While all this support and evidence of my assertion that “reflection is important and can be taught” is nice, it doesn’t exactly help explain what reflection taught in a writing center might look like. Fear not. With a little reflection ourselves, we can visualize such a scenario. This is fairly easy because consultants often already practice reflection by writing notes after consultations about the subjects covered. An additional reflection practice (that benefits consultants and future clients) is to also individually reflect about how the consultation proceeded—the approach, strategies, and teaching/learning methods employed, what worked and what didn’t, etc. Kudos to consultants and writing centers who already do this frequently.
But what about teaching reflection? How might consultants help clients learn to adopt reflection practices? For one, consultants can incorporate them into consultations; give clients time (literally) to digest and reflect on the information covered in the consultation as it’s covered, to write their own notes or reflections about their writing, or anything of that nature. In addition, why not simply talk about the value of reflection in writing and the various stages in which it (should) play a role? Many clients likely have never thought of reflection as a part (let alone an ongoing part) of their projects. Recognition of the breadth and benefit of reflection just may be the most rewarding (and novel) gift we can give a writer.