Lately I have been talking a lot about blogging. As some of the teachers I work with have begun to create their own blogs, other teachers have been more circumspect. They have wondered why we would bother with blogging. In one discussion, we moved away from the benefits of blogging for students and onto the possibilities of using a blog as a reflection journal. As a means of providing evidence of ongoing professional learning for professional reviews and VIT registration. I do hope there are more powerful reasons for reflecting on our professional practice, but I do understand the environments we work in! We discussed what a reflection post might look like and so I thought I would share these thoughts as one way of posting professional reflections…
A while back, I read a blog post called “What Constitutes Good Reflective Writing?” written by an ESL teacher called Tim. As a way of reflecting upon this reading and thinking about how I might apply these understanding’s to my work, I will answer Kolb’s reflective observation question;
How can I use this learning?
To me, one of the key statements Tim makes is that “reflection can be seen as the bridge between learning and understanding, leading to further learning, leading to even deeper understanding”. Believing this to be true, leads me to question my own professional practice. If reflection upon our learning leads to deeper understanding, then am I asking my students to reflect upon their own learning? As a coach, am I asking the teachers I work with to reflect upon the new learnings they are gaining around online learning?
Am I building reflection time into our sessions and providing guiding questions to encourage them to both talk with peers to clarify their understandings and articulate and question these understandings through writing?
It seems to me that blogging provides us with a great tool to write reflectively upon new learnings. Blogs can be categorised with tags, are ongoing and organised chronologically, they allow for feedback and comment from peers and can be used to support learning in all areas. Teamed with Kolb’s reflective observation questions, blogs provide a vehicle for powerful learning for all learners.
Kolb’s Learning Cycle
Image Source: Clara Davies (SDDU, University of Leeds)