Larissa Pahomov, author of the book Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry, provides the following guidelines for helping ensure that reflection is meaningful and leads to successful outcomes (114-123):
- Put reflection first. Reflection first involves thinking about the content and establishing goals for the activity or project to be undertaken. This enables students to individualize their learning, even if that learning takes place in a collaborative setting.
- De-emphasize grades. Help students focus on the learning they are undertaking. Provide students with qualitative feedback that focuses on progress toward standards. Give students the opportunity to think about their performance without asking them to grade themselves.
- Integrate student and teacher reflection. Model the reflective process for students. Reflect with students. Give students the opportunity to view their reflections side-by-side with teacher reflections. These types of activities will desegregate the reflection process and yield tremendous growth in both the student and teacher.
- Let reflection accumulate. Incorporate portfolio or journal processes into projects. Encourage students to archive reflective artifacts.
Within a culture of reflection, students have the opportunity to better understand themselves and the content they study. Try to incorporate opportunities for reflection within your classroom projects. You will find that the students engage content in meaningful ways and learn much.