Reflection has 9 different definitions on the Merriam-Webster site, but the phrase that popped out at me was "a transformation of a figure"
Researchers Silver, Strong and Perini (2007) list the ability to reflect on one’s learning progress as one of the most important skills a learner can have. In other words, it might just be transformational. Quiet reflection time, whether written or contemplative, private or shared, allows the learner to apply new information to their prior knowledge and experiences, thus making stronger long-term connections.
Judy Willis, neurologist and university professor, explains that learners who set goals and reflect on their own growth have an increase in dopamine levels. Dopamine is one of the brain’s neurotransmitters that causes us to have improved memory, increased focus and perseverance.
These benefits are enough to make reflection a key component of any training, but one more advantage takes this delivery method to the top of the list: no prep! Simply provide participants with a specific reflective prompt and a few quiet moments to think and write.
Be sure to make reflection a “low-risk” activity by allowing adults to choose whether or not they would like to share their reflections with others.
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Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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