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12 JANUARY 2014

Reflective writing: a basic introduction

Reflection is an exploration and an explanation of events–not just a description of them.

Genuinely reflective writing often involves 'revealing' anxieties, errors and weaknesses, as well as strengths and successes. This is fine (in fact it's often essential!), as long as you show some understanding of possible causes, and explain how you plan to improve.

It is normally necessary to select just the most significant parts of the event or idea on which you're reflecting. ... If you try to 'tell the whole story' you're likely to use up your words on description rather than interpretation.

It is often useful to 'reflect forward' to the future as well as 'reflecting back' on the past.

(Martin Hampton, Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement, University of Portsmouth)

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TAGS

academic skills • academic writingcritical explanation • descriptive commentary • explicit knowledgeexploration oriented design processhow-to guidesinductive reasoninginformal languageinterpretation of experiencelearning guides • Martin Hampton • naming and rehearsal • ongoing progress • ongoingness • personal diary • post-hoc analysis • practice narratives • practising professional • professional developmentreflective bloggingreflective journalreflective practitioner • reflective thinking • reflective writing • social interdependence theory • structured method • structured writing • structuring reflective writing • theory buildingtheory-in-use • think reflectively • thinking through writing • University of Portsmouth • vocabulary aid • writing

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 DECEMBER 2010

Personalising learning: learner-centred and knowledge-centred

"Personalising learning is... ...learner–centred and knowledge–centred: Close attention is paid to learners' knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes. Learning is connected to what they already know (including from outside the classroom). Teaching enthuses pupils and engages their interest in learning: it identifies, explores and corrects misconceptions. Learners are active and curious: they create their own hypotheses, ask their own questions, coach one another, set goals for themselves, monitor their progress and experiment with ideas for taking risks, knowing that mistakes and 'being stuck' are part of learning. Work is sufficiently varied and challenging to maintain their engagement but not so difficult as to discourage them. This engagement allows learners of all abilities to succeed, and it avoids the disaffection and attention–seeking that give rise to problems with behaviour.

...and assessment–centred: Assessment is both formative and summative and supports learning: learners monitor their progress and, with their teachers, identify their next steps. Techniques such as open questioning, sharing learning objectives and success criteria, and focused marking have a powerful effect on the extent to which learners are enabled to take an active role in their learning. Sufficient time is always given for learners' reflection. Whether individually or in pairs, they review what they have learnt and how they have learnt it. Their evaluations contribute to their understanding. They know their levels of achievement and make progress towards their goals. Stimulated by How people learn: brain, mind, experience and school (Bransford, J. D., A. L. Brown, et al.)."

(Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group, 2007, p.6)

Bransford J.D., Brown A. L. and Cocking R. (eds.), How people learn: brain, mind, experience and school, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 2000.

1). Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group (2007). '2020 Vision: Report of the Teaching and Learning in 2020'. Department for Education and Skills.

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TAGS

20072020 • active learners • assessment for learning • assessment-centred • BSF • building schools for the future • classroomcollaborationContinuing Professional DevelopmentCPDdiscoveryeducationengagementexperimentationformative assessment • hypothesis building • ICTindividualknowledge • knowledge-centred • learner-centredlearning guides • learning objectives • new technologiespedagogypeer learningpersonalisationpersonalised learningpersonalising learning • personalising teaching • reflection • School Improvement Partners • social constructionism • success criteria • summative assessmentteachingUKunderstanding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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