Using a self-reflective journal to enhance science communication

Year: 1997

Author: MacCallum, Judith, Hickey, Ruth

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In new times the ability to self-evaluate and reflect on one's own action in communicating with others, will be a crucial workplace skill. This paper examines the use of reflective journals in an innovative peer tutoring course, designed to support university science students in peer tutoring and mentoring in schools. The course aims to enhance the effectiveness of student tutoring through students' self-evaluation and reflection on their personal tutoring experiences in relation to the course content, and to develop a link between school tutoring and workplace communication.

Findings from the first two years of the course, based on data sources of students' journal entries and responses to a questionnaire (n=45), will be presented. Analysis focuses on the development of reflective skills and students' awareness of their personal power in detecting and solving problems and developing strategies to promote two way communication. The use of self-evaluation through reflective journals was found to enhance the effectiveness of tutoring. Discussion will focus on the appropriateness of the course for developing the 'human side' of science, and the implications for developing this often under-represented aspect of science.