Writing to Learn from Experience: Unguided Reflection as Meaning Making Practices for Teachers

in Writing for Professional Development
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In this chapter, we discuss unguided reflective writing as a practice for the professional learning of teachers. Our discussion is sustained by the findings of a study we carried out of 20 unguided reflections collected during an in-service program about the teaching of writing. Teachers’ unguided reflective writing assumed a narrative-like character and the texts were therefore analyzed as tools that teachers used to create meaning directly from their lived experiences. We used a Habermasian tripartite conception of worlds of action to structure our analysis, which unveiled the uniqueness and complexity of meanings that were constructed by each individual, illuminating a variety of meaning making profiles among participants. Our argument is that unguided writing is a powerful scaffold for situated, reflective learning from lived experience that might be used by teacher educators when implementing teacher education programs.

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