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By inviting participants to reflect on their own experiences in relation to a topic or an issue, the facilitator is encouraging them to develop a greater understanding and/or an empathy for the situation that others may have to deal with. This technique encourages greater insight in deciding how to address the issue at hand.


The facilitator asks the participants to remember a particular situation in their lives. S/he may then ask them to think about a number of questions related to that situation, e.g., why the situation arose, how they dealt with it, what the consequences were. Participants can then be asked to share their thoughts in pairs, small groups, or in a plenary situation.

Reflections and/or reminiscences can also be produced as a paper exercise and shared as appropriate:

An example of this would be diaries and logs. Recording events and thoughts in writing is a useful way of encouraging reflection. It enables the writer to understand how and why things have occurred. Setting up a structure for participants to write a diary or log could be very useful as a pre-course or post-course exercise. Logs may be structured or unstructured. A structured log focuses the attention of the writer by using a series of predetermined prompts or questions to which the writer responds in completing the log. This can be done by providing the participants with a pro-forma log sheet with prepared questions established

An unstructured log or diary presents the writer with a blank space to complete as he or she wishes.

Examples of where personal reflections could be used effectively

• Introducing a topic that may require sensitive handling.

• Analysis of situations faced by individuals.

• Personal evaluation of events or situations.

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