La definition de reflection dans le

dictionaire Français:

réflexion, nom féminin
Sens 1 Changement de direction d‘une onde quelconque, provoqué par la présence dun obstacle [Physique]. Anglais reflection
Sens 2 Fait de réfléchir profondément à quelque chose. Anglais reflection, thought
Sens 3 Pensée que lon exprime. Anglais reflection, thought
Sens 4 Critique. Anglais remark


So what is reflection according

to the PYP model?

Inquiry involves an active engagement with the environment in an effort to make sense of the world, and consequent reflection on the connections between the experiences encountered and the information gathered.

Inquiry must involve the synthesis, analysis and manipulation of knowledge, whether through play or more formally structured learning. (Primary Years Programme: A Basis for Practice).

Reflection is integral to the inquiry model of teaching.  It allows learners to articulate not only what they have learnt, but the challenges faced in their learning journey.  As a result it stimulates discussion around the solution to a learning challenge.  It makes the student’s thinking visible, and by doing so educators can understand it and improve it.

Reflection is a complex, rigorous, intellectual, and emotional enterprise that takes time to do well.

 Why reflect on our


  1. Reflection is a meaning-making process that moves a learner from one experience into the next with deeper understanding of its relationships with, and connections to, other experiences and ideas. It is the thread that makes continuity of learning possible, and ensures the progress of the learner.
  2. Reflection is a systematic, rigorous, disciplined way of thinking, with its roots in scientific inquiry.
  3. Reflection is best when it involves needs to happen in community; in interaction with others.
  4. Reflection requires attitudes that value the personal and intellectual growth of oneself and others.

The Project Zero thinking routines provide a framework for reflection.  Reflection must be embedded in our teaching to provide students with the opportunity to pause.  Pressing the pause button can be a powerful way for students to not only reflect on challenges, but to also probe and connect new knowledge to old knowledge. (Trishman,Parker 2005).

Explicitly teaching students the art of reflection can change the culture of the classroom, promoting students to think.

Again, if teachers are able to see the students thinking at work, they can understand it,  probe it and improve it.  (Early childhood Edu 2008).

Such habits of mind benefit productive thinking that will permeate all areas of the learner’s life.

The Harvard Core Routines invite you to target different types of thinking by using different methods of reflection.

“Often thinking happens under the hood, within the marvelous engine of our mind” (Project Zero) and this tool will allow the thinking to become visible thinking.

Visible Thinking defined:

Visible thinking refers to any kind of observable representation that documents and supports the development of an individual or groups ongoing thoughts, questions, reasoning and reflection.  They reveal the learner’s unfolding ideas as they think through an issue or problem.

The thinking routines encourage active processing by:

  • asking questions
  • taking stock of prior knowledge
  • probing
  • connecting new and old knowledge
  • allowing learners to re-evaluate their thinking



Explicit tools to reflect on learning:

A few examples-

1.         The Visual Graphic

(tautology, but it helps you remember)

A great way to make thinking visible is by allowing students to create a simple visual graphic in small groups.

Often by collaborating, sharing and appreciating each other’s work, students have time to connect ideas and new learning to what they already know.  This will stimulate more learning and excitement. By making the thinking visible, teachers address any misconceptions, if it’s required, or probe further in order to get students to make more connections.


Some of my favourite ways to get students

to reflect:

1.Clearing the Clouds



Project zero: Core routines

invite you to target different

 types of thinking.

 2.I used to think…

I Used to Think…, But Now I think…
A     routine for reflecting on how and why our thinking has changed
Remind       students of the topic you want them to consider. It could be the ideal       itself–fairness, truth, understanding, or creativity–or it could be the       unit you are studying. Have students write a response using each of the       sentence stems:

  • I used to think…
  • But now, I think…

              Purpose: What kind of thinking does this     routine encourage?
This routine helps students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or     issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful     in consolidating new learning as students identify their new     understandings, opinions, and beliefs. By examining and explaining how and     why their thinking has changed, students are developing their reasoning     abilities and recognizing cause and effect relationships.Application: When and Where can it be used?
This routine can be used whenever students’ initial thoughts, opinions, or     beliefs are likely to have changed as a result of instruction or     experience. For instance, after reading new
information, watching a film, listening to a speaker, experiencing     something new, having a class discussion, at the end of a unit of study,     and so on.Launch: What are some tips for starting and     using this routine?
Explain to students that the purpose of this activity is to help them     reflect on their thinking
about the topic and to identify how their ideas have changed over time. For     instance:When we began this study of ________, you all     had some initial ideas about it and what it was all about. In just a few     sentences, I want to write what it is that you used to think about
_________. Take a minute to think back and then write down your response to     “ I used to
Now, I want you to think about how your ideas     about __________ have changed as a result of what we’ve been     studying/doing/discussing. Again in just a few sentences write down what     you now think about ___________. Start your sentences with, “But now, I     think…” Have students share and explain their shifts in thinking.Initially it is good to do this as a whole group     so that you can probe students’ thinking and push them to explain. Once     students become accustomed to explaining their thinking, students can share     with one another in small groups or pairs.

3.The mountain

 (a quick one!):

 Draw a mountain and summit.  Where do you feel you are on the mountain in your understanding of structured/guided inquiry process? Draw yourself. Justify your answer and share with a partner.


It has been said before: Reflection is a complex, rigorous, intellectual, and emotional enterprise that takes time to do well


Giving time to students to reflect on what has been explored/ learnt is central to the Inquiry model of teaching.  Without time to reflect a crucial key is missing to target their thinking, making the unlocking
of knowledge a hit and miss exercise instead of being an active processing of ideas.




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