As I begin to wrap up the first course at VCC on Theories of Adult Education, I've been inspired by something I've learned in one of the theories of Adult Education, which primarily comes from the Experiential Learning Model, and this is the power of reflection.
Reflection papers aren't just an opportunity to journal thoughts. Rather they serve the purpose to deepen and integrate the learning.
Like many people I grew up in a classroom that was likely based on the behaviourism model: An expert teacher lectures and the student listens. This model continued through University and even other career colleges I attended. However this type of instruction is limited in such that it does not allow for the depth of integration that other learning models invite.
The process of active conscious reflection creates space for a learner to absorb and retain information at a higher level, and within that there is often a changed behaviour or an inspired action that transpires.
At VCC they use the ORID model for reflection papers which begins with an objective—the thing you are learning about, then to reflect on it (your emotional response) then to interpret it by doing further research to reflect at a deeper level your thoughts on the information, and then to close with a decisional statement - which is based on the new learning, and what action you intend to integrate. This model allows one to truly integrate a piece of knowledge at a deep level and it invites a change through inspired action.
I am inspired to share this model at a deeper level with students in the future as it is a very helpful way to support the integration of education.
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