A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice

By Jennifer A. Moon | Go to book overview

Chapter 6

The nature of reflective learning

Introduction

Reflective learning is the topic of this chapter and the aim of the chapter is to relate reflective learning to the picture built of generic learning in the earlier chapters in the book. The first section of the chapter is concerned with clarifying the terminology such as reflection, reflective learning, reflective writing and reflective practice. The focus is on reflection and reflective learning. The second section is a review of new literature on these areas. In the third section the different forms of reflection suggested by the literature and common observation are defined in relation to previous work conducted by the author. This forms a basis for a consideration of the relationship of reflection and learning (fourth section). In the fifth section we deal with some common beliefs about reflection.

With the development of a clearer picture of reflective learning, it is possible to move on to a consideration of how it relates to the generic view of learning developed in the earlier chapters of this book. Against this material we can consider if learning can either be 'reflective' or 'non-reflective'. The next section explores the role of frames of reference in different forms of reflection and it explains how learning from reflection is problematic - particularly when formalized in educational situations. The final section of the chapter provides a link to the subject matter of Chapter 7, which, in essence, follows on the exploration of the nature of reflective learning through consideration of another dimension of reflection - the depth of reflection.

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