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The Value of Reflection to Critical Thinking and Learning By Dr. Lynn Grinnell St. Petersburg College, FL

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Presentation on theme: "The Value of Reflection to Critical Thinking and Learning By Dr. Lynn Grinnell St. Petersburg College, FL"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Value of Reflection to Critical Thinking and Learning By Dr. Lynn Grinnell St. Petersburg College, FL

2 Agenda  Overview  Brief structured experiential activity 1. Review of transfer taxonomies 2. Activity: Identify likely transfer levels 3. Debriefing  Discussion

3 Structured Experiential Activity: Near or Far Transfer? Review Haskell’s transfer theory Individually :  Fill out the Near or Far Transfer? activity using Haskell’s levels of transfer In pairs:  Compare your answers and come to consensus on the anticipated level of transfer

4 Transfer Theory  Research on transfer has shown that the ability to perform a procedure in one context does not assure the ability to apply the skill in a slightly different situation (Detterman, 1993). Normally, the brain stores information in a highly contextual form, thus allowing transfer only in very similar situations. Haskell (2001) identified five conditions that promote transfer: an extensive knowledge base, a positive emotional connection that gives meaning to the learning, a supportive culture, theoretical knowledge, and extensive practice.  Haskell (2001) described a five-level taxonomy for transfer that identified ever-broadening contexts for transferring learning: 1) Application transfer: from textbook knowledge to a problem or situation 2) Context transfer: from one situation to an identical situation 3) Near transfer: from one situation to a similar situation 4) Far transfer: from one situation to a different situation 5) Creative transfer: finding similarity between one situation and a novel situation

5 Directions: - Review the five learning activities - Put a number to represent the level of transfer is likely to result from the activity (there is not necessarily one learning activity for each level) - Compare your results with your neighbor 1. Learning to use a video recorder 2. Baking a cake 3. Walking in the woods looking for analogies 4. Doing a needs analysis 5. Developing a college course 1. _____ 2. _____ 3. _____ 4. _____ 5. _____ Application of reading (application transfer) Identical situations (context transfer) Similar situations (near transfer) Very different contexts (far transfer) New similarity (creative transfer) If one level of transfer is not used, what would be a good activity for that level?

6 Debriefing  Objective review: What happened? Results Differences Similarities  Subjective review How did you feel as you were doing the activity? Which ones were difficult to categorize? Which ones did you agree on with your neighbor? Was it difficult to come to consensus on the others?  Build a theory Why were there difficulties? (If there were) Do you think Haskell’s taxonomy is valid? Does it fit with your past experience? How would you change it?  How can you use this in the classroom? What further research/practice do you need/want?

7 Why is reflection important?  What did debriefing the experiential activity do for you?  What did you feel as you were doing the experiential activity? As you were debriefing?  What happens in debriefings? What theory or theories do you know that might explain what happens?

8 Background on Reflection  Role of reflection in learning first identified by John Dewey Learning = observing, combining with past knowledge, and judgment on significance  Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory Learning from experience is increased when people deliberately reflect on it Four stage experiential learning cycle:  concrete experience  reflective observation  abstract conceptualization  active experimentation Everything after concrete experience can be done with debriefings

9 Background on Debriefings  Most literature recommends 4 stages of debriefing: Objective review Subjective review Connecting to prior experience/theory building Planning their next experience  Very little research on debriefings  In my study, my research question was: What cognitive and emotional process occur during debriefings? Qualitative study

10 Results of Content Analysis Six variables: Content: references to the textbook increased Process: discussion of process low in abstract phase Connections: depth of learning increased Context: level of transfer increased Affect: intensity of emotion as high in objective as subjective phase Relevance: importance of the material increased Intent: desire to use the knowledge only expressed in planning phase

11 Belief/ Emotion Content/ Process EventsEmotionConnections Abstraction Connections Content Transfer Self- Motivation At least two iterations before abstraction Key: Cognitive concepts Personal reaction concepts Introduction Abstraction Mental Rehearsal Priming 2. Abstract Conceptualization 3. Active Experimentation 1. Reflective Observation Learning sequence: Debriefing sequence: Learning process map

12 Discussion  Think back over your past experience with active learning, either as a teacher or a learner … How do these data relate to your past experience?  Have you used experiential activities or active learning in your classes? What kind?  Have you used class activities without debriefings? Did students learn all that you hoped they would learn? Would debriefings have given them an extra opportunity to “get” the point of the lesson?  If you have you debriefed activities in the past, how have those debriefings gone? Have you used other forms of debriefing? How do debriefings fit into your theory of learning?  Parting thoughts: What can you use from this session in the future?

13 Bibliography  Haskell, R. (2001). Transfer of learning: Cognition, instruction, and reasoning. San Diego: Academic Press.  Detterman, D. & Sternberg, R. Transfer on trial: Intelligence, cognition, and instruction. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.  Grinnell, L. (2003). A qualitative exploration of reflective thinking in experiential learning debriefings. Tampa: University of South Florida.

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