the activity? What else I could have done to make the whole activity more meaningful, interesting, better bonding, meditative, etc?