The Role of Reflection in Learning at Higher Education
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The purpose of this paper is to answer the question ‘Why reflection is important to introduce in the teaching and learning’. This paper commences with a brief literature review on reflection, followed by the provision of tentative results of a study on the role of reflection in learning. Data collected from a sample population of 257 undergraduate students at business ethics undergraduate class in Australia were analysed. The data were collected from students’ own reflections that formed part of two of their assessments in the unit. In the first assessment, students were asked to reflect on their own moral development, using Schon’s reflection in and on action, to allow the markers understand the students’ own moral development as highlighted by Kohlberg levels and stages of Moral Development. In the second assessment, the students were asked to reflect on their personal learning as a global citizen and how this assessment has informed their views and perspective on ethical decision-making process and global citizenship using one of the frameworks introduced during the semester (e.g. situation, task, action, result, learning, planning – S.T.A.R.L.P., Gibbs or Kolb). This paper will not discuss students moral developments levels or their ethical decision making, but, will only discuss the ‘reflection’, thus, the findings from this research come in twofold: (i) students acknowledged the new skills they gained, the development of other skills they had through their reflections, such as critical thinking, time management. (ii) Most of the students have demonstrated an understanding of reflection in higher education, and ethical decision making, through use of different frameworks. However, some students felt reflection is difficult, thus, the paper concludes with a recommendation to introduce reflection in the first year of university.
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