Reflection Through Symbolism

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My time at Studio 5 occurred during their preparation for their PYPX exhibition. Having just completed learning journeys at our own school, reflecting on and sharing our learning is fresh in my mind. Walking in to Studio 5, the advisers were guiding the kids through reflections on their own journeys as learners. Guiding questions included things like “if your journey was a color, what color would it be?” and, “if you had to represent your journey through data, what would your graphs look like as you progressed through the school year?”

Not only did the kids represent their journey symbolically, they had to articulate and justify why they represented their journeys as they did. Why does that coffee stain you drew represent your journey as a learner? It was was remarkable to hear the students not only explain their symbols, but link them to the skills and attitudes and experiences they’ve developed as they made their way along the journey.

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While the reflection was guided by the advisor, the reflection was deep and meaningful. The students then looked at individual experiences throughout the school year, reflected on what it taught them and what changes occurred in them as a result. They then placed the experiences on a map, placing them to indicate importance and how much it taught them in their journey as a learner.

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What I appreciated most was the process, and how it built up from brainstorming the important events along a timeline to ultimately what will be built upon to become the student’s final exhibition. Next year, as we prepare for our own learning journeys, I want to empower students to take ownership over what they share, and to be able to reflect and articulate about their journeys as learners.

Rachel Gabbert

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