Last year, Peter Brown - an author / illustrator - came to our school for Book Week and showed his process journal to the Arts students in MYP. I spoke to the kids afterwards about how authentic and real it was to see a published author using a process journal as a tool. Last summer, I was taking notes on my Taiko drumming lessons; my instructor said, "Oh, I have a book like that, too!" She pulled out a huge, ratty binder filled with every thought, idea, reflection, etc., she'd had about Taiko drumming. I said to her, "This is an amazing process journal!" This weekend, I was in the local German Bakery when I ran into a parent studying a book very carefully. He showed me his notebook, which turned out to be a very, very cool process journal. He's the guitarist in a local expat band. His book has chords, chord progressions, song structures, repertoire lists, lists of potential songs, notes about gigs, and more. He told me that people initially questioned why he was doing so much work, but that later his book proved to be very helpful for the band. He was the keeper of the knowledge. He knew what songs the band had done, and which songs were coming up. He knew who was soloing when. I told Andy about this and Andy said, "That parent was learning. His book was an organisation of knowledge and an area for reflection." Again, Andy went back to the point - it wasn't so much that Ken had a 'music' process journal as much as it was that Ken was organising his learning through reflection. I saw that Ken's book would have been equally valid in a science room or a Humanities class. And so would Bonnie Soon's (Taiko) or Peter Brown's.
My grade 6s have been asking me when they need to start reflecting in their DWs. We haven't started the creative cycle yet, so all of our assessments are purely formative at this point. However, I think I've been going about things using the wrong philosophy. This week, I'm going to start talking to the kids about:
1) Organising learning
2) Reflecting to improve
3) Real world examples
First step? I've already arranged for Ken (the parent) to come in and give a talk to my grade 11s.
Sometimes in life, to improve your practice, you need to dig deeper into your philosophy / theory.