Self-reflection presents some of the most powerful instructional opportunities in our classrooms and workplaces. Its potency is in how it exercises multiple skills.
We're talking about the skills that make our students successful, such as critical thinking, personal responsibility, useful failure, adaptability, and more. Self-reflection questions are shared in the "Debrief" stage of Solution Fluency. It's often overlooked, which is why we made it a crucial stage in the process.
When we debrief a project we reflect on everything including the process, the choices and discoveries we made, and what didn't go quite as expected. It's when we piece them all together into a learning experience—even one or more "Aha!" moments—that reflective learning becomes real.
As with any stage of using the Essential Fluencies, it comes down to asking the right self-reflection questions. After all, we want to inspire deep thinking in our kids about their learning journeys. For example, how has what we've learned made us better? How can we apply our new knowledge to other problems? What is its significance in the real world?
25 Self-Reflection Questions for Learning
- Now that it's over, what are my first thoughts about this overall project? Are they mostly positive or negative?
- If positive, what comes to mind specifically? Negative?
- What were some of the most interesting discoveries I made while working on this project? About the problem? About myself? About others?
- What were some of my most challenging moments and what made them so?
- What were some of my most powerful learning moments and what made them so?
- What is the most important thing I learned personally?
- How did I incorporate the 6Ds of Solution Fluency throughout this experience?
- What other Essential Fluencies did I use in my process, and how did I use them?
- How often did I need to revisit other stages of the 6Ds during my process?
- When did I realize that I had come up with my final best solution?
- How do I feel my solution relates to real-world situations and problems?
- What most got in the way of my progress, if anything?
- How well did I and my team communicate overall?
- When did my collaborative communications fall short of the group's expectations, if ever?
- What were some things my teammates did that helped me to learn or overcome obstacles?
- How did I help others during this process? How do I feel I may have hindered others?
- Were my milestones and goals mostly met, and how much did I deviate from them if any?
- What did I learn were my greatest strengths? My biggest areas for improvement?
- What would I do differently if I were to approach the same problem again?
- What moments was I most proud of my efforts?
- Could I teach this problem-solving process to someone else easily? Why or why not?
- What could I do differently from a personal standpoint the next time I work with the same group or a different one?
- What's the one thing about myself above all others I would like to work to improve?
- How can I better support and encourage my teammates on future projects?
- How will I use what I've learned in the future?
Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Nov 6, 2017, updated September 19, 2021