5R Framework of Reflection Model


The 5R framework for reflection was developed by Bain et al. in 2002 and guides students and teachers in reflecting on their experiences. The 5R framework represents Reporting, Responding, Relating, Reasoning, and Reconstructing the experience to present it in an engaging reflection. Brian works to achieve two important purposes through this model

  • To support teachers and students in understanding what is involved in serious reflection.
  • To enhance the ability of students and teachers to assess their reflective writing through the 5 levels of R proposed by Bain et al (Amhag, 2022).

Elaboration of 5Rs Framework

A detailed elaboration of the 5 R's along with essential questions that can assist you in reflective writing.

Stage 1: Reporting

Just like other reflection models, the very first R is reporting in which you will highlight the context of a situation you want to reflect upon. In this section, you have to make sure that you present the situation without any prior interpretation or assumption. Some assisting questions are

  • What, where, and when exactly all happened?
    In this section, you will highlight all the factual information about the occurrence of the incident on which you are reflecting upon.
  • Who were all involved and how did they contribute?
    While answering this question, you will highlight the other factors like people or stances that were involved in the situation and their contribution to the situation.
  • What are the key aspects?
    While answering this, you will highlight the involvement of other major aspects in the situation.

Stage 2: Responding

Second R is focused on your response. All your thoughts, feelings, and observations regarding the situation will be included in the second R. In short, this section is about the emotional aspect of the situation you want to reflect upon. A few assisting questions that can assist you in framing this section are mentioned below.

    • How did this experience make you feel?
      In this section, you will majorly focus on highlighting the feelings you felt throughout the experience.
  • What actions exactly made you feel the way you felt?
    While answering this question, you will highlight the actions that contributed to making you feel the way you felt.
  • What did you understand from this situation?
    In this, you will underline your whole understanding of the situation. For example, it can be your learning or your way of expressing the situation you are reflecting upon.

5R framework of reflection

Stage 3: Relating

In this section, you will relate the experience to your external knowledge or any similar past experience that has occurred to you. Based on similar instances, you will underline and draw out the contrast between your skills and experience. Questions that can assist you are mentioned below.

  • Have you experienced any similar situations?
    While answering this question, you will highlight any past experience that you feel is similar to the experience you are reflecting on.
  • What instances were similar or different between now and then?
    While telling your past experience, you will highlight the similarities or differences of both situations.
  • Is there any other aspect of the situation that you are probably missing?
    In this, you will critically analyze the situation and will highlight whether you are missing any particular aspect of the situation or not.

Stage 4: Reasoning

In this second last R, you would try to connect all the explained dots till now and try to connect all the instances with logical reasoning of things that happened in a way that happened. All significant factors that impacted the way you reacted or responded will be covered in this aspect. A few relevant questions of the model are mentioned below.

  • Is there any possible theory in the past literature that can help you with handling the situation in a better way?
    In this, you will highlight the link of any theory you feel is relevant here that could have guided you for reacting in a better way.
  • Would the opinion of other people change the way you think about the situation or your reaction?
    In this, you will highlight, the different ways in which other people’s opinion might have affected you reaction.
  • Can you think of someone more knowledgeable who would have reacted to your situation in a different or the same way?
    While answering this, you would highlight a complete list of people who you think would have reacted the same way.

Stage 5: Reconstructing

In the last section, the last R covers an action plan for the future. In this section, you will meticulously explain all your learnings and observations. Further, you will include all your observations and learnings in the action plan you will prepare for the future to react in a similar situation. Moreover, when you decide on your actions, it will total justice do SMART goals you were trying to achieve in future experiences. Some aiding questions are

  • What strategies would you adopt in the future to avoid negative consequences?
    In this, you would highlight the different ways in which you will highlight the strategies that you will take to avoid negative consequences of your similar actions in the future.
  • What are your main learnings from this experience?
    While answering this question, you will draw out your main learnings from the experience.

After the effective explanation of the model, the next section will be focusing on an example that will assist you in better understanding the model.


Amhag, L. (2022). Student Reflections and Self-Assessments in Vocational Training Supported by a Mobile Learning Hub. Retrieved 14 August 2022.

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