reflective writing template for students

reflective writing template for students

Reflective Writing Techniques for Students

1. Introduction

Reflective writing is a key strategy that can be used to help students engage in the learning process. Despite many other creative ways to use reflective practice in education, there is a lack of resources and viable techniques that can be used to guide students into reflective writing for learning. This is often a daunting task for students, as many are unfamiliar or unconfident in their writing abilities and may not understand the process of reflecting on an experience in such a way that a written assignment can capture. This essay will aim to describe a specific strategy for reflective writing that is at a formative or low stakes phase, which could be used in homework or in class with further potential to be used in a summative task.

The use of reflective learning practices in education has been around since the 1930s. This type of learning falls into a category of problem solving, which can be described as a form of response to puzzling situations. There are a few definitions as to what reflective learning is, and it is described in many different ways. But in general, most will agree that it is a way of thinking about a past experience and it is a personal process. The general concept of reflection is widely used in education and is considered an important aspect of learning. There are many general reasons why it is viewed as important, and its applications in learning have spawned various theories and practices for students and teachers.

2. Benefits of Reflective Writing

Reflective practice is formed from the concept of learning from experience, and one of the defining elements of this is the written articulation of learning in an outcome-focused context. This may take the form of a learning journal and can be discarded upon completion of the learning or be more conscious and be the end product of a learning experience in the form of a learning portfolio or reflective essay. The process requires taking time to think back over events that have happened and the outcomes of those events, creating implications for practice. Various strategies for this may be employed. Gibbs’ reflective cycle and Johns’ model of structured reflection are two of the more commonly employed frameworks and can be utilized as a basis for reflection on specific events. Written reflection is a purposeful activity that can be undertaken at any time – consciously during the learning process and at the end of phases of work or study as a means of internalizing learning and clarifying tacit and uncodified knowledge.

3. Steps to Effective Reflective Writing

Review your experience. Before a student begins to write a reflection, the most important step they can take is to think and reflect on the experiences that they want to document. Reflective writing is a way of processing events, experiences, and insights that focuses more on capturing and exploring the experience for the purposes of learning, rather than describing it. Remember that the more deep and thought-out reflections will give a better understanding of the writer, so it is important that the student is patient with themselves and takes their time reflecting. This does not mean the writer has to go away and spend hours thinking about this experience, but just to spend a little more time giving a thought to what it is they want to document. It is also a good idea to discuss your reflection with someone else. By telling your story to someone else, you may get information that you had previously forgotten or take a different perspective on the events, giving more information as to what can be learned from your experience. This is especially helpful for students who are writing a reflective report as part of a legal or factual point of view.

4. Examples of Reflective Writing

This writing would most likely be nonlinear to a client, but using the PACE sequence it could be collaboratively constructed into sequence of drawings and diagrams as a memory aid.

This type of writing a daily reflecting blog would be useful to look back on for any discussions.

Overall- content.

I feel much better today, regarding my self-esteem. All this work is paying off so I am reassured with my skills and knowledge now.

Now I’ve pulled a muscle using my new workout equipment, my foot slipped so I spent some time researching safe and effective exercise, there must be a better plan because I swear the same thing just happened with the kids, I need to prevent that. (thinking)

I don’t like it when I’m not getting through anything on the drawing, symbol meanings etc. but I think it’s beneficial just having some chill time, their situations will still be here in future. But next week I plan to move forward with the sandtrays, it has been on my mind to be creative with my own sand design for a symbolic reason.

Session 11, Mood: OK, troublesome day with the kids, feel disappointed and constantly thinking why are they behaving like this, what have I done etc, maybe just having on off days … But then I have realised nothing major happened, OK there was some hitting and pinching between them but these past couple of months have been so much better than in the past. Oldest is so much better since we used the play therapy, so I think today was just a one off, nothing I have done or not done … also thinking how much better I am handling the situation and my anger, I’m praising myself but it is true and as a result the situation calmed down quickly and no-one got hurt, so that’s positive.

Level 2 Diet: Below is a real example of a reflective writing from a patient, following a diet of significantly reduced food consumption.

Rather than simply stopping food consumption, the fast diet involves an individual eating significantly less food on certain days. The Level 1 treatment involved a more comprehensive reflecting process, whether the patient was alone or with a therapist. Here are some examples of real-life reflective writings:

5. Conclusion

As experiential learning mainly educates Thai students, their understanding and their cultural issues, there are several points that stand out in importance. Reflective writing is a learning method to help students make critical thinking in learning to explore their understanding about what they want to learn. It covers all defined phases that students should learn. It could be done by self or peer assessment. A tutor can ask the students to write about their experience and what they get from an activity, then have a discussion. It could be a good way to evaluate students based on their writing. Reflective writing is based on personal perspective, so it’s a culture-free tool for learning. It wouldn’t be affected by any cultural issues. But if educators use reflective writing with students who have a different culture, they should think about their students’ cultural issues to avoid misconceptions in learning. Reflective writing is flexible and can be learned by anyone at any age.

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