Step 4: Evaluation and Reflection

What is reflection?

In this final stage of the process, the student would be expected to think back over the process of information gathering and organising, as well as evaluate the final product. This last step serves to consolidate what the student has learnt from the experience, and to compare with, and augment his or her own existing experiences. It is from reflection that new meanings are derived, and new knowledge produced.

Reflection is the process of pondering or engaging in deep thought in order to make sense of a recently encountered event or phenomenon. In teaching, it is part of a student-centric process often used to develop a student's curiousity and movitate the student to find out more. Reflection will help the student to create new knowledge and build new understandings (Douillard & Labbo, 2002; Ramsey, 2003).

These are two good resources on reflective thinking - what it is, why it is important, and how to create a reflective environment.


Why do you think that children should learn how to reflect?

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How to incorporate reflection into the classroom?

Reflection can be incorporated into the curriculum using either technical or non-technical formats.

One way to incorporate reflection activities into the lesson plan:

Am example of reflection used in the classroom setting is given by Douillard & Labbo (2002). A teacher in an elementary class in the US set aside a day purely for students to reflect on anything they had learnt. Called "Reflective Fridays", children were asked to draw or write about what they learnt during the week. They were then asked to pick out one reflection and read aloud to the class. Although some children picked up written literacy faster than others, generally the development of complex thinking skills progressed along the same patterns. Children became more observant of their surroundings, became more curious, and self-aware. They learnt from one another, and started to ask critically evaluate what they had learnt and make judgements.

The Internet provides plenty of easy-to-use applications that can be used to record reflections.

1) Weblogs or blogs as they are more commonly known, are the simpliest and most common method of recording one's thoughts, and usually function as a diary or journal. Children could begin by recording events. Once they are familar with putting down their thoughts, they should then be encouraged to record observations, evaluate their experiences, and think about how they could apply what they have learnt to everyday life. They could also record interesting websites and what they learnt from these websites. Thus, they begin to make sense of all the information that is thrown at them.

This blog entry demonstrates how two children document their understanding of perspective drawing.
How do you see the world?:

2) Voicethreads are a grouped collection of pictures, videos and documents. User navigate through a series of slides, and can leave comments.

This wiki provides more examples of how Voicethreads could be used in education:

This example demonstates a voicethread collation of voicethread projects by students.

3) Videos commonly found in sites like Youtube or Google Video can also be used to record reflections.

In this example, a student uses a video to demonstrate her understanding of a mathematics concept.

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