What is reflective writing?
What do we mean by 'reflection'?
In its simplest form, reflection has been described as a form of mental processing, which involves considering things in more detail (Moon 2001), or 'turning something over in the mind and giving it serious thought' (Dewey 1993).
Critical reflection is described as:-
'a deliberate process when the candidate takes time, within the course of their work, to focus on their performance and think carefully about ....particular actions, what happened and what they are learning from the experience, in order to inform what they might do in the future'. (QCA, 2001, 8)
So you can use reflective writing as an opportunity to express what you know and how it relates to your experience. Reflective writing helps you to think about the process of learning and to make it more personally useful to yourself, as Dewey says 'turn it over in your mind' and create links between ideas and experiences.
An increasing number of students across all disciplines are assessed on the quality of their reflective writing. Students on vocational courses such as teaching, medicine or health, have used learning logs based on reflective writing for many years and this style of academic writing has spread across all disciplines including science and engineering, business studies and the arts. It is one of the most common methods used to assess work based learning.