After my Skype chat with Adesola about my AOLs I started gathering stories and memories. Before sending her my first draft, I felt very insecure: Am I accomplishing the task? I'm not sure if I should continue with the writing while waiting for some feedback. Maybe I need to first read and understand the concept of reflective and experiential learning before continuing writing. In fact, should I have started reading before writing about my AOL? I did it all wrong. I start reading through some books and finally decide to start with "A handbook of reflective and experiential learning" from Jennifer A. Moon. Already on page 16 (The adoption of a general stance on learning: two views") I noticed two important things I want to share with you:
First, I very often seem to forget that learning is a process. Reading Jennifer A. Moon's ideas about the network view of learning, reminded me that it is okay to change my approach or understanding of something throughout the process. Consciously experiencing this very process will even help me expand my knowledge. So did I accomplish the task? I still don't know but I know that I have already learnt something from it.
Secondly, writing about my first AOL - 'Moving countries and adapting to different cultures and systems', I realised that there was something that I tried to say but I wasn't able to name it. Reading this chapter about the process of learning, I linked the concepts presented in this book with my own learning experience. Moving from one country to another, I accumulated different concepts and ideas. This accumulation made me change my understanding of different things (dance, education, communication, ...) and it encouraged me to pay more attention to some specific areas, choosing what it is that I want to further develop and learn. It also made me modify what I already knew or felt. So should I have first read some texts about reflection before starting to write? Maybe the answer is no. Doing it this way allowed me to learn through experience and it made me understand some concepts in depth.
So starting with some reading didn't, as I initially thought, 'add bricks to my wall' which would show me how to do things, but it made me experience that I am moving forwards but that I need more tools and a larger repertoire of terminology and different concepts to reflect on my learning.