Providing Opportunities to Reflect on Outcomes

Staff should ensure that youth have opportunities to reflect on the processes that led to the outcomes of their work and to evaluate the impact and meaning of completed projects for both the youth and other stakeholders.

Programs should provide opportunities for youth to reflect on where they are and what they have learned. This reflection often is structured and regularly occurring. Guided reflection is critical because youth may not always understand all the factors and processes that influence the successes and failures of their work, including the role of chance. Some programs ask youth to articulate the processes they’ve used and record progress for the next evening’s apprentices. Ending each session with affirmations or gratitude, as AHA! Attitude, Harmony, Achievement (AHA!) does, is a positive form of reflection. Wyman has an intentional process of reflection build into its community service learning activities. Allison Williams explains the Preparation, action, reflection, and celebration (PARC) method:

Quote markReflection is interactive, interesting, and an ongoing process where teens identify how their preparation and action has impacted the issue and individuals served, their own growth and learning, and that of their peers. Reflection often occurs spontaneously during a project to capture meaningful, teachable moments for teens. One purpose of the reflective process is to increase teens’ sense of self-efficacy related to working in groups, taking on challenges, and contributing to their community.

Reflection about meaning includes promoting transference of the problem-solving skills youth learned in the Social and emotional learning (SEL) Challenge program to other parts of their lives.

Further Reading

Join the Discussion

Reflecting on discrete parts of solving any problem can be a challenge. How does your program help youth reflect in a way that brings out insights rather than frustrations?