Noticing Reflective Voice in Reflective/Deliberative Contexts

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This is a "field exercise" because you need to gather information from your actual experience of reflective discussion. You may need to give yourself a few days to encounter enough reflective situations in order to gather enough observation.

Begin by noticing any situation in which people are giving reasons for conclusions. You could be discussing something in a class, talking with a coworker about how to do some work, discussing a personal problem, or anything which involves giving reasons and drawing conclusions. Whether you are giving or listening to an argument or explanation, anything involving rationales will work. You can use public media (radio talk/news or television news "analysis" shows), but local examples from your immediate experience work better to cultivate the discipline of identifying features of a reflective voice.

Once you identify a reflective context, try to describe what roles people (including yourself) are playing in the discussion. What type of discussion or reflection is involved? What is the topic? What are some of the "parameters" of the discussion, such as formality, presuppositions, expectations of outcomes, level of critical intensity, etc.? What can you say about the reflective styles of the participants?

[Note:You might need to wait until after the reflective situation passes in order to recall many details since it can be somewhat distracting to both participate in and describe an event.]

In about one paragraph each, describe the reflective styles of the participants of three distinct reflective/deliberative contexts. Be sure that at least one includes a situation in which you were a participant.