We all have important things to do every day; study, exercise, eat healthy, stay focused in class, get enough sleep; and the list goes on. But the one thing I encourage you to do every day is “reflect” on what you do and on what you are learning.
Reflection is the act of taking a few minutes to review what you’ve learned from an experience or in a recent class and ask yourself questions. It’s a practice I took up for myself many years ago as I started to read about human brain studies and the learning process. From some of the fascinating stories I read about people who also practice the art of reflection, I learned that students learn and transfer that learning better from subject to subject when they engage in higher-order thinking instead of submissively receiving knowledge presented by others. A wonderful new book in our library called Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel confirms this.
What kinds of questions are reflection questions that you should be asking yourself?
- What could I have done better?
- What went well?
- What strategies can I use next time to come up with better results?
Reflection practice leads to stronger learning because you have to retrieve and recall the information, connect it with knowledge you already possess, and rephrase it in your own words or mentally rehearse what you might do differently next time.
Those of you just joining us for the Fall semester should connect with our Academic Success Program Director and Counselors as soon as you can. They will encourage you to engage in reflection practices and will show you how those strategies and many others will make you a better student at the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law.
So, don’t forget the most important thing.