Reflection Sessions

Reflection can mean many things. In some sense, reflection typically happens in the classes we teach, since developing knowledge involves more than digesting information. Core Pilot reflection sessions deliberately and self-consciously build on this aspect of good teaching by creating dedicated experiences that ask students to integrate experience inside the classroom with who they are outside of it. To be sure, the ideal of developing students as “whole persons” draws on the traditions of Jesuit education. And research has shown that students attain a deeper and more lasting understanding of course content when invited to pause and reflect on it, asking how it affects other areas of their lives.

In these reflection sessions, which take place weekly in Complex Problems courses and four times per semester in Enduring Questions courses, faculty may consider working with non-academic offices within Boston College -- such as the Office of Mission and Ministry and Student Affairs -- or making use of the city of Boston and its surrounding environment. The Office of the Associate Dean for the Core will work with faculty to organize logistical details.

Examples of Reflection sessions from previous Core Renewal Pilot Courses include:
  • Organizing a trip to Walden Pond (for paired courses on humans and nature)
  • Inviting a speaker from Counseling Services to discuss mental illness on BC’s campus (for paired courses on human disease and society)
  • Going to see the film The Martian (for paired courses on the material world)
  • Visiting the Museum of Fine Arts for students to examine works of art in person (for paired courses on love, gender, and marriage)
  • Bringing in guest speakers to discuss meditation and mindfulness (for a course on climate change) as well as a stand-up comic (for a course on creativity and innovation)