Reflective Learning: Key to Learning from Experience
Reflective learning is the process of internally examining and exploring an issue of concern, triggered by an experience, which creates and clarifies meaning in terms of self, and which results in a changed conceptual perspective. We suggest that this process is central to understanding the experiential learning process. In this article, we describe the process of reflective learning as identified through analysis of three distinct sets of data, including sequential interviews, single interviews, and written questionnaires, using three separate samples. The sequential interviews revealed a pattern of becoming aware of one's own reflective learning patterns and deciding to use them consciously. Then, the six stages in the reflective learning process are abstracted and described. Implications of the process for personal change and growth, for facilitating learning from experience and changing perspectives, and for further research are also discussed.