This has been a very successful session since beyond my wildest dreams, I have achieved my goals set out in my learning plan at the start of the session. The learning plan helped me devise a clear route to follow in pursuit of my dreams. This is a reflective report whose main purpose is to provide a self-evaluation of the learning needs set at the beginning of the session and the strategies as well as the challenges faced in achieving the goals and eventually an evaluation of the outcomes as set out in my learning plan (Nikolou-Walker & Garnett, 2007). The learning needs covered include; fighting for the rights of the University students, developing effective reading skills, Acquiring and enhancing my personal hygiene, becoming a selfless individual and writing a research paper that will win me The Nobel Peace Prize award.
The reflective report provides an analysis of my learning needs in terms of the set goals, the strategies employed to achieve the set goals, the constraints and challenges encountered in the process of achieving the goals and an analysis of the outcomes or end results of the efforts and a general reflection on the whole process I went through in an attempt to achieve the goals.
Leadership has always run through my veins. I have always had the yearning to lead and fight for the rights of others especially the rights of the minority groups in society at every stage of my life. Right from my time at primary school, I have held positions of leadership. As a result, when I joined the University, my goal was to fight for the rights of the students especially the diaspora students, to enhance my leadership skills and to oversee an improvement in the living conditions of the vulnerable members of society (Brockbank & McGill, 2007). To achieve these goals, I had a strategy. A simple one in deed. My strategy was to keep doing what I knew best; to write articles on human rights issues affecting the students, publish them and post them strategically where all including the University Administration could read (Boyd & Fales, 1983).
To ensure that the issues received a wider coverage and attracted immediate attention, I joined human rights advocacy groups both within the university and in the country. Through the advocacy groups I was able to raise funds to aid in my publication and distribution of the articles. However, in this pursuit, I faced a myriad of constraints key among them lack of adequate funds to make enough publishings to reach a larger audience (Miettinen, 2000). Moreover, most of the students were scared of sharing their experiences as they feared this could land them into trouble with the university administration.
Furthermore, I lacked adequate time to concentrate on this noble course as my class work schedule proved tight. Despite the challenges, I managed to achieve a considerable amount of positive outcomes from these endeavours. For instance, my leadership skills have grown immeasurably (Brockbank, etal, 2002). My decision making and critical thinking skills are exemplary. Moreover, today I am a leader in my every right. I command a very large following who have branded me the human rights weapon.
A man with a burning urge to lead; I need excellent effective reading skills. With this realisation, my goals when I joined the university were to improve my reading speed and enhance my memorization skills so that I can be able to give speeches without necessarily having to carry written documents to the podium (Zubizarreta, 2009). To achieve these objectives, I become a regular visitor of conferences, seminars and tutorials presided over by great speakers to learn the secret and the art behind their reading and presentation prowess.
Furthermore, I regularly watched videos and recordings of good speakers such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and read widely on good reading skills (Moely, etal, 2002). Nonetheless, in this pursuit, I encountered constraints such as lack of enough reading materials and lack of adequate seminars as the university could only organise for two seminars and one conference across the session. However, in spite of the constraints, I achieved measurable success. For instance, I learned how to pronounce the words I had initially considered difficult with ease. My reading skills have generally improved a great deal.
Acquiring and enhancing personal hygiene
On my first day of admission to the university, I was perplexed by the deplorable conditions of the halls of residence. Litter was scattered all over and the floor of my room was so dirty. No wonder there is a high number of cases of vector borne diseases at the universities. From the onset, my goals were to keep my environment tidy and to reduce cases of common diseases among university students such as malaria, typhoid and cholera (Smith, eat, 2009). To achieve these, I had a strategy; first of all, to pick litter around my hall of residence on a daily basis. Later to cut bushes, open water channels and empty dust bins to get rid of the breading places for vectors. This I could not do on my own.
I drafted a proposal on environmental management and forwarded to the school management. I also began an environmental management club where I taught my fellow students on environmental management skills. In doing all these, I encountered a number of challenges. For instance, it took some time for the university management to act on my proposal as they required the university senate which sits once a year to convene to deliberate on my proposal (Moon, 2004). Also some of the students are quite uncooperative. They could deliberately throw litter where I had cleaned. However, despite the challenges, the university environment looks better today than it did at the beginning of the session. Moreover, the number of cases of students reporting to the dispensary for treatment of diseases such as malaria and typhoid has significantly reduced.
Having been born in a poor neighbourhood, qualifying to join university was a great privilege. Never should I ever allow this opportunity go to waste. The only way I can ensure this is by giving back to society (Aj Stefani, etal, 2000). Mine is a humble neighbourhood where many children are orphaned due to chronic diseases, others lack houses due to poverty while others lack food. My goal was to put a roof on the head of the houseless, to feed the hungry stomach and dress the empty soul. I do not have enough resources hence to achieve these goals, I needed strategies such as amassing like-minded friends who could assist me in fundraising towards this course. I also, skipped a meal to save towards the noble course (Yelloly, 1995).
However, in this regard, I encountered several constraints such as lack of adequate funds to help the ever increasing number of poor families and a general lack of adequate time going around soliciting support for the poor since I had other tasks to attend to. Nonetheless, I made considerable strides. Through reading on and visiting various charity organizations, I have learnt and acquired tactics on managing a charity organization.
Writing a research paper that will win the Nobel Peace Prize Award
I have always had passion for human rights and social issues. This has seen me compete in essay writing competitions at various levels. This time round, I wanted to achieve something bigger because I believe it’s achievable (Smith, 2001). The Nobel Peace Prize Award. My goal was to write an excellent piece of work that would make me the first student in my university to win this a word and join in the leagues of Martin Luther King and the likes. My strategy was to read widely on human rights and social issues and do more practice by involving myself in junior competitions to polish my writing skills (Light, etal, 2009). I was also to read sample writings on human rights and social issues and to watch videos on the same. In this pursuit, I faced challenges such as lack of enough time to prepare for writing competitions since I had other classwork tasks to attend to. However, in spite of the challenges, my skills were sharpened and at the end of the session, I am an even better writer.
Analysing my learning plan, I realise that my objectives have been met. Today I am an all-round better student ready to face the challenges of the outside world using the skills I have acquired. Having applied all the acquired skills as outlined on my learning plan, I will achieve tremendous success in my academic work and in other life fields. I am sure of being a successful human rights activist able to fit in the shoes of my mentor and role model; Koffi Annan.
I gained a great deal as a pertains to my learning needs. However, there are areas in my overall development which I need to work on to even become a better individual. Such include; engaging more in practical work than in theory so that I can acquire enough in-field experience, attend leadership classes to gain more leadership skills and seek career advice to identify the best arena to indulge in.
Zubizarreta, J. (2009). The learning portfolio: Reflective practice for improving student learning. John Wiley & Sons.
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1996). The expert learner: Strategic, self-regulated, and reflective. Instructional science, 24(1), 1-24.
Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2005). Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education. Academy of management learning & education, 4(2), 193-212
Brockbank, A., & McGill, I. (2007). Facilitating reflective learning in higher education. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Nikolou-Walker, E., & Garnett, J. (2004). Work-based learning. A new imperative: developing reflective practice in professional life. Reflective practice, 5(3), 297-312.
Boyd, E. M., & Fales, A. W. (1983). Reflective learning key to learning from experience. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 23(2), 99-117.
Miettinen, R. (2000). The concept of experiential learning and John Dewey's theory of reflective thought and action. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 19(1), 54-72.
Brockbank, A., McGill, I., & Beech, N. (2002). Reflective learning in practice. Gower Publishing, Ltd..
Moely, B. E., McFarland, M., Miron, D., Mercer, S., & Ilustre, V. (2002). Changes in college students' attitudes and intentions for civic involvement as a function of service-learning experiences. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 9(1).
Smith, M., Brooks, S., Lichtenberg, A., McIlveen, P., Torjul, P., & Tyler, J. (2009). Career development learning: maximising the contribution of work-integrated learning to the student experience. Final project report June 2009. University of Wollongong.
Moon, J. A. (2004). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: Theory and practice. Psychology Press.
AJ Stefani, L., Clarke, J., & Littlejohn, A. H. (2000). Developing a student-centred approach to reflective learning. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 37(2), 163-171.
Yelloly, M. (1995). Learning and teaching in social work: Towards reflective practice. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Smith, P. A. (2001). Action learning and reflective practice in project environments that are related to leadership development. Management Learning, 32(1), 31-48.
Light, G., Calkins, S., & Cox, R. (2009). Learning and teaching in higher education: The reflective professional. Sage.
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