Reflective Learning is a purposeful activity in which you analyse your own experiences, skills, or approaches, in order to develop and improve in the future. It is a deliberate practice of moving between action and reflection in cycles of inquiry.
The intention is that reflection surfaces what happened during an action phase, allows for contextualisation and the formulation of a revised intent, that can be applied in the next action phase.
To achieve this periods of reflection should include:
- generating and evaluating new ideas
- reflection on events and situations
- reflection on relations with other people involved in the situation
The importance of framing
Reflective learning is outcome-oriented, it is focused on making beneficial change in professional practice or some other part of life. To support this outcome focus it is critical to place a bounding frame around your inquiry, both to contain scope to one in which change is possible, and to determine what sorts of thing can be learned.
Some ways of focusing could be:
- critical incidents;
- a period of time;
- a specific theme for ongoing inquiry or improvement;
although it's important to understand that these are not mutually-exclusive.
- Ramsey, Caroline. ‘Reflective Learning’. Open University, 2006. https://www.open.edu/openlearncreate/pluginfile.php/159274/mod_resource/content/3/Introducing Reflective learning Ramsey%2C 2006.pdf.