5R Framework

The 5R framework was developed by Bain et al and allows for critical reflection on an experiencing by focusing on the five core stages to make sense of a learning experience.

The 5 stages are:

  • Reporting of the context of the experience
  • Responding to the experience (observations, feelings, thoughts, etc.)
  • Relating the experience to knowledge and skills you already have
  • Reasoning about the significant factors/theory to explain the experience
  • Reconstructing your practice by planning future actions for a similar experience

Sometimes ‘reporting’ and ‘responding’ are presented as one interlinked level. A number of helpful questions as well as key components are outlined below for each of the stages. You don’t have to answer all of them, but they can guide you to what sort of things make sense to include in that stage. You might have others questions that work better for you.


Step 1: Reporting

Task: Providing description of the key elements of the experience/problem

Potential prompts:

What happened?

What are the key aspects of the experience/situation?

Who was involved?

What did you do?


Step 2: Responding

Task: Provide your personal response to the situation/experience

Potential prompts:

How did what happened make you feel?

What did you think?

What made you think/feel this way?


Step 3: Relating

Task: Provide your understanding of the situation/experience as it relates to your own knowledge, skills, attitudes, and previous experiences

Potential prompts:

What skills/knowledge do you bring to this experience?

Have you experienced similar situations/experiences before? How was it the same or different?


Step 4: Reasoning

Task: Explore and explain significant factors within the situation/experience and how they are important to understanding what happened

Potential prompts:

What is the most important aspect of this situation/experience? Why?

How do different perspectives affect the way you understand the situation?

How would someone who is knowledgeable and experienced with this type of situation/experience respond to it?

Are there theories that can assist in making sense of the situation/experience?


Step 5: Reconstructing

Task: Reframe or reconstruct future experiences/situations by drawing deeper understanding and summary of the learning that occurred

Potential prompts:

What would you do differently in the future if faced with a similar situation/experience?

Are there other options for facing this situation/experience in the future?

Are these ideas supported by theory/fact?

What would happen if…?

What changes can be made to benefit others?

Bain, J.D., Ballantyne, R., Mills, C. & Lester, N.C. (2002). Reflecting on practice: Student teachers’ perspectives, Post Pressed: Flaxton, Qld