"Critical reflection is a process specifically structured to help examine the frameworks that we use to interpret experience; critical reflection pushes us to step outside of the old and familiar and to reframe our questions and our conclusions in innovative and more effective terms."
John "Dewey held that reflective thinking was the key to making experience educative. Reflective thinking provides the bridge between the world of observed and experienced facts with ideas."
We cannot separate the emotional from the intellectual.
Whether you are preparing your portfolio or writing a journal about your internship experience, knowing some basic reflection questions can help you analyze and process the experience. This involves really taking some time to think and perhaps discuss the different issues that came up during the experience, the thoughts, feelings and challenges you had, the new things you learned. Remember the importance of setting personal goals at the beginning of your experience and then part of your reflection can focus on if and how they were attained through the experience.
These questions can be used in a group discussion, answered in journal form or self-asked but remember that a discussion in a group setting with ideas thrown back and forth has the most impact on one’s thinking process.
A Practitioner’s Guide to Reflection in Service Learning by Janet Eyler, Dwight E. Giles, Jr. and Angela Schmiede, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. 1996 (available from the Experiential Education Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 7/15/09