Blogging: A “Power Tool” for Reflective Practice?

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Blogging can facilitate the convergence of reflection-in AND reflection-on

Reflective practice is a cornerstone for continuous advancement as academic educators and scholars, and we all engage in reflective practice: with our students, with our colleagues, and with ourselves. Donald Schon, in his groundbreaking and influential theory of knowledge generation and learning, posited two reflective processes:

Reflection-in-practice

Reflection-on-practice.

In the moment (reflection-in-practice) we respond and make decisions based on a complex inter-weaving of practice wisdom, experience in classroom teaching, our integrated observation and enactment of what has worked for others, and evidence-based knowledge and skills. In the aftermath (reflection-on-practice) we mull over what worked and what was less effective. We talk things over with colleagues, seek supervision, and/or we journal or otherwise record our reflections.

Traditionally these two processes (reflecting-in and reflecting-on) have been seen to occur as separate but related. Further, the “products” of reflective practice – journaling, goal-setting, dialogue – have been constrained by physical geography and the limits of our professional networks.

Enter social media: thanks to “reflective practice 2.0” reflecting in / on are no longer necessarily distinct. Blogging may well represent a kind of “reflective practice power tool” in its ability to facilitate the convergence of reflection-in and reflection-on.

Digital communication has qualities of speaking and publishing together, and students are part of the conversation. Commenting enables an extended, many-to-many dialogue and blurs the boundaries between in-the-moment (i.e. in-the-classroom) reflection and post hoc reflective discourse. In other words, the act of blogging is itself teaching (in) even as it represents a reflective process (on). The classroom has become porous. Reflective practice is “unboundaried”.

We are all students, and we’re all teachers.

(See an excellent summary of Schon’s work, thinking and contributions at this link).

(Check out the presentation version of this post on Slideshare).

3 comments
  1. Josette said:

    “We are all students, and we’re all teachers.” Yes indeed. And through reflective practice we are teaches to ourselves. I’m happy to discover this post and your blog. I’ve been using blogging as a reflective tool for four years now. I’ve also presented on the topic at a teacher’s conference here in Korea. I’m curious, are you on Twitter? You’ll find many reflective bloggers/teachers there. Maybe you’re already among them. 🙂

    Happy reflecting!

    • Hi Josette-
      I am on Twitter and will look for you! Four years…you are at the front of the pack. Is your talk for the conference on Slideshare? I would love to see it.
      Thanks and best,
      Marilyn

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