Reflection is an introspective study not only about ourselves but also about the decisions and actions we pursue. Reflection is crucially important in various areas of study or in the workplace to help us to reflect on our thoughts and actions which would in turn facilitate improvement through assessment (Jasper, 2003, pp. 36). Reflection can be defined in many different ways – For example, Boud et al. (1985) aptly defines reflection as ‘an important human activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over and evaluate’ (pp. 77). In the context of learning, reflection is viewed as a term in which people can assess their experiences.
In the opinion of Margaret (2005), it is suggested that reflection allows the interconnections between observations, previous experiences, and judgment to come to the fore in clinical decision-making (pp. 1546). Reflection serves to bring insightful meaning to our experiences and promotes a deeper understanding and better approach to learning because it encourages trainees to reframe problems, question their own assumptions, and look at situations from multiple perspectives as they analyse their lived experiences.
Reflection fosters lifelong learning because it encourages trainees to recognize gaps in their own knowledge and attend to their own learning needs by searching for possible solutions. From a learning point of view we understand that reflection enables learners to reflect and develop critical thinking skills which are not only important but essential to clinical decision-making and practice. It also encourages learners to take control of their own learning needs, facilitating their professional development, problem solving, and lifelong learning.