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Reflection Model

What is a reflection model?
A reflection model is a model used for personal and situational analysis and improvement or development. Reflection is a concept that emphasizes awareness when it comes to our own knowledge, experiences and beliefs from the past.

What is a reflection model?
A reflection model is a model used for personal and situational analysis and improvement or development. Reflection is a concept that emphasizes awareness when it comes to our own knowledge, experiences and beliefs from the past.

Models for reflection are very useful for understanding one’s own thinking and acting experiences. An example of this is action learning.

Reflection allows individuals to relate their newly acquired knowledge to their previous understanding. There are many different reflection models. Some of these are briefly explained below.

Reflection Model STARR

The STARR reflection model is a widely used reflection method. The acronym STARR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result, Reflection. It is a very simple model that is widely used by interviewers.

Gibbs’ Reflection Model

Gibbs’ Reflection Model was developed in 1988 by Graham Gibbs to structure learning from experience. It provides a practical framework for analyzing experiences and is particularly applicable to repeated experiences. The six phases are:

  1. Description of the experience
  2. Feelings and thoughts about the experience
  3. Evaluation of the experience
  4. Analysis of the situation
  5. Conclusion on what has been learned
  6. A plan of action for the future

Kolb’s Reflection Model

Humans have been engaged in reflection for centuries. Several hundred years before Christ, Confucius wrote about the power of reflective practice for improving the human condition.

In modern times, the name David Kolb often comes up when it comes to reflection and the reflective practice. David Kolb’s learning theory states that reflective practice is necessary to learn and facilitate development.

Like Jean Piaget, David Kolb viewed learning as an experiential and largely autonomous process. In his words, learning is the process of developing knowledge through the transformation of experience.

What-model by John Driscoll

Another simple reflection model was developed by John Driscoll. This model is called the What-model and stems from the 1990s. Driscoll based his model on the studies of Terry Borton, who argued that three questions are important in reflection:

  1. What?
  2. So what?
  3. Now what?

By asking yourself these three questions, you can begin to analyze and learn from past experiences and actions.

First, you describe the context of the situation. This way you get a clear picture of what you are dealing with. With the question ‘so what?’ you think about what you have learned from the situation. Finally, you need to think about the actions you will take in response to the analyzed situation.

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Benefits of reflecting

Reflection helps to let people generate valuable insights from their experiences. This allows them to improve their behavior and actions. The benefits of reflection are therefore priceless.

  • Models help structure reflection and development
  • Reflection models help people who don’t know where to start reflecting
  • Using reflection models, the experience is approached from multiple perspectives in order to extract as much value as possible
  • The use of a reflection technique ensures a clear end point of the reflection process
  • Reflection improves people’s metacognition
  • It optimizes performance management
  • Reflection increases self-motivation
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