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Reflecting on the self: an experience in a preschool

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The identification of a problem is often assumed to be the starting point of the process of reflection. If reflection only began with the recognition of a problem, would there be situations where ‘problems' are not recognized but reflection is still called for? This is especially pertinent to issues related to the self, where problems caused by one's biases are unlikely to surface. The self is so integrated into teacher–student interactions that one is less conscious of how it shapes one's thoughts, emotions and action; and often goes unexamined. Self-awareness and self-observation are proposed to be an essential part of the process of reflection. Illustrated with case examples from the author's personal exploration, strategies such as ‘distancing' and attention to one's ‘automatic thoughts' are discussed to facilitate self-reflection. Conditions such as open-mindedness and peer support are also considered as essential in the process of engaging in self-reflection.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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