COTH2136 Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Management

COTH2136 Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Management

Assessment 3 – 1000 word critical reflection post-wellness program

What is critical reflection?

Critical reflection is the process of examining, analysing, interpreting and questioning one’s experience with the aim of promoting critical thinking and higher order learning. Higher order learning is about depth of thinking and learning rather than shallow learning where the surface is skimmed and things are remembered by rote.

In ordinary reflection the mind wanders over memories and experiences but in critical reflection one learns to think more deeply about experiences by asking questions of the self (see four steps below).

The purpose of this assessment is to develop the ability to analyse concepts and evaluate your own experiences against them. It’s also about examining your beliefs, attitudes and prejudices (i.e. pre-judgements), bringing them into the light and being able to develop new meanings via the process of critical thinking and reflection.

The ability to critically reflect on your experiences is a life skill that can counter habitual, negative thinking patterns. As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”.

There is a lot of information on the internet about critical reflection, which is often used as a form of assessment in education, counseling, social work and similar programs where students must reflect on their interactions with clients. For COTH2136, the starting point is you. The aim is to reflect on the findings of your wellness inventory in the context of previously held beliefs and what you are discovering in your beginning understanding of wellness theory and personal practice.

Four steps in critical reflection
1. Accurate observations about yourself – in the context of the 12 wellness dimensions
2. Describing what was discovered/observed about yourself – informed by the wellness inventory scores
3. Making meaning – what does the experience of seeing your scores mean to you? How do you interpret it?
4. AIDing depth by asking critical questions – drawing on wellness theory (e.g.Travis and Ryan 2004, Roscoe 2009) to inform your thinking and questioning.

Requirements for the paper
A critical reflection paper is much more like an essay than your report, but headings are still advised in line with the sections in the outline below. 1000 words is not a lot so don’t waffle, be ruthless with words, aim for concise sentences and depth of content. Note that the reference list and any headings are not included in the word count.

Outline for Assessment 3 – 1000 word critical reflection post-wellness program
The following is a suggestion on how to structure your paper.
•    Introduction – 100-150 words to set the theme (use a reference), tell the reader what the paper will be about, do not include any findings
•    Wellness Outcomes critical reflection – 300-350 words critically reflecting on how you feel about your eight week wellness program and its outcomes. Your wellness blog should inform this section – it’s about the outcomes of your wellness program as you see them. References are recommended here.
•    Wellness Theory critical reflection – 350-400 words critically reflecting on your wellbeing in the context of your current understanding of wellness and wellness theory. This section requires at least 2 wellness theory specific references (e.g. Travis and Ryan 2004; Roscoe 2009, preferably others to compare and contrast different wellness theories).  AIDitional references should be used in the other sections of this assessment too (e.g. Introduction and Wellness Outcomes)
•    Conclusion – 150-200 words, repeat aim of paper then briefly sum up what you found.
NOTE: Please refer to the Marking Rubric in the Assessment 3 folder for how marks will be awarded.
You will find some theory articles in the Resources section of Blackboard. You are also expected to search electronic databases for recent articles relevant to your goals. There are instructions on searching the databases in the Assessment section of Blackboard.

Roscoe L, 2009, Wellness: A review of theory and measurement for counsellors, Journal of Counseling and Development, 87(2):216-226.
Travis J, Ryan R, 2004, Wellness Workbook: How to achieve enduring health and vitality, 3rd edn, Celestial Arts, Berkeley

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