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Learning Awareness and
Communicating Learning

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About the Journal: Listening in Good Faith
Defining "Good Faith"

California State University, Dominguez Hills
Latest update: September 8, 2000

Keeping a Class Journal

We know that journals and diaries are a popular writing form. We recognize that journals and portfolios are often used to record and communicate learning. But we are asking for some very specific record keeping that you will need to be able to articulate clearly to us for your grade.

The key words there are "articulate," "record keeping," "communicate learning," and "for your grade."

  • "articulate"
  • Because the journal should respect the integrity of your learning, which we realize includes those pieces not written, but which will be triggered in your memory by what is written, you must interpret from the journal what you want us to know. Reading the journal would give an incomplete and non-representative perception of your learning. Your "articulation" completes the perception and renders it interactive with our understanding and questioning of the perception. That represents active listening and presentation of validity claims about your learning on both our parts. And interactive good faith listening is what we are trying to teach you to do.

    Some of us are obsessive and keep very detailed accounts of every single thing we do. Some of us are laid back and keep practically no detailed accounts. That's why reading the journals won't work. When you "articulate" them to us we have a chance to come to know you better, and you have a chance to turn your records into what you want them to say to us. There is no right or wrong way to keep these journals. You need to do what will work best for you.

    Conceptual Linking to Theory

    This is a use of "constitutive theory." A recognition that many ways of communicating learning fit us all differently. One size does not fit all. So we are trying to reconstitute the language of learning to let each adapt it to his/her own needs. Constitutive Criminology at Work, Stuart Henry and Dragon Milovanivic.