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Reflecting on Reflective Learning: the case of geography, earth and environmental sciences

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This paper examines how reflective learning can be promoted and developed explicitly within the disciplines of geography, earth and environmental sciences. A review of various theoretical perspectives on reflection is provided, as well as a brief summary of the ways of incorporating reflection in the curriculum. The substantive part of this paper is based on a UK Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN) Subject Centre for Geography, Earth and Environmental Science (GEES) funded research project on reflective learning which was completed in 2001. A questionnaire survey was sent to GEES departments/schools to obtain information about the incorporation of reflective learning in the curriculum. From the analysis of the questionnaire returns, the project team identified four themes regarding the relevance of reflective learning to GEES disciplines. Project findings demonstrate how the inclusion of reflective learning exercises and activities is at an embryonic stage in many UK GEES departments/schools. The paper concludes by highlighting certain challenges that geographers, earth and environmental scientists could address if they wish to seek to develop reflective learning and enhance the student learning experience.

Keywords: Kolb; Reflection; assessment; metacognition; reflective practice; skill development

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Gloucestershire, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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