Reflection: Start Stop Continue

Reflection: The Heart of Learning

Reflection is perhaps the most important thing in becoming self-directed, lifelong learners. It is the heart of 21st Century Skills, necessary for adaptability and innovation. It is paramount in shifting from reforming schools to transforming them.

Reflection Excuses

Without reflection, learners might learn content, but they are not growing as learners. Yet, we do not give the space and time for students to reflect. I have been guilty of it myself, sacrificing reflection time for more content, because, well, I think it is so important for them to know it.  And, I am wrong for doing so. So, why don’t we do it?

Some reasons we tell ourselves that causes us to skip reflection:

  • It takes too long
  • Students are not engaged or do not care
  • Don’t know how
  • Too much content to cover
  • We might not really believe reflection matters

Reflection Made Easy

Well, there is a way to make it fun, fast, and deep. In Agile Classroomswe recommend having a Learning Rhythm, reflecting at the end, perhaps every week or two. Some classrooms have effectively performed reflection  every class period.
Here is one of my newest ones called Start/Stop/Continue.  It only takes a few minutes to do. It can be done individually or as a group.
It asks 3 simple questions.
  1. What do I/we Start doing?
  2. What so I/we Stop doing?
  3. What do I/we Continue doing? 
    I find sometimes it is better to let them choose what area to reflect on. Other times, it is good to prompt them. You can prompt learners to think about the learning, themselves as learners, their learning group, and/or their learning environment (ahem,.. that last part might mean feedback on you as the teacher).
    Reflection is not effective without a clear commitment to change. Learners should commit to at least one specific action they will do in the next week or two to continuously improve. 
    Agile Classrooms Reflection: Start,Stop, Continue (Download Here)

    Reflection: Examples

    Here are some examples from an amazing student workshop on collaboration we had at Hope High School recently. Students completed these, in groups, in 5 minutes, and implemented their ideas for change right away. 

    Reflecting on Reflections

    • What might be possible if you created opportunities for reflection more often?
    • What kind of school would we have if had a culture of reflection?
    • What do you have to stop, start, or continue to make it possible?

    Your Call to Action

    You don’t think I would let you go without some commitment to action after this reflection, did you? My challenge to you, if you choose to accept it, is to Download this Stop Start Continue Reflection here.  Try it with yourself, students, and staff.
    Please send me pics if you use them and share your story with us.

    As always, check out for more resources and info!
    John Miller
    Twitter @agileschools

    1 Comment

    1. Willy Wijnands on 12/29/2015 at 7:18 am

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your blog!
      This is true and I'm fully agree with "The heart of learning" with the "start – stop – continue" cycle!

      That is about het big "WHY" of how & what.
      It make children, students, human being (and animals) empowererd!!!!!
      They become aware about their inner personality.
      This is great! It make them conscious about the importance and the why of continious learning.

      Thanks John,

      Willy Wijnands,
      Founder of eduScrum

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