Reflection on the development of academic and professional skill in year one
In this paper I am going to reflect on my professional and academic skills development throughout my first year at University. I began this course as a mature student hungry for education and a fresh challenge. During semester two, I found university quite hard as I am currently having family problems; as a result I had to learn to balance university life, part time job and regular trips back home (and that is Bulgaria).
At these times, in compound business environment and growing competition, to be able to compete on the job market you need to possess outstanding skills and be always a step ahead of others. Being a good learner and constantly developing one’s personality are necessary skills that individual who want to succeed should possess. The foundation of learning process is the learning orientation, which defines his or hers educational realization (Dunn et al., 1977). One of the most common definitions of “learning styles” defines the term as diverse form of behaviour made of cognitive, effective and psychological factors that present the appropriate indicators of the learners’ observation, collaboration and reaction to the learning environment (Curry, 1981).
Completing Neil Fleming’s VARK questionnaire I realised that my preferred learning style is Tactile /Kinaesthetic or also known as the Active Learner Style. I learn best not from explanation or direction; but from doing it. Felder and Silverman (1988, p. 71) described that in the Tactile/Kinaesthetic Learning Style, "Learning comes through touching and physical sensation. Thinking is anchored by movement, and touch, often three-dimensional, and usually all or nothing understanding of concepts. Demonstration or application works better than words to illustrate ideas”. As an active learner I tend to be controlled by impulse, be disorganized, absent-minded and hyperactive, and most of the time I will act first and think later. To be successful student and gain good grades I had to improve on my learning style thus, I adopted Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model.
Kolb’s model is based on the cross-comparison of two dimensions - active/reflective and abstract/concrete (Kolb, 1984). However, the Experiential Learning theory is criticized for the absence of prognostic rationality (Allinson, and Hayes, 1988).
Honey and Mumford’s Learning Style Questionnaire is considered to be a development of the Kolb’s theory. To a certain degree it has enhanced legitimacy and predictive accurateness compared with the Learning Style Inventory (Romanelli, Bird, and Ryan (2009). This learning style defines four kinds of learners-activists, reflectors, theorists, pragmatics. The Honey and Mumford mechanism is more practical in amanagement framework than the Kolb’s model.
The results showed that I fall into activist type of learner category, for example I constantly absorb the positive experience that I am faced with, and I take under...