Instructional tools utilized in the classroom should complement a student’s learning experience to ensure their success post-graduation. As we previously introduced the four criteria needed for meaningful development and addressed the first criteria, assess knowing and doing, let’s shift the focus to the second criteria and discuss why instructional tools must foster accurate self-awareness.
Instructional tools should enable students to improve self-knowledge, identify strengths and weaknesses, learn how others perceive their abilities, and better understand who they are in comparison to others.
Students who lack accurate self-awareness can easily develop self-deception, “a thought process that can lead someone to be misinformed and cause them to miscommunicate, mislearn and misinform others.” – Patricia Steiner, The New England Journal of Higher Education
Self-deception can lead students to strain relationships with peers, overestimate their contribution to team projects, and create barriers between themselves and the actions or steps needed for development. In addition, this can result in a boosted ego and an inaccurate self-representation of their skills and abilities.
Accurate self-awareness is also considered one of the biggest indicators of successful and effective leaders. A study conducted at a Fortune 10 company with more than 300 leaders showed that less self-aware individuals make worse decisions and constantly fail to engage in productive collaboration, thus causing team performance to decline.
In addition, another study of 486 publicly traded organizations found that “companies with strong financial performance tend to have employees with higher levels of self-awareness than poorly performing companies.” – Chinwe Esimai, Forbes
In order to foster accurate self-awareness, instructional tools must link self-awareness to student performance, create a line-of-sight between self-awareness and personal success, and teach self-development skills in order to encourage students to take ownership of their own development process.
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