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Orientation on our reflective writing

Anne Dalke's picture

Alice Lesnick, “The mirror in motion: redefining reflection in an undergraduate fieldwork seminar,” Reflective Practice 5, 1 (2005):
The student work I analyze here represents a specific type of reflective practice: retrospective consideration of complex problems undertaken by undergraduates liminally positioned at the threshold between participation and observation. This positioning makes particular demands and offers particular benefits….I use these analyses to argue that to accommodate simultaneity in the selves and roles engaged by reflective practice enlarges its meanings and uses. As Cook‐Sather has demonstrated, the metaphors we use to describe educational processes significantly condition our understandings of these processes and their purposes. Here, I question the qualities of singularity, stillness, and coherence underlying the metaphor of reflection as captured by the image of an individual looking at herself in a mirror. My argument will invite the construction of new metaphors, such as catching sight of one’s reflection in the window of a passing car, in a remembered home movie or in the shadow play of figures against a sunlit wall. Such metaphors, each one only partially successful in representing the dynamic processes of and under reflection, highlight movement, the interplay of various figures and the impossibility of complete or final clarity. They are thus better suited to the interactive contexts of teaching and of reflection on teaching. They evoke dynamic images of an individual in motion catching glimpses of himself or herself in relation to others, also in motion, also both present and imagined.

Gordon Harvey, "A Brief Guide to the Elements of The Academic Essay," Harvard College Writing Program, 2009:
Reflecting: a general name for places where you pause in your demonstration to reflect on it, to raise or answer a question about it—as when you (1) consider a counter-argument—a possible objection, alternative, or problem that a skeptical or resistant reader might raise; (2) define your terms or assumptions (what do I mean by this term? or, what am I assuming here?); (3) handle a newly emergent concern (but if this is so, then how can X be?); (4) draw out an implication (so what?  what might be the wider significance of the argument I have made? what might it lead to if I’m right? or, what does my argument about a single aspect of this suggest about the whole thing? or about the way people live and think?), and (5) consider a possible explanation for the phenomenon that has been demonstrated (why might this be so? what might cause or have caused it?); (6) offer a qualification or limitation to the case you have made (what you’re not saying).

Mark K. Smith, "Reflection, Learning and Education," Infed (1999):
quoting Dewey: "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 conclusions to which it tends"

5 stages "give a feel of a process":
suggestions/intellectualization of difficulty/perplexity;
using suggestions as hypotheses to guide observation;
mental elaboration of an idea, supposition;
testing hypotheses by overt or imaginative action
inference: "arriving at an idea of what is absent,
on the basis of what is @ hand"

problems: could be linear, mechanistic approach, plan for action
("stage, phase"--sense of sequence, set method);
phrases may telescope, be passed over; no set rules;
no grasp of reflection as an interactive/dialogical process
(mitigated by stress on active experimentation; but
ut lack of attention to ways in which frames of reference
are formed in dilogue with others
also lack of attention to place of emotions

Boud, Keogh and Walker address emotions,
reworking Dewey 5 aspects into 3:
return to experience
attend to/connect with feelings
evaluate experience
however! they focus on reflection-on-action,
acting against an appreciation of reflection as a way of life

Schön on reflection in/on action:
allow self to experience surprise, puzzlement, confusion
carry out experiment to generate new understandings and change the sitaution
means/ends are interactive; thinking/doing not separate
but! a problem around time