• Kathryn Mary Davis

Reflections on Learning

Updated: Oct 22, 2018

My current educational goal is a formal program in instructional technology and development. It is here that I am gaining an understanding of the how and why of cognition to increase the likelihood that learners understand and absorb the content that I create. I am also acquiring the skills to develop instruction more systematically and efficiently. Lastly, I am becoming empowered to talk about my work with authority so I may lead others in the direction that will produce the best results.

People have very different views about how knowledge is acquired. The epistemological position that drives my learning and work is primarily constructivist. Said another way, my idea about how we know what we know is that it comes from learning through experiential activities.

Research, writing, and projects are helping solidify concepts introduced in my program. It is one thing to learn about a topic; however, practice and application lead to retention. Over a hundred years ago, John Dewey (1916) said that adults do not learn by what they are doing but by reflecting on what they have done. In fact, learning relies on several key processes: selection, rehearsal, reflection, and retrieval. First, the learner must select what will be processed (for example, developing an instructional product of their choice). Next, the learner must rehearse the concept (planning, design, development). It is in the reflection on the process (assessment, reflective writing, peer review) that the new knowledge is stored in the long-term memory to be retrieved for future use.


Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. New York: Macmillan.

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