At the macro level reflection for me is on the scale, and of equal significance to Douglas Adams and ‘The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and the Meaning of Life and Everything.’
I find reflection spiralling out of control into an extra-terrestrial maelstrom of thought that has nothing to do with the ‘job at hand.’
At the micro level, the job at hand is a tiny part (10%) of a TMA in a unit, of a module of an OU Course.
My mindset has to be of a myopic jeweller with some gems and a gold band.
I don’t mean to trivialise it. On the contrary. I worry how in my life reflection has never imposed itself. I see, I feel, I do. If I reflect it is to look in a mirror and accept what I see, not try to change it.
Reflection has been hijacked by educational institutions. Don’t have time to mark a student’s work, get them to mark it themselves … and then judge their ability to reflect on what they have done.
I think you can take from this that I don’t value reflection as a tool to assess a student. As a tool to gauge a person’s position, as a coach or facilitator to build on that person’s personal view of themselves – brilliant. But to give it a mark, pants.
Given that for the seventh or eighth time in the last two decades I have been advised that I am skewed towards action and visualisation I have to wonder how I can, or do, generate this amount of verbiage.
I am transcribing a dialogue between characters. I have a scene in my mind’s eyes as I type. I even see people, from the OU course, tutors, others … friends, as if attending a garden party.
For me reflection has to be, as it has been taken twenty years to engrain itself, the kind of introspection, sharing and reflection, fictionalisation and admonition, of Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Virginia Woolf and Proust. I favour, absolutely, the indulgence of a Proustian ‘Involuntary Rush’ and its relevance to the person in this state. Serendipity. Where is there space for it if we are shunted down a dead track, into a Waste Land.
I go with Kolb and Cowan, their cycles and spirals. I favour the hurricane, the tornado over the spinning top. Which is what this is, spinning a top through a set of questions: what happened? What next? So what?! And then, I suppose, not a lot, or a lot, you defend your position, you stick, you retreat or move forward. Is this reflection.
Stopped by a Police Motorcycle on the A1 South of Gateshead my mother turned to her children and said, ‘cry,’ look uspet.’ And in due course, the traffic cop, seing three miserable children and a harassed Mum let her off the speeding fine.
Was that micro reflection on her behalf? Is this a Proustian ‘involuntary rush’ on mine.
Where lies this in education? Everywhere, especially in education social networking, which I have hated and now smile at. Reflecting on the whiffs of conversation I dared pick up as my daughter typed into Facebook with the speed of criminal law court copyist. The bulk of what her generation are learning is being done this way – socialising, homework, the entire mess of life a 21st century melange which says to me the OU is not right to say I am wrong, when I may be proved right and ‘they’ haven’t a clue.
I suggested to someone today that I would like to do one MA after another, five years a time, ’til the day I day. The OU can have my money and my mind. This is a little boy in a sweet shop.
Next up History of Art … with the OU, while doing an MA in Fine Art.
Then a return to History, 1066 to the Restoration for starters. Or Modern or Contemporary History? I fancy the First World War and have trunks (literally) a libary of books and other resources and artifacts on that one.
Geography, and all that it embraces.
English Literature and creative writing.
And French, once I’ve mastered the written language.
and kite surfing, and paragliding …
In your dreams mate, in your dreams.