Confucius said, by three methods we may learn wisdom;
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and
third by experience, which is bitterest.
Relectere, in Latin means to bend back, which is where the term reflection is derived from. It is through reflective learning that we aim to bend what we experienced back into our thoughts; and more than seeing only what is in front of us, we also want to see what might be in front of us, and what should be in front of us.
Reflective learning facilitates the linking of theory and practice, and develops the ability for critical evaluation.
For reflective learning to be effective, it must cater for each of these aspects of learning, this can be thought of as a cycle;
As individuals, we ask ourselves the question: what do I know?
Then, what do I need to know?
Next, how well do I understand what I think I know?
Then, What more do I need to know? Where does my learning go from here?
(Source: ACS Education - CPEP)