Session 7: Reflection in art/ Group critique

Session Aims:

  • To explore the concept of reflection and recognise this as a research method
  • To understand the role of a sketchbook, blog, journal to enable learning development in art education, explore in relation to the new national curriculum requirements
  • Have an opportunity to reflect on your own practice by presenting your work to date to the rest of the group.
  • Explore the concept of patchwork text as a reflective tool to review art work created
  • To know how to achieve in the AS2 art specialism assignment by unpicking the criteria

REFLECTION: What is it?

Task: As a group use post it notes to unpick individually at first what reflection means. What is it for? What does it enables us to do in art and education?

As a broader group, sort these into common themes to negotiate a shared meaning or vision of what reflection is.

” Reflection is a form of mental processing- like a form of thinking- that we use to fulfil a purpose or to achieve some anticipated outcome. It is applied to relatively complicated or unstructured ideas for which there is not an obvious solution and is largely based on the further processing of knowledge and understanding and possibly emotions that we already possess.” (Moon, 2001, p.2)

Moon, J. (2005) Learning through Reflection, Guide for Busy Academics. No.4. The Higher Education Academy 29/11/05

“Reflectiveness: ‘to think profitably about learning and (ourselves) as learners” (Claxton, 1999, p.17)

Claxton, G. (1999) Wise up, London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

John Dewey: Reflective thinking is a cognitive skill- it has 4 defining features

-active process, the learner constructs their own understanding of of new encounters

-it involves conscious and systematic thinking

-it happens in a community with others

-reflective thinkers value learning for themselves

Dewey cited in: Pollard, A. (2002) Readings for Reflective Teaching, London: Continuum.

Review the definitions of reflection, how do we learn reflectively? How have we been learning reflectively in art this year? How can we improve and develop how we do this?

How do children learn reflectively through primary art in our schools?


What is a role of a sketchbook in art? In what forms can “sketchbooks” exist?

Look at sketchbooks in relation to the new National Curriculum.

Explore the creative ways in which ‘sketchbooks,’ ‘journalling’ or reflection can occur. Are we confined to the ‘traditional’ sketchbook in primary art?

Explore: Sketchbook Circles

Ashmolean Museum Digital Sketchbooks 

Exploring sketchbooks at AccessArt


Robinson, G. Mountain, A. and Hulston,D. (2011) Think : inside the sketchbook. National Society for Education in Art and Design

Kerry Smiths series of books to aid idea generation and the ability to experiment.

IMG_1680 Above is a page from my own sketchbook. What was I exploring? I invite you to reflect and comment, manipulate adapt add pages from your own sketchbooks and reflect on them. How powerful are “sketchbooks” when learning in art? Why?

Group Critique

Share your work with the group, use the process of ‘patchwork text’ to review the work shared. How did the ‘patchwork’ text enable us to develop our skills of reflection and criticality?

Unpick the AS2 Assignment

Is blogging a form of reflection? How is the blog developing our artistic and educational ability and or level of criticality to achieve at Level 5?

Please make any thoughtful comments about the session, has it refocused or altered your thinking in anyway? What is your learning for?

 Lots of interesting debates regarding reflection in art were discussed in the session. Have a look at some of the images of the students in action, here they are trying to resolve what reflection means as a concept.

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