Reflection Literature Review: How We Think By John Dewey

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Reflection Literature Review The research on reflection focuses on what it is and the significance it has for learning. John Dewey wrote the book, How We Think (1933), which still has a strong influence on education. It provides a good starting point for looking at elements of reflection. Dewey defined reflective thought 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’. He identified five phases or aspects of thinking: o Suggestions, in which the mind leaps forward to a possible solution. o An intellectualization of the difficulty or perplexity that has been felt (directly experienced) into a problem to be solved. o The use of one suggestion after another as a leading idea, or hypothesis, to initiate and guide observation and other operations in collection of factual material. o The mental elaboration of the idea, or supposition as an idea or supposition (reasoning, in the sense in which reasoning is a part, not the whole, of inference). o Testing the hypothesis by overt, or imaginative action. Boud, Keogh, and Walker (1985) addressed emotions in the reflection process. They revised and reduced Dewey’s five aspects into three: o Returning to experience - recalling events. o Attending to (or connecting with) feelings- this has two aspects: using helpful feelings and removing or containing obstructive ones. o Evaluating experience- this

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