A) Written and verbal reflections
Being reflective is one attribute of the IB learner profile: “We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.”
Elements of reflection
Reflection is a dynamic means for self-knowing, learning and decision-making. Four elements assist in the CAS reflective process. The first two elements form the foundation of reflection.
- Describing what happened: Students retell their memorable moments, identifying what was important or influential, what went well or was difficult, obstacles and successes.
- Expressing feelings: Students articulate emotional responses to their experiences.
The following two elements add greater depth and expand perspectives.
- Generating ideas: Rethinking or re-examining choices and actions increases awareness about self and situations.
- Asking questions: Questions about people, processes or issues prompt further thinking and ongoing inquiry.
Students can be encouraged to move forward through deeper questions. For example:
What did I do? could become:
- Why did I make this particular choice?
- How did this experience reflect my personal ideas and values?
- In what ways am I being challenged to think differently about myself and others?
How did I feel? could become:
- How did I feel about the challenges?
- What happened that prompted particular feelings?
- What choices might have resulted in different feelings and outcomes?
B) Other forms of reflection
Written and verbal reflections are the most common ways students reflect. However, meaningful reflection can be expressed in various ways:
1. Visual reflection
Visual reflection can be accomplished through:
- sculpting/ ceramics/ mosaic
- textile and needlework
2. Kinesthetic reflection
Kinesthetic reflection can be accomplished through:
3. Auditory reflection
Auditory reflection can be accomplished through:
C) Time for reflection
1) Students choose significant moments as the basis for reflection, for example when:
–– a moment of discovery is happening
–– a skill is mastered
–– a challenge is confronted
–– emotions are provoked
–– achievement deserves celebration.
2) Students reflect during or at the end of a CAS experience or series of CAS experiences, to identify important moments, discuss a possible learning outcome, recognize personal growth and achievements, and plan for their next CAS experience.
3) Students engage in group reflection with their peers to discover shared insights.
4) Students reflect at the beginning, during, and at the end of a series of CAS experiences. This enables students to deliberate on such elements as planning, opportunities, expectations, challenges, progress, and personal growth.
D) Understanding reflection
One way to explain reflection is to clarify what reflection is and what it is not. A helpful way to initiate discussion of the reflective process is for students to collaborate with their peers and draw up their own comparison table. This chart shows examples of what students may list and discuss.
- done in many different ways
- sometimes difficult
- sometimes easy
- sometimes creative
- building self-awareness
- necessary for learning
- what I did, combined with how I felt
- helpful for planning
- done alone or with others
- about thoughts, feelings, and ideas
- adding perspective.
Reflection is not:
- right or wrong
- good or bad
- marked or graded
- copying what someone else said
- to be judged by others
- only a summary of what happened
- done to please someone else
- a waste of time
- only written
- only discussion
- only led by teachers.
E) Reflection and the CAS learning outcomes
Reflection is the primary evidence used by CAS coordinators to determine whether students have
successfully attained the seven CAS learning outcomes. However, it is important to note that not all reflections should or must discuss learning outcomes.
When you write reflections or give evidence, do not forget to choose the appropriate Learning Outcomes addressed!
Samples of Student reflections:
1. Teachers report unique ways students have presented their reflections
2. A series of written reflections by one student
3. Expressions of observations, thoughts and feelings by three different student
sample_reflection3_eKuopion Lyseon lukio - CAS Handbook2023-202423.4.2019