Examining barriers and facilitators in using teachers’ journals for critical space
Hope-Southcott, Laura L.
Docor of Philosophy
Communicative, intellectual and emotional space
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Among the varying ways to reflect on practice, learning journals capture the stories and lived experiences of teachers and help the writer to learn from experience about an event, an idea, or emotions. What does critical space in learning journals look like and under what conditions is it accessed? This needs to be understood to develop strategies to assist teachers in their journaling. The key finding was that teachers use journals for many different purposes, not all of which are critical. “Critical space” is a place for teachers to critique and challenge their practice. It is found in journaling when privacy is assured or there is a trusted audience. Time and place are key to supporting teachers’ critical reflections. Teachers must believe that change is possible and that this change brings professional growth. Necessary mechanisms put in place at the classroom, school, and government level would support this practice. Multiple data sources were used including convergent interviews, email correspondence, and journal excerpts.