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Query on Reflection and Development

I'm responding to a snippet from Mike Cole's comment as a jumping off point.
My questions concern a critique I am developing of reflective writing when
it is used to track a specific sort of intellectual development. 
. .. . "of Seth Chaiklin's critique of discussions of non-Russian
interpretations of the Zoped because they substitute learning for
development, among other failures. Hence, the introduction of positions
which front learning, and yet can be found to use the concept of
development, seems relevant to our ongoing discussions."
I am a long-time observer/lurker on this list but have finally reached the
point where my desire to understand some key notions has superseded my
reticence.  So, hello everyone.
I'm currently working on a writing project that describes a new 3 year
certificate program that has been funded for first-year students at the
University of Illinois at Chicago. Called the Chicago Civic Leadership
Certificate program, it builds on first-year writing courses, second-year
courses in urban planning, and a third year capstone course. Students do
service-learning/field research with community agencies and in the first
year produce documents needed by those non-profits such as brochures, press
releases, and agency profiles.
My planning for this project is heavily influenced by activity theory. My
aim is for students to see writing as a transformative tool that operates
in, as David Russell ("Activity Theory and It's Implications for Writing
Instruction," 1995, in Petraglia, ed.) describes, in an activity system. I
have been talking about this as "ordinary writing," in which a writer solves
problems out of his or her embeddedness in a context. Further, I have
designed this project to counter the "general skills approach" to first year
writing and more importantly for my question here, to counter the use of
writing for service-learning's "structured reflection."
In many service learning situations, writing is used as a conduit for
something called reflection. Reflection is typically defined as a conscious
thought process through which students can derive learning from experience.
So, when students write their reflections, they are said to be documenting
their learning. Development is then seen as growth through a series of
stages that track epistemological or intellectual growth reaching a final
stage of self-authorship (from a discussion of constructive-developmental
pegagogy in _Creating Contexts_ by Baxter Magolda, 1999). 
I see several problems with the use of reflection as a way to document
development and even more problems with this stage-oriented, self-managed
view of development. 
In part:
1.	Can a person split in two and reflect on learning? Doesn't activity
theory have a very different view of both reflection and learning?
2.	Doesn't this view of development depend on a narrow strand of
learning - learning of school-based material - and on an outmoded
understanding of the coherent and contained self?
These are my intuitive responses but I need to build my critique more
systematically to emphasize the disconnect between reflection, writing, and
development on the one hand, and the kind of learning that results from
'lived participation' in a situation that gives rise to writing. 
I will be very grateful for any comments, clarifications, corrections, and
sources. Please feel free to respond to me off-line if this thread
interrupts the current one (Feldman@uic.edu).

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