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Competition & stiff

In a world where competition is so stiff, there is a need to be more and more knowledgeable in the areas of one’s chosen field. The need to become a self-directed and self-aware learner is more important than ever before. Being a self-directed learner requires one to be resourceful in terms of acquiring knowledge, to be responsible in learning new things and to be a proactive learner. In addition, a self-aware learner needs one to be ingenious and imaginative so that new things and knowledge be learned.

Being able to apply the 16 Habits of the Mind is a good start for an individual, either a student or a professional, to become successful in whatever endeavor one is into. These 16 habits can truly contribute to being a self-directed learner of an individual. In the academic field, a student needs to persevere in order to learn a lot of knowledge. For students, learning must not only be limited to the instructions and knowledge shared by the instructor; but rather, students must be able to learn to do things on their own even with the absence of the instructor.

And this is where Online Learning comes in. Based on the research conducted, there

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were students who can learn fast and easy should they engage themselves in an e-learning module. However, there were also some students who still prefer the traditional way of learning – the classroom instruction. On the other hand, for professional, the need to invoke the critical-thinking skills is very important in situations when one needs to make decisions. This critical-thinking skill is an avenue for the professional to make good decisions for the benefit of everybody. Introduction Learning is a continuous process.

It is man’s nature to learn new things and uses a variety of ways to learn. In the modern world, so many ways are available for humans to learn – the conventional textbooks, e-books/audio books, television, magazines, newspapers and the internet. All these means may be applied and used by many in order to uncover the reason behind the existence of things. Being a self-directed learning requires one to initiate learning by himself and carrying out his own learning goals and objectives. There are self-directed learning programs which are more advantageous compared to the traditional classroom setting.

One advantage is it accommodates each individual’s learning styles and objectives. It also achieves individual’s effectiveness in their respective workplace. (McNamara, 2008) On the other hand, being a self-aware learner requires one to have a clear picture as to where one’s thoughts lead him. To become a self-aware individual, it is important to focus one’s attention on the details of one’s personality and behaviour. As one develops his self-awareness attitude, he can be able to make some changes and interpretations in the mind. This is one factor for an individual to be successful.

(LLC, 2009) In one’s academic and professional life, being a self-directed and self-aware learner is an advantage for it gives one the opportunity to discover and explore new things on his own, exercising his own learning styles. It also enhances one’s ability to critically analyze and logically solve problems and strategically implement solutions. Analysis and Discussion The questionnaires were distributed to a total of ten (10) respondents from various walks of life. The first item in the questionnaire asks the respondents regarding their main source of learning.

Out of the ten (10) respondents, seven (7) preferred to gather information from books, five (5) from television, six (6) from newspaper and ten (10) from internet sources. It is observed that all ten (10) respondents gather most of the information from the internet. The second item in the questionnaire is about whether respondents prefer classroom learning or online learning. Out of the ten (10) respondents, four (4) preferred classroom and seven (7) preferred online learning. One respondent choose both classroom and online learning as his source of information and learning.

This result can lead to a conclusion that most of the respondents are self-directed and self-aware learners. The third item is about the respondents’ initial reaction when confronted with a problem. All respondents first analyze the problem at hand, plan for primary and alternate solutions and implement the solutions. The fourth item asks respondents whether or not they forecast possible risk they can encounter when assigned a given task. Four (4) of the respondents said they forecast risks, two (2) said they don’t forecast and four (4) said they sometimes forecast risks and sometimes they don’t.

The fifth item asks the respondents whether or not they easily give up in solving solutions to the problem. Five (5) respondents said they don’t easily give up and five (5) also said they sometimes easily give up. The sixth item asks the respondents whether or not they explore all means to solve a certain problem. Four (4) of the respondents said they explore all means, one (1) said he/she don’t explore and the remaining five (5) said they sometimes explore means to solve a given problem.

Lastly, the seventh item in the questionnaire asks the respondents whether or not they consult peers when they don’t understand a topic. Five (5) of the respondents said they seek assistance from peers, two (2) said they don’t ask help and the remaining three (3) they sometimes seek help from peers when they don’t understand a topic. The result of the survey is shown in graphs in the appendix of this paper. The results of the survey lead to a conclusion most of the respondents are self-directed and self-aware learners.

They explore things on their own, they seek assistance when necessary and they devote time to learn new things using the trends available in the market today. In addition, based on the results of the survey, it can be observed that most of the respondents have different way of learning new things; most of the respondents acquire knowledge using varied means and the respondents have different approaches in solving problems. As mentioned in the article of Kallick and Costa (2000) entitled the 16 Habits of the Mind, an individual possess these 16 habits in intelligently solving a problem and learning new things.

These habits include persistence; being impulsive; listening to others; being a flexible thinker; having the metacognitive ability; striving for accuracy and precision; being able to apply past knowledge to new situations; thinking and communicating with clarity and precision; gathering data through all senses; creating, imagining and innovating; responding with wonderment and awe; taking responsible risks; finding humor; thinking interdependently and learning continuously. The mentioned habits of the mind describe the level and depth of intelligence of an individual when confronted with various situations.

The list may not be complete but it is a good starting point to further elaborate and describe attitudes to call an individual and intelligent one. (Kallick and Costa, 2000) On the other hand, in an educational institution, teaching students habitudes (habits + attitudes) is a way to give them brighter future both in and out of the classroom. Habitudes include imagination, curiosity, perseverance, self-awareness, courage and adaptability. These habitudes are important so that an individual can get things done in the most effective and efficient manner. (Zemanta, 2009)

In the same manner, self-directed learning is manifested through an individual’s personality traits which include self-confidence, inner directed and achievement motivated. This type of learning is based on three conceptualization techniques such as independent learning, distance learning and psychological learning. In addition, an individual must possess goal setting skills, processing skills, cognitive skills, competence or aptitude skills, decision making skills and self-awareness skills. Having possessed these skills allows a learner to develop a continuous process of learning. (Long)

In addition, self-directed learners are considered as owners and managers of their own self. In order for students to become self-directed learners, it is important to examine disciplines of motivational and educational psychology. Students and individuals must be goal oriented so they can individually set challenging goals for themselves and be able to maintain high levels of commitment. (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2004) Conclusion In the academic and professional aspect, it is important for an individual to possess skills in order to be successful in one’s field of endeavour.

In the professional arena, it is most important for managers to possess highly-intelligent skills since most decision-making processes are his tasks. In the same manner, in the academic aspect, students must strive hard to acquire highly-exceptional behaviour and thinking in order to excel in the field. It can therefore be concluded that students and professionals have varied ways of acquiring new knowledge using the different means of information gathering. For both students and professionals to be self-directed and self-aware learners, it is important to learn to apply the 16 Habits of the Mind and the personality traits.

The application of which makes one successful in his chosen field of endeavour. Recommendation As mentioned in the previous section, students and professionals must be able to possess personality traits and the habits of the mind to excel in one’s field. These can only be practiced and applied by an individual had there been proper training in the early stage of education. Thus, it is recommended that: ? teaches invoke the critical-thinking skills of the students be giving problems and case studies which requires them to think logically and intelligently;

? students must not only rely on the ideas presented by the teacher, they might as well do their own research to enhance learning; ? students must be exposed to various learning methods and ? teachers must be exposed to various learning strategies so they can impart and give the best education to their students. References Costa, A & Kallick, B. (2000). “Describing the 16 Habits of the Mind”. Retrieved on April 28, 2009 at [WWW] http://www. habitsofmind. org/resources/OTHER/16HOM2. pdf. LLC. “Self-Awareness”. Retrieved on April 29, 2009 at [WWW] http://www. pathwaytohappiness. com/self-awareness. htm. Long.

“Skills for Self-Directed Learning”. Retrieved on April 28, 2009 at [WWW] http://faculty-staff. ou. edu/L/Huey. B. Long-1/Articles/sd/selfdirected. html. Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. (2004). “Developing Self-Directed Learners”. Retrieved on April 28, 2009 at [WWW] http://www. nwrel. org/planning/reports/self-direct/self. pdf. McNamara, C. (2008). “Strong Value of Self-Directed Learning in the Workplace”. Retrieved on April 28, 2009 at [WWW] http://managementhelp. org/trng_dev/methods/slf_drct. htm. Zemanta. 2009. “What is Habitude? ” Retrieved on April 29, 2009 at [WWW] http://www. thehabitudes. com/self_awareness/. ?

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