Saturday 13 February 2016

The reflection room

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Snow White, 1937
The problem we were discussing was enterprise.  Our students are enterprising, but do they know it? How do we help them reflect on their learning, their 'enterprise'?

It's a problem for staff and students, both in recognition and understanding of their 'enterprising endeavour', and, perhaps more importantly, on reflection.

How are our students reflecting, and do we, as staff, lead, promote, demonstrate reflective practice?

Reflection room at my children's primary school is a punishment.  You find the teacher (SLT) responsible that day, then you have a chat.  Then you 'reflect' while seeing/hearing your class enjoying playtime.

The problem is you can't force anyone to reflect - you may actually be making things worse by teaching to bury emotions and disguise feelings. If ready to talk, then it might work, but how more likely are you to be defensive if you feel punished?

By its nature, you cannot determine what will be taken away from reflection.  This is a strength, not a weakness of reflection.  Guiding or judging reflection can undo its purpose.

Finally, and for me most importantly, 'reflection' does not necessarily mean spending time thinking by yourself.  Maybe for some people this will work, but there is a danger 'thinking' time turns into 'brooding' time, and far from helping can entrench defensive behaviour.

I need a 'mirror' to help me reflect - for me that is mostly my  (poor) partner, but can be forums like this one.  That's why comments are so important to many bloggers like me.  Maybe I'm not offering many solutions, right now - I think I'll need to reflect a bit more - comments welcome!

For more reflections, visit staffrm.


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