Our new series of blog posts focused on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) unpacks each of Gardner’s elements of emotional intelligence and looks at ways teachers can use Makers Empire to develop these qualities in students. Building on our previous post that focused on helping students develop self-awareness, this post focuses on self-reflection – what it is, how Makers Empire can help students develop it, and questions you can ask students to encourage self-reflection.
Self-Reflection | Emotional Intelligence
What is it?
Self-reflection refers to the act of thinking about our behaviours, emotions, and reactions and then evaluating them to understand our own attitudes and motivations. Beyond self-awareness, self-reflection involves intentionally taking time to examine our thoughts and getting to know ourselves more deeply. Through self-reflection, we can gain insights and understandings about why we experience certain emotions and motivations. People with highly developed self-reflection capabilities understand the ways they respond to certain triggers, which enables them to enter situations in a more prepared manner, adjust their behaviours, and to feel more in control. Self-reflection helps us to be mindful of our motivations when making decisions and interacting with others. Self-reflection also plays a key role in the attitudes and dispositions we bring to learning new things and developing new skills.
“Reflection is a deeper form of learning that allows us to retain every aspect of any experience, be it personal or professional — why something took place, what the impact was, whether it should happen again — as opposed to just remembering that it happened. It’s about tapping into every aspect of the experience, clarifying our thinking, and honing in on what really matters to us,” said Geil Browning, Founder and Chair of Emergenetics.
5 ways Makers Empire can help students develop self-reflection capabilities
Makers Empire’s focus on design thinking provides a helpful framework for students to develop solutions to authentic problems and real-world scenarios. Self-reflection is inherent in design thinking processes with its focus on iterative design, evaluation, and testing. The non-linear nature of design thinking requires students to create prototypes of possible solutions and to develop tests to evaluate how successfully their ideas might solve problems or address challenges. This focus on evaluation and iteration is driven by reflection and curiosity.
Self-reflection involves being aware of how others perceive us. Makers Empire’s collaborative interface invites students to share their designs and to respond to the design’s others create. Our global design gallery is a collaborative space where students showcase not only their creations but also their personas as designers. They create avatars to represent themselves and build a portfolio of designs, making decisions on what they want to share and how they want to present their work. This is an excellent exercise in self-reflection and encourages students to think about how they are perceived and how they wish to be perceived by others.
5 questions teachers can ask to promote self-reflection
- What problem are you trying to solve? How have you made sure that you have considered a range of possible solutions?
- What actions do you take to become a better designer in Makers Empire? What can you do to improve?
- What was challenging about making your design? What frustrated you? What did you do to work your way out of the Learning Pit?
- How have your skills improved over time? What do you notice about your first designs compared to your more recent ones? How does your Makers Empire learning connect to other things you are interested in?
- What kind of feedback do you get from other people about your designs? How might other people describe you as a designer?