Hussein (2008) offers a methodology for dealing with ’emerging meanings’ (p.400). Basing his technique on the work of van Manen (2011), ‘exegetical reflection’ allows for meaning to be built upon, be developed over the course of readings. We can’t know the full story of a classmate, but this does not stop us from creating potential histories, and through reflection, we reject some and recalibrate others. Indeed, there may be no need to fully articulate possibilities. Schon (cited in Wilson, 2008) forwards the notion of ‘hidden or submerged knowledge’ (p. 178). We do not have full access to all of our knowledge; through reflection we take possession of some of that tacit understanding.
The very cyclic nature of constructivism directs us to entertain the idea that isolated experiences are less valuable than iterations of similar experiences. Kolb (1984) presents three cycles that highlight this point: Lewin’s Experiental Learning Model, Dewey’s similarly-named model, and Piaget’s Model of Learning and Cognitive Development.
In other words, I would not discount the value of our initial responses. Rather, they form a crucial basis for our reflection-on-action (Wilson, 2008, Hussein, 2008). But I do agree that we need to be careful about the range of possibilities when ‘reading between the lines’.
Hussein, J. W. (2008). An existential approach to engaging adult learners in the process of legitimizing and constructing meanings from their narrative knowledge. Action Research, 6(4). 391—420.
Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiental learning: experience as the source of learning and developments. Englewood Cliffs, NI: Prentice Hall.
van Manen, M. (2011). Exegetical reflection. Retrieved 19 April 2015 from: http://www.phenomenologyonline.com/inquiry/methods-procedures/reflective-methods/exegetical-reflection/
Wilson, J. P. (2008). Reflecting-on-the-future: a chronological consideration of reflective practice. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 9(2), 177-184.
 The original website that Hussein drew upon has been updated since the publication of Hussein’s article, hence the later citation date.