Learning Pathophysiology by Journal Writing: The Synergy of Art and Science

By Masoud Ghaffari.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Reflective writing fosters critical thinking skills. It helps students to delve deeper into complex scientific concepts and theories and learn insightfully. Reflective writing enhances the development of students’ empathy and helps them to become more conscious of self and others. Reflective journaling, as a way of student-teacher communication, allows mutual exchanges of thoughts and feelings, which cannot be accomplished in any other way and certainly not in limited class time. The teacher can provide valuable feedback on the students’ reflections and guide them accordingly. Many students with deficient interpersonal skills, shyness, or hesitancy to interact with the teacher in class are given the opportunity to do so by this learning method. Reflective journaling provides ample opportunities for students to express themselves, even artistically, by writing poems, making drawings, and creating metaphors. This active form of learning helps students synthesize and construct new knowledge. A review of the literature supports the notion that journal writing is closest to natural speech, aids memory, and provides a context for healing and growth. This instructional method has gained popularity in the past three decades; however, it is still underused, especially in science courses. The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of journal writing as an aid to students learning pathophysiology material. Focus groups and individual semi-structured interviews were conducted. The emerged data would help us modify our teaching method by integrating journal writing into the design of our science courses in order to provide a learner-centered environment that enhances reflexive awareness and also facilitates meaning making and knowledge construction.

Keywords: Reflective Journaling, Aid in Learning Science Courses, Critical Thinking, Creativity

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp.11-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 656.855KB).

Dr. Masoud Ghaffari

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Department of Adult Nursing, East Tennessee State University, Kingsport, Tennessee, USA

Dr. Masoud Ghaffari is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University. His areas of specialization are educational psychology, urban education, health education and community health, nursing management and leadership, medical technology, and medicine. His research interests include understanding of ontology and epistemology of human intelligence, transpersonal phenomenology, complexity and chaos theory, self-organizing theory, system theory, and constructivist learning theory. In addition, he has interest in school reform and holistic education. A holistic paradigm of human intelligence, Trinity Paradigm of Intelligence (TPI), emerged from one of his studies which has expanded our understanding of the topic.


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