This study showed for the first time a stable and replicable pattern of brain activity during reflections of pedagogically relevant situations. The process of reflecting was associated with increased TRP in the upper alpha band at occipital sites. Interestingly, virtually the same pattern of brain activity was observed six weeks after the first assessment session (in a subgroup with no intervention). In addition, the pattern of TRP was found to be modulated by individual differences in reflection-competence, the propensity to take own beliefs, thoughts, and intentions, and the beliefs, thoughts and intentions of the observed into account (i.e., interpretations with observer-awareness; Frith, 1992; Weinberger & Seyfried, 2009). Specifically, higher reflection-competence was associated with increased TRP at occipital sites.
Taken together, the results suggested that reflections, as an important concept of pedagogical education (Jay & Johnson, 2002; Körkkö et al., 2016), were reflected in reliable functional EEG brain activation patterns, and secondly this EEG pattern was modulated by individual differences in reflection-competence.
Not least, this study also concludes that students’ reflection-competence can be supported with the SURE training (Seyfried, 2002). SURE might help teacher students to increase their situational reflection competence, what seems to be an indispensable condition for a professional performance based on their experiences in classrooms and other pedagogical settings (vgl. Seyfried & Reitinger 2013).