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Reflective Learning


Question :

What is reflective learning? Why is it important for me to reflect on my learning? During your reflection you should answer the following questions:
- What you have learned or achieved through this group activity?
- What challenges you faced during your group work and how you handle and overcome these challenges?

Answer :


An inter-subjective process that helps in promoting in-depth learning is known as reflective learning. It is a constant thinking process and helps in analysing what has been learnt either in everyday happenings or what students learn. It helps in sparking initial apprehension on part of the students and educator. It is essential to note that learning is such a process which comes from not just doing but from thinking regarding what we do. In our daily routine we do not invest most of our time processing on what we have learnt, however, when we participate in new experiences outside our comfort zone, there is scope to learn a lot of new information. Reflecting or analysing on what we have learnt will have positive impact, but lack of reflecting on what we learn will for sure have a strong negative impact.


Reflecting on what they have learnt and assessing their performance can be observed as powerful tools to improve learning in the modern world. It is important to reflect on what we learn, and this process should be done on a daily routine basis. Reflecting should not be limited only to learning of a topic but it should be a daily routine process.Reflective learning adds powerful dimension to any form learning in the classroom. In addition to reflective learning group discussions is also considered as great use to the future and academic careers of the student. The current essay aims at discussing the importance of reflective learning and group discussion in classroom learning and the way they benefit the students to improve their learning skills.


As explained above reflective learning is one if the mostly advisable process for effective learning in the modern era. It can be observed as a deliberate process that undertakes cycle of inquiries. It can be defined as a process that helps the students to develop their critical thinking and improve their future performances by stepping aside from their regular routine of learning. It is about making students become aware of their own thinking process and improving the ability to make their thinking process transparent to others. Reflective learning enable assessment of what needs to be done as a result of how and why of learning.

Reflective learning is defined as a process that assimilates new learning, relate it to the information they already know, then adapt it to use for their own purposes and translate the thought processing into action. This process helps in developing creativity, innovative thinking and improve the ability to think critically about the ideas and information over a period of time. This process also helps in improving the metacognitive ability, that is ability to think about ones own thinking, among the learners (Effective Pedagogy, The New Zealand Curriculum p.34).


Reflective learning is more than memorizing certain facts, dates or formulae. It is a thinking process that helps students to learn about themselves. The below reflective cycle recognizes 6 stages of reflective learning that will help the student in analysing and critically thinking on their learning experience.

Reflective Learning.jpg

In graduate employment or higher education more emphasis is placed on the skill of the individual in being a reflective learning. So, by becoming a reflective learner the student improve their skills to evaluate their learning critically, helps in identifying their areas of further development and improve their learning skills to become independent learners.

It is a ready process that follows from self-assessment. Regular reflection will help the students and teachers to easily explain: what has to be learnt from the topic, how to go about the process, the process of learning, where the learning process will lead to and the culture of learning in the classroom. This method also helps teachers to improve their teaching skills through this process. Reflective learning will also prepare students for the life after graduation. Further, it can be noted that reflective learning is one of critically importance skill for the workforce of 21st century because by reflecting on new information and linking them with the old information will help the students in demonstrating their knowledge. Reflective learning supports students in every field of education and even their day-to-day activities.


Reflective leaning is very important for improving the knowledge of the students with regards to subject or knowledge they have gained. It is a form of experimental education and is very beneficiary to the students. It may include sharing/acknowledging of reactions, ideas, feelings and observations in relation to anything that is associated with activity. The process of reflective learning can happen either through writing, speaking, reading, and listening among other number of ways. Below are the benefits of reflective learning:


• Develops self-awareness and learn about oneself,

• It helps the learner to articulate their skills and learn from their mistakes,

• It is the process of actual learning as it helps kids not to just memorize the topic but understand what they had learned in the topic,

• Transacts a classroom from being a mere covering material to focused on learning,

• Reflecting on experience helps improves learning,

• Aids in improving academic skills and personality development as it helps us in assessing ourselves and make changes accordingly,

• Meaning to an experience is derived by questioning how it is done? How the community is served by it, among others,

• Generates sense of accomplishment, which is crucial when there exist an external benefit,

• Helps the learners to review and process new knowledge,

• It helps them in incorporating the teacher's feedback for their work and make changes accordingly. Incorporating feedback helps in improving the understanding of the concept and concentrating on areas of improvement,

• Promotes deeper think,

• Improves learning skills life long in both positive and negative experiences,

• Improves problem solving skills, confidence and empowerment among the readers,

• It helps in learning more about ourselves and also helps in aiding in developing academic skills,

• Student become meta-cognitive to study,

• They move from the space of novoice to a subject matter expert,

• Skills of the student in that topic is improved,

• Makes educators more responsive,

• Makes students to get more involved and engaged in their learning,

• Creates new actions by thinking reflectively,

• It helps the students in generating and evaluating new ideas,

• Helps the students to learn from past mistakes and celebrate current success,

• Helps learners to take responsibility of their own learning by providing them an opportunity to share their experiences including their strengths and weaknesses,

• It helps the learners to build stronger connection between their learning experiences,

• It develops social interaction with the other students. By reflecting young learners engage with one another, discuss and debate different elements of the course which they had either disliked or enjoyed or those elements which they found useful and felt the need of improvement,

• It develops sense of responsibility among the students with respect to their personal growth, and

• Helps in giving more value to learning experience, among other benefits.


Reflective learning process is easy to say than to implement and it requires greater amount of commitment to perform reflective learning on a regular basis. Reflective learning helps the students to link their professional development with the practical outcomes associated with the same. It increases the thinking process in student regarding what knowledge has been gained and how it will be utilised in the future. A teacher being the major point of contact for resources and knowledge sharing should help the students in improving their reflective learning.


Through the following certain measures the students can reflect on their learning and in the process teachers play a vital role.

1. While reflecting on learning, the teacher should motivate the thinking process of the students by asking questions associated with their learning on that day,

2. Learning should not be a routine process it should surprising sometimes and in a good way. Learners have the capacity to demonstrate knowledge of doing some activities that they could never be able to do. Educator should never let the learns brain rest or saturate, they should question them and make them think about their accomplishments or discoveries about the content they have learnt or about themselves which they never expected.

3. Learning should never become a compliance task, it is essential to foster both internalization and connection of learning by questioning the students the importance of the topic they learned today, and why they feel that the concept is important to understand today's topic.

4. In the process of reflecting on learning the teacher can deviate from the regular routine and question the student on their area of interest, which they wish to learn and why specifically that subject. On questioning the students where they wish to go next will inculcate interest and thinking process in them. Students will willingly participate in the class activities and take pleasure in discussing their different areas of interest and why that area interests them a lot.

5. To make student reflect on their learning it is essential that the educator encourage them to self-assess their work and understand the areas that interest them the most. In the course of this process the educator may question the student regarding the areas that interest them, which bring out the creativity in them and intrigue their thinking process. Also, it is essential to make them understand why they like this area specifically and that what more ways they can improve their creativity in this area.

6. For a lifelong learner curiosity is a hallmark and learning are all about fostering this curiosity. Learning becomes a constant enthusiastic process of discovery and understanding rather than a simple task or chore that is needed to be performed. Curiosity can be considered as one of the most vital learning reflective because it helps in making knowledge important and useful.

7. Routine study makes the learners lose their concentration on the subject, however, when surprising questions are made their interest can be imbibed back. Learning should be constant and lively but not just memorizing of facts. In a reflective learning process the educator should imbibe interest in the student and encourage them to perform better through frequent questioning and by giving them a breather.

8. Breather is essential to learners of all ages. Thus, the educator should give the learners opportunity to express the area or the situation they were at their best today. It is appropriate to give the student the chance to express themselves because the best moments felt by teacher may not be the same to the student. Reasoning is also essential.

9. Removing limitations and nurturing possibilities helps the educator to build best pathway for a meaningful learning. This way the responsibility of learning is shifted to learners.

10. End of the day we are bound to practically imply our learning in our every walk of life. If we do not have that potential, then learning will never become a enthusiastic process. Thus, we should equip our kids to handle the knowledge they gained ethically and responsibly. This can be done by challenging the learners to have open discussions and decide on how best they would implement what they have learnt in the school and develop their thinking globally, personally and locally. This methodology will help in understanding how their learning will help them in their life after school.

11. Questioning does help in promoting connective and reflective thinking. Further, as stated in words of Fletcher for promoting reflective learning in a classroom the teacher should ask question on how they would be adopting what they have learnt in new situations (Fletcher Jennifer in Education Week Teacher).


Reflecting learning is observed as the most effective way to improve learning process of a student. Not only for studies it also helps individual in their routine. Thus, reflective learning should be made part of our routine and by reflecting on our learning individuals tend to see more opportunities for personal development. Reflecting more helps in learning fast. Reflecting is a process of understanding and information interpretation. Reflecting is about learning and developing. It is very essential to imbibe reflective learning in our daily routine as t will help us to access the area of weakness and find our true potential.

Process of reflective learning will help the students in learning from their past mistakes' ad perform better. Reflective nature is not just essential for learning it is essential in every walk of our life because it helps us in assessing ourselves as an individual and how we connect with the people around us. Reflecting today will help in achieving a better tomorrow. Focus on reflection also helps in discovering world of opportunities and avoid vicious cycle.

Reflective learning will help you not only learn from past mistakes but also improves the creativity in you. A creative brain never settles down and is always alive. When our brain is alive and the thinking process is on, we are open to a world of opportunities. Reflective learning also helps you in drawing connections between your experiences and generate new ideas.


Making reflective learning a part of your routine is not an easy process it needs strong will power and commitment. It is advisable to include reflective learning in every walk of life. Reflective practise, reflective learning and critical reflecting are considered as essential features of a scholarly inquiry and leads to transformation that is continual and enduring.

It is better to make it a habit if it is felt that reflection is not something which is done enough by you. Imbibing reflective learning requires commitment towards it, figuring out which form of reflection is helpful for improving standards of a student or ones life, by avoiding exceptions we need to do reflecting same time every day. Student while reflecting on his learning should begin firstly, with the areas of interest then the areas of improvement such that they get idea on how to segregate their time and develop their areas of improvement. As an individual it is advisable to reflect on small and recent activities and then to other activities, this process helps in developing a sense of perspective.


As the phrase says, more hands make the work lighter, group work will help students to develop a host of skills. It will help them to nurture their skills and learn new skills from the other members of the group. Experience of being part of a positive group contribute to improve the learning of the student, retain their learning and overall success of the institution. Group work creates a learning/teaching environment where the students get the opportunity to share their knowledge with other members of the group and learn new skills from other members of the group. Effective group work requires the educator to a valuable assignment that will lend itself to fair assessment method. Additionally, the educator should structure the group assignment in a way that participants must participate and provide feedback on compulsory basis.

Group work will motivate students to participate actively and not just be by-standers. It helps the students in developing their self-learning abilities and helps in knowledge sharing. Group work also promotes interactive learning among the students. Benefits of group work include:

• Encouraging students to share their knowledge,

• Encouraging introvert students to speak their ideas in small groups,

• It helps in overcoming the passivity and animosity of a large class or class meeting,

• Students get the opportunity to teach each other's the skill they have,

• Group work will help the students to prepare well for their professional future,

• It will help in improving the efficiency associated with learning,

• Every group develops a sense of bonding and it works with the objective to enhance feeling of cooperation among the students and improve interpersonal skills among the students,

• The learning space of the student is widened with the help of group work. Group work is a process that helps in transferring competition among individuals to a collaborative group effect,

• Group work helps in developing creativity and innovation of the student and improve personalized learning,

• Develops sense of ownership among the students,

• Complex tasks are broken into different steps and parts, which help the students to tackle complex and larger assignments which they would be unable to complete if it was to be done individually,

• Helps students in developing teamwork and communication skills,

• Responsibility and accountability can be developed among the students,

• Effective planning and management of time will be developed among the students,

• Helps developing teamwork and communication skills among the students, and

• Improve confidence while working with other students, among others.

Disadvantages of group work include prolonged and delayed decision making process, chances of conflict due to difference of opinion or capacity to work on par with other individuals, chances of decreasing the efficiency of the group due to lack of proper coordination and mismanagement of the group.


From the above information it can be observed that reflective learning is very essential for overall development of a student. It is not limited only to the students but is helpful to all individuals. It helps everyone to improve themselves by understanding their weaknesses and their strengths.Implementing reflective learning will help the students to develop their liking to learning. Routine and memorizing format of learning will develop boredom and reluctancy among the students, however, with reflective learning students get opportunity to actively participate in the learning process.

The educators are also encouraged to give student essential space to share their learning interests and what they expect from this learning procedure. We have learnt from the above discussion that the process of reflective learning is very beneficial for overall development of an individual and lack of proper implementation will for sure result in negative impact on the learning process of the individual. Further, in addition to reflective learning effective group work will help in the overall development of the individual. From the discussion it can observed that group work is a process of cooperative learning among individuals with a view to attain complementary strengths, awaken the subjective consciousness of the individual, promoting knowledge and its construction, and develop innovation and creativity among the individuals.


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