This paper describes a process of self-evaluation, reflection upon learning, and planning for future developments. As well as considering the learning points which have been successfully internalized over the course of the semester, it will incorporate reflection on strengths and weaknesses, and begin to outline future communication with putative employers. In addition to presenting some analysis of the formal and academic aspects of the experience, it will discuss the interpersonal aspects of learning, and the development of those capacities which may have professional and vocational applications.
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As Stenhouse points out, ‘A curriculum is an attempt to communicate the essential principles and features of an educational proposal in such a form that it is open to critical scrutiny and capable of effective translation into practice.’ (1), However, negotiating the formal structures and requirements of the curriculum is only one aspect of the learning process. A perceptible process of transformation has begun in education, away from a lecture based didactic approach and towards adaptable, flexible modes of learning and teaching. Accordingly, this record of reflective learning will discuss the use of oral, listening and communication skills, considering self-management in group situations. In conclusion, it will present a flexible plan for the future, outlining the skills which need to be developed and providing some indicative targets and points for action. This piece presents my own reflections, and where appropriate, makes reference to appropriate research and analysis by published authorities. From a purely personal perspective, undertaking the module involved a reconsideration of my own identity and purpose, and the sorting through of the multiple dimensions and preoccupations of my life. As Hall points out, ‘…no one has one identity; and indeed those identities may be in tension (one example would be the ways in which “mother” and “worker” are often understood as existing in tension.’ (2) Consequently, it was important to reconfigure ones self-identity and direction in the light of new knowledge and perspectives. In this respect, it is important to be aware that personality and self-image are often key determinants in setting personal objectives, defining outcomes, and constructing the parameters within which any one of us can grow and interact with their environment. As Elliot puts it, ‘We often think of the self as primarily a private domain, an inner realm of personal thoughts, values, strivings, emotions and desires. Yet this view, which seems largely self-evident, is in contrast to the way in which sociologists study the framing of personal identity and the self.’ (3) Therefore, locating oneself within a social continuum, in some ways a necessary social skill and a pre-requisite of social/group orientation, can be both limiting and damaging. It is also important to consider cultural identity and the way national, regional, chronological and even familial micro cultures are profoundly constructive of our own life politics.
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