Thanks for your informed and insightful development of identity through the lens of Bakhtin. And adding Lacan’s distinction was an inspired!
When you wonder about “what if any difference there is between being reflective and self-aware”, I feel that you answer your own question in the ensuing text. Education is the developing process of becoming self-aware, yet (ironically?) reflection as a curricular component is found most often in the education discipline.
Very early in the week, I looked at the U.S. college-entry SAT scores. Looking back at them and into my memory of reading for this masterclass, I see that education and nursing majors are among the lowest entrants. Majors in medicine, engineering, life science and so on do not typically have classes on reflection, although I presume that many students and professional practitioners in those disciplines are highly self-aware. Here’s the key question against reflection at the doctoral level: can you imagine a medical student failing a course because s/he didn’t show adequate reflection abilities?
There’s no time or space to discuss the sociology of knowledge as it impacts on the discipline of (higher) education, but I suspect that if we did that, we would run into some serious questions that undermine the necessity for this masterclass and for the learning logs we have to complete weekly.