The Value of Reflection

Why is reflection always the first to be eliminated in teaching and learning?

Reflection, although emphasized as an essential component in learning, is frequently underutilized for its intended purpose. Often, we cite time constraints as a factor, and the reflection period in learning is removed from teaching, professional learning, and in our personal lives. It’s common to hear (or even say), “we are almost out of time and did not get to the reflection activity for the day.”

How can such a vital piece and core to learning be sacrificed?

If we truly understood and valued the power of reflection in learning, I am sure it would not be the dispensable element in the learning process. This is not to say that we do not think it’s significant – we definitely know its importance and it should not be the first thing to be sacrificed in teaching and learning when the pressures of time constraints arise. The word value, in this context, is action-oriented: intentionally utilizing the reflection process as an essential component of learning.

  • Don’t let time restraints impact the reflection period. Be responsible with others’ learning by designing time to think deeply about content acquisition. 
  • Find an appropriate point to pause the learning of new content to ensure learning is memorialized through reflection.
  • Model the value of reflection in teaching and learning – so that students (learners) can internalize the importance of the purpose.

If we truly want to cement the learning of new content, knowledge, and skills to leave a lasting impact, we must prioritize the importance of reflection – the stabilizer of learning.

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