Being able to recall information is a prime even foundational reason to use a learning journal. People tend to think that journals need to be kept in order to find information again. Yet, not only will keep a learning journal keep important facts in one place but by writing items down, memory increases. People discover greater clarity in their new knowledge.
The purpose of a learning journal and recording thoughts helps to slow down the mind, permitting connections between the new information and old knowledge to be created and established, similar to spinning a web. This process occurs in journaling by utilizing more senses. Information is visualized, evaluated, synthesized and knitted into greater schemes.
The development of self-awareness as a learner is a valuable asset of the learning journal process. It provides an opportunity to encourage double-loop learning.
Double-loop learning was coined as an educational and leadership term by Chris Argyris during the 1980s and has been used as an effective learning theory since its introduction (Cartwright, 2002). The theory promotes individuals to revisit assumptions. In the first loop (single-loop), the learner evaluates goals, knowledge and any associated rules. During the second loop (double-loop), the individual modifies what they learned, defining problems and even resolving the sources of dilemmas.
This process invites the learner to become courageous in questions personal beliefs, propelling greater depths of learning. New concepts and ways of thinking come through the journal process, developing a self-awareness of the learner in relation to the newly acquired knowledge.
By Tracy Atkinson
Tracy Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband and spirited long-haired miniature dachshunds. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passion is teaching, researching, studying and enjoying time with her family. She has published several titles, including MBTI Learning Styles: A Practical Approach. Courses available on learning styles and student success at: Udemy, Teachable or Thinkific.