our thoughts

Reflective Thinking : Writing a Learning Journal
18 February 2014

In the last post, we described some of the different levels of reflection that people can engage in. This post provides an overview of some different ways that people can reflect on themselves and their experiences.

How to reflect?

There are a number of ways that people can reflect on their personal experiences. It can be done through journal writing, keeping a daily diary, essay writing, drawing, and talking in pairs. Reflection can follow a peer discussion. Reflection can be in response to reading a book or article.

A learning journal is an excellent way of capturing your reflections. Indeed, the act of writing provides you with a record, over time, of what you were feeling, how you responded and what you might do differently. Your journal is a personal (and confidential) record of your personal change journey and helps you notice those areas where you have changed and those areas where you are continuing to stay the same.

Reflective Writing

Reflective writing is be the opposite of bullet points and logical statements – it is an opportunity to express thoughts, feelings and emotions about critical events or situations. It is important to reflect on what you found difficult, to explore critical and judgemental thoughts and to note down any positive feelings experienced. The more your censor your writing, the less likely it is that you will see the real you.

It really is as simple as just starting to write. An example structure is shown below, based around some core questions that you might want to reflect on each time your make an entry in your journal. By following a similar structure each time, you will more easily be able to review your journal in the future and critically reflect on it.


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