The Purpose of Writing Reflection Statements

(adapted from Welcome to –

What is reflection?

Integral to your personal development in ERM 210 is the process of reflection. Reflection is not an ‘add-on’ piece to your learning process. It is integral to the complex process of becoming an engaged citizen. Successful reflection enables self-awareness, personal and professional growth and improved volunteering/community service practices.

Reflection may be accomplished individually and collectively. You will have opportunities to reflect on your experiences with others, such as, peers, campus faculty and staff, and guest speakers. Each will bring a unique perspective to your understanding of yourself as a developing public scholar.

Ultimately, self-reflection and dialogue with others will result in insights as to:

  1. how and why you think the way you do about community service and civic engagement
  2. what actions you took, what choices you made
  3. the meaning of your actions and choices
  4. what learning and growth has occurred
  5. how you can change your practices and behaviors in the future
  6. what you believe is the social value of civic engagement
  7. what you believe is your role as an everyday citizen and/or professional in the field of public scholarship

What is the purpose of reflection?

You will be reflecting on the content presented by our guest seminar speakers and how it relates to what we are learning in ERM 210 and your previous beliefs/knowledge.  While reflection suggests recollection and the remembering of events and activities past, it is remembering with a grounding of beliefs. Dewey (1933) stated “reflection thus implies that something is believed in (or disbelieved in), not on its own direct account, but through something else which stands as witness, evidence, proof, voucher, warrant; that is, as ground of belief.”  For Dewey, reflective thinking consisted of two parts: a state of doubt and a search to resolve that doubt. Thus, constructing a reflective statement is an act of revealing one’s beliefs. The process requires critical reflection that can inform future events.

You will keep a collection of your reflections – in our case, in one Google Doc.  Your collection can be reviewed again and again to track your personal growth and have new reflections provide new insights.