Examine Your Experiences by Developing a Deep Reflection for each
As you examine the experiences you chose, you’ll write your reflections in response to specific prompts. This reflection process is an important step toward developing more conscious awareness of your diverse skills and knowledge, and the values that influence your choices. Writing is an important part of this activity, because, through the process of putting thoughts into words you make additional connections and develop new knowledge.
Write a separate piece, as a post in your WordPress blog, for each of your three experiences, exploring each of the following groups of questions with specific details, as relevant to your experience. These questions are designed to help you identify both explicit and tacit knowledge resulting from a particular learning experience (Peet, 2010, p. 24-36; SCQF, 2010, p. 19,29).
Tips for the Reflection Process
Let the questions start your flow of thinking and begin writing. Some questions overlap each other. Don’t worry about conscientiously responding deeply to each particular question, but immerse yourself in each question you respond to, and let your thoughts flow into words.
Don’t omit any of the five question sections. If a particular question feels hard to answer, you should not skip it. Immerse yourself.
I recommend that you work through all of the following steps BEFORE you look at any of the examples I developed, because I believe you’ll get a more authentic start looking deeply at your own experiences if you are not initially influenced by mine. However, at some point in your project development, examples may be useful to you and you’re welcome to review my reflections on Yoga, Teaching, and Grad School.
Prompts for Developing Your Reflections
Complete a separate reflection piece for each of the key learning experiences you chose. As you focus on the following prompts, focus specifically on one particular experience as you respond.
Group 1: Establish the experience context
- What happened during this experience?
- When and where did it happen?
- Who was involved?
Group 2: Explicit skills and knowledge
Develop your answers to the following prompts in each written reflection while ALSO using a Skill-Experience-Action worksheet to help concentrate your awareness of explicit skills and knowledge involved in your key learning experiences.
- What did you have to be able to do?
- What did you have to know to be able to do what you had to do?
- Use this “Skill-Experience-Action Worksheet” , saved in MS Word format, to help you document and concentrate some of your observations as you write about your experiences.
- Save a copy of the worksheet, with a personalized name such as yourname_skill-experience-action_ws_stage1.
- Edit the worksheet where indicated, to insert your name
- Choose an abbreviation for each of the three learning experiences you chose and edit the indicated worksheet areas to insert your abbreviations. See the example below for further guidance. You will develop the title of each reflection as you complete it.
- Review the skill/knowledge areas listed on this worksheet, from Fine Motor Skills through Social Sciences, and mark the cells where the relevant Learning Experience column intersects with the row of a skill/knowledge area used in that experience.
Group 3: Results
- What are the outcomes of the experience?
- How long did the outcomes last?
Group 4: Teasing out tacit knowledge and skills — going deeper
- Describe at least one “a-ha” moment for you from the experience
- What was easy and enjoyable for you?
- What kinds of challenges did you face and why were they challenging? Does looking at your challenges help you see any habits, attitudes, or tendencies that may interfere with your progress?
- Why was this experience important to you?
- What insights and capacities did you gain?
- How has your experience influenced others?
Group 5: Integrating with new experiences and building new knowledge
- What did you learn from this experience that might be significant now and in the future?
- Has examining this experience stimulated any ideas about future actions you might take?
- What personal strengths or weaknesses are you more keenly aware of after examining this experience?
- What actions could you take to address any weaknesses you’ve become aware of?
- What actions could you take to use your strengths in new ways?
Select an Image for each Reflection
After completing a reflection on a Learning Experience, select or create an image that feels meaningful to you in connection with the experience. Your image can be a graphical model of a process or a structure, a photo, a drawing, a video, or? Your choice should feel as though it communicates something that matters to you about the experience. Combine your chosen image with your written piece in your WordPress post.
Develop a Title for each Reflection
After completing a reflection on a Learning Experience, develop a title that expresses something about what you did and how the experience was meaningful to you. For example, my chosen titles for my teaching experience reflection became: “Teaching: A Path to Learning / Becoming a Lifelong Learner.”
Enter your title next to the related abbreviation on your Skills-Experience-Action Worksheet and take another look to see if you would select any additional skill/knowledge areas for this experience.
Repeat The Steps Outlined in This Page Three Times
All of the steps detailed above (except downloading the Skills-Experience-Action Worksheet) are the steps for ONE of your reflections related to ONE of your three selected key learning experiences. You need to repeat these steps three times, creating three separate posts in your WordPress blog, to effectively complete this step of your Learning Experience Collage Project.