Best Practices

Best Practices for Reflection

Reflection activities work best when they are designed well, planned in advanced, and implemented thoughtfully. Reflection is a continuous process and activities can occur at any time during the process. Effective reflection incorporates the following best practices:

1. Reflection activities should clearly link the service-learning experience to academic standards and curriculum objectives. Where appropriate, students should take part in the planning of the reflective process.

2. Reflection activities should incorporate various learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) and experiences to encourage students to think in different ways.

3. Reflection activities should challenge students to test assumptions about their values and to explore, clarify, and, where appropriate, alter their values.

4. Reflection should occur before, during, and after the service-learning experience.

5. Frequent opportunities for discussion of service should be provided so students can interact with their peers, mentors, and those they serve.

6. Teachers should provide continual feedback to students so they can improve their critical thinking and analytical skills during the reflective process.

For more information on Best Practices and other resources go to the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse web-site.