We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.
―John Dewey, 1916, Philosopher and Educator
As an adult, you bring so much life experience into the classroom, the connections between the life you’ve lived and the things you’ve learned are made through the process of reflection. Some of you might picture reflection as a time where you are seated comfortably, and your mind is free of all other thoughts. The truth is that life affords few opportunities to actually reflect and dwell on learning. The great part of being an adult in college is that you will be exposed to new voices, images, and ideas. Reflection might not be a deliberate act of sitting silently, but instead, you might find that ideas come to you while you are driving or shampooing or petting the dog. Reflection allows your mind to make the explicit connections between your lived experience and the academic content that you will encounter here at Walden. As mentioned above, you are working through a writing process where you will compose the first draft of the ReflectionAssignment paper. This week you will begin with actually writing and submitting a rough draft.
During Week 6, you’ll be guided through a revisions and proofreading process that will help you further develop and improve your rough draft by adding more thoughts, incorporating any feedback received, and ensuring you’ve followed Academic Writing Expectations. Your final draft will be due at the end of Week 6.
The required elements for both weeks are the same, but the expectations are slightly different. The grading rubrics for Weeks 4 and 6 demonstrate this. For example, this week’s rough draft represents a first attempt at putting your thoughts down on paper and only covers four weeks. By Week 6, your final paper should be longer, include obvious improvements to the rough draft, and include aspects from the entire six weeks.
Your paper should include four sections. Be sure to review all four sections before starting. Remember to include an introductory and a concluding paragraph, and to support your ideas with specific examples and resources whenever possible.
Include the following parts:
Part 1: Today I am…
The first and longest section of your essay should describe who you are today as a result of this first-term course and starting your educational journey. Specifically consider your personal plan for success at Walden. Answer these questions to develop this section:
Think about some of the course themes and big ideas we discussed and connect them to the way you will approach learning and future classes.
Make sure to get specific and point to course examples to support your ideas.
Part 2: I promise to…
In the second section, make a promise to yourself and the classmates who might need your support during the program. Think about your reasons for being here and why you are promising to work towards success. Consider the following:
Part 3: How I will become part of the Walden Community
In the third section, explain how you might identify a mentor (colleague with different professional skills, someone in your profession of criminal Justice, or a Walden Faculty Member) to support your educational efforts. Share how a mentor would have a positive impact on your education and the role you would like him/her to take. How you might become a mentor to others in the program?
Submit a 2- to 3-page rough draft essay of your Reflection Assignment using the guidelines above. Your rough draft should demonstrate use of the Academic Writing Expectations, such as proper grammar and sentence structure, and address the parts described above. It should also include an introduction and conclusion. Make sure to support your ideas with specific evidence and class examples. If you used the worksheet from the Week 4 Learning Resources, you may submit the completed worksheet as your rough draft.
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