Picture of neon light reading 'Open'

Discover open research at Strathprints as part of International Open Access Week!

23-29 October 2017 is International Open Access Week. The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of Open Access research outputs, all produced by University of Strathclyde researchers.

Explore recent world leading Open Access research content this Open Access Week from across Strathclyde's many research active faculties: Engineering, Science, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences and Strathclyde Business School.

Explore all Strathclyde Open Access research outputs...

How reflective is the academic essay?

Maclellan, Effie (2004) How reflective is the academic essay? Studies in Higher Education, 29 (1). pp. 75-89. ISSN 0307-5079

[img]
Preview
Text (strathprints005514)
strathprints005514.pdf - Accepted Author Manuscript

Download (180kB) | Preview

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the extent of reflection in academic essays. Forty essays, all previously deemed to be of merit quality, were analysed in terms of three elements of reflection - how the educational issue is conceptualized; what the issue means for practice; how practice might be changed to resolve the problematic. Each element was then assigned one of four levels of reflection - technical, descriptive, dialogical and critical. The main finding was that most of the elements were either at a descriptive level of reflection (which the literature argues is not difficult to achieve) or at a dialogical level (which recognizes that knowledge is not certain but does not tease out the relative merits of differing views). These different levels of reflection are seen as adevelopmental stages (from naïve to sophisticated) in gaining control over the process of co-ordinating extant understanding and new evidence