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Models for structuring reflection


Example 5 - Moon's levels of learning

Jenny Moon (1999) outlines five stages of learning:

Stage 1: Noticing The student has to register the topic, event or incident as being interesting or important in some way.
Stage 2: Making sense The student thinks more about what they have noticed and tries to understand it better. 
Stage 3: Making meaning The student starts to ask questions and to connect ideas together.
Stage 4: Working with meaning The student makes links with other ideas and events. They would probably refer to literature and other research. At this point, reflection on the learning is likely to be taking place.
Stage 5: Transformative learning The student has reached the point where they can formulate new ideas of their own. They know what they would do if a similar situation arose in the future.

It is only when we get to the last two stages - of 'working with meaning' and 'transformative learning' that reflection on the learning is likely to be taking place.

McDrury and Alterio (2003) mapped the practice of learning or reflecting using storytelling onto Moon's levels as shown in this table:

Moon's levels of learning McDrury and Alterio's stages of learning with storytelling
Noticing Stage 1: Story finding
Making sense Stage 2: Storytelling
Making meaning Stage 3: Story expanding
Working with meaning Stage 4: Story processing
Transformative learning Stage 5: Story reconstructing

From McDrury and Alterio (2003, p. 47).