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Dewey's definition of reflection as “the reconstruction or reorganization of
experience” requires a bending back of the mind in order to focus on a past
experience. It is a form of thorough inquiry that asks questions of the
experience in order to better understand it. By examining the past experience in
a considered and focused way, one could learn and grow.
Good reflection has three elements: recollection, analysis and interpretation,
and proposed action. Put another way, reflection involves description, impact,
and intent. Description simply involves recalling your experiences such as class
activities, textbook readings, and school involvement. These experiences
provide the basis for the impact and intent sections. You can write the
description in paragraph form or simply list all the experiences related to the
topic under consideration
The nature of the stimulus to reflect will impact the quality of the reflection.
Surbeck, Han, and Moyer (1991) identified three levels of reflection:
1. Reacting - commenting on feelings towards the learning experience,
such as reacting with a personal concern about an event.
2. Elaborating - comparing reactions with other experiences, such as
referring to a general principle, a theory, or a moral or philosophical
3. Contemplating - focusing on constructive personal insights or on
problems or difficulties, such as focusing on education issues, training
methods, future goals, attitudes, ethical matters, or moral concerns. The
nature of the stimulus or directions initially provided to the learners, as
well as the feedback they receive after the initial reflection, will
determine the extent to which they reach the contemplation level of

AN EXAMPLE: Reading, Elaborating, and Contemplating
Description: We had a guest speaker in today who spoke on children's

Kamla Mungal, July 2011

must do a better job of introducing students to good literature. As we learned in my language methods class. July 2011 . Bernaford (1993) also alerted us that it might be wise to integrate in small ways at first. How will the sequence of content be affected? (Add here what the academic literature says about this) I think that we. a problem I might have is finding the money to buy the books. School funding is tight these days. observations of class activities. I will need to speak to my principal about my plans. or have a popcorn sale. add here what the literature on the psychology of the learner or other relevant literature says about this) You may use this three-part format to produce the reflection. not for the quality of the writing of the characters. I love the idea of incorporating literature and textbooks to give a creative. My students won't be limited to the prescribed readability levels. He or she may take some convincing. Integrating these good stories into science (and other areas) will also allow me to cover more subjects (Add here what the academic literature says about this) Of course. Limiting ourselves to the readers we had as students can be stifling. as teachers. discussions with the principal about your project. students’ performance on evaluations etc). Kamla Mungal. or whatever. exciting science curriculum. The idea of integration sounds easy but I am also aware of the limitations of this approach. Do this in a descriptive rather than a judgmental way (merely record events without editorializing or agreeing or disagreeing). Please use the technology innovatively: 1. or do I do what I am told to do? (Add here what the academic literature says about this) Intent: I plan to search out quality literature and expose my students to good writing. If I end up in a school where the principal wants me to use a basal reader I might have a dilemma. Maybe I can start slowly and use the basal reader but supplement it with quality literature then begin to move children's literature into science and other subjects. Do I do what I believe right. Her enthusiasm for children's literature is exciting. though. I'll have to buy some of my own. I share that excitement. (Similarly. many of the stories in these basal readers were chosen or written specifically for their readability. Briefly describe your experiences (teacher and student behaviours during a lesson. Description. I plan to begin evaluating books on how well they will work in science an other subjects. I want them to read books they love.Analysis Impact: I was inspired by our speaker. If funding is too tight.

consolidating and contemplating"). Adapted from: 1. Guidelines for Writing your Reflections of Course Readings. How do you feel about what you learned? 3.nwlink. (1991). “reacting and elaborating”). Make a statement about what you intend to do as a result of your learnings and feelings.e. E.e.2. Critical Reflection.htm retrieved January 8. Park Han. “reacting").. elaborating.ilstu. E.").com/~Donclark/hrd/development/reflection. “reacting. Entries were characterized primarily by description and limited depth of reflection (i. Entries were characterized primarily as reflective (i. 0. Taken from http://www. . Student turned in a reflection using the assigned format or a format that reflected the components of a professional reflection. What are you bringing to the experience to make sense of it? Discuss theories and other experiences. Assessing Reflective Responses in Journals. 25-27. 3-4 Student turned in a reflection using the assigned format or a format that reflected the components of a professional reflection. 3. . March.coe." rather than "what I won't do is .html retrieved January 8... 1-2. Surbeck. 2.e. Tell what you have learned (or confirm what you had already believed. Taken from http://www. & Moyer. 2009 Rubric for Journal Reflections (5 pieces at 7% per piece) 5. 2009. .7. Student used the assigned format. No attempt was made by the student to complete this assignment.. July 2011 . Kamla Mungal. Intent. or how what you have learned differs from what you believed). BE SPECIFIC! Phrase this in a personal and positive way ("what I will do is . . Analysis and Impact.. Entries were characterized primarily as very reflective (i. Educational Leadership.