ERG SES D 03, Parallel Session D 03
Contemporary societies in Europe and elsewhere are characterized by constant and rapid changes in knowledge, organization and values. Individuals need to be able to think reflectively and critically. In Sweden, these abilities are highlighted as learning outcomes for all higher education. However, there is in general little mention of how this reflective learning is to be promoted. The present study has analyzed the conditions for reflective learning in the Police Education Program at Umeå University, Sweden. Questions of study were: what conditions for reflective learning are created by the teaching methods, lesson content, and teacher performance? Which levels of reflection are stimulated by the teaching? What conditions for interaction and continuity are created by the teaching? How can theory for reflective teaching and learning be developed from out of the study?
The analysis has an eclectic approach. The starting point is John Dewey’s theory about reflection in learning, emphasizing reflective learning as the process in which an individual learns by integrating new knowledge and experiences with his/her earlier experiences and expectations of the future, thereby creating “continuity” and “interest”. It is complemented by other theories about reflective and experiential learning, e.g. by Kolb (1984), Hullfish & Smith (1961), Kitchener & King (1990), and Moon (1999, 2004). Most theories of reflection and experience in education deal with learning rather than teaching. However, they do present propositions about under which conditions different types of reflection are hindered or stimuleted. In the present study, teaching methods and teacher performances were analyzed regarding how they relate to these proposed conditions for reflection, and thus how they can be expected to affect reflective learning. The presentation at the ECER conference will focus on the analysis of the empirical findings.
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