Individual reflection practices

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If we interpret reflection practice as something that illuminates what the self and others have experienced, is this an individual or collective activity?

Individual reflection need not be sequestered from collective reflection. In fact, they can be mutually supportive of each other inside of the same learning process. For example, in a reflection group focused on individual practice, each person takes a turn recounting a key event and getting feedback on analyzing it, naming assumptions, making connections, and formulating critical questions that emerge.

In one version of an organizational learning process, each student identifies significant events from the perspective of their role, allowing the group to craft collective learning through exploring the connections across those multiple perspectives. Each of these reflection processes is oriented differently according to the aim of the specific learning needs, yet each relies on retaining the complexity of the differences in the group. And although both processes are oriented around inquiry into experience in order to learn, each will yield different types of questions.

The kinds of questions that emerge from reflection aimed at individual experience tend to relate to the development of practitioner thinking, whereas reflection oriented around collective work often yields questions connected to aligning actions with organizational values and goals (more information about evaluation is available in Module 4).