Course Description

This course explains the place and behavior of people in society. The scope of study extends from concerns of the family to problems of mass society. Topics of discussion and analysis include culture, status, roles, norms, birth order, deviance, social institutions, social structure, and social problems. Students participate in a variety of individual and group projects that examine how groups operate and the conflicts that affect society. Speakers from the community and field trips illustrate practical applications of the sociological principles studied in class.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Writing a Reflection Paper

Generally, the first step in how to write a reflective essay is a stream of consciousness type of activity. The writer of a reflective essay will spend a short period of time brainstorming ideas and random thoughts and impressions surrounding the topic of the reflective essay. The next step in how to write a reflective essay is to develop a catchy introduction and propose a backward looking question to grab the reader’s attention. This can be compared to the “hook” in fiction writing. In this instance, the more creative and generalizable to humanity, the better!
The following three steps in how to write a reflective essay form the body and conclusion of the assignment. It is crucial to adjust the viewpoint in order to effectively convey the larger meanings of the reflective essay. Develop and posit an inward looking question about the meaning and provide examples of why you arrived at this particular interpretation. Next develop and posit an outward looking question using additional examples. This is the point you pull the reader’s own experience into the elements of the reflective essay. Finally, develop and posit a forward looking question and conclusion that will leave the reader amused, pondering, or reactive to the conclusion.

The Process of Reflection
   Reflection is a cognitive process that promotes self-awareness and encourages self-assessment. The cognitive process of reflecting on one’s authentic knowledge, practice, and beliefs/attitudes is important to developing professionalism. Reflection allows one to think critically about one’s ability to effectively join content knowledge with practice to reach diverse populations of learners.
   Self-reflection provides a means for practitioners to identify issues; state opinion, inferences, and predictions; and express feelings, beliefs, and attitudes. The practitioner’s responsibility in self-reflection is to support personal opinion, inference, and prediction by inclusion of relevant content knowledge presented in published works.
   By asking the following questions prior to writing self-reflection, one will more effectively integrate the inclusion of relevant content knowledge from published works:

·         How has the published work either supported or changed your authentic knowledge, attitudes, and/or beliefs? Give specific examples from the published work.
·         What trends are apparent in the published work and how do these trends either support or negate your inferences and/or predictions? Give specific examples from the published work.
·          What new knowledge or new understanding of previous knowledge have you acquired from the published work that you perceive will influence your practice? Give specific examples from the published work.
·          Where did you disagree with the author of the published work? What is your counter argument? Give specific examples from the published work.

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