Annotated Bibliography


Boud, D., R. Keogh and D. Walker (Eds.). 1985. Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. London: Kogan Page.
Boud et al. (1985, 7) note that experience alone is not sufficient for learning and pose the following questions: What is it that turns experience into learning? What specifically enables learners to gain the maximum benefit from the situations they find themselves in? How can they apply their experience in new contexts? Boud et al. (1985) suggest that structured reflection is the key to learning from experience, and that reflection can be very difficult. "Perhaps if we can sharpen our consciousness of what reflection in learning can involve and how it can be influenced then we may be able to improve our own practice of learning and help those who learn with us" (emphasis added, Boud et al. 1985, 8).

Boud et al. (1985, 7) tie the timing of reflective activities to the three stages in experience-based learning: preparation, engagement, and processing, underscoring the importance of including reflective activity at each stage. In the preparatory phase, students examine what is required of them and the demands of their field site; during the experience, they process a variety of inputs arising from the field site; finally, they must consider and consolidate what they have experienced.
 
Claxton C. S., P. H. Murrell .1987. Learning Styles: Implications for Improving Educational Practice. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 4. Washington D.C.: The George Washington University.
Claxton and Murrell (1987) describe four 'layers' of learning atyle research - (1) personality types, (2) models of how people process information, (3) social interaction models, and instructional preference models. One of the most widely used analyses of personality types is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Kolb's experiential learning model is an example of information processing models.
 
Dewey, J. 1933. How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process. Lexington, MA: Heath.
John Dewey defined reflective thinking as "active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends [that] includes a conscious and voluntary effort to establish belief upon a firm basis of evidence and rationality, " (1933, 9).
 
Daudelin, M. W. 1996. Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics 24(3): 36-48.
Daudelin (1996, 39) provides a definition of reflection that explicitly captures its relation to learning, "Reflection is the process of stepping back from an experience to ponder, carefully and persistently, its meaning to the self through the development of inferences; learning is the creation of meaning from past or current events that serves as a guide for future behaviour." This definition suggests that reflection is integral to learning, when learning is defined as making sense of past experience in order to affect and understand future experience.
 
Gelman, S., B. Holland, et. al. 2001. Assessing Service-Learning and Civic Engagement: Principles and Techniques. Providence, RI: Campus Compact.
Assessing Service-Learning and Civic Engagement: Principles and Techniques offers a broad overview of many issues related to assessment in higher education, with specific application for understanding the impact of service-learning and civic engagement initiatives. It builds upon an earlier publication from Portland State University. This version has been substantially revised and has been augmented with narrative addressing assessment issues and strategies; detailed discussion of learning from multiple research projects over the past six years about impact on multiple constituencies - students, faculty, communities, and institutions; and discussion of strategies for data collection, analysis, synthesis, and reporting. Specific assessment instruments for use with each constituency are provided, including suggestions for administration, preparation, and data analysis. This volume will assist individuals seeking a comprehensive resource on assessment issues, with applicability particularly in higher education as well as potential applications to other groups interested in assessment.

Giles Jr., D. E., E. Porter Honnet, and S. Migliore (Eds.). 1991. Research Agenda for Combining Service and Learning in the 1990s. Raleigh, NC: National Society for Internships and Experiential Education.
The National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) notes that: "An effective [service-learning] program provides structured opportunities for people to reflect critically on their service experience" (1991, 25). In addition, NSEE states in the preamble to its guiding principles, "It is crucial that service toward the common good be combined with reflective learning to assure that service programs of high quality can be created and sustained over time…" (24).
 
Eyler J., Giles D. E., Schmiede. 1996. A Practitioner's Guide to Reflection in Service-learning: Student Voices and Reflections. A Technical Assistance Project funded by the Corporation for National Service. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.
Eyler, Giles and Scmiede (1996) examined students' experiences of critical reflection using in-depth, personal, semi-structured interviews.

Continuous
: Students commented that critical reflection must be an ongoing part of the service project. Continuous reflection involves reflection before, during and after the experience. Student interviewees often underscored the importance of reflective preparation as key to getting the most out of the service experience. Reflection during the experience was usually geared towards problem-solving and identifying actions. Reflection after the service tended to focus on evaluating the meaning of the experience, integrating old knowledge and new information, and formulating future course of action.

Connected: Students repeatedly emphasized the importance of integrating service with classwork. Faculty can use reflection to connect service and classwork in two main ways. First, faculty can use can help students develop conceptual framework required for the service project. Second, faculty can guide students in applying concepts/ theories to their project. Connected reflection results in more effective service and enhanced learning of the experience, integrating old knowledge and new information, and formulating future course of action.

Challenging: Students reported that challenging reflection pushed them to think in new ways, raises new questions, produces new understanding, and new ways of problem-solving. Faculty must challenge students while simultaneously providing support and creating a 'safe' environment where students are confident that their contributions and feelings will be respected.

Contextualized: Reflection should be appropriate for the context and setting of the particular service-learning project. Service projects in courses lend themselves to formal, structured methods of reflection. Informal discussions may be more feasible in co-curricular programs.

Communication
Structured reflection can be enhanced by communication with peers and community organizations. Eyler, Giles and Scmiede (1996) found that the most common forms of reflection involved discussions, interactions with others and journals (48). They describe several reflection activities that involve interactions with peers and community partners including structured/unstructured discussions, presentations, interaction with community members and staff and interviews.
 
Goldsmith, S. 1995. Journal Reflection: A Resource Guide for Community Service Leaders and Educators Engaged in Service-learning. Washington, D. C.: The American Alliance for Rights & Responsibilities.
Goldsmith (1995) suggests that reflection should be continuous, noting that "reflection should be a habitual activity, an ongoing conversation with the self (although the conversation may, at times, include others) that moves hand in hand with the experience".
 
Guskin A. (1994). Reducing Student Costs & Enhancing Student Learning: Restructuring the Role of Faculty 26(5): Change. 16-25.
Guskin notes coaching is a critical aspect of skills development. An experienced individual uses a combination of tips, advice and example to help students avoid pitfalls. In addition to faculty, coaching can be done by more experienced students and interactive technology. Both upper and lower level students learn through peer coaching. Another advantage of upper level students coaching lower level students may be that older peers may have a better appreciation of how to overcome learning hurdles while for faculty such hurdles may be only a faint memory for faculty. Guskin also notes that in addition to one-on-one faculty/student interaction, small group discussions can be very effective because (1) students receive support from peers, (2) can share their perspectives, and (3) pressure of peers can provide an intensity and excitement to discussions. Faculty can challenge students and provide feedback in such settings.
 
Kolb, D. A. 1984. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
David Kolb (1984) postulated that learning occurs in a cycle in which students engage in and then observe and reflect on experiences, assimilate reflections in a theory, and then deduce implications for future action from that theory.
 
Lynch, C. L. (1996). Facilitating and assessing unstructured problem solving. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 27, 16-27.
This paper describes a skill-focused developmental model for understanding and assessing critical thinking and professional problem solving. This paper provides several references on the reflective judgment model and its use in understanding student problem-solving efforts and in designing appropriate coursework.
 
McCarthy, B. 1987. The 4MAT system: Teaching to Learning Styles with Right/left Mode Techniques. Barrington IL: EXCEL Inc.
The 4MAT system relies on several theoretical foundations: the experiential learning model of Kolb, the concept of hemisphericity - the notion that varying skills and behaviors are more likely to be dominated by different areas of the brain or to be associated with neural activity in different areas of the brain - and in part the theory of Jung, which is most typically applied in education via the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory.

Learning involves two dimensions: perception and processing. Human perception refers to the ways people take in new information (experience and conceptualizing). Human processing refers to the ways people process new information (reflection and action). Four major phases are identified in the learning cycle based on these two dimensions (1) experiencing, (2) conceptualizing, (3) applying, and (4) creating learning. Briefly, the experiencing stage seeks to connect new concepts/ skills to learners' existing knowledge and experience. The conceptualizing stage focuses on helping students acquire facts and expert knowledge. The application stage involves practicing new knowledge and skills including open-ended explorations in unstructured settings such as service-learning. In the final stage, students demonstrate and share learning, and explore extensions to other settings.
 
McCarthy, M. D. 1996. One-time and short-term service-learning experiences. In Service-Learning in Higher Education, edited by B. Jacoby and Associates. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 113-134.
McCarthy (1996, 120) recommends that reflection should occur before, during, and after the service experience.
 
Schon, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.
Schon (1987, 17) suggests that students learn skills by practicing them. He suggests solving real-world problems competently requires the artistry of problem-framing, implementation and improvisation in addition to technical expertise. Schon underscores the importance of the coaching process for learning the artistry of practice.

Schon (1987, 102) describes coaching in terms of telling/listening and demonstrating/imitating.

A coach can demonstrate how to solve certain types of problems, and students can imitate the coach's product or the problem-solving process. The coach can give specific instructions, criticize students' products or their processes of problem-solving, suggest future actions, help students establish priorities and ask questions.

The coach's description may not match the student's need to know, may be ambiguous, or may refer to concepts unfamiliar to students. Students' actions reveal the meanings they have constructed and the coach may produce further instructions based on his understanding of the students' difficulty. The coach may ask questions to direct students' attention to issues they may not have considered previously.

The Ladder of Reflection

The dialogue between coach and student involves a chain of reciprocal actions and reflections. Schon (1987, 114) introduces a vertical dimension to this dialog. Going up the 'ladder' of reflection involves moving from an action to a reflection on that action. Moving down involves moving from a reflection to an action based on that reflection. Diagonal moves occur when one party acts on the basis of another's reflection or when one party's action triggers the other's action. For example, a student could reflect on the coach's demonstration. Or a student could try an alternative approach based on the coach's criticism.

Example - Reflection Ladder

3. Reflection on Description
2. Description of Design
1. Design

In the example, designing is at the base of the ladder.

The student presents a description of the design to the coach. Description may also be embedded in the coach's advice.

Two levels up, the student could reflect on the coach's description (move up) or try out a new design (move down) based on the coach's description. Similarly, the coach could reflect on the student's design.
 
Wolcott, S. K., & Lynch, C. L. (1997). Critical thinking in the accounting classroom: A reflective judgment developmental process perspective. Accounting education: A journal of theory, practice and research, 2(1), 59-78.
Explains the usefulness of the reflective judgment model for coursework design, and describes how to design and evaluate reflective thinking essay (i.e., unstructured problem solving) assignments. This paper provides several references on the reflective judgment model, its use in understanding student problem-solving efforts, and in designing appropriate coursework.