The art of killing reflection?


GaGa Ball – The Greatest Game of All

The subtle art of killing reflection: ‘Let’s stop the activity and reflect on out learning.’ Guilty as charged.

Over the years, I feel that as a principal, I have very successfully honed my skills in the subtle art of killing reflections. I have wielded a portfolio and the victim has been reflection. Although you could accurately describe the damage to reflection as unintentional, and if you were so inclined, inaccurately describe it as unavoidable, I am starting to wonder if it has to be this way. In the end, we make students reflect. It is not a choice, for reflection, as we know, is an essential element of learning.

What if students actually yelled out ‘hooray’ when you mentioned the word reflection in schools? I have tried this as an experiment over the years and the response in any school that openly encourages reflective practice is the heartbreaking collective groan. I should add that it would be even more heartbreaking if the students looked blankly, not recognizing the word in school context. A groan, in this sense, is at least a start, but perhaps a suggestion that we have taken the wrong path.

I think a stealthier approach than, ‘Now it is time to reflect,’ is needed. I would like to explore the idea of #stealthreflection and what this approach may look like in the learning process. It could make all the different in the world.



2 thoughts on “The art of killing reflection?

  1. Sandrine says:

    I would be interested in reading your comments on the alternative approach to take – how to energise the reflective process, without taking away any of its benefits and purpose? @sablonette

    • Yes, a very good question. How to energize the process? I think much of the energy is oftentimes there during the learning, although it seems to get lost in our processes of trying to find evidence of reflective thinking after it’s all done.

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