The work of the Werklund School of Education is learning. Research is an engaging way of learning what is not already yet known, or probing what is already known but in new ways. Within the Werklund School of Education, the research conducted by our professors and students is incredibly diverse.
(Taylor & Francis : Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 2018-01) Dressler, Roswita; Becker, Sandra; Kawalilak, Colleen; Arthur, Nancy
Reflective writing is a practice often encouraged in study abroad programs. Reflection can be facilitated through experiential learning, but little research is available on how to guide or structure related learning activities. In this article, we discuss the Cross-cultural Reflection model (CCR), which emerged through our own process of researching three commonly-used models for reflective writing (Gibbs, 1988; Johns, 2010; Rolfe, Freshwater & Jasper, 2001). We document our procedure for researching, creating, testing, and modifying the CCR model, before and after using it with students in a post-sojourn debriefing workshop. In the discussion, we examine which aspects of the models examined informed the CCR model and which elements we introduced as a result of working with the models in two research retreats. The sharing of the process is intended to inform practices of reflective writing in post-sojourn debriefing to enhance international experiences, programmes and practices.
Study abroad programs for pre-service teachers aim to contribute to the cultural readiness needed for teaching in schools of today and tomorrow. Yet, the re-entry transition is an oft-neglected aspect of study abroad programs. We developed a model for reflective writing and examined the depth of post-sojourn reflection in pre-service teacher writing, two months after returning from a 10-week study abroad program. Although the majority of the writing illustrated descriptive writing or descriptive reflection, some students demonstrated dialogic or critical reflection, revealing the usefulness of reflective writing in capturing students’ experiences in ways that deepen their learning for teaching.