Facilitation by Reflecting

Reflection is all about exploring ourselves , our perspectives and attributes, our actions and interactions. It enriches us with many insights which helps us to improve in all our endeavors.

Reflection is an important tool to analyze ourselves and to investigate various aspects of our being. We understand ourselves and world around us through following processes

  • Observation – emphasizes on collecting. Example understanding the basics of various cuisine
  • Questioning – emphasizes on expanding. Example looking for various cuisines
  • Execution – emphasizes on using data of observation and questioning in real time. example Cooking / eating that food
  • Reflection – emphasizes on looking into to investigate and analyze. Digesting the food :). Analyzing how the whole process took shape, what went well and what did not go well. What can be done next time. How to innovate keeping this experience as a base.

Understanding is not only about understanding something in isolation but also mostly about figuring out the relationships / connections between things/actions/phenomenon 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 different point of views. 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.

Reflecting and composing a piece of self-reflective writing is becoming an increasingly important element to any form of study or learning. Reflecting helps you to develop your skills and review their effectiveness, rather than just carry on doing things as you have always done them.

What does it mean to reflect on something?

Something that reflects comes back to you. If you look in a mirror, you will see your reflected image. If you reflect on your past experiences, you look at them once again thoughtfully. Reflect also means to give evidence of the character or quality of something.

How do we reflect?

Let’s take an example – I do an activity on making lemonade with my child. Here are some aspects I / child can reflect on

  • What I / child was feeling before, during and after the activity?
  • What 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 and procedures? Which expectations were met, which one failed, which one changed, which were pleasant / unpleasant?
  • What all skills I / Child used?
  • What all concepts of science and Math 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, judgement and evaluation?
  • Where all I used listening, observing, and sensitivity to 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.?

Which tools to be used for reflection

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. Check this page to see some ideas / tools for reflection. Tools are just a medium. Pick one according to convenience and walk on the path of reflection.

What is a reflection in learning?

Reflection in learning is about students becoming aware of their own thinking processes, and being able to make those transparent to others. It enables assessment of the “why” and “how” of the learning, and what needs to be done as a result. Reflection readily follows on from self or peer assessment.

Why is it important for students to reflect on their learning?

When we provide students the time and place for reflection, we empower them as learners and thinkers. Reflection on a lesson or on their own progress also allows them to build skills in critical thinking that they can apply when they are problem-solving and learning on their own.

What are the benefits of self-reflection?

  • Developing self-understanding of how one learns.
  • Self Awareness without being judgmental .
  • Strengthening Emotional Intelligence. When taking time to self-reflect you are looking inwards.
  • Acting With Integrity. Becoming clear on your core values will help to strengthen your integrity and lead you to better decisions.
  • Being More Confident.