March 08, 2008

the power of writing

There was again some discussion on reflection and blogging. Paul used the words "the power of writing", which I liked very much.

There was an Chinese idiom or phrase, which can be loosely translated as "half understanding of a subject" or some times as sciolism(which I doubt if it is the suitable translation). This happen to me very frequent, especially when I first learn something. Some times I wonder if this perhaps has something to do with my nature, as it can be impatient.

To overcome this, Paul has encouraged us to reflect on what we have learned during the day (or night). Use the form of writing blogs to let the writing to inform the thinking. I do fully agree his point of view and perhaps I can think of some reasons why I was not so diligent on this practise.

      • maybe somewhere down there, I still treated it like a chore thus delay and completing it until the last minute.
        • I felt like to write up some elementary school's homework or a pupil essay, which developed no deep reflection into the subject
          • did not habituate myself to blogging as a daily practise
            • sometimes certain topics require some effort and time to digest and decomposite before writing anything 

            Seems, the first 3 are some sort of attitude problems, and actually the last one makes blogging and reflection as an effective technique to support the process of comprehension.

            One of the two things my grandma tried to get me started as a child were: making notes/comments while reading, and write a journal or diary. I didn't seem to make any of those two. Hopefully, it is not too late to start on reflective blogging. (which can be sort of a combination of both and more)


            - 2 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

            1. Paul Roberts

              A useful reflection on your reflection process. I think you Grandma’s suggestion to take notes when you read was a good one, particularly in the education environment. How many times have you found a useful article, read it without taking notes and then when you are ready to use it some days/weeks later, you cannot remember what you read or the implications of what you read? By note taking when you read you are reading for a purpose because presumably you would be selective in the notes that you took. When you refer to your notes later, you will recall much of what you read the first time because the action of note taking gets you actively engaged with the material.

              The blog as a learning log is a form of journal through which you can reflect on your development as the year progresses. Using the plan, do, study, act cycle, you can reflect on your processes of learning and note opportunities for developing the effectiveness of your study time. Maybe to start with this will seem to be a chore, but I feel that as you get into the habit you will see increasing value, particularly if you use is for the purpose of developing your thinking on a topic. Isn’t it useful to capture your initial thoughts on a topic and reflect on your development of understanding as you make further entries?

              10 Mar 2008, 16:26

            2. Reading this entry and Paul’s comment made me think about all the times back at school where I used to make notes for exam revision… the whole aim for that was to ensure I had understood the topic and could remember it for the exam. Reflection for me is something similar, but has more benefits and can be applied to the real world. For example, I know I have not managed my time effectively for most PMA’s, but reflecting back on it allows me to work out WHY the problem is there, and thus come up with solutions. Just knowing the problem is not enough and the whole concept of reflection allows you develop your actions/processes into preventing it next time.

              I usually tend to analyse things in my head, but memory is such that the lessons learnt may not always be remembered – reflecting on time management has lead me to write post-it notes around my room to make sure I get things done when I need to. This would not have usually happened if I had kept a mental note of things.

              15 Mar 2008, 14:55


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