Thematic Review: We All Reflect, But Why? A Systematic Review of the Purposes of Reflection in Higher Education in Social and Behavioral Sciences
Educational Research Review
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2018
Pages: 1 - 9
Source ID: shanti-sources-81636
Collection: Contemplative Pedagogy in Higher Education
Abstract: Reflection has gained increasing attention in theory, practice and education in social and behavioral sciences. In this study, we systematically review empirical research on the concept of reflection within educational contexts in social work, psychology and teacher education to discern trends regarding the educational purposes attributed to reflection. Based on an inductive analysis of 42 relevant studies, we found that reflection is attributed diverse -and sometimes opposing-educational purposes. Furthermore, we distinguished three dimensions to which these purposes are primarily related: a personal, interpersonal and socio-structural dimension. Our findings illustrate both a conceptual and an empirical complexity and openness of reflection as an educational notion. Based on these results, we argue for the explicit articulation of the value and theoretical bases underpinning one's conceptualization of reflection when it is operationalized both in research and in practice.; * We review the empirical literature on critical reflection in the social sciences. * Our focus is on its educational purpose in social work, psychology and teaching. * Critical reflection is a flexible and open concept both conceptually and empirically. * Purposes are situated on personal, interpersonal or social levels. * Operationalizations of reflection should be constantly critically analyzed.