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Reflecting & articulating

Reflection is thinking for an extended period by linking recent experiences to earlier ones in order to promote a more complex and interrelated mental schema. The thinking involves looking for commonalities, differences, and interrelations beyond their superficial elements. The goal is to develop higher order thinking skills (Clark, 2011, ¶2). "Thought undergoes many changes as it turns into speech. It does not merely find expression in speech; it finds reality and form" (Vygotsky cited in Lee, 1985, p.79).
Dr. Willis (Teachthought, 2013) explains that reflection and articulation are critical skills for learning because when students reflect on and articulate their thoughts on how they solved a problem and why they chose the process they used to solve it, they stimulate the brains 'executive function'.


"Reflecting on work enhances its meaning. Reflecting on experiences encourages insight and complex learning. We foster our own growth when we control our learning, so some reflection is best done alone. Reflection is also enhanced, however, when we ponder our learning with others" (Costa & Kallick, 2008, ¶2)
Schon (1983) introduced two reflection strategies; reflection in action and reflection on action, that people may use to improve their learning. Reflecting in action is commonly referred to as decison-making, judging etc. Reflecting on action is done after the action has been completed and is commonly used to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Schon: The reflective practitioner - reflecting in-action- and -on-action (Smith, 2001,2011)


A frequently quoted psychological law of counselling (attributed to Bem) is: "I learn what I believe as I hear myself speak". Many educators also believe the articulation of thoughts as speech or in written form profoundly influences the learning process.

Articulation ‎(Herrington)‎

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Academic works


There are many different types of technologies that can be used for reflecting.First, you need to identify how you want to reflect and then select the most appropriate tool(s).
Note: The links below will take you to other pages within this website.
  • Blogs: Individual, group or class reflections. Individual or teacher controlled accounts depending on the blog tool selected.
  • ePortfolios: Good for individual reflections, usually as evidence of knowledge. Most are individual accounts only.
  • Multimedia: Can be created individually or in groups e.g. Digital stories / Podcasts
  • Social networking: Good for individual reflections. You usually need to create an individual account. However, like blogs, others can usually read and add comments.
  • Wikis: Good for group reflections. You still create individual accounts but unlike a normal website, multiple users can access and contribute to the same site.

Teaching ideas
& examples