During their studies, pre-service teachers are repeatedly asked to reflect. In this contribution we study the impact of learner control on critical reflection for two approaches to reflection: a non-linear approach and a linear approach. One hundred and seventy-six reflection assignments
of pre-service teachers were used in the analysis. The results reveal that the reflection assignments – irrespective of the different conditions – contained few elements of critical reflection. A two-way ANOVA shows the main effects of approach to reflection and learner control
on the degree of critical reflection. Further analyses reveal that students score higher on critical reflection when they reflect with a linear approach than when they reflect with a non-linear approach, and that the pre-service teachers in this study score better on the degree of critical
reflection when they have more learner control. To conclude, we first make some methodological remarks and then discuss the practical implications of this current study.