Images of reflection: on the meanings of the word reflection in different learning contexts [Book Review]

AI and Society 28 (3):339-349 (2013)
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Reflection is today a watchword in many learning contexts. Experience is said to be transformed to knowledge when we reflect on it, university students are expected to acquire the ability to reflect critically, and we want practitioners to be reflective practitioners in order to improve their professional practice. If we consider what people mean when they talk about reflection in practice, we will discover that they often mean different things. Moreover, their conceptions of reflection are guided by images rather than by definitions. This paper explores six distinct images of reflection and discusses the consequences of adopting one or more of these images in learning situations: (1) dedoublement, (2) analogical thinking, (3) mirror, (4) experiment, (5) puzzle solving, (6) criss-crossing a landscape. Reflective thinking can be improved if we are sensible of what we are reflecting about and according to which image of reflection we are doing it, since the step between using an image and seeing this image as a model is short. Using models, in turn, implies knowing their limits



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