Critical Reflection on Ableism
Assignment 1: Personal/Professional Learning Journal
During the semester, students will be exposed to various ideas and experiences of others that may be challenging to their worldview and personal beliefs or values. As developing critical self-awareness is a major objective of the course, this assignment is designed to help students consider reactions/responses they have to assigned readings and classroom experiences. Each student will complete 4 journals to be turned in as indicated on the course outline and the schedule listed below:
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Journal entries are expected to demonstrate self-analysis based on thoughtful reflection and critical self-assessment. Simply stated, the point of this assignment is to turn “the eye inward” and conduct an honest self-assessment. The journal entries will be graded on students’ ability to thoughtfully reflect about their reactions/responses and walk themselves through this process. Students’ journals will be kept private, meaning that they will only be read by the instructor. However, at the instructor’s discretion, they may be shared with the program director if there is a concern for issues related to students’ academics, adherence to the code of ethics, and/or professional behaviors.
Journals should be approximately 2-4 pages, typed, double-spaced, with citations as appropriate. They will be assessed based on the following criteria:
Evidence of advanced level of reflection, providing thoughtful, critical, and honest self-reflection and analysis; focal areas, those more important to the assignment purpose, have been identified with “FOCUS” after the prompt.
Integration of assigned readings and class activities in reflection
Ability to produce a well-organized journal, within the standards set in the APA 7th edition style manual, with no grammatical errors
Please note – The journal assignments are designed to encourage self-analysis and critical reflection. This does not mean, though, that journals must include “negative” assessments or biases. Students are not required to hold or support specific points of view; however, students are expected to maintain professional standards as set forth in the NASW Code of Ethics. Questions or concerns should be addressed with the instructor.
CRITICAL REFLECTION JOURNALS (Journals 1, 2, and 4)
Each journal focused on critical reflection must include your reactions/responses/
Please follow the prompts below:
Briefly, in one or two paragraphs, describe the initial incident.
For example: is your reflection based on an experience in class? From your past? An interaction you witnessed or participated in? If the connection is unclear, please explain how this initial incident links to the course contents.
What was your immediate reaction to the selected topic/assigned readings/class activities? Has your reaction changed? If so, how?
What do you think influenced your immediate reaction? How might your reaction been different from others connected to the initial incident?
For example: can you connect your reaction to previous personal or professional experiences? Family or cultural heritage? Societal messages? Prejudices, biases or lack of knowledge/exposure?
Is there anything you have newly learned in relation to the selected topic? If so, how would or did this affect your perspectives/beliefs/value, etc. toward the selected topic? (FOCUS)
What strengths/limitations would you identify for yourself, based on your reflections and how might these strengths/limitations affect your social work practice? How would you strengthen or improve the identified strengths/limitations as it relates to your profession as a social worker? (FOCUS)
Because the focus of the critical reflection journals may encompass a wide array of experiences students are encouraged to expand or modify the prompts above to accommodate their learning. Should any journal entry deviate markedly from the format above, please consider seeking the input of the course instructor.
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