Personal Reflection Essay

1640 words - 7 pages

Reflection as defined by the Oxford English dictionary (1993) means ‘idea arising in the mind’ and mind means ‘seat of consciousness, thought, volition, and feeling’. It seems therefore that reflection, in an every day term is about thinking that involves volition and feeling, therefore reflection is very personal as we are all unique individuals.

So, if reflection is thinking why are we being assessed on it, and how can it be assessed as surely we all think differently. Are reflective framework models, an aid to help me think or an aid to help the assessor’s asses me? Am I being cynical or is cynicism accurate observation? Have we forgotten how to think? Are we living in an age ...view middle of the document...

Bolton (1998 ) would suggest that my defensive attitude is ‘a coping strategy’ and that I am resisting ‘change and development’. Whereas Lifton (1961 cited Atherton 2003) describes the process of thought reform as ‘brainwashing’. For me these models are common sense and therefore I have been resentful towards them. During one of our lessons we were given a sheet of paper with reflective models on it and asked to choose one to reflect upon our presentation. Personally, I had already reflected upon my presentation briefly immediately after I had finished it, then again in more depth in my car on the way home and then again in even more depth when I discussed it with my husband, read all the presentation handouts, and compared my presentation with everyone else’s. Therefore personally I don’t feel that I learnt anything by using Price’s (2002) reflective framework model. However I have since learnt upon reflecting on my learning style that the majority of my learning characteristics are that of the ‘dreamer’ (Cottrell 2003, p.63).

One of the strengths of the ‘dreamer’ is to reflect and evaluate well. Therefore I can appreciate that Price’s (2002) reflective framework model may be more beneficial to perhaps, the leaner with ‘logician’ characteristics as Cottrell (2003, p.63) proposes that their learning area to be developed is ‘personal reflection’. However I do not feel that students can be pigeon-holed into certain learning types, although I must admit that most of my characteristics were spot on with Cottrell’s (2003) dreamer learning style. It would seem that reflection has been beneficial to me after all, as it has made me aware of my learning style or styles and made me realise that the use of reflective frameworks are stifling for me, therefore I have thought about, ‘reflected upon’ and learnt something from ‘the experience’. It seems that my learning experience is related to Boud et al’s (1985) definition of reflection as they defines it as

A generic term for those intellectual and effective activities in which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to a new understanding and appreciation (Draper 1999).

It seems that Boud et al view reflection from the learner’s point of view, emphasising the relationship of the reflective process and the learning experience. For example I have learnt from the experience of using reflective framework models that I find them stifling.

Whereas Dewey (1993) defines reflection as

An active persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it tends (Draper 1999).

Dewey views reflection as experiential learning and that each experience influences future experiences. For example Dewey may agree that from the racial prejudice that I discussed in section two that I take this experience with...

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