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This paper seeks to highlight/outline the benefits that can be achieved by using reflective journals to assist teaching in a practical class. The reflective journals were introduced to try and make up for the perceived shortfall in the level of experience and understanding of students on a new degree programme “Timber Product Technology”. The lecturers involved needed
needed ing outside of their normal classroom environment.
The module is “Jointing Techniques and Furniture 1” and is taught in a practical workshop environment whereby the students learn the basic skills in wood jointing and making furniture. The students learn using a combination of hand tool skills and the use of machines in fabricating wood into furniture.
We believe that using the reflective journals has allowed the students to think about their actions, before doing them, while carrying out the actions and after doing them. They are using Schön’s (1983) reflection-in-action (thinking while doing the task). They are reflecting upon the task and if it is going well or if they need to stop and re-evaluate what they are doing and make changes. They are also using Schön’s (1983) reflection-on-action (thinking after-the-event) they evaluate what they have just done and consider how they can do it differently and plan what they will do in a similar task thus directing their own learning.
Ryan, A., Byrne, J. : Using Reflective Journals to Promote and Enhance Self Directed Learning, ICEP 2013 Conference Programme IT Sligo - 6th December 2013.