Activity Fiftythree Writing a journal entry

Learning journals usually begin with an account of the student's expectations of a course. Read the following extract from one student's first entry for a course about political theory. Note how the student writes about what she hopes to learn on the course and how she relates this to her own background -her arguments with her brother!

I am looking forward to this course because I feel power and politics are central issues to social interaction and the way society functions. Whilst studying for the kinship course, it seemed to me essential that you have to bring in the concept of power to be able to discuss both kinship and gender issues ... My oldest brother is an adamant Marxist ... I was always inclined to disagree with my brother's dogmatic approach to Marx, and would try to argue for other theories, although lacking in concrete knowledge. I am looking forward to hearing more about theories of power, such as Weber's and others and hope to expand my knowledge of their works -perhaps in the hope that some day I may be able to win an argument against my brother!

At the beginning of a course or of just one session, write a learning journal entry about what you expect and hope to get out of it, in particular noting any questions that you hope the course or session may answer. Write in sentence form rather than notes. At the end of the course or session go back to this piece of writing to check how your understanding has increased and whether your expectations have been met.

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