The Importance of Reflection

SEPTEMBER 27, 2017

The Importance of ReflectionAs a student, you may be wondering what the significance of reflection in your studies is and why there’s such a focus on it. Reflection in itself is learning; and not just about helping you remember what you learned. According to research conducted by a Harvard Business School, it confirmed that reflection is essential to learning.

A study was done with two different groups of people. Both groups were given an assessment. One group was required to put on paper strategies that would be helpful for a future test, while the other group was not. The performance of the group that reflected was significantly better.

There are two main purposes to reflection. By reflecting on your content again, you are helping it progress from short-term to long-term memory. Connecting learning to how you will use it in your field helps it becomes more relevant.

Furthermore, you become a stronger learner by reflecting on strategies. This process is also referred to as metacognition, which implies thinking about thinking.  This sounds truly academic, but it means asking questions like “Did I study effectively? Did I study enough? What can I do differently next time?”

While courses are organized to stimulate reflection, only students who put reflection into action will get the most benefit from it. At the end of each session, a lot of students say they would log into the course on Sunday to look at the assignments for the week or start their assignments sooner. Evidently, this knowledge is only valuable for students who in fact implement these strategies.

Even away from courses, the habit of reflection is integral to being a successful professional.  In the place of work, there will be approaches to procedures. Taking the time occasionally to evaluate whether or not a process could be enhanced is valuable.

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The Importance of ReflectionAlso, after a challenge arises, reflecting subsequently can help avert the same issue from happening. This would be asking questions like “Should a manager have been alerted sooner? Is email the most effective way to handle this issue?” An article titled “Understanding Yourself and Increasing Your Professional Value through Self-Reflection” provides some further insight on what it feels like to reflect in the office and the reason the skill is valuable.

By taking complete advantage of the chance to reflect and make changes based on those reflections, it will enable you to present that critical thinking and analyzing skills to future employers in an interview. Reflection is that additional expertise you require to distinguish you from other candidates!