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.