Student journals : a window to metacognitive development

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Graham, Betty
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1994
A twelve week clinical practicum with a group of five first year nursing students provided an opportunity to introduce journal writing as a means of reflection on practice. The journals evolved into an on going dialogue between instructor and student. Although each student used the journal with varying degrees of comfort, evidence of developing metacognitive awareness was apparent in all five journals. As the students examined the thinking behind the decisions they made it was apparent to the reader that they used past experiences as well as previous and concurrent learning to create meaning and to fmd solutions to clinical challenges. This recognition of thinking processes translated into the students' acknowledgment of increasing comfort with nursing skills and with problemsolving challenges. Even though there had been no formal instruction in metacognitive processes, the students were demonstrating metacognitive growth in their journal entries. Metacognition, a means of shaping, clarifYing, and discovering one's ideas, involves self-knowledge, theoretical knowledge, skill knowledge, and self-monitoring. The fact that metacognitive awareness was evident, even in the entries of learners new to the idea of keeping a learning journal, adds strength to the case in favor of journals -- as a teaching strategy, a diagnostic tool, an evaluation tool, a research method, and a tool for personal and professional development.
vi, 79 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Nursing students -- Diaries , Metacognition , Nursing -- Study and teaching