Critical Reflection Journals (20%): For each selected article/video, students are to submit a journal entry, which consists of your ongoing reactions to readings and your own personal and professional experiences both past and present.
The purpose of the journal assignment is to help you continue to develop your critical thinking skills that work toward integrating theory and knowledge by encouraging you to articulate the connections between theories and research with your own personal and practical experiences; and to identify the social welfare implications raised by the material.
Each critical reflection journal entry assigned will require at minimum two (2) pages in length of original written narrative. This reflection essay will critically analyze and reflect your thoughts and perspectives on the information you received through your readings and how you will utilize this knowledge moving forward as a professional social worker.
Journal entries are to include the following:
Critical analysis of assigned readings. Do not summarize the readings. Instead discuss your intellectual and emotional reactions.
Critical reaction to class lectures, discussions, presentations, exercises and videos. Again, please do not summarize. Instead, discuss and react to those issues in class that interest or excite you or with which you have some experience.
Implications you draw from readings and class discussion for social work practice and policy. Discuss what difference you think the readings and class material make in social work
Examples from your field placement and life experience (yours or those of your friends or relatives). Examples should illustrate how the reading or class discussion increases your understanding of a particular practice situation and /or connects to a life experience or raises further questions.
Reactions, thoughts, feelings about what is happening in the world around us, in relation to what we are reading and discussing in class
Discussion of newspaper or magazine articles, journal articles, books, television programs, movies, etc. that are relevant to what we are considering in class and the topic
Some other suggestions:
Formulate your own questions and ideas and express them even when you can only be tentative.
Try to make connections between the abstract and concrete, between theories, concepts and ideas and ways in which they are played out in yours and other’s experiences.
Respond to the perspective of the author of the article.
When you start an entry with experience, test it out against some reading. When you start with reading, react critically and try to relate it to our own ideas, experiences, and questions.