Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thinking about my paper on blogging and reflective practice

For Week 1 of the "How to write a paper in six weeks" challenge I have to write 2 - 5 key points I want to leave my reader with and then put them into a conclusion paragraph of 150 words.

Here are my key points.
  1. Blogging is an essential part of my reflective practice in my roles as midwife, educator and researcher.
  2. My blog allows me to use media other than writing which suits my different learning styles.
  3. I use a simple model to frame my writing, but the readers of my blog comment, question and challenge me which takes me to a deeper level of critical reflection.
  4. I do need to consider issues of confidentiality as well as my online profile/reputation.
Here is my conclusion paragraph.

Reflective practice is a process of examining one's thoughts and actions, in order to make sense of events, practice and life. There are many models and approaches to reflective practice which can be very confusing. Nevertheless, journaling is accepted as a valuable tool for reflective practice because it assists reflection, creative writing, critical thinking and cognitive learning. A blog is an Internet-based program that can be used for journaling and reflective practice. Blogs tend to consist mostly of text but can also include images, audio and video material which supports learning styles other than reading/writing. As a midwife, educator and researcher I have maintained a blog for four years. I use a simple model of reflection to frame my blog posts. I am taken to a deeper level of critical reflection by the readers who leave comments which challenge and question me. Discussion with readers, sharing of information and critique of ideas further extends my thinking and learning in a way that can never happen in a private, paper journal.


Dot said...

Hope you'll find a couple of comments on phrasing useful rather than annoying (I am an English lecturer, after all).

- the antecedent of 'which' is not completely obvious in your second sentence: try 'The large number of models for and approaches to reflective practice can be very confusing.'
- what exactly is the force of 'nevertheless' in the second sentence? The number of approaches is confusing but journal-writing is widely accepted despite the confusion? Again, perhaps the previous sentence is the one to modify: 'There are numerous competing approaches to reflective practice. Of these approaches, journal-writing is widely considered to be an effective tool.' Or, if this is closer to what you want to say: 'There are numerous models for reflective practice. Though these models often diverge in detail, the value of journal-writing as a reflective technique is a common theme.'
- 'A blog is an Internet-based program' - do you need to define a blog at this point? (This relates to the difference between summary and conclusion.) The more important point would seem to be that blogs can be used for reflection
- the four key points aren't all in the paragraph - what about the part about confidentiality?

And, finally, while I've got my English teacher hat on, could a difference be usefully made between reflection and reflective practice? I would have expected reflective practice to be a process not just of making sense but of intermingling practice (perhaps of midwifery, or of teaching) with reflection, so that the practice and the reflection constantly feed into each other. Arguably, the exercise of examining your thoughts and actions is reflection. Reflective practice would then be going back to what you were doing, and doing it in the light of your new insights.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks Dot, you are an angel....thanks so much for feedback. Of course, you have opened the flood gates - I'll have to twist your arm to go through my paper when I actually get around to writing it :)

Pam said...

Wow Dot, I amy also need to save these comments

Dot said...

Sarah, I'd be delighted to read the whole paper if you'd like me to.

Sarah Stewart said...

I'll take you up on that, Dot. I am not a good academic writer so need all the help I can get. Thanks :)