Pdp working Paper 4 Reflection in Higher Education Learning

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PDP Working Paper 4

Reflection in Higher Education Learning

Jenny Moon, University of Exeter


Personal development planning (PDP) can involve different forms of reflection and reflective learning. Much has been written and said about reflection in recent times, but for many, it remains a somewhat mysterious activity – or is it a capacity? Whatever it is, if the titles of modules and courses, and references in QAA benchmark statements are anything to go by, we are using it extensively in a range of contexts in learning and professional development in higher education. This paper is intended to provide a background to reflection and reflective learning for the development of PDP within the higher education sector. It will provide a brief guide to current thinking about reflection, a discussion of its application in higher education learning and some practical support for the use of reflective activities.

Developing a conception of reflection

Like many topics in higher education, the notion of reflection has encouraged both a theoretical and a practical literature. The focus of this paper is primarily on the practical uses of reflection but a brief discussion of theoretical approaches will locate the thinking in an academic context and it will facilitate further study of the topic where this is required. The aim in this section is to produce a conception of reflection that takes account of the theory but that can be applied practically and usefully in formal and informal learning contexts. But we start from where we are…..

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