A recent article by Angela Stockman celebrates the incredible value of reflective questions. For teachers, reflective questions at the end of class can bring more effective closure to the learning than a teacher-shared summary ever could.
Think of the benefits of reflection –
- It challenges us to think deeply about what we have learned.
- It deepens our ownership of the learning. It makes our learning matter more.
- It encourages risk-taking and helps us to FAIL FORWARD.
- It helps us to know ourselves better and to align our actions to our vision.
- It helps us to identify what we want and what we need to do to help ourselves.
- It helps us realize our strengths and how they might be used in service to others.
Stockman points out that “Deadlines drive instruction for too much than they should, forcing learners and teachers to value perfection, products, and grades more than the development of softer and perhaps, more significant skills.” Those significant skills develop from the inside-out, rather than from external expectations and pressures. Asking the right questions at the right time tap into that “inside journey,” the journey that choice theory encourages.
With this inside journey in mind, here are ten examples of reflective questions that can be asked at the end of instruction –
- Reflect on your thinking, learning, and work today. What are you most proud of?
- Where did you encounter struggle today, and what did you do to deal with it?
- What about your thinking, learning, or work today brought you the most satisfaction? Why?
- What is frustrating you? How do you plan to deal with that frustration?
- What lessons were learned from failure today?
- Where did you meet success, and who might benefit most from what you’ve learned along the way? How can you share this with them?
- What are your next steps? Which of those steps will come easiest? Where will the terrain become rocky? What can you do now to navigate the road ahead with the most success?
- What made you curious today?
- How did I help you today? How did I hinder you? What can I do tomorrow to help you more?
- How did you help the class today? How did you hinder the class today? What can you do tomorrow to help others learn more?
So much about choice theory relies on recognizing the value of and insightfully asking the right questions. Students learn as they begin to organize and make sense of the content at a very personal level. All learning is about creating meaning and understanding. Knowledge isn’t inserted in us from without. It must be created from within. Reflective questions are a wonderful tool that supports that essential process.
* Angela Stockman’s article, Ten Reflective Questions to Ask at the End of Class, can be found on Brilliant of Insane: Education on the Edge website at http://www.brilliant-insane.com.
Digital versions of Champion of Choice for iPad and Kindle can easily be accessed by clicking HERE.