An Occasional Reflective Journal
Many "weblogs" or simply "blogs", of which there are now millions, are simply self-indulgent. This one may be, too, but not "simply" so. It has other purposes:
- First, it is an opportunity for me to reflect on my practice, and that of my students, as I observe it. This is a discipline I exhort them to practise, and which I have practised (on and off) since 1976. Now I am doing it for public consumption as well as my own learning. (I have to admit, however, that I am becoming slightly sceptical about the "brand" of reflective practice; see here for a more critical angle.)
- So, second, it gives other people a chance to comment on my entries, although I do not imagine many of them will (they haven't, five years on!). This should provide come counter-balance to the self-indulgence which is an occupational hazard of reflective journals; entering into a dialogue about your reflection with a critical friend is the best way to get something useful out of it.
- So please comment! There is provision to do so at the end of each posting.
- Third, it provides a model of what various kinds of reflection might look like. Students who are not familiar with the practice of writing up reflections occasionally ask for examples. They are not easy to provide, because—although edited before submission for assessment—they still contain private material about the author and often about her or his students. At least mine is written with a view to being read by others. Whether that distorts it, like a politician writing a diary with a view to publication, I leave to you to decide; but:
- Note: I have a responsibility to my students, and since some of the blog relies on my observations of them, I have disguised some details, and/or delayed writing it up to take some of the edge off it. I hope it does not adversely affect the material.
- Fourth, it is a device to place in context some of the material elsewhere on the sites: I haven't written this stuff up purely for the fun of it, or even because it relates to material I teach. I have written up the material on the sites because I find it useful. I hope to show how.
- Fifth, it enables me to point you to other sites and reading which I come across which you might also find interesting (or not, of course).