I’ve been hearing a lot of talk lately about how students are sick of doing reflections. Sure, I will admit, we do a lot of reflections in each of our classes but I think that reflections are really important, especially in education. Reflections can increase your learning from the experience, whether they were good or bad. If you were reflecting on a reading or a class, this could increase your learning because most times, you have to go over the information that you are reflecting on and so you are refreshing it in your mind. This is the most effective when reflecting within 24 hours of the experience. Like studies have shown, if you go over the material that you have just learned within that time range, you are more likely to remember the knowledge. Also, reflections can help you to realise what was good, what wasn’t so good, and allow some time to think about alternatives to enhance your experience the next time it occurs (also it can enhance everyone else’s too!). Also, sometimes writing down your thoughts helps to clear your head and allows you to look at the situation/experience in a different perspective. For most people this works, especially for people like me. I am someone who takes a long time to organize my thoughts and figure out my feelings on material that I’ve just learned or a situation that I’ve just experienced. I find that things usually don’t seem as bad as I first make them out to be and it allows me to calm down if need be. Also, I usually only see things from my perspective at first until I’ve either reflected on it or have spoke with someone who then suggests an alternative. So I suppose for others, it might just seem like a big waste of time but I know for me it is a huge help!
I found a website that has a slide show about doing reflections. Not all of it is really necessary to read to understand reflections but slides 9 – 14 list some tips for writing effective and practical reflections if anyone is interested.
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