“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” John Dewey
Adults are living increasingly hurried lives, speeding from one obligation to the next. The events seem to be unrelated happenings- certainly not opportunities for learning. We need to keep moving. We don’t have time to pause. Right?
Thankfully, life at school is different.
We have made pausing to reflect an academic and social habit.
We pause and think back on our experiences, relationships, and academic learning in order to construct meaning. Reflection is the practice of giving careful thought and consideration to an experience or interaction. It’s the space that allows us to know more so we can do better. Fun Statistic: Seventy-two percent of adults claim their best ideas happen in the shower! While we have not installed showers in every classroom, we have created space, protected time, and honed our skills to support students in the practice of reflecting.
Reflection is a developmental process. Our youngest students reflect by noting their observations. They begin to analyze and make connections between experiences. Older students can evaluate or make evidence-supported judgements about their learning. They make recommendations to themselves on how to move their own learning forward. (Also called goal setting.) In the end, students learn how to apply what they know to contexts beyond the original situation. Reflection is a core practice of the ACS experience. It is what smart people do.
Reflection in Action
Student-Led Conferences: What an incredible opportunity for students to share their reflections on what is truly meanful to them, their personal growth, and the areas they seek to improve. When students move into the driver’s seat of their own learning, informing their parents and teachers of their learning goals, a powerful three way partnership is formed. That sounds pretty smart! We are so proud of the work all our students did to prepare for and deliver student-led conferences.
All School Meetings: (Every Wednesday from 8:20-9:00 a.m. All are welcome.) The best venue in town to view student learning! Eighth grade students take their turn sharing reflections on the entirety of their experience at Aspen Community School.
8th Grade Panel Presentation and Graduation: (June 7th) Attendance is open to all, required for rising 8th graders and their families. This is a beautiful gathering celebrating accomplishments, sharing gratitude, and looking towards the future.