CMNS 355-01 Activities -“I and Thou” Journal  (20%x2=40% of final grade)

Philosopher Martin Buber distinguishes between relationships where people are regarded as objects or a means to an end (I-It), and relationships involving deeper personal connections that can affect change (I-Thou).   One goal of this course is to move us closer to “I-Thou” relationships by understanding and overcome the dynamics that work to maintain distance between people who share difference.

You will find a set of questions posted each week on Moodle. Please answer all the questions.  This is your opportunity to apply and reflect on the course content and how it relates to your personal experience. This is also an opportunity to develop ideas you will use for your migration snapshot project. Your responses should always reflect your own framing and positionality – your position of power in relation to the categories of race, gender, class, nationality, ability and other differences we share.

The style is informal and personal.  You are only encouraged to share what you feel comfortable having the instructor read. Journals are treated as confidential. Each weekly journal entries should be 2-3 pages long. Please refer to the rubric below to guide your responses.

Here are some of the most common reasons why people find reflective journals so useful:

  • To make sense of things that happened.
  • To speculate as to why something is the way it is.
  • To align future actions with your reflected values and experiences.
  • To apply new tools and ideas.
  • To get thoughts and ideas out of your head.
  • To share your thoughts and ideas with others.

Your journals will be evaluated on the following criteria. Please use this list as a checklist, however not all questions will always apply to every question:

1.Write, record”

– Describe the situation (the course, the context) Who was involved with the situation?
– What did they have to do with the situation?
– Can you describe your experience in detail, including emotional responses?
– Are you able to make careful observations with evidence?

2. Reflect, think about

-What are your reactions?
-What are your feelings?
-What are the good and the bad aspects of the situation?
– What you have learned?
– Are you able to slow down, be present, and question your assumptions?

3. Analyze, explain, gain insight

-What was really going on?
-What sense can you make of the situation?
-Can you integrate theory into the experience/situation?
-Can you demonstrate an improved awareness and self-development because of the situation?
-Can you generate possible explanations for experiences with close attention to detail and complexities and paradoxes (wicked problems)?
-Can you use theories and toolsto unpack and derive meaning?
-Can you look at the interplay between theory and practice?

4. Make a Conclusion

-What can be concluded in a general and specific sense from this situation/experience and the analyses you have undertaken?

5. Propose a personal action plan

-What are you going to do differently in this type of situation next time? What steps are you going to take on the basis of what you have learned?”

6. Is your journal well written and properly annotated?
– Grammar, spelling, sentence structure, organization, references all in place.

(Sources include: Homik, M. & Melis, E., 2007; Johnson, S., n.d.; RMIT, 2006)

For Grading Rubric for “I and Thou” Journals and Reflection Based Assignments please refer to assignment description on Moodle