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First published online September 14, 2011

Health and physical education pre-service teacher perceptions of journals as a reflective tool in experience-based learning


The pedagogical use of journals as a reflective tool has been used in many academic disciplines. Researchers have studied the effectiveness of implementing journal writing as an academic exercise, and results have generally touted journals as a successful means of encouraging learning and reflection. However, little is known about how students perceive journal writing, particularly with pre-service Health and Physical Education teachers who are often inundated by attempts to make them into ‘reflective practitioners’ (Schön, 1983).
The purpose of this study was to examine journal writing perceptions of Health and Physical Education pre-service teachers who participated in an experience-based learning activity. Results from this exploratory study indicate that journaling is appreciated by some pre-service teachers. While it supports the findings of previous studies that journaling can be an effective pedagogical technique, it raises the question as to whether or not journaling is for every student, particularly when considering academic specialization.

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Published In

Article first published online: September 14, 2011
Issue published: June 2011


  1. experience-based learning
  2. journaling
  3. pre-service teachers
  4. reflection

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© The Author(s) 2011.
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Issue published: June 2011
Published online: September 14, 2011



Timothy O'Connell
Janet Dyment
University of Tasmania, Australia

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This article was published in European Physical Education Review.


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