Creating an ePortfolio
Learn HOW – Reflect
‘We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.’ Dewey (1933)
Here, we will explore what reflective practice and reflective writing is about.
At a glance, it may seem like a simple process to reflect back on something and write about it. However, the skill of reflective practice and reflective writing is not as simple as it may appear. Reflecting practice is about getting to deeper levels of thinking about how we work and how we learn from what we experience and ultimately, how that learning will shape how we act going forward.
Reflective practice is about being aware of yourself and how your experiences impact your ideas and behaviour both in the present and future. Reflective practice is about reflecting in and on your experiences. Barbara Bassot uses the metaphor of mirrors to explain the concept of reflective practice rather than a simple definition.
Reflective writing, like reflective practice, may seem like a simple task. However, like any skill, it takes time and practice to master it. Writing reflectively goes beyond the descriptive writing we are all used to doing. It also includes what the individual has observed about themselves or the experience that will make them see or do things differently in the future. The following resources will explain how to write reflectively and show some examples.
- Dublin ePortfolios – Reflection (Dr Helen Barrett)
- Reflective writing and thinking (Southampton Solent University)
- The Exeter site has a useful resource on reflective writing.
- The Learnhigher site has a useful section on critical thinking and reflection for students.
- Reflective writing: a basic introduction (University of Portsmouth)
- Reflection (Queen Margaret University)
- Samples of reflective writing