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.

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