Minding the Gap: Comparing Student and Instructor Experiences with Critical Reflection
Critical reflection (CR) is regarded as essential for learning in higher education. Many instructors want students to reflect deeply and critically, but lament perceived deficiencies in students’ value and understanding of CR. This qualitative study explored four undergraduate courses across disciplines to appraise how instructors' perceptions of CR compared to the perceptions of their students. We uncovered similarities and differences in how instructors and students define, engage, identify, and value CR. Our findings reveal tensions around how to explain CR to students, and around different methods and meanings across disciplines and contexts with implications for practice. The findings suggest that although facilitating CR remains a challenging and often-nebulous endeavor, both instructors and students value the process and the gap may not be as insurmountable as commonly perceived.
Boud, David, Rosemary Keogh, and David Walker. 1985. Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. London: Kogan Page.
Brookfield, Stephen. 1995. Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. John Wiley & Sons.
Brookfield, Stephen. 2016. “So What Exactly is Critical About Critical Reflection?” In Researching Critical Reflection. Multidisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Jan Fook, Val Collington, Fiona Ross, Gillian Ruch, and Linden West, 11–22. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Buber, Martin. 2004. “Samuel and Agag” In Levinas and Buber: Dialogue and Difference, edited by Peter Atterton, Matthew Calarco, and Maurice Friedman, translated by Maurice Friedman, 29–31. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press.
Creswell, John. 2013. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Dewey, John. 1916 . Democracy and Education. In The Middle Works of John Dewey, 1899-1924 edited by Boydston, 1–384, Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Fook, Jan, Val Collington, Fiona Ross, Gillian Ruch, and Linden West. 2016a. “A Research Agenda for Critical Reflection in the Professions.” In Researching Critical Reflection: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Jan Fook, Val Collington, Fiona Ross, Gillian Ruch, and Linden West, 183–91. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Fook, Jan, Val Collington, Fiona Ross, Gillian Ruch, and Linden West. 2016b. Researching Critical Reflection: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Fook, Jan, Maria Psoinos, and Daniele Sartori. 2016. “Evaluation Studies of Critical Reflection.” In Researching Critical Reflection: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Jan Fook, Val Collington, Fiona Ross, Gillian Ruch, and Linden West, 90–105. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Foucault, Michel. 1982. “The Subject and Power.” Critical Inquiry 8, no. 4: 777–95. https://doi.org/10.1086/448181.
Giddens, Anthony. 1976. New Rules of Sociological Method. London: Hutchinson.
Hatton, Neville, and David Smith. 1995. “Reflection in Teacher Education: Towards Definition and Implementation.” Teaching & Teacher Education 11, no. 1: 33–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/0742-051X(94)00012-U.
Hoggan, Chad. 2016. “Transformative Learning as a Metatheory: Definition, Criteria, and Typology.” Adult Education Quarterly 66, no. 1: 57–75. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741713615611216
Kaplan, Matthew, Nomi Silver, Danielle Lavaque-Manty, and Deborah Miezlish. 2013. Using Reflection and Metacognition to Improve Student Learning: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy. Portland: Ringgold.
La Rochefoucauld’s 151th Maxime.
Marshall, Catherine, and Gretchen Rossman. 2016. Designing Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Merriam, Sharan B. 1998. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Mezirow, Jack. 1990. Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mezirow, Jack. 1981. “A Critical Theory of Adult Learning and Education.” Adult Education 32, no. 1: 3–24. http://doi.org/10.1177/074171368103200101.
Miles, Matthew, Michael Huberman, and Johnny Saldaña. 2013. Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook and The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Moon, Jennifer A. 1999. Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Plato. Phaedrus 274B.
Scharff, Lauren, John Draeger, Dominique Verpoorten, Marie Devlin, Lucie S. Dvorakova, Jason M. Lodge, and Susan Smith. 2017. “Exploring Metacognition as Support for Learning Transfer.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 5, no. 1: 78–91, 92. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.5.1.6.
Schön, Donald. 1983. The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.
Shadiow, Linda. 2013. What Our Stories Teach Us: A Guide to Critical Reflection for College Faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Thompson, Neil, and Jan Pascal. 2012. “Developing Critically Reflective Practice.” Reflective Practice 13, no. 2: 311–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2012.657795.
Wilson, Timothy D. 2002. Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Yancey, Kathleen, Leigh Graziano, Rory Lee, and Jennifer O’Malley. 2013. “Reflection, ePortfolios, and WEPO: A Reflective Account of New Practices in a New Curriculum.” In Using Reflection and Metacognition to Improve Student Learning: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy, edited by Matthew Kaplan, 175–202. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
Copyright (c) 2021 Bridget Arend, Beth Archer-Kuhn, Kazuko Hiramatsu, Chris Ostrowdun, Janel Seeley, Adrian Jones
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.