Reframing the Concept of Reflection: Consciousness, Experiential Learning, and Reflective Learning Practices

Jordi, Richard
May 2011
Adult Education Quarterly;May2011, Vol. 61 Issue 2, p181
Academic Journal
The concept of reflection is common to a range of learning theories and therefore carries various meanings and differing significance. Within theories of adult education, reflection is predominantly conceptualized as the rational analytical process through which human beings extract knowledge from their experience. This article critiques this cognitive bias. However, the author argues that a perspective of embodied experiential learning should not give preference to the body over the mind as a source of knowledge. Nor should researchers reject reflection as an exclusively cognitive process. Reflective practices can facilitate a learning dialogue between our implicit embodied experience and conceptual aspects of our consciousness. The author illustrates this with the example of the theory and practice of Gendlin's Focusing. In conclusion, the author proposes a set of elements, characteristic of individual and collective human experiential learning, that can provide a framework for a more expansive and integrative conceptualization of reflection.


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