Walking Stick Blogger

A Learning Space for Literacy and English Language Learners

Therapeutic Blogging – First Thoughts

This type of edublogging might be arguably a very controversial type of blogging within an instructional program, stretching the boundaries of what instructors’ roles should indeed be. Yet the therapeutic blog exists, students do write private thoughts into their journals, some of whom do not mind sharing their innermost thoughts with their mentor, and with other learners. I am ambivalent about its inclusion into the edublogging framework, as it might be best left to counsellors. However, part of me recognizes the vital role educators do play in offering learners a line for communication. When learners share deep thoughts on an edublog during a course, the questions abound about how we as educators should respond.

“Cathartic”, or therapeutic edublogging, requires a fundamentally different type of relationship between the instructor and the learner. In such a context, learners rely on the expertise and skills of learning companions to nurture them.

Maintaining privacy and anonymity is critically important. With therapeutic edublogging, learners engage in critical self-reflection, review readings and give impressions about books and articles. Learners might engage in personal storytelling with high emotional engagement.

This type of edublog might be private, anonymous, and autonomous in nature, enabling the individual learner to determine the extent of disclosure to their peers and to the public. At each transition point, a learner blogging as a form of therapy needs to be prepared for others “reading own circumstances” into posts.

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netizenship • July 7, 2009

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