Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Eureka! I Finally Get IT: Journaling as a Tool for Promoting Praxis in Research

Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Eureka! I Finally Get IT: Journaling as a Tool for Promoting Praxis in Research

Article excerpt

Abstract: Journals track the journey of the researcher elucidating how we learn and evolve over the process of conducting research. They allow us to weave together our private and professional lives which helps us better understand how the different contexts in which we live our lives come together to shape various aspects of the research process. This essay examines how journaling assisted me to more fully understand my work as a nurse scholar engaged in community-based health promotion research. Particular attention is given to exploring what it means to remain committed in long-term research studies and how team members' lives affect their ability to carry out interventions. Implications of findings for future design of intervention studies are also addressed.

Key Words: Journaling, Intervention Research, Community-based Research

Journals are written documents that stimulate increased personal awareness regarding our own beliefs, values, and practices, as well as, those of others with whom we interact (Billings & Kowalski, 2006). They track the emotional and intellectual journey of the researcher, explaining how we learn and evolve over the process of conducting research. Journals provide a place for us to weave together our private and professional lives. This allows us to more fully understand how the different contexts in which we live our lives come together to shape various aspects of the research process. Insights gained through reviewing our journals provide direction for future research (Bogdewic, 1999).

Journaling facilitates the development of research praxis, which are practices arising from the interaction between critical reflection and action (Chinn & Kramer, 2004). Journaling allows us to make sense of the multiple small and singularly meaningless thoughts that when viewed as a whole illuminate patterns and profound insights (Clandinin & Connelly, 1998). Constructivist theories of learning posit that all learning must be embedded in personal experiences of the individual and that learning only has an effective influence on future behavior when it can be incorporated with prior knowledge (Wagoner & Wijekumar, 2004). Journaling provides a forum for researchers to reflect upon the immediate research process in relation to prior experiences and knowledge. Journaling uses writing as a means of developing reflective practice. "Reflective practice is a means of self-examination that involves looking back over what has happened in practice to improve performance or encourage professional growth" (Blake, 2005, p. 1 ). Our ideas become clearer when we write them down. Journaling allows us to examine our actions embedded in the complex interactions between self and others within particular contexts. Writing forces us to make connections and concretely declare these connections. Journaling assists us in developing reflective practice by pushing us to discover meaning, gain perspectives of others, and reflect on our on behavior (Blake, 2005). It also helps us integrate and relate theoretical concepts to practice, uncover resources for or barriers to connections between self and others, and to more thoroughly understand the cultural narratives in which we as researchers are embedded. Journaling provides an educational encounter with self that renders us as fully human and frees the moral imagination.

The purpose of this essay is to illustrate the potential use of Journaling as a tool to enhance critical thinking about the research process in which we are engaged. I examine how Journaling assisted me to situate my work as a nurse scholar in the larger contexts of my life while simultaneously scrutinizing how the daily worlds of other African American women researchers involved in the monthly group sessions influenced the research process. My goal is to illuminate Journaling as a strategy to aid investigators in integrating the process of conducting research within their larger lives rather than conceptualizing research as separate from one's larger life (Lorde, 1980). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.