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We all reflect, but why? : a systematic review of the purposes of reflection in higher education in social and behavioral sciences

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

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.
Journal: Educational Research Review
ISSN: 1747-938X
Volume: 24
Pages: 1 - 9
Publication year:2018