Reflections on Learning: Set 1

 Reflections on Learning Assignment: Guided Questions – Set 1

Friday, September 16, 2011

1. Make a list of words or phrases that describe who you are, or, your ‘identity.

*I have preserved this list in the order things occurred to me. Interesting that I came up with human second to last.

2. What worldview and values do you bring to your research area of interest and your professional practice?

I would say my worldview meshes well with the concepts of Critical Social Science, although I do believe that all perspectives have value in that they inform us about how others experience and view the world. These perspectives may not be correct, may be hateful or ignorant, but they are the truth. There is always value in whatever truth one can glean from anything.

I have thought a lot about the concept of morality.

Photo credit: Dietmut Teijgeman-Hansen

Do I have morals? What are they? Can they change? Where did they come from? I had come to the conclusion that one value or moral could be used to guide my choices and worldview:

“Do not exert your will on the unwilling.”

For me, beyond this one idea, morals and values had become a laundry list of ideas, rules, norms that could all be traced back to this one value. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized this was too simplistic.

Upon further reflection I have come to the sad conclusion that there is no objective moral code or value system that one can use to navigate the complexities of human existence. As for values, the best I can come up with is I try to be a respectful person who is aware of how my choices affect others and has an open mind.

3. How do you think these aspects of your identity and your worldview and values might shape the way you engage with your research area of interest and professional practice?

Dorothea Lange's

Mother: Image via Wikipedia

I think that as a mother I interact with people very differently than I used to. I tend to view humanity in a much broader context and see us all as a part of a much bigger population. Everywhere you go, no matter the culture, language, people want to be happy. People want to see their children grow up and be happy. Life should have happiness.

From this I think I may have become overly empathic. I am not sure I would be able to work with people in a one on one context if the situation were dealing with traumatic events. I find it hard to separate myself from the experiences of others and tend to imagine what has happened to them happening to me or my children.

I would like to end up in a research position where I was working towards helping unify us as humans and work towards lessening the inequalities that seem to stem from the disconnectedness that is prevalent in our society.

4. How do you think the potential subjects of your research will relate to you as a whole?  Are there any parts of your identity which will either alienate or endear you to the potential subjects of your research?

I tend to be a people person and usually have an easy time relating to other people. I have found that the best way to talk to people is too listen, although I do not always practice this as much as I should.

I tend to over share information about my own life, which makes me feel like I am making it easier for others to share their own stories or pain. I find this cathartic personally, but perhaps is too much for others at times.

Photo Credit: Steve Calcott

I think about who I am and what I represent to people a lot. I have had experiences that were both positive and negative and I have seen how who I am and how things such as my status, my background, my looks, confidence (or lack thereof), etc., can affect other people. These effects on others reflect back on me and have affected how I see myself and how I interact with others at times.