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Reflective learning and self awareness

Introduction

In this report I will be talking about the relevant theories associated with reflective learning and self awareness. Also I will explain it clearly on how I used these theories to identify my strengths and weakness, as well as my future goals.

Theories

Reflective learning is a type of thinking using deep thoughts to gain a better understanding. It includes, making sense of experience, standing back, repetition, deeper honesty and weighting things up.

There are many theories associated with reflective learning and self awareness. However on this report I will be focusing on few of them, Kolb learning style, Honey & Mumford and Hawaii.

Kolb learning style consists of four groups.

§ Accommodating - The Accommodating learning style is 'hands-on', and relies on intuition rather than logic.

§ Diverging - These people are able to look at things from different perspectives.

§ Assimilating - The Assimilating learning preference is for a concise, logical approach. Ideas and concepts are more important than people

§ Converging - People with a Converging learning style can solve problems and will use their learning to find solutions to practical issues.

Honey and Mumford's learning style developed from the work of Kolb:

§ Activists - 'here and now', gregarious, seek challenge and immediate experience, open-minded, bored with implementation.

§ Reflectors - 'stand back', gather data, ponder and analyse, delay reaching conclusions, listen before speaking, thoughtful.

§ Theorists - think things through in logical steps, assimilate disparate facts into coherent theories, rationally objective, reject subjectivity and flippancy.

§ Pragmatists - seek and try out new ideas, practical, down-to-earth, enjoy problem solving and decision-making quickly, bored with long discussions.

These are a clear similarity between the two theories, the Honey and Mumford styles/stages and the corresponding Kolb learning styles:

§ Activist = Accommodating

§ Reflector = Diverging

§ Theorist = Assimilating

§ Pragmatist = Converging

My learning Style

At both high school and college I have developed a different ways of learning. Therefore I took the Honey and Mumford questionnaire to help my aware of my learning preferences to be able to select learning experiences that suit my style. I got the below score following the 80 learning style questionnaires:

§ Activist = 5 points

§ Reflector =12 points

§ Theorist = 11 points

§ Pragmatist =9 points

After the Honey and Mumford test, I found out that I have a preference for the reflector style and it made it easier for me to choose activities to suit my learning style. Therefore according to Honey and Mumford as a reflector I will learn best from activities where:

§ I am allowed to watch or think over activities

§ I am able to stand back from events, listen and observe

§ I am allowed to think before acting, by preparing and reading in advance

§ I have the opportunity to review what has happened and what I have learned

§ I can reach a decision in my own time without pressure

I also took Hawaii questionnaire to identify whether I am a visual, auditory or tactile learner. After completing the 24 questionnaire I found out that I am auditory learner, therefore I will learn best by listening, taping lectures, taking notes and as well as reviewing notes.

Another questionnaire which helped me indentify my strength and weaknesses was Approach to Learning by Marton and Saljo. It consists four ways of learning style such as deep approach, surface approach and strategic approach. After taking this test, I found out that I have a strategic approach to learning which means a competitive approach and desire to complete my work all the time. It indicates my strengths of having the confidence, organisational skills and managing my time carefully to succeed, however as well as strengths this approach has weaknesses too. My weakness with strategic approach includes lack of understanding and direction in the subject that I am studying but if I take full advantage of my strengths and improve my weaknesses I could do well in studies.

These different theories and PDP files has raise my awareness about myself by clearly identifying my strengths and weaknesses. It showed me what kind of learner I am and which learning style suits me. Therefore I now know myself better and I have set myself goals to improve my weakness and upgrade my strengths to the highest possible level.

Kolb's learning style model in (1984) available at www.businessballs.com/kolblearningstyles.htm