Penitent Performance, Reconstructed Rumination or Induction: Student strategies for the deployment of reflection in an extended degree programme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


While reflection has long been held to be central to learning, not all reflection leads to insight or learning. Drawing on distinctions in psychology between ‘constructive self-regulation’ and ‘rumination’ and educational literature that distinguishes descriptive from reflective writing, this article employs a novel approach to assign student reflective writing to one of four quadrants (categorised as ‘selfie’, ‘quick-fix’, ‘rumination’ and ‘action’) and uses this model to consider the reflection strategies deployed by students in transition to student, disciplinary and professional identities. Findings suggest that students who appear to master reflection adopt one of three strategies: ‘reconstructed rumination’, ‘induction’ or ‘penitent performance’. Identifying which strategy a student is adopting can aid timely intervention to facilitate student success.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Early online date19 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jan 2020


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