Practices that Encourage the Development of Reflection, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Professional Dispositions
Reflective practice is an approach that enables professionals to understand how they use their knowledge in practical situations and how they combine action and learning in a more effective way." -Massachusetts of Technology, Open Courseware

       To encourage the development of reflection, critical thinking, problem solving, and professional dispositions within Tusculum's education program, several methods are used during the planning and implementation of coursework. An important consideration to the planning stage is Tusculum's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Developing tools such as strong written and oral communication, civil discourse, having an empathetic viewpoint, and developing a nature for problem solving are essential components to developing these learning outcomes.  



Tusculum College Mission Statement-


Mindful of our Presbyterian heritage and commitment to the civic republican tradition, we seek to educate men and women to act morally, think reflectively, write and speak articulately and serve honorably. We strive to perpetuate the free societies of the world by teaching the tenets of the civic arts, including the role of not-for-profit service, the history and foundations of democratic governance, and the fundamentals of a virtuous enterprise system (Tusculum College, Catalog, 2009, p. 4; emphasis added)



     Patricia King's (1994) Reflective Judgment Model (RJM) includes 7 stages contained within 3 clusters that include pre-reflective, quasi-reflective, and reflective judgment. In pre-reflective judgment, students believe that questions must have a definitive and correct answer. These pre-reflective answers usually have no supporting evidence. Quasi-reflective judgment begins the process for validating the conclusions about their knowledge while answering the proposed question. Finally, reflective thinking includes the understanding of context, the identification of  pertinent data, and taking an active role in the construction of knowledge which includes reevaluation.

     Another goal of RJM is to provide the instructor with critical information related to his/her instructional practices. Instructional practices may be modified, based on collected data, that will allow the instructor to modify curriculum to facilitate students' moving towards the higher stages of RJM.




"Truth is absolute, there is a right answer out there."


Quasi reflective

"There is no truth. Scientists, clergy, scholars, all only have opinions. Truth is relative."


Reflective Judgment

"While truth is not absolute or true at face value, neither are all positions equally true. 'Truth' and 'solutions' in contentious matters depend upon evidence."

  Critical Thinking Checklist
Critical Thinking Checklist for Lower Grades
  Reflection Rubric