Reflective learning – the ‘how’ and ‘why’

08 July 2020

The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of (reflective) learning –

Have you ever asked yourself exactly HOW you learn? Have you ever asked yourself exactly WHY you learn in a particular way?

Now for the next question: Have you ever heard of REFLECTIVE LEARNING?

Let’s start from the beginning. We will determine why these 3 questions were asked and we will find out more about reflective learning.

If you reflect whilst you are learning it means that you become aware of your own thinking processes.

You become aware to such an extent that you are able to explain these processes – in other words what you have just learned – to others.

It also means that you think about what you have read, done or studied and you make meaning out of the material. This is much more than merely memorising facts, formulas and/or dates.

If you manage to do this well, it will have a positive impact on your results as well.

This explains why reflective learning is so important.

Without many people realising it, reflection is part of the process of how humans learn. You might not be aware that you are doing it – to some extent anyway – but the bottom line is that if you are learning you cannot avoid reflection.

Reflective learning builds stronger connections between learning experiences – it helps you to remember study material for longer and to truly understand the content.

If you want to determine whether this is indeed true, assess yourself or rope in the help of one of your peers to assess WHAT you remember and HOW WELL you remember the content of a specific section of a particular subject.

Reflective learning also helps you to develop critical thinking skills and these skills help you to improve your future academic performance. As your thinking skills improve you become better over time at analysing what you have learned. These thinking skills are vital once you go to university or enter the work place.

By now it will be clear to you that reflective learning is not a one-off event. Reflective learning is an ongoing process. Reflective learning empowers you to move forward in life. It is invaluable when any problem-solving needs to be done, something everyone has to do on a regular basis.

If you master reflective learning you will soon realise that you have advanced on the path of independent learning as well.

Bear in mind:

7 important traits of a reflective learner are:

• I build on past learning experiences and learn from them.
• I ask pertinent questions.
• I can be responsible for my own learning.
• I always try to improve.
• I try to gain new knowledge – and new skills – whenever possible.
• When I have gained new knowledge, I take action or implement what I have learned.
• When I have gained new skills, I practice these to hone them.

Everyone is smart – in different ways
Everyone is smart. Let it sink in: Everybody is smart in different ways and in their own way. Think about it like this: If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. It has long been known that there are different types of intelligence... Whether it’s 4 types, 7 types, 9 types, 10 types or 12 types (there are different theories out there), doesn’t matter. The fact remai [...]
read full article
The Grade 9 Natural Sciences Study Guide is here!
The TAS Team is very excited to introduce our latest study guide: Grade 9 Natural Sciences. This long-awaited CAPS-compliant Handbook and Study Guide helps to develop solid foundational skills in the Sciences and simplify a rather broad curriculum. What does the study guide entail? Grade 9 Natural Sciences is designed with a simple and easy-to-follow layout. It is written in the same recognisable TAS-style of our top-selling Physical Sci [...]
read full article
Learners: Your responsibility in the classroom
Have you ever wondered – or tried to calculate – exactly how much time you spend at school?Whether you enjoy school or not, this is something to think about, isn’t it? Here’s the answer: In South Africa there are about 200 school days in a normal school year. On average you will spend about 7.5 hours of a normal day in school. If that sounds too terrible for words, consider this: in Japan, the country with the most school days in the year, t [...]
read full article