Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Theory into Practice: Unlocking the Power and Potential of Reflective Journals

Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Theory into Practice: Unlocking the Power and Potential of Reflective Journals

Article excerpt

Theory Into Practice: Unlocking the Power and Potential of Reflective Journals Timothy S. O'Connell and Janet £. Dyment Information Age Publishing 2013

Experience is not what happens to you, it's what you do with what happens to you.

-Aldous Huxley

Reflection has been a key concept for educators for a century or more. From Dewey to Lewin to Kolb to Schon, from adult to service to outdoor education, experience and reflection have been hallmarks for a wide range of educational fields and professionals. Experiential education, no matter the field, focuses on the experience, but equally important is reflection. Journaling is one of the most common ways to reflect and is often used to assess the experiential learning.

I suspect many professional and experiential educators have asked their students to journal as part of the learning experience. And I suspect that many educators are like me, frustrated at times with the results of what should be a rich and valuable pedagogical tool. From shallow or superficial reflections, to poor writing, to figuring assessment schemes, to the sheer amount of time necessary to read and provide helpful written feedback, the ultimate cost/benefit ratio makes us question why we ever assigned journals in the first place.

Given both the potential and challenges of journals, a new book by outdoor educators Tim O'Connell and Janet Dyment, Theory Into Practice: Unlocking the Power and Potential of Reflective Journals, offers an excellent resource. The slim volume provides a comprehensive overview of journaling that will benefit educators ranging from those who have extensively used them to those who are just getting started or simply considering using them. The authors come from an outdoor education background, and most of the examples are naturally drawn from their teachings and field. However, their extensive and very useful literature review is wide ranging, touching on many fields. Their broad aim and ultimate result makes this an extremely useful work for experiential and professional studies educators from across the spectrum. And while the book's jacket mentions "post-secondary educators," the book would be valuable for high school educators as well. …

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.