Reflection in Community

John Dewey believed that reflection is a pivotal aspect of the learning process. It is the thing that makes the learning stick so that it might deepen our understanding around a topic as well as support further learning and discovery. This blog is about reflection, namely reflection in community. When teachers learn together, we find it helpful to have protocols to support and refine our reflection. The National School Reform Faculty offers frameworks that facilitate our analysis. Recently, I used a revised format of this protocol with a group of educators who just finished their second year exploring and implementing Project-based Learning with special education students. The group agreed that the framework enabled them to not only think about what was happening in their classrooms, but also to see how others might view the learning experiences.

Basically, the protocol takes a small group through a process where each person has a chance to present a success experienced by themselves and their students. Group members ask clarifying questions first, then, deepen the discussion with questions that help the presenter reflect upon the success. Questions beginning with, “Why do you think…” or “What was different about…?” conduct the presenter through the reflective part of the brain so that they might monitor and adjust their learning. Then comes the cool part (in my opinion); the presenter steps out of the conversation and observes the rest of the group as they discuss what they heard the presenter say while offering additional insight and analysis.  When asked, the teachers were most intrigued with this part, the opportunity to have another set of eyes observe and study what and why success happened.

This protocol is called the Success Analysis Protocol and comes with a series of reflective questions aimed to enhance educational craftsmanship. I adapted it to meet the needs of my group, so this can be adapted to meet the needs of different learning communities, from adults to students to all those reflecting on their educational experiences and successes. Give it a try the next time you meet with your learning community!

Adapted Success Analysis Protocol

Downs_Randi_WEB_1409Randi Downs

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