Beyond Reflection: Refraction and International Experiential Education
Keywords:Reflection, Experiential learning, Study abroad, Education abroad, International education, International experience education
Students today are becoming more interested in international opportunities for study and are drawn to alternative programs such as international service-learning and international internships. These programs, however, must be carefully designed. This article proposes utilizing tools that go beyond the traditional understanding of reflection, in order to deepen the academic linkages to experience through reflection that leads to refraction. The authors introduce “refraction” as the transformative learning process that helps students understand and identify the intermediate processes of learning that aid the development of critical thinking skills. Refraction centers learning by integrating and elaborating the experience, the academic subject matter, and the context by examining assumptions and biases.
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