An element dearly missed in traditional field work so far is guided reflection. There is little value in having participants take part in hands-on field work, if their experience is not thoroughly and professionally reflected. Such reflection includes the following:
- What have I concretely learned in terms of skills and competences?
- How have I learned, what elements/processes provided insights and how were they provoked?
- What did I not expect to learn, what took me by surprise?
- What did I learn in the interaction with others?
- How effective are my inter-personal skills?
- What have I learned about myself? Which situations do I find particularly challenging or rewarding?
- What situations favor a learning attitude, what situations prevent me from learning?
- What feedback do I get from my colleagues (boss, peers, subordinates) and how do I react to this?
- What new questions do I have? What would I like to investigate in, learn more about, explore?
Guided reflection is a critical enabler to have a learner advance on his personal journey to mastery. It enables the understanding of where a learner is and what challenges he needs to embrace to advance. It also installs a practice of life-long learning, ensuring that a learner integrates self-reflection into his daily routine as an integral element of personal hygiene. Furthermore, guided reflection also opens the pathway of shared learning, enabling the teacher to understand core issues and challenges a class is faced with. Such a process is a first step towards creating a shared learning journey, involving participants in co-creating a course syllabus and therefore assuming responsibility of his learning.