The Reflective Practice Writing Bicycle

A Reflective Analysis Tool for Engaged Learning

  • Edmund Pries Wilfrid Laurier University
Keywords: reflective practice writing, experiential learning, engaged learning, community engagement, community service learning, reflective practice

Abstract

Traditional university education has focused on academic learning, which is followed by a graduate's attempts to apply this learning to various career-related pursuits. Experiential learning turns this focus on its head - at least partially. Instead of learning preceding praxis, learning now follows praxis. In this latter model, much of the post-praxis learning is focused and achieved via reflective analysis of experience - also called reflective practice - through written reflection. Reflective Practice Writing (RPW), also called Reflective Practice Journaling, is much more than traditional journaling. For reflective practice to effectively facilitate the learning process for students, RPW requires students to deeply probe and explore their experience to realize maximum learning. A guide or a "tool" to assist this process is useful and, I argue, required but, in too many cases, is either inadequate or not provided at all. This paper provides and describes such a reflective practice writing tool, which has been imagined as a bicycle - with a "front wheel" and a "back wheel" of spokes or questions. A reflective practice writing tool cannot, however, simply be developed on its own; it must be tied to a teaching and learning philosophy which has student learning integration and, ultimately, student transformation as its goal. The Reflective Practice Writing Bicycle is based precisely on such a teaching/learning philosophy, which is integrated into The RPW Bicycle tool itself. 

Author Biography

Edmund Pries, Wilfrid Laurier University

Edmund Pries is an Assistant Professor of Global Studies, Social Entrepreneurship, Religion and Culture, and Community Engagement at Wilfrid Laurier University where his teaching is centered in the area of Peace and Conflict Studies. His research focuses on religion and peace/conflict and on social contracts derived from citizenship and military oaths. He also writes on pedagogy. Edmund is the recipient of three awards for teaching excellence. He co-edited the book Peace Studies between Tradition and Innovation (Cambridge Scholars, 2015).

References

Boud, David. 2001. “Using journal writing to enhance reflective practice.” New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 90: 9–17. https://doi.org/10.1002/ace.16

Boud, David, R. Keogh and D. Walker. 1985. “Promoting reflection in learning: a model.” In Reflection: Turning Experience Into Learning, edited by David Boud, Rosemary Keogh and David Walker, 18–40. London: Kogan Page. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315059051

Bolton, Gillie. 2009. “Write to learn: reflective practice writing.” InnovAiT 2: 752–754.
https://doi.org/10.1093/innovait/inp105

———. 2010. Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development. London: Sage.

Brockbank, Anne and Ian McGill. 1998. Facilitating Reflective Learning in Higher Education. Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Ed¬ucation and Open University Press. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467- 8535.2008.00870_3.x

Dewey, John. 1933. How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflec¬tive Thinking to the Educative Process. Boston: D.C. Heath. https://doi.org/10.1501/ilhfak_0000000937

Kolb, David A. 1984. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learn¬ing and Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

McCormach, David. 2010. “The transformative power of journaling: reflective practice as self-supervision.” In The Soul of Supervision: Integrating Practice and Theory, edited by Margaret Benefiel and Geraldine Holton, 25–37. New York: Morehouse.

Montgomery, Heather. E-mail message to author on June 2, 2017, providing feed¬back from student interviews regarding the RPW Bicycle.

Moon, Jennifer A. 2006. Learning Journals: A Handbook for Reflective Practice and Professional Development. Abingdon: Routledge.

O’Connell, Timothy S. and Janet E. Dyment. 2013. Theory Into Practice: Un¬locking the Power and the Potential of Reflective Journals. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Ritzmann, Isaiah. E-mail message to author on June 2, 2017, providing feedback from student interviews regarding the RPW Bicycle.

Schön, Donald A. 1983. The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.

———. 1987. Educating the Reflective Practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Student EB: Email comment on May 2, 2017.

Student TM: Assignment response on March 20, 2017.

Student VC: Email comment on May 4, 2017.

Student VC: From oral presentation comment on May 24, 2017.

Tsang, Annetta, K. L. 2011. “Online reflective group discussion – connecting first year undergraduate students with their third year peers.” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 11: 58–74.
Published
2019-05-14
How to Cite
Pries, E. (2019). The Reflective Practice Writing Bicycle. Religious Studies and Theology, 38(1-2), 125-140. https://doi.org/10.1558/rsth.38261