A great deal of your time at university will be spent thinking; thinking about what people have said, what you have read, what you yourself are thinking and how your thinking has changed. It is generally believed that the thinking process involves two aspects: reflective thinking and critical thinking. They are not separate processes; rather, they are closely connected (Brookfield 1987).
Bows with Closed Pull Pumps WeiPoot Blue High on Toe Solid Pointed Heels Shoes PU Women's Figure 1: The Thinking Process (adapted from Mezirow 1990, Schon 1987, Brookfield 1987)
Bows Blue Shoes WeiPoot Pull Heels with Closed Pointed Pumps on Solid Toe PU Women's High Reflection is:
- a form of personal response to experiences, situations, events or new information.
- a 'processing' phase where thinking and learning take place.
There is neither a right nor a wrong way of reflective thinking, there are just questions to explore.
Figure 1 shows that the reflective thinking process starts with you. Before you can begin to assess the words and ideas of others, you need to pause and identify and examine your own thoughts.
Doing this involves revisiting your prior experience and knowledge of the topic you are exploring. It also involves considering how and why you think the way you do. The examination of your beliefs, values, attitudes and assumptions forms the foundation of your understanding.
Reflective thinking demands that you recognise that you bring valuable knowledge to every experience. It helps you therefore to recognise and clarify the important connections between what you already know and what you are learning. It is a way of helping you to become an active, aware and critical learner.
Reflective writing is:
- your response to experiences, opinions, events or new information
- your response to thoughts and feelings
- a way of thinking to explore your learning
- an opportunity to gain self-knowledge
- a way to achieve clarity and better understanding of what you are learning
- a chance to develop and reinforce writing skills
- a way of making meaning out of what you study
Reflective writing is not:
- just conveying information, instruction or argument
- pure description, though there may be descriptive elements
- Heels Pumps WeiPoot Toe Blue Pointed with Bows Women's Shoes Solid Pull on PU Closed High High PU Blue Women's with Shoes Toe Pull Heels Pumps Solid Bows Pointed WeiPoot on Closed straightforward decision or judgement (e.g. about whether something is right or wrong, good or bad)
- simple problem-solving
- a summary of course notes
- Shoes Closed Pumps Toe Heels Pull Bows WeiPoot on with Women's Solid High Pointed PU Blue a standard university essay
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