Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is the importance of reflection. I NEED to take time out to reflect upon my teaching and my learning. It’s the way I process events and ideas, and discover what’s working or what isn’t. Sometimes I discover answers, more often I discover new questions.Through reflection, I find inspiration. It’s what moves me forward, allowing me to grow and develop my practice.
We need to give students the opportunity to reflect upon their learning too.
A quick google search for “Why reflect on learning?” led me to great website by Dr Helen Barret in which she reviews the literature about how reflection supports learning. She says,
Jennifer Moon, the most recent researcher on reflective practice, provides the following definition:
Reflection is a form of mental processing – like a form of thinking – that we use to fulfill a purpose or to achieve some anticipated outcome. It is applied to relatively complicated or unstructured ideas for which there is not an obvious solution and is largely based on the further processing of knowledge and understanding and possibly emotions that we already possess (based on Moon 1999)
Moon points out that one of the defining characteristics of surface learning is that it does not involve reflection (p.123). “
Read the rest of Dr Barret’s article here.
Dr Barret’s website led me to this great wiki about using digital portfolios with K-2 students. This is an area I’ve been wanting to explore, as I mentioned here, but I’ve hesitated to try because I wasn’t sure how to begin with such young students. All of the 6 year olds in teacher, Kathy Cassidy’s class have personal blogs which they use to reflect on their learning and build a digital portfolio. She has plenty of examples and suggestions for getting started on her wiki.
I’m pretty excited about the possibilities.
Here’s a brief reflection on my learning:
My first Xtranormal project – I think I’ll try this with my class!!