When I was in high school, I used to love “proving theorems” (explaining why something is true) in geometry through logic and reasoning using established axioms or properties like reflexivity (a=a), symmetry (if a=b, then b=a) and transitivity (If a=b and b=c, then a=c). That was the only context in which I was familiar with “reflexivity.” Well, that and mirrors! However, the concept of reflexivity is very important in #LearningSciences and qualitative research. To be reflexive means that you not only reflect on your own biases and perspectives and how those shape how you interact with the world, you also reflect how the system or structure of society influences and is influenced by these biases. Then this double reflection is used to help you modify your actions or perceptions–“examination or action ‘bends back on’, refers to, and affects the entity instigating the action or examination” (Wikipedia). It is rare to read a research study journal article or book where the word reflexive is not used at least once. Since qualitative researchers are “passionate participants,” it is essential that they embrace a state of reflexivity because the researcher’s biases and worldviews “may influence their interpretation of participants’ perceptions” (Bloomberg and Volpe, 2016, p. 54). It needs to be ongoing, iterative and through dialogue with participants. Our worldview and biases affect what we value and what we choose to measure; they can even make us blind to what the data is showing. It is like looking in the mirror, but instead of just seeing our reflection, we see all the experiences, language, privilege, cultural objects, etc. that create our epistemological (what is knowledge?), ontological (what is the nature of reality?) and axiological (what is good/valuable?) beliefs. It is both as simple and profound as that reflexive property of a = a. #100LSreflections #100dayproject 18/100

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