Meaning-making: How to reflect by journaling

During covid, I chanced upon an online course, “meaning-making, reflecting by Journaling by Preetam Raj.

Inspired by educationist Preetam Rai, esp on “gettinglost” which does not need to be an embarrassing moment of losing direction but an opportunity to gain a different perspective. We can reflect through different mediums, writing on paper and even through photos and other digital tools.

Reflection by Photo

Digital Tools for reflection

Quote from Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman, Penguin Education Specials.

Perhaps you will understand why we prefer the metaphor “meaning- making” to most of the metaphors of the mind that are operative in the schools. It is, to begin with, much less static than the others. It stresses a process view of minding, including the fact that “minding” is undergoing constant change.

“Meaning making” also forces us to focus on the individuality and the uniqueness of the meaning maker (the minder).  In most of the other metaphors, there is an assumption of “sameness” in all learners. The “meaning maker” has no such limitations. There is no end to his educative process. He continues to create new meanings, to make new transactions with his environment.  

Reflection by journaling is cornerstone to experiential learning. Experiences by themselves do not instruct. But when we look backwards, and “connect the dots”, we make sense of the event and how it connects to our life purpose.

Reversal theory has shown that our “states” or emotions can change in response to the meaning a person attaches to an event. Eg. a roller coaster can at times represent excitement and at other times, anxiety.


  1. Aileen said:

    Good morning Joanne.
    I attended your insightful Campus Crusade talk yesterday.
    I would love to seek you insights on how I can help a youth that I am currently helping.
    Would I be able to engage with you via email?
    Thank you.

    • joanne koo said:

      Good morning Aileen
      Thank you for visiting my blog.

      Im a business coach and young adults are part of a group of people I work with. I did yesterday’s workshop probono for CRU.

      If there are questions we can bounce off, Im happy to help.

      If you need more long term interactions, CRU Soaring team is better equipped to journey with you. I have sent them your request this morning, awaiting their reply.

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