Theory into practice: situated reflection in product-oriented courses

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The objective of the paper is to explore how theory is integrated into practice in students’ academic work within upper secondary education. In order to study this, the paper develops an analytical framework for situated reflection that conceptualises reflective processes in direct relation to practical activities of students. The framework develops a distinction between empirical and theoretical reflection, which is used as a basis for an empirical study of nine product-oriented courses in four Danish upper secondary schools. The main finding of the study is the identification of four different phases of student activities. Each of these phases involves different kinds of situated reflection that result in different learning outcomes within the same subject area. From the utilisation of the analytical framework, the study further identifies a number of sub-processes within student work in product-oriented courses. Based on the study, the paper argues that these identified sub-processes are educationally valuable because they contain processes of reflection. The developed analytical framework can help increase awareness of these processes of situated learning and reflection that are often invisible to both teachers and students, and thus not recognised as valuable.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation Inquiry
Pages (from-to)267-283
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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