Friday, December 03, 2010

Self Study

For years I've encouraged teachers and parents to take a close look at what they're doing and ask themselves why they're doing what they're doing - before someone else does! The behavior of self-study has become a legitimate form of research in many disciplines, but nowhere it is more important than in education.

When you google "self study" it is often associated with an inner journey or a path to enlightenment. This is not far off the mark for education. There are many ways to do a self-study of your own teaching or interaction with educators. It can be done formally or informally. Either way it does require certain traits.

You need to be introspective or willing to become introspective. This is sometimes called "intra-personal" intelligence - the ability to self-reflect is the primary characteristic. Here are some others:

  • Good at analyzing your strengths and weaknesses
  • Enjoys analyzing theories and ideas
  • Excellent self-awareness
  • Clearly understands the basis for your own motivations and feelings
What if you don't come to this naturally? Can you learn? Certainly. And it's worth it. Self-study is an important function of anyone in a position to impact the lives of others in a meaningful way. 

How about you?

Remember. . . ask yourself why you do what you do - before someone else does!