As part of my second semester capstone class at USD for an M.Ed., I am required to keep a teaching journal of the material I read. The first week includes reading the introduction and chapters one and two of the book to the left.
The introduction is nothing special. Just the usual pages about the books purpose and what to expect.
Chapter one is written around the usefulness of goals. It opens with the request that you write down one goal for your development as a teacher. Mine would be:
"I want to have a clear understanding of action research and how to program self-directed learning."
This is not necessarily a goal for the capstone class, but one which reflects the general flow of the entire M.Ed. program. By the end of this semester, I feel like I need to have a very clear understanding of the process of independent research so that I can be a fully functioning self-learner without the need of classes and continual personal and professional development throughout my life.
The second chapter focuses on, "Writing, Observing, Interacting, and Acting Together." This essentially details the importance of receiving feedback from other professionals and students. It also makes explicit the use of writing up your own development over time and why it is helpful to you as an educator and member of the professional community.
Both these first chapters are inline with what I already know about self-directed learning because goals and feedback appear to me to be a huge part of the act. In order to stay motivated and interesting, you need to have clear objectives and feedback in order to keep going. Reflecting on that change over time through the use of journals is one way of getting feedback from yourself.