Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Comparative Analysis J.Dewey's and J.Mezirow's Perspectives on Reflection

Words: 644
Page: 1
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Reflective practice is undoubtedly one of the most important steps towards a successful teaching career. Being reflective means being open-minded, wholehearted, and responsible.

In this essay I will present two theorists, Dewey and Mezirow, and their perspectives on reflection, as well as my own thoughts, agreements, and differences.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

Reflective though started to form back in the 20th century, when philosopher and educator John Dewey published his book ‘How we think’ in 1933. Dewey claimed that we cannot tell someone how to think, but we can certainly tell someone in which way to think. Although confusing at first, he then goes on to explain the ‘better way of thinking’ and defines this as ‘reflective thinking’. In his mind, reflection or reflective thinking is a cycle of thoughts and not just a series of ideas. He describes reflection as a successive order in which each though or idea leads to another, and then another idea is built based on the previous one and so on, until it leads to an outcome. Most importantly, he considers that reflection should be democratic, happening in communities and in interaction with others. But as a trainee teacher, what I want to touch up on is, his views of routine action vs reflective action. In the routine action, Dewey refers to the unreflective teacher as an individual that does not see another way of solving a problem. Influenced by things such as: procedures, environment, authority and rules, the mind of an individual can be stagnant and indifferent to changing situations. On the other hand, his view of reflective actions, sees an individual that is willing to review and develop his way of thinking or acting. My own interpretation of Dewey’s reflective theory is that a teacher who is willing to accept the school routines and rules even if they do not work, is an unreflective teacher. Whilst a teacher who is willing to solve a problem that persists, in different ways than the obvious, is a reflective individual. Anyone could be a reflective thinker if they feel the need to solve an issue. However, this involves the active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it.

In my opinion, Dewey’s strength is that he acknowledged how reflection leads to learning but only if the learning happens through experience. What I am trying to highlight is that, is not enough to reflect on something if we do not act upon it, see if it works, revise it and then reflect again to create that cycle of learning though experience. However, I think his view of experience can be misleading as he does not talk about how experience can be different for everyone. Hence why, I want to shift my attention on Mezirow’s transformative learning theory. He built on Dewey’s research by stating that learning itself is not necessary a direct result of the experience. To learn through experience, we need to critically reflect on a situation, establish a strategy and carry out the steps needed to learn from this. Mezirow called this the learning process, and in this learning process we do not need to reflect how to solve issues but rather why, and If I were to give a concrete example of this, I could potentially refer to one of the most common things that happen in a classroom: low level disruption. The teacher should always think why s(he) needs to solve this issue and not how.

Compared to Dewey, Mezirow believed that learning should be a process rather than an experience itself, and this is where we encounter the disorienting dilemma, which is also his number one phase in the perspective transformation phases. The disorienting dilemma could potentially be a step forward from Dewey’s routine action, as Mezirow suggests that people experience this when new experiences contradict old experiences.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Comparative Analysis J.Dewey’s and J.Mezirow’s Perspectives on Reflection. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 25, 2023, from
“Comparative Analysis J.Dewey’s and J.Mezirow’s Perspectives on Reflection.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
Comparative Analysis J.Dewey’s and J.Mezirow’s Perspectives on Reflection. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Sept. 2023].
Comparative Analysis J.Dewey’s and J.Mezirow’s Perspectives on Reflection [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2023 Sept 25]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.