Looking at the clouds

Chapter 1. Name (/ type) of activity:

Looking at the clouds

Organization presenting this method:   Outward Bound Belgium
A Number of

people reflecting:

  Solo (1 person) x  Small group

(< 20 people)


 Large group

(> 20 people)




B The way(s) of sharing:
Verbal: x


Non-verbal:   Pictures / V


  Text Em­bodied  sculpture


  Other forms of expression


Digital:   Padlet


  Social media   Digital diary


C Place of reflection (where) x  Indoors


X  Out of doors




D The connection with guidelines:

What guidelines are you taking into consideration, while organizing your reflection?




Don´t direct content, direct process in order to co-create the reflective process.



Develop relationships based on trust, openness, empathy, honesty, dialogue and feed-back
x Facilitate growth in awareness in learners, help them to “own” their learning,

In a personal and meaningful way.

Try to manage the paradox, involved in steering of an intrinsic learning process, ie to create a hightened reflective attention of learners.


Slow down and value moments of not-knowing, while progressively deepening your reflection questions.


Recall that reflection can never be imposed, only kindly invited.

Be careful of how you assess reflection – if you assess it at all.

Always consider reflection as a broad and deepening process, that should be holistic.

Reflection Toolbox

Looking at the clouds






Chapter 2.


Broader description of method or story of an actual practice


Goal of activity:


Looking back at the last days, refreshing things, preparing for a solo.





In this short description, I will not start with the aim of this method, but I will describe what we did and the effect on participants. I got this the information about this effect direct after we finished the exercise and I read it in some reports, two months after the course.

On the last day of a five day course about group dynamics and personal development, I asked the group to lay down on the floor, looking at the ceiling, having their heads together. I asked to spontaneous share out loud things they heard other people say or things they had said themselves during the five past days. Not to react in the here and now, only repeating things of the past. Not more than that.

The group spend more than 30 minutes on going back and forward in time, and very diverse themes came up. For example: humor, group norms, connections between group members, personal learning agendas, etc.

This exercise was the preparation for a one hour solo moment. In the feedback I heard and read, students told me this exercise helped them to refresh their own minds and created new connections and questions, and most of all, it helped them to focus and to step into the one hour solo.



Story from practice: