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Dewey argues that the various experiences of each individual may be understood as a dynamic continuum and that each experience influences the quality of future experiences. The ultimate goal of personal reflection is for individuals to collectively contribute to the Deweyan vision of a moral society wherein individuals are encouraged to challenge existing assumptions and to construct personal meaning for themselves.

Dewey's ideas have greatly influenced the current understanding of reflection, although the precise and practical application of his vision in modern society is still being debated and theorised. Rodgers argues that Deweyan reflection may be distilled into four key ideas:. Another prominent figure in reflective thinking and theory is Donald Schon, whose seminal work on the reflective processes of professionals has led to a new awareness of professional learning and of the importance of reflection therein.

He argues that a vital component of competent professional practice is that of reflection-in-action—the ability of practitioners to monitor what they are doing as they are doing it and to assess what else needs to be done. In contrast, reflection-on-action refers to individuals looking back on concrete experiences and what they have done. This would then allow them to identify the problems they have encountered and reconsider the actions they have taken. The notion of the reflective practitioner emphasises the value of personal reflection in educational practice, and this has influenced many academics to take an interest in their students' judgments of their work and achievements.

Schon's work has also introduced the notion of personal and professional awareness into education, and this in turn has led to an emphasis on the student's self-reflection ability as a priority and goal in many education systems. This is useful for highlighting the need to utilise reflective potential in the present. However, it does not provide a future context for reflection when the individual is reflecting on a past experience or event.

In other words, individuals need to know what their reflection is directed to in the future when they are reflecting on their past. The future context for reflecting on past experiences is increasingly acknowledged as a vital need in order for reflective practices to serve future purposes. Given the two traditions of reflection developed by John Dewey and Donald Schon, we can appreciate the current sentiment and discourse on reflection as emphasising the importance of reflection to the individual and for each individual's contribution to his or her profession.

However, it cannot be assumed that every notion, and practice, of reflection is always beneficial. Increasingly, there are concerns being voiced about the instances where reflection is misunderstood and misapplied, leading to unfortunate experiences where reflection may do more harm than good. Boud and Walker , in particular, list several concerns regarding student reflection, such as the undue exposure of students' vulnerabilities and how students' reflection is facilitated and subsequently judged. Others such as Hinett and Weeden and Brew warn of the confusion between the self-assessment of experiences and the self-reflection of experiences.

Different traditions and ideas on reflection may be understood in terms of whether reflection is meant to lead to certainty or whether it can accommodate doubt in its final outcome.

philosophy of education reflection

Reflection for certainty and reflection accommodating doubt may be labelled as performative and exploratory reflection respectively. Performative reflection may be understood as any model of reflection that emphasises certainty in the process and outcome of reflection. Such models typically postulate distinct steps for each stage of the reflective process. Concrete outcomes may also be expected for each stage of reflection.

Teaching Philosophy Reflection

For example, David Kolb's popular exposition of the experiential learning cycle comprises four sequential stages focusing on experience, reflection, generalisation and planning. Each stage of this cycle requires a specific tangible action and outcome to precede the subsequent stage.

The entire cycle is meant to produce a solution for the problem that the reflective process is directed at. In contrast, exploratory reflection refers to the traditions and ideas of reflection that see reflection as an end in itself, and not as a means to generate solutions or outcomes. Deweyan reflection is an example of exploratory reflection that accommodates doubt as part of the process and outcome of reflection.

There are clearly connections between reflection and self-assessment. Another critical issue in reflection theory and practice is the critical distinction between self-reflection and self-assessment. Self-reflection and self-assessment serve contrasting agendas, and yet these two terms are often used synonymously for each other. While the association of reflection with self-assessment has been recognised, the distinction between them has not always been clear.

A space for conversation and reflection on graduate life

Generally, the relationship between self-assessment and reflection is depicted in two contrasting ways, as follows. The first school of thought tends to view self-assessment as an activity that precedes personal reflection. This device may be useful for both students and teachers.


  • Doing Philosophy Effectively: Student Learning in Classroom Teaching;
  • Doing Philosophy Effectively: Student Learning in Classroom Teaching?
  • Wolkenziehen (German Edition).

Such activities may also benefit teachers by allowing them to evaluate their students' reflections of their own learning Raymond, The assumption in these views is that the act of judging one's own learning invariably enhances the quality of the individual's reflection. However, this presumes that the goals of self-assessment and reflection are consistent with each other.

This assumption is challenged in the second view of how self-assessment relates to reflection. The second school of thought tends to see self-assessment as a concept that derives from personal reflection. Reflection is understood as the broad range of processes from which self-assessment is a subset. Hence, all forms of self-assessment will involve personal reflection, but not all aspects of personal reflection will result in self-assessment Brew, The involvement of students in judging their own learning and achievements is viewed as a public act that is subsequent to their private reflection Boud, Hinett and Weeden describe this distinction between private reflection and public self-assessment thus:.

Reflective practice is commonly used to denote any activity that involves the learner in discussing how to improve practice. Self-assessment is different in that it concerns making judgments that are publicly defensible. In contrast, reflection tends to be more exploratory which may not lead to any expressible outcome p.

Reflection on my Education Philosophy - Words | Bartleby

In this context, reflection is viewed as a personal act of introspection that exists for private consumption, while self-assessment is the public exposure of part of that personal introspection which the student is willing to subject to external scrutiny Brew, The conceptual contrast between reflection and self-assessment as a private and a public process, respectively, means that both will always be in tension with one another Boud, Assessment involves the presentation of one's best work and promotes certainty and accuracy.

In contrast, reflection focuses on the exploration of one's work and thrives on uncertainty and discrepancies. These concepts clearly polarise self-assessment and reflection as conflicting and yet dependent processes. Hence, there is an inevitable tension involved in allowing two contrasting processes to take place in the same student self-assessment activity. There does not appear to be a clear consensus in the literature on how self-assessment enhances reflection.

The tension between self-assessment activities and reflective processes suggests that their coexistence and relation is problematic. Given the huge potential of reflection for both teachers and students, and the critical issues pertaining to its purpose and practice, how can reflection be best understood and utilised by teachers and students? The following are brief suggestions for consideration, and for reflection. Reflective activities and their consequent outcomes tend to focus on specific experiences and actions confined to a specific point in time.

In contrast, reflective ability refers to the capacity to be continually introspective of past and continuing phenomena and intuitively sceptical of presenting experiences and assertions. In this context, performative reflection tends to focus on guiding reflective activity, rather than developing reflective ability. It utilises the structured process of reflection to achieve a concrete reflective outcome, and the development of reflective ability in the process may be understood as being incidental to its goal for reflection.

On the other hand, exploratory reflection provides individuals with the space and autonomy to select their reflective outcome and its ensuing processes. It utilises the personally constructed process of reflection to achieve its goal of enhancing reflective ability. While reflection can be a powerful tool for raising self-awareness, it also runs the risk of over-privileging experience over theory. One of the ways to minimise this would be to actively identify and critique the underlying assumptions made in your reflections, as well as the existing assumptions that manifest in the kinds of reflections you produce.

Mezirow provides a useful list of the types of assumptions that can be challenged in critical reflection. These assumptions are categorised as follows:. Finally, in the spirit of continuing reflection, it is important not to isolate reflection as unrelated instances of introspection. Such tendencies may be seen in reflection journals containing a series of reflective entries that have little to do with each other. This is contrary to the good reflective practice of reflecting continually and consistently, as well as revisiting previous reflective entries and reflecting on the way one reflects.

Reflection: Some Critical Issues for Educators

The need to reflect on reflections is gaining increasing prominence in current reflection literature. For example, Greenwood recommends Argyris and Schon's single and double loop learning for business organisations to review their practices in terms of solving immediate problems single loop learning and to examine the assumptions in their understanding and solving of the problems double loop learning.

Some authors have since recommended an additional layer of reflection—triple loop learning—in which individuals or organisations are encouraged to reflect on how they reflect on their double loop learning. In other words, triple loop learning involves the reflection on an earlier process of reflection. During my student teaching, I observed in a classroom where the students all felt comfortable sharing their ideas. Each student had a voice in the classroom and the students learned from one another. It was a very positive atmosphere that lent itself to learning.

My philosophy also stresses the importance of engaging, challenging, and studentcentered instruction. I have observed lessons where the students were highly engaged and were given the opportunity to interact with their classmates in order to complete a task. I have also observed lessons where the teacher lectured and gave direct instruction and then had the students work independently on follow-up work. From my experiences, I have learned that students learn better when they are given the opportunity to manipulate and interact with the material in their own way.

Further, they benefit from discussing and working with their classmates. Thus, my classroom employs student-centered and engaging instruction. The last part of my philosophy statement focuses on teachers being lifelong learners. When I graduated from undergrad, I felt confident and prepared to enter a classroom and start teaching immediately. Throughout my graduate work, I learned new strategies, approaches, and techniques to apply to my teaching. These new strategies and approaches continually improved my instruction and in turn my students achievement.

Further, I am always conversing with my colleagues, sharing and receiving new ideas. I also learn from the lessons I teach. I learn which ones work with my students and which dont, I learn how integrate my students interests in my lessons, and I learn what strategies work best with my students. All of this learning improves my instruction, which in turn benefits my students.

Thus, being a lifelong learner and seeking learning opportunities is crucial to my students success. Read Free For 30 Days.

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Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles. Jump to Page. Search inside document. Philosophy of Education Reflection My experiences in my undergraduate and graduate work, in addition to my current teaching position, have helped me to come to the beliefs that are outline in my philosophy of education.

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