By Wayne Schmidt, PhD
Doctor of Education Chair, College of Doctoral Studies
We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s not over ‘til ________.” Several concluding phrases might be, “it’s over,” “I say it is” or “the fat lady sings.” I will put one more on the list that might be a new to you:
It’s not over ‘til you’ve thought about it.
But it’s a bit more than just sitting back and fondly remembering how well something went or reliving the event. It’s reflecting on your role and asking what are sometimes difficult questions to ask.
What did I do well?
What could I have done better?
Calendars, task lists and a full plate of things to do often require moving on to the next event as the previous one is concluding. But benefits to thoughtful metacognition and reflection come from a wide range of sources.
Mezirow (1990) talked about how reflection leads to transformative learning. That transformative learning is not just the answer to “What could I have done better?” It’s the answer to why you acted how you did.
Reflection is not just something that came into existence recently. The King James Version of the Old Testament says to “take heed unto thyself” seven times. While the language may be a bit archaic, the thought is that getting to know who you are is something important enough to say seven times.
We are all involved in important activities and we all make decisions that affect a large number of people and require our prompt input. However, in the midst of it all, the most important decision might be the one you make when you take time to reflect.
After all, it’s not over ‘til you think about it!
Read more from Dr. Schmidt by checking out his articles Facebook Research: Has it Gone Too Far? and 7 Potential Dissertation “Don’ts” – Part 1, written with Dean of the College of Doctoral Studies Michael Berger, PhD.
Mezirow, J. (1990) Critical Reflection in Adulthood. San Francisco: Jossey Bass Publishers
More about Dr. Schmidt:
Dr. Wayne Schmidt attended and graduated from Concordia University in Chicago, Long Beach State University and Arizona State University earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from those institutions, respectively. Dr. Schmidt’s doctoral dissertation research focused on using collaborative inquiry as professional development for teachers. He has spent 36 years in the education field with those years divided into two equal halves. The first 18 were spent largely as a junior high school teacher and the second 18 as the principal of a K-8 school in the southwestern part of the U.S. Dr. Schmidt has been the founding chair of two committees in the Pacific Southwest District, the first being the District Testing Committee and the second was the District Curriculum Task Force.
Dr. Schmidt believes the ultimate goal of teaching is to make our students better people. So, whenever possible, he uses whatever the lesson of the day is to springboard into a larger lesson that, hopefully, the students can carry with them outside the classroom. In his spare time, Dr. Schmidt likes to read good mysteries, tinker with computers and play guitar. He has been fortunate enough to travel and has been to nearly all 50 states, Europe several times and Egypt.
About College of Doctoral Studies
Grand Canyon University’s innovative doctoral degree programs prepare learners for leadership roles in their professions, communities and society. Our dynamic online learning community, integrated dissertation process, wealth of resources and collaborative environment support a successful and meaningful doctoral journey. We believe earning a doctoral degree is a journey and similar to climbing a mountain—challenging, invigorating and completely rewarding when you reach the top. Our goal is to help you conquer your own mountain and succeed on your doctoral journey. Readers of The Doctoral Journey blog, presented by the College of Doctoral Studies, will find resourceful and knowledgeable posts regarding the doctoral process, research best practices and dissertation tips among other topics from GCU’s doctoral faculty.