College Students
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Models of Reflection
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Recipes for Reflection
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Why Reflect?

Recipes for Reflection

Here are some generic "recipes" for scaffolding reflection, courtesy of Montana State University Northern College of Education.

First Order/Second Order Model
Write about your topic as quickly as you can for ten to fifteen minutes without stopping.  Let your thoughts flow uninhibited, and do not censor your writing.  Include every thought that comes to mind without prejudging it.  Your thoughts do not have to be complete, true, or even logical.  Include all of your preconceived notions and biases.  Also include all of the personal and emotional aspects of your “self” in this writing.  Do not stop to consider spelling, grammar, or punctuation, and do not look back to make corrections.  This is “first order” thinking, which is honest, intuitive, and creative.  After you complete this exercise, react to what you have just written using “second order” thinking.  Analyze the passage using your logic and critical thinking skills.  You may also pay attention to organization, style, and mechanics in this section.

Cognitive, Affective, Psychomotor (CAP) Model
What do you notice?
What do you feel?
What do you question?

Countdown Model
State three ideas with which you agree.
State two ideas you are pondering.
State one idea that you challenge.

What?  So What?  Now What?  Model

What? Describe the experience; outline what happened that compelled you to think about and change your behavior (i.e. learn). The “what?” component of reflections may include the environmental factors, the conditions or background under which you have learned, the assumptions that you entered the situation with, a description of the experience itself, and the outcomes that occurred through the process. What did you do?

So What? Describe what difference it makes; outline what impact or meaning it has for you (or why it should matter to others). The “so what?” component of reflections may include relevancies to you as an individual, the degree of importance that this knowledge has to practices in the “real world”, how the experience has changed you, and the ways in which this experience relates to you as a professional in the field of education. So What? How is this learning important?

Now What? Describe what’s in store for the future now that you’ve learned from this experience; outline what you are going to do to continue your professional development in light of this learning. The “now what?” component of reflections may include looking for future learning opportunities related to the one under consideration, mistakes that you are now prepared to avoid, situations that you are now prepared to take advantage of, an assessment of things that you as of yet do NOT know how to do but would like to, etc. Ok, now that you've done this, now what would you like to learn?

Updated on Jun 28, 2010 by Helen Barrett (Version 5)