I have written about the need to reflect on our learning a number of times of late. It’s something which I have found invaluable and try to build into my activity on a regular basis. Indeed, I commented recently when I started this blog that in many ways it was a form of reflective writing for me as much as a way of helping others.
However, I am aware that keeping a reflective journal and writing in it on a daily or even weekly basis can be a challenge if you are not familiar with the approach. Reflecting on that reminded me of The Reflective Journal, which was written by Barbara Bassot.
It is designed to help readers critically assess their academic or professional progress and is as suitable for working professionals in any fieled as it is for students studying a variety of disciplines.
Have you completed Peter Honey and Alan Mumford’s learning styles questionnaire or indeed any questionnaire that looks at learning styles? If you have and you have identified that you have any reflector traits, then Bassot’s reflective journal can help you reflect on your career progress or on the information you’ve learned as part of a formal training course. If you have completed any type of learning styles inventory and have identified that you need to develop more skills around reflection then I would suggest that it’s ideal.
As well as giving you ample free space to record new information and observations, The Reflective Journal also contains a variety of useful techniques to help you become a critical reflective writer. If you haven’t had any prior experience writing in a reflective journal, then The Reflective Journal, is an ideal first reflective journal, as the process of writing in a reflective journal differs from writing in a traditional journal. To get the best out of the whole exercise, which will be an ongoing one, then learning how to properly utilise a relfective journal, in order to get the most out of your reflective exercises is very worthwhile.
The key to writing in a reflective journal, is to write in such a way that you can pin point the areas in which your knowledge is sufficient and the areas of your study or career, in which you need to invest a little more time. If you’re unsure of how to write journal entries which will give you an indication of your strengths, your weaknesses and potential opportunities to further your successes, The Reflective Journal, will guide you through each step of the reflective writing process.
One of the advantages of The Reflective Journal, is that is an easy read and isn’t too wordy or verbose (which with my passion for plain language gives it a big tick!) Unlike some of the other reflective journals being sold which contain lengthy text and few practical activities, The Reflective Journal has been carefully written so that readers spend more time practising reflective writing and less time reading. Each chapter, teaches readers how to build upon their reflective writing skills and offers a few practical exercises, for readers to put their new knowledge to the test. After all, the best way to retain knowledge and to improve your writing skills is to practice writing.
Whether you’re looking to get an A on your next university exam, start your own business or get a new role or a promotion, The Reflective Journal will help you get the most out of your reflecting writing, so that you’ll be able to reach your academic or professional goals. If it is something that interests you then I can highly recommend Barbara Bassot’s The Reflective Journal