Instructors' Conceptions of Reflective Learning: A Phenomenographic Study

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Reflective learning has been considered an important learning experience in higher education because of its value for personal and professional self. Despite the potential benefits, there is diverse interpretation of the meaning and process of reflective learning. Theoretical frameworks and models that purport to explain what it entails abound; however, there is a dearth of research that explores conceptions from the perspective of instructors. This study examined university instructors' conceptions of reflective learning in the context of education courses. Semi-structured interviews were employed to collect data from 32 instructors who consented to participate. The interviews were transcribed, segmented, coded and compared. Our phenomenographic analysis resulted in four qualitatively different conceptions of reflective learning: critical engagement with content, improving professional practice, identity development, and developing critical consciousness. The study has implications for faculty development and research on reflective learning.
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