For your final blog post of the semester, I want to introduce you to the idea of critical self-reflection. This is something we’ve been dancing around all semester, including doing versions of self-reflection around your papers, but this time I’m going to ask you to a) ask you to reflect on the bigger picture and b) think about your own progress as a scholar during our class time together.
Critical reflection, as it’s conceived in critical and feminist pedagogies, asks you to analyse, reconsider and question experiences within their broad context. It’s typically said to have three stages:
- Identifying assumptions that underlie your thoughts and actions
- Assess the validity of those assumptions as they relate to your experiences and our present context
- Transform those assumptions to become more inclusive and integrative; apply your new knowledge to more appropriately inform future actions and practices
(adapted from Kenny 2010)
Some folks also include imaginative speculation – thinking about alternative ways of approaching phenomena in order to challenge dominant ways of knowing and acting.
Critical self-reflection follows this same trajectory, but your focus should include your development as a learner. Have your assumptions shifted or changed over the course of the semester? How have you developed? What knowledge have you gained that you might (or have) apply elsewhere?
Some questions you might like to consider as you get started are below — note that an ‘experience’ can be anything here, from a conversation to a text to an encounter to whatever. Your reflections should be honest and positive — which is to say that I don’t expect them to be universally love-fests … but don’t use them to beat up on yourself! Life is too short for that and it won’t be helpful for you.
Self-reflection is hard, y’all. But it’s valuable. And in a spirit of solidarity I’m going to write one as well. As we won’t be discussing these in class, let’s make them due by Dec 5 at midnight.