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The reflection cycle

The aim of reflection is to develop an action cycle where reflection leads to improvement and / or insight.

The reflection cycle


Recording involves writing about what happened, when it happened and who was involved in order to understand the context.

Useful questions for recording

  • What happened?
  • Who was involved?
  • What was their involvement?
  • When did it happen?


Reflection involves thinking about and interpreting the experience. Reflecting involves thinking about the values, beliefs and assumptions you are writing about. The reflection aims to show the development of your ideas over time.

Useful questions for reflection

  • Why did this happen in this way?
  • How could it be improved? How could I improve the way I did things?
  • How could the situation be improved?
  • What effects would these improvements have?
  • What values, beliefs, assumptions would explain this behaviour / incident / occurrence etc.


Analysis in a reflective journal may involve three things:

  1. Analysis of experience or content
  2. Integration of experience with theory
  3. Demonstration of improved awareness and self development

Useful questions for analysis

  • What are the advantages / strengths / disadvantages / weaknesses?
  • How could the weaknesses / disadvantages be improved?
  • What are the similarities & differences between this and theory?
  • How could this experience / theory contribute to improving this?





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