Learning Pathophysiology by Journal Writing: The Synergy of Art and Science
Reflective writing fosters critical thinking skills. It helps students to delve deeper into the complex scientific concepts and theories and learn insightfully. Reflective writing enhances 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 exchanges of mutual thoughts and feelings, which cannot be accomplished in any other way and certainly not in limited class time. In turn, 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. This instructional method has gained popularity in the past three decades; however, it is still underused, especially in learning science courses. The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of journal writing as an aid to students learning pathophysiology contents. Focus group and long individual interviews were conducted. The literature review supports the notion that journal writing is closest to natural speech, aids memory, and provides a context for healing and growth. Therefore, 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 facilitates meaning making and knowledge construction.
Keywords: Reflective Journaling, Aid in Learning Science Courses, Critical Thinking, Creativity
Dr. Masoud Ghaffari
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing