In my new role as Leader of Learning Technologies at a Catholic College in Western Sydney, I am in the process of planning for and implementing Mahara with Moodle 2.4 to facilitate increased reflective practice across the college. Reflection is already an embedded practice within the college, however, our goals across the whole college are to increase this and in the process, continue to assist students in developing lifelong learning skills and sophisticated writing techniques.
In preparation for the implementation of Mahara, an eportfolio system, with all students in years 8, 9 and 10 to begin with, I have been reading up on and researching into models for reflection and different activities that could be used within the portfolio to scaffold and facilitate greater reflection. I have come across some very interesting models, which have already formed the basis for some Mahara templates I have developed to be institute wide pages available to all students. Templates that facilitate the active developmenet of SMART goals and reflection of learning activities using the Peter Pappa’s A Taxonomy of Reflection, based on Bloom’s taxonomy.
I have written up a draft program for implementing activities for reflection and study skills within classes at school that will be using Mahara, and I have found a lot of value in Pappa’s taxonomy for reflection and also in these other models: Gibbs Model of Reflection, North Carolina Teacher Reflection Model, Kolb’s Learning Cycle, Atkins and Murphy’s model of reflection, and John’s model for reflection. I particularly liked the Gibb’s Model of Reflection as it addressed the aspects of an experience that are truly individual, the feelings. I think sometimes reflection is too superficial and on the surface and getting students to think more critically about their learning styles and experiences is important. Kolb’s model is also very similar to Gibb’s model.
My favourite model for reflection though is the Peter Pappas model. I want to help my students develop skills for life that will allow them to become independent lifelong learners, and it may just be that I learn well through activities that are structured around a solid scaffold, but I believe that facilitating reflection in my students in a way that is structured around a taxonomy or scaffold may make it easier for them to independently continue to utilise in their own future study and reflection.
Will reflect on this more as it is implemented in classes at school.