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Experiential Methods for Acquiring Self-Knowledge

analytical Essay
1511 words
1511 words
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Experiential Methods for Acquiring Self-Knowledge

Do people ever know enough about themselves to determine the direction of their career journey? Various strategies have been developed to provide guidance toward this end; however, as the realities of work change due to such factors as global competition and new technologies, it is necessary to develop new awareness of self in relation to work. This Digest examines various processes by which learners of all ages, elementary to adult, can expand their self-knowledge--their interests and the importance of those interests to their personal satisfaction, their strength and weaknesses in relation to their interests, and the ways in which their interests and abilities are applicable in the changing social, economic, and work environments.

Self-knowledge is the first of three integral competency areas in the National Career Development Guidelines (National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee 1989). The guidelines address the progressive acquisition throughout life of (1) knowledge of the influence of a positive self-concept; (2) skills to interact positively with others; and (3) understanding of the impact of growth and development. Studies conducted by Anderson (1995) and DaGiau (1995) among others demonstrate the influence that increased understanding of one's self-concept and its effect on roles and relationships has upon career maturity. According to Anderson (1995), "self-knowledge is a domain with many pathways" (p. 280). Historical self-knowledge--understanding of past experiences and influences that led to one's current level of development--is a key to shaping the future.

Ask any first-time job seeker the main reason employers rejected them and they will ...

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...llege, 1995. (ED 386 609)

Lester, J. S., and Perry, N. S. Assessing Career Development with Portfolios. ERIC Digest. Greensboro, NC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services, 1995. (ED 391 110)

Lock, R. D. Taking Charge of Your Career Direction: Career Planning Guide, Book 1. 3d ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1996.

National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee. National Career Development Guidelines. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 1989. (ED 317 874-880)

Savoie, J. M., and Hughes, A. S. "Problem-based Learning as Classroom Solution." Educational Leadership 52, no. 3 (November 1994): 54-57. (EJ 492 914)

Willis, S. "On the Cutting Edge of Assessment: Testing What Students Can Do with Knowledge." Education Update: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development 38, no. 4 (June 1996): 4-7.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how learners of all ages, elementary to adult, can expand their self-knowledge by exploring their interests and the importance of those interests to their personal satisfaction.
  • Explains that self-knowledge is the first of three integral competency areas in the national career development guidelines.
  • Opines that experience is integral to knowing and understanding oneself and how one relates to different situations, circumstances, and roles.
  • Describes problem-based learning, an instructional model based on constructivism, where learners construct their own understanding by relating concrete experience to existing knowledge.
  • Explains that problem-based learning requires students to self-direct their search for a solution by assuming the role of key actors in the problem situation.
  • Opines that problem-based learning is essential for students' career development, since students are the real problem solvers.
  • Explains how brain-based learning can help students enhance their self-knowledge. understanding the effects of physiology on learning, the importance of focused attention and peripheral perception, and the relation between emotions and learning helps individuals better understand how to improve their learning.
  • Explains that new methods of performance assessment can contribute to students' self-knowledge in relation to career development.
  • Explains that performance assessments may also be based on criterion-referenced tests that enable students to compare their performance with clearly defined learning tasks or skill levels.
  • Explains that the portfolio concept helps educators meet this challenge by giving students ownership of their work and establishing the standards by which they will be measured.
  • Explains lock's use of inventories as a way to assess personality in relation to occupational interests. inventories such as the six holland personality environment types, the strong interest inventory and career assessment inventory, and the myers-briggs type indicator can provide students with information about their personality and learning style.
  • Argues that self-knowledge requires reflection on what was learned and what needs to be learned, the process by which learning occurred, and how that learning has enhanced what the student knows about himself/herself in relation to work.
  • Explains that many educational approaches emphasize the importance of having students take charge of their own learning. students can enhance their awareness of themselves for their career development by continually summarizing and reflecting upon what they are learning as they continue their progression through school and work.
  • Explains the use of a structured career development group to increase career identity.
  • Explains lester, j. s., and perry, n.s. assessing career development with portfolios. eric digest, greensboro, nc, 1995. lock, r. d. taking charge of your career direction.
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