Stefani Boutelier

Reflexivity refers to the cyclical process of self-reflection to progress towards a conclusion during any inquiry.

Stefani Boutelier, PhD is an Associate Professor of Education at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI. She teaches research methods, curriculum design, and diverse literacy courses. Her research interests include ed tech, literacy, andragogy, and identity. Dr. Boutelier uses reflexivity in her pedagogy, research, and writing to challenge herself and question the world around her.

Verse-ing Reflexivity

diagram of the reflexivity poem that appears in text below
Figure 1: Versing Reflexivity

Who am I?

back and forth
hyphenated identities
binary of thought
multidirectional, multipositional
how many questions can I ask?
do my questions provide answers?
cue the chaotic words:

How do I know?

of my existence
co-constructing knowledge with my past
and my present
understanding implications of a future
my future?
I break systemic ropes
tied to my senses
to that of others
how do we know what we know?
a truth, without evidence
a meta-truth?

How do I learn?

managing moral memory recall
hypothesizing my moves
radial patterns, personal dissonance
of what I thought I knew
situational stems riddling my self-others
what is (fill-in-the-blank)?
iterative perceptions
and feedback to break-
down assumptions
making meaning

How do I share?

re-flexing my prior contexts
to interpret
inquisitive truths
from my view
to merge with others’
humanizing & personalizing
thoughts & actions
I further inquire a connotation
of self-efficacy, self-agency
or simply SELF


Discussion Questions

  • What are your initial responses to the four main questions: Who am I? How do I know? How do I learn? How do I share? These answers are often personal and purposeful, and always changing.
  • Think about the visual poem above. It demonstrates an image of an iterative, critical thinking process and the potential for contemplative questions to guide one through reflecting upon specificities of learning and research. In the How do I learn? stanza, consider what you might put in the “(fill-in-the-blank).”
  • How do we critically reflect upon ourselves as learners and researchers (e.g., examining our biases, our subjectivities, our context, our histories), while continuing this iterative process for personal and professional growth?
  • Why might understanding our role as insiders (e.g., specialists, experts, principle researchers) in the learning and research process bring out more authentic and valid outcomes?


Emotional Response: Consider the different kinds of information (e.g., data points, interview recordings, field notes, literature, images) that are collected during research.

  • Pick one, then reflect on it with all your senses. Are there sounds or textures associated with this kind of data? Does it bring about visuals in your mind? Other sensations?
  • List words that represent your emotions as you respond to reading, interpreting, or viewing one set of data.
  • Finally, informally analyze your emotional-response word list, in order to discover what this reflection might bring up and/or validate.

Poetic Response: Poetry invites us to use word choice to bring imagery and emotion to our audience. Like any writing, it is full of iteration and personalization.

  • Try using poetry to help reflect on your learning and research processes. Use elements from the text above to interweave poetry into your work.

Go to to download a template of the diagram above. Then, try one of the following:

  • write a poem of questions or any “list” poem
  • write a “found” poem by selecting keywords from another text to summarize its meaning
  • write a “golden shovel” poem by picking one key quote to use in a new poem.

Additional Resources

Finlay, L. (2002). Negotiating the swamp: The opportunity and challenge of reflexivity in research practice. Qualitative Research, 17(2), 209-230.

Noddings, N. (2013). Caring: Relational Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. University of California Press.

Salzman, P. (2002). On Reflexivity. American Anthropologist, 104(3), 805-813.

Siewert, C. (2021). Consciousness and intentionality. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Tsekeris, C. (2013). Toward a chaos-friendly reflexivity: Dialogical considerations and perspectives. Entelequia, 16, 71–89



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