Journals as Places for Reflection
Donald Schon (Educating the Reflective Practitioner) says
that we engage in reflection when we encounter something contrary to
our expectations. Perhaps our expectations have been formed by
experience, perhaps by our reading. When our theories of how things should
work fail to account for the way things really are, we have a sense of
dissonance. This can be an especially troublesome problem for beginning
teachers who approach their task well equipped with theories and techniques
that need to be adjusted to particular situations. Journals provide a
safe place for reflection.
Some Questions for the Reflective Practitioner
In your journal, you can try addressing the following questions:
You do not need to address all of these questions in every
entry. They are meant to be "journal starters" that get you
going. Once you enter into the reflective process, it will
tend to take over and guide the rest of the journal entry.
- What is the situation that is causing me to feel uneasy?
- Why is the situation problematic?
- How am I (or how is my mentor) approaching the problem?
- What did I expect would happen?
- What actually happened?
- What am I really trying to do in this situation?
- What would the textbooks say to do?
- How is this like or unlike the cases described in theory?
- What would happen if I . . . ?
- Supposing that happens, what should I do then?
Submitted by Dale Sullivan
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All contents copyright (C) 1997. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 7, 1997