Archived Material (Reflection)

Reflection - reflective thinking and writing - is an important part of university life and work. As Plato said, 'The life without examination is no life.' The ability to reflect on your experience and knowledge, and use that to make improvements, is a key part of your university-level thinking and your subsequent working life.

What is reflective thinking?

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To think and write reflectively you have to:

  • Experience something
  • Think about what happened
  • Learn from the experience

You think reflectively all the time, you probably just don't realise you're doing it.

Have you ever missed the bus and then thought next time I’ll leave the house 5 minutes earlier'?

This is an example of you being reflective: you thought about an experience and decided to learn from it and do something different the next time.

As a student, and in the workplace, you will be asked to be reflective. Thinking or reflecting on the world around you, your experiences and actions will help you to develop and improve your skills.

Reflection is:
  • Self awareness: thinking of yourself, your experiences and your view of the world
  • Self improvement: learning from experiences and wanting to improve some area of your life
  • Empowerment: putting you in control of making changes and behaving in a different way