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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reflection: the fountain of purposeful learning

Michele Martin over at the Bamboo Project has some excellent posts about how to incorporate reflective practice into your own work, and into the work of your organisation. She also points to an introductory paper by Joy Amulya which identifies a number of situations that benefit particularly from reflective practice:

Certain kinds of experiences create particularly powerful opportunities for learning through reflection.
  • Struggles provide a window onto what is working and not working, and may often serve as effective tools for analyzing the true nature of a challenge we are facing.
  • Some struggles embody a dilemma, which can provide a rich source of information about a clash between our values and our approach to getting something done.
  • Reflecting on experiences of uncertainty helps shed light on areas where an approach to our work is not fully specified.
  • Positive experiences can also offer powerful sources of learning. For example, breakthroughs in action or thinking are helpful in revealing what was learned and what our theory of success looks like.[...]By locating when and why we have felt excited or fulfilledby an experience, we gain insight into the conditions that allow our creativity to flourish.
Now we can become more purposeful—not just about our learning but about how to work in more creative and sustaining ways.

A good motivation to pick up pen and paper again when I'm going through one of them.

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