What is self reflection?
Self reflection is like looking into a mirror and describing what you see. It is a way of assessing yourself, your ways of working and how you study. To put it simply ‘reflection’ means to think about something. Reflecting and composing a piece of self reflective writing is becoming an increasingly important element to any form of study or learning.
Why is self reflection important?
Reflecting helps you to develop your skills and review their effectiveness, rather than just carry on doing things as you have always done them. It is about questioning, in a positive way, what you do and why you do it and then deciding whether there is a better, or more efficient, way of doing it in the future.
In any role, whether at home or at work, reflection is an important part of learning. You wouldn’t use a recipe a second time around if the dish didn’t work the first time would you? You would either adjust the recipe or find a new and, hopefully, better one. When we learn we can become stuck in a routine that may not be working effectively. Thinking about your own skills can help you identify changes you might need to make.
Reflective questions to ask yourself:
Although self reflection can seem difficult at first, or even selfish or embarrassing, as it does not come naturally. you will find it becomes easier with practise and the end result could be a happier and more efficient you.
Learn about self awareness on the OU website, Skills for study. See Be aware of your habits.
Find out about reflective learning in the OpenLearn unit Learning how to learn, the section on Learning how to become a reflective learner.
Read the OpenLearn unit looking at reflection at work in Working life and learning.
Manchester University also have some useful help on reflective learning.