Improving reflective writing in higher education : A social semiotic perspective

Ryan, M. (2011) Improving reflective writing in higher education : A social semiotic perspective. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(1), pp. 99-111.

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Reflective skills are widely regarded as a means of improving students’ lifelong learning and professional practice in higher education (Rogers 2001). While the value of reflective practice is widely accepted in educational circles, a critical issue is that reflective writing is complex, and has high rhetorical demands, making it difficult to master unless it is taught in an explicit and systematic way. This paper argues that a functional-semantic approach to language (Eggins 2004), based on Halliday’s (1978) systemic functional linguistics can be used to develop a shared language to explicitly teach and assess reflective writing in higher education courses. The paper outlines key theories and scales of reflection, and then uses systemic functional linguistics to develop a social semiotic model for reflective writing. Examples of reflective writing are analysed to show how such a model can be used explicitly to improve the reflective writing skills of higher education students.

Impact and interest:

45 citations in Scopus
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19 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 37751
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: reflection, reflective writing, social semiotics, HERN
DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2010.507311
ISSN: 1356-2517
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in [Teaching in Higher Education]. [Teaching in Higher Education] is available online at informaworldTM
Deposited On: 06 Oct 2010 21:30
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2016 03:37

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