I think the most interesting aspect of this assignment for me has been the way in which my voice changes depending on the subject matter. During the course of the semester we have had to reflect on literature and themes for class, on assignments we have written and on the reflection process itself. Reading over my work I think that my voice is strongest and at its most compelling when I am writing a journal type of assignment. I found the reflecting on reflecting difficult early on and I was slightly uncomfortable about self-assessment, not because I was unsure about showing my work, but because in the past I have tended to forget about past assignments immediately due to a lack of confidence in my work. I think that the reflection on my IA report was actually quite helpful in that regard because I was forced to look at what I had written and think about the assignment. I realised that I was quite proud of my work and I had learned a great deal about the topic and about my own abilities but I found it difficult to write down these feelings of achievement. I think I have been more comfortable writing about the literature because it is closer to my comfort zone which is academic essays about English literature and critical theory. I found it was useful to write about the literature and then apply it to my own experiences.
I think that placing myself as central to the writing was the most difficult aspect for me. I almost felt like it was like taking a step back in my writing. In university you are trained to write in a very different way and these reflections were a dramatic switch back to being more aware of myself as the writer. Although this may sound negative I have realised that the reflection process is very helpful. I have previously likened the experience to the Pensieve in Harry Potter and I still believe that is a reasonable illustration of the process. Writing reflectively allows me to think about the literature or concept in a deeper way and focus my thoughts, it allows me to clear my head and allows me the opportunity to look back on what I have written and remember what I have learned about the subject.
I would have liked to have had more time to read more of the posts by my peers. The workload of this semester was very heavy on reading and this inhibited my ability to read as much of the blog posts as I would have liked. However, I did think that reading posts by others was another good way of forging a deeper understanding of the subject matter. In the same way that having guest speakers was useful, reading other people’s experiences and opinions was very helpful. This also made me feel more comfortable about contributing to in-class discussion and to help me see that my experiences and thoughts could be useful to others.
I believe that my confidence has grown hugely throughout the semester as I have realised I have more valuable experience in management and a lot of transferable skills that I may not have given myself credit for previously. I hope to continue writing about what I am learning and engaging with the literature and lectures in a deeper and more personal way. Although learning off facts and figures and how to do things can be useful, I feel that this course has illustrated how important it is to be self-aware in relation to education and learning. I would like to think that I will take this sense of self-awareness and reflection into my career especially if my career involves educating people in some manner. I believe that it is a very useful tool in the education process.