This entry will be dedicated to reflection of the intro to skills development workshop that i attended today.
first it's usefull to remind myself what we did there.
First, we introduced to each other and said why we came to the workshop. Attendees were Helen, from London, Lars, from Argentina, Illya from Ukrain, another guy from some middle eastern country, i think, and myself.
We tried to explain what reflection is, afterwards. the point was that appropriate reflection is crucial in timeline to plan your further actions.
we then had a psy test that allocates you to one of the 4 learning types. In descending order of preference i turned out to be Reflector(9/10) Theorist(8/10) Activist(6/10) Pragmatist (3/10). Reflector is likely to think before acting, prepare thoroughly, research and evaluate, make decisions in their own time, listen and observe. Theorist is inclined to concepts and models, see the overall picture, feel intellectually stretched, structure and clear objectives, logical presentation of ideas. Activists: to think on their feet, to have short sessions, plenty of variety, the opportunity to initiate, to participate and have fun.
The three types described above have been scored in highly or above average ('activist' trait has some room for improvement). The following side of personality though, clearly needs to be improved.
Pragmatist is understood to : see the relevance of their work, gain practical advantage from learning, like credible role models, like proven techniques, like activities to be real.
Each question in the test was focused on one aspect of the charachter. We've been advised to choose one point from the area we'd like to improve(pragmatist for me), focus on it and present to class, answer how i am going to cope with the particular issue and when will be the next time i'll have the opportunity to practise what i promised to do. After a short talk with a tutor she recommended that i'd focus on the ability to tie all new ideas to the practical problems i'm facing at the moment. The skill of immediate, reflexive, habitual measuring a new idea against actual environment needs to be developed. The way to approach was suggested by myself and was about scheduling of everyday activities in a way that would be most practical and beneficial to the immediate goals. Currently those are
- finishing CV editing by next Friday;
- finishing 70% (about 3500wrds) of PMA write-up by next by upcoming Monday;
- finishing my part of article and draft questionnaire by next Monday.
If i manage to meet those goals withing time limit, i will feel that the workshop helped me to handle pragmatical aspects of my personality.
Another task that has been accomplished was really interesting. We worked in two small teams, trying to dig into the meaning of the word skill. And we as a team cought the essence of it which is that skill is an ability that could be learned or lost due to lack of practise. Debate on nurture vs. nature is relevant, i recalled it in time, thx to Oliver from last years social studies. Whereas the other team confused concepts of ability, talent and skill. The team work was organised so that we had to put our ideas on a flipchart and than exchange sheets, criticise the opponents' work and then present the result. Smth to remember for future collective activities.
The importance of this team excercise was that we had to remember and understand deeply that skill has to be trained and developed through practise, and there is a working scenario for it. If the scenario gets disrupted, the effort will result in iterative degradation. e.g. if the reflection stage is omitted, there will be no basis for appropriate planing of further actions. Details are in follow-up handouts received.
We have also been shown a list of skills types and examples of skills of various domains. Excercise was in identyfing ones that you are good at, weak at and ones that you think you are ok at, but there's room for development. The one i wanted to improve was decision making, the closest one to that was assertiveness. Meaning ability to put yourself in the whole picture, knowing your own opinions, knowing your side in a debate. This for sure should involve making decisions. So the next skills-related worshop theme for me was clear, which i've been adviced to sign up for as a second thing i'will have had to do after the end of today's intro session.
As a handouts after the workshop we received skills list with explanatory comments, questions to aid/facilitate reflective writing and 40-items learning styles questionnaire book which apart from questions with explanation of answers' results contains advices of how to adjust your learning style to your personality type. In first chapters of the book one could also find quite detailed information on generic learning scheme 'have an experience - reflect on it - conclude from it - plan next steps' with implications of deviation from this scenario.
The workshop was quite fun, tutor was good at conveying the session material and was able to understand our cases providing adequate help and advice. I hope i will manage to do all the planned follow-up work and attend other 5 skills-related workshops (or at least some of them).
I spend about 90 minutes for writing this entry.