An analysis of two models of reflection and their implications for educational development
Reflection has become a buzzword in the education literature. Differences in the conceptualizations of reflection underlying different studies and lack of theorizing over how these frameworks relate to one another, however, can diminish the contributions such studies can make to our understanding of educational development in higher education. This article considers two models of reflection, Mezirow's (1990, 1991) theory of transformative learning and Zimmerman and Schunk's (1998) notion of self-regulated learning, and explores how each can enhance our understanding of educational development in tertiary settings. The assumptions each theory makes about the validity of the outcomes of the reflective process are addressed. Two recent qualitative studies, each informed by one of two theories of reflection, are discussed with the goal of making a first attempt at addressing the lack of theorizing over the meaning of findings from different studies. The article concludes with concrete suggestions for future research on reflection and the practice of educational development.