Education: Reflective writing
What is reflective writing in the context of Education?
Reflection is something that professional educators do several times a day. By doing so, the educator enhances their teaching practice by reflecting on what part of their teaching went well, what could have gone better, and how to improve next time.
Reflective writing generally contains elements of description, analysis and outcomes or action. If you include each of these components in your reflective writing, you will see connections between your experiences, learning, and theories more clearly. Reflective writing in the Education faculty therefore effectively allows you to bridge what you study, what you observe, what you do when teaching and what you learn from your experiences in order to become a better educator over time.
5 things you need to know about reflective writing in Education View
1. Make it personal
It’s generally OK to be subjective, and use words like ‘I’ and ‘me’ in reflective writing. Reflective tasks are asking about your feelings, thoughts and observations. For that reason it’s fine to make those elements personal.
2. Plan your writing
Reflective essays require careful planning and strategic structure to achieve their aims. Make sure you have a carefully thought out plan to achieve the essay’s goals as outlined in the instructions. Start with an introductory section orienting your reader to the topic, your purpose for writing and outlining the structure you’ll use to achieve that stated purpose. Follow this with body paragraphs that clearly state their topics/purposes, and a concluding section that sums up how the essay has achieved its stated purpose, and any final observations or ‘big picture’ comments.
3. Analyse your experiences
Reflective writing encourages you to make observations about your experiences and beliefs – e.g. your own past experiences as a learner, or your observations from teaching rounds – and link these with the theoretical learning in your subject. The person grading your work is looking for proof of learning from you, so it is very important that you don’t just describe what happened, but also provide analysis of how your observations or experience relate to the theory and learning from the unit.
4. Demonstrate your analysis
Reflective writing requires you to show that you can evaluate what you read, think, and do, by acknowledging a range of viewpoints and possibilities from the research and reading you have done.
5. Reference your sources
When you discuss how theories and concepts you’ve learned about in the unit apply to the thing you’re reflecting on, you will need to cite and reference those key concepts. This is general good practice at uni, but also in your life and career as well. Always acknowledge the original source of information whenever possible. It credits the originator and ensures that your work is ethical, and based on research and is therefore stronger than mere opinion or conjecture.