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Reflective Learning - Essay Example

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I took up the involved and multidimensional topic of analysing the link between the institutional environment and the inflows of FDI into the Sub-Saharan African Region. While the link appears to be fairly simple and straight forward given the sub Saharan African realities of widespread poverty, corruption, political instability and low levels of economic development; its manifestation in the form of detecting trends in low and stunted development of critical institutional mechanism, needed to ensure FDIs inflow, was an involved topic which needed a substantial amount of critical thinking…
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Download file "Reflective Learning" to see previous pages... This involved a lot of wavering around several topics. This itself involved a deep process of thinking looking for what constitutes knowledge or theory of knowledge. As Syke(1984) states that epistemology is the theory of methods or grounds of knowledge. I had several options to apply to get to this knowledge.
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I could gather it as a rationalist( knowledge through reasoning),as an empiricist( knowledge through experiences and observation),as a realist( knowledge through direct view),as a critical realist(knowledge by combining views with existing theories) and as a subjective realist (knowledge through perception and models). This posed another step in intellectual advancement as it lay clear the logical process to knowledge given the nature of topic to be taken up. Finally looking at the topic I decided to apply a critical realist approach combining it with empiricism. Understanding existing theory implied that I have a clear definition of what constitutes theory.As Kerlinger(1979) states, "A theory is asset of interrelated constructs(variables),definitions and propositions that present a systematic view of phenomena by specifying relationships among variables with the purpose of explaining natural phenomena". This set me up for the search of these variables and relationships. I also relied on simple definition of theory by Black(1993) who states that a theory is an ' explanation of how things function or why events occur'. Then the outcomes of the research consumed my attention at the next level of concretising the intellectual thought process. It was apparent that the given topic would be amenable to research through deductive intent staring with existing theories and testing such theory with empirical secondary data. Most of the theories focused on were content specific and substantive as the topic involved a specific region which had characteristics quite unique for grand or middle level theories to work to any effect. The entire process of intellectual development in relation to choice of topic and research methods to adopt, as detailed above involved a huge amount of critical and reflective thinking. In fact the concept of critical thinking had to be understood in full before such a process of intellectual up gradation was taken up. It formed the foundation. Literature on critical and reflective thinking helped he process along.Starting as early as the1909, Dewy, the American philosopher, psychologist and educator we have a structured definition of the phrase critical thinking. He equated critical thinking to 'reflective thinking' and defined it as "Active, persistent, and careful consideration of a belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds which support it and the further conclusions to which it tends" (Dewy, 1909, p.9). Building further on Dewey's ideas, Glaser defined critical thinking as:

"An attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems ...Download file "Reflective Learning" to see next pagesRead More
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Reflective Learning
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