This paper was presented at the
National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

SVYASA, Bangalore,
December 26 - 28, 2007

 

Reflective practices in elementary education

 Srila Basu — Mirambika, Delhi

This paper documents the various forms of reflection practiced in an elementary school in New Delhi, with children, teachers, and parents as a part of Integral education. It is practiced, both, for the development of the individual as well as resolving conflicts in group dynamics. Reflective practice covers a wide range and is an important tool in today’s changing education scenario where self-awareness and self-development are slowly accepted as part of curriculum. It includes activities ranging from anecdotes, checklists, dialogues, questionnaires, observing special moments in one's life, and times of silent reflection.

Reflection is a way of seeing things in a new way: critically and constructively, examining and evaluating one’s own words, actions and thoughts. It brings about a change in behaviour, perception and attitude, leading one to the path of inner progress. It is essentially a self-directed, self-motivated process, guiding the individual to become a conscious being. 

Education today looks increasingly at the 'holistic' development' of the being. Therefore Integral education is not only concerned with the growth of the surface personality but includes the harmonious development of the inner being as well. Along with the physical, mental, emotional and social development it also focuses on the growth of the soul.

Reflective practices in Integral education invite student, parent and teacher to look within. It indicates the willingness of the individual learner to engage in constant self-appraisal, open-mindedness and responsibility of self. Reflective practices help the learner to look deep within with a spirit of inquiry, seeking inner guidance and thus a transference takes place from the surface to more essential layers of being. It is basically a process of self-discovery.

Thus reflective practices empower and prepare the learner to independently form a view, understand, perceive and deal with existence far beyond the immediate surrounding.

Email the author, Ms. Srila Basu, at srilabasu@rediffmail.com