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4.5.6 Thinking about personal qualities

Some people are much more open than others to making the changes in their life that lead to (or result from) learning and personal growth. Sometimes, it may feel easier to stay within our comfort zone, even though we are not satisfied with our life, than to venture out into new territory. Fiona Harrold suggests that we have to:

… get used to feeling comfortable with a little discomfort and a little uncertainty alongside a great
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4.5.3 Formal routes to learning

Here we are thinking both of educational institutions (schools, colleges and universities) and work-based learning, such as National Vocational Qualifications (which accredit learning on the job), apprenticeships, and secondments which allow for rehearsal of old skills in new areas, or the development of new skills to take back to the old setting.

Hand-in-hand with the emphasis on lifelong learning, there has been a growth in flexibility and in the idea of personalised learning. It is n
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4.4.6 Agreed

You are more likely to achieve your goal if you have people on your side. If you want to make a change at work, for example, it makes sense to consult your manager about the wording. If you want to make changes in your personal life, you may need to discuss this with family and friends.


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4.4.4 Specific

You need to be quite clear what you are setting out to do. If you are not clear, your goal may be open to different interpretations and you may become unsure of what you intended. For example, suppose you chose a goal like ‘to get better at giving people feedback’. This could be interpreted in at least two ways:

  1. To improve your self-confidence about giving feedback, so that you no longer get nervous about having to do i
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4.2.1 Theories of globalisation

There are many different theories relating to globalisation. Some see globalisation as positive or beneficial. These theories argue that globalisation will encourage ‘good things’ like the growth of online communities that can span the world and might be able to break free of repressive regimes. Others suggest that there will be negative consequences to globalisation. They argue that globalisation makes it easier for jobs to be exported to wherever labour is cheapest. In this view there a
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4.1 Introduction

In Sections 2 and 3 you have been thinking about the past and the present. You have gathered evidence about your current knowledge, skills and personal qualities. You have also explored the value of other perspectives on your learning. These perspectives have included the views of other people and the ideas in some academic theories. This section continues the exploration of academic ideas. In particular, it picks up on the issue that was first raised in Section 3 in relation to the theories
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3.4 Preparing to move on – connecting theory with skills

This section has been encouraging you to think about using two additional sources to help you prepare for change. The first of these sources has been other people that you know. The second has been a selection of ‘academic’ theory that can be linked to learning. We hope that this has added to your knowledge and understanding of your own learning.

In this next section, the focus shifts to gauging how your work with these two sources has used and (we hope) developed a number of your s
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3.3.6 A ‘health warning’ about groups

It can be great to belong to a group, especially if you are a highly respected ‘core’ member. Other people can look up to you and ask you to share your expertise. The process of moving from being a peripheral member to being a core member can also be very satisfying. However, groups are sometimes defined as much by whom they exclude. Groups may not just have ‘insiders’; they have ‘outsiders’ who are not seen as part of the group. Often this may not matter much. No one can be a mem
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3.3.2 What problems might you have with this?

One way to think about the problems you might have with using academic theory on Learning to change is to think about the difference between getting personal feedback and using academic ideas. Academic theory about learning is unlikely to have considered your particular experiences or the story of your life. This may mean that some parts of theory may not seem to apply to you. Often theory is found written down in books or journal articles which are read by other academics; they
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3.3 Your learning – what does ‘theory’ offer?

The previous section of this section focused on using feedback to enhance what you already know about your qualities, knowledge and skills. This section explores how you might draw on theory in the same way. However, it can be very difficult to include theory with other sorts of understanding.

Let’s start by thinking about why it might be useful to pay some attention to what theories about learning have to say. This leads on to a brief discussion about the difficulties that can arise
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3.2.2 What problems might you have with getting feedback?

Only you can answer this. However, you might think that you will not find it easy to ask someone else to be a mentor and give you feedback about your own qualities, knowledge or skills. There may be all sorts of reasons for this. You might not feel that you know anyone that you would trust to give you feedback in a way in which you would find helpful. Acting as a feedback giver can put someone in such a powerful position that you might feel uncomfortable. You might feel that you do not know a
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3.2.1 Why can it be useful?

It is possible to argue that getting feedback from other people is useful because it gives a perspective that would not, otherwise, be available to us. There are many different theories that suggest there are aspects of ourselves of which we are only dimly aware. You may well have heard of Sigmund Freud’s idea that our minds are made up of both conscious and unconscious elements. Freud argued that the working of the unconscious part of the mind is almost impossible to access. However, these
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3.2 Getting feedback from other people

We recognise that getting feedback from another person and integrating theory can pose real difficulties. Getting feedback from someone might pose personal difficulties and it is never easy to relate theory and personal experience. Let’s take getting feedback to start with in order to see why this may be useful as well as looking at what difficulties it may cause. Hopefully, this exploration will suggest some ways of dealing with these possible difficulties.


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3.1 Introduction

This section is the second step in using learning to help you achieve your own personal goals for change and development. This second step is really about developing additional ways to build on the evidence you gathered about yourself in Section 2. In particular it considers how other people can help you change. There are two main aspects to this. The first is about involving other people so that you can get feedback from them and increase the depth of your own self-understanding. The second
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1.6 Conclusion

At the start of this section, there was a list of what we hoped you would get from your study of this section. To save you looking back, the aims of the section were to:

  • provide you with a clear idea of what the unit is about and how it is structured
  • help you understand the importance of the word ‘skills’
  • start you thinking about your own learning.

It would be useful to think back over this list before moving on to section
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1.2.2 Learning new tasks

We are about to turn our attention to the approach we take when learning about computers.

Over the coming days think about how you learn to do new tasks, and in particular computing tasks. Think about the barriers you have to learning a new task. Do you fear failure? Breaking the computer? Feeling exposed?


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1.1.9 Managing files

Another important skill when working electronically is being able to find files that you saved on your computer's hard disk.

Here are some tips for overcoming problems with file management:

  • Give your files meaningful names: ‘notes on studying online.doc’ rather than ‘notes.doc'

  • Use folders to organise your files.

For example, I created the following folders for this unit. In My Documents I created a folder
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1.1.2 Quiz: Getting started

0 hours 30 minutes

This quiz will help you to become familiar with some of the terminology that you will come across in this unit. It is just for fun. Your answers are not assessed, so don't worry abo
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions  )and is used under a Creative Commons licence.

All other materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources
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Appendix 1 Action Plan

In writing my assignments, I think I do the following things well:

I am fairly satisfied with:

I need to work on:

The first thing I am going to when I finish this toolkit is:

Good luck!


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