The Reflective Judgment Model is comprised of 7 stages which fit within 3 clusters: pre-reflective, quasi-reflective and reflective. The stages are linear in nature but it is possible to be in more than one stage at a time (see figure 1). In the first cluster, pre-reflective thinking, students believe that all questions must have a right, definitive answer. They also do not use evidence to support their answers. Quasi-reflective thinkers identify that the answers to some questions will be uncertain but are challenged in validating their conclusions about knowledge. Reflective thinking, stages 6 and 7, demonstrates development in critical thinking as one comes to know. Characteristics of this cluster include understanding context, identifying pertinent data, and being active in the construction of knowledge, including reevaluation.
King and Kitchener developed the Reflective Judgment Interview or RJI to evaluate students’ stages on the Reflective Judgment Model. Trained interviewers asked students 4 ill-structured problems without clear and certain resolutions. Many different studies using the RJI, which combined interviewed over 1,000 students, revealed example answers for students in different stages of the Reflective Judgment Model.
Use in Higher Education