Creating Goals for Professional Improvement

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Unit 2

Creating Goals for Professional ImprovementINTRODUCTION
In this unit, you will submit your first assignment. You may be nervous at the thought of submitting your first written graduate work! Use the resources you have. Give yourself plenty of time to revisit the assignment, revise it, and edit it. Ask your instructor for help if you need it.
Toggle Drawer[u02s1] Unit 2 Study 1Weekly Planner and Reflection Journal
Use the Weekly Planner and Reflection Journal to help you keep track of your activities so you stay organized and meet all required deadlines. The tool also contains a section for you to record your reflections on your learning goals and experiences for the week. This space provides a private, informal area for you to record your thoughts on your strengths and challenges as they relate to inclusivity and diversity in learning environments. Your entries won’t be read, responded to, or graded by the instructor; however, you are strongly urged to make weekly journal entries, as you will need this content to complete the Unit 10 Course Reflection assignment.
As you prepare your weekly reflection entry, remember to connect at least one of Brookfield’s Four Lenses to your entry:

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Autobiographical experiences.
Eyes of students or clients.
Relevant theories.
Colleagues’ perceptions.
Complete the Weekly Planner and Reflection Journal to track your activities.

Toggle Drawer[u02s2] Unit 2 Study 2Develop Your Toolbox
Resource Toolbox
Click Resource Toolbox to return to the media piece. Explore the Writing section and focus on The Writing Center, Smarthinking, and Academic Integrity and Plagiarism resources.
If you find these resources to be particularly helpful, remember to add them to your ongoing list of resources that you started in Unit 1.
As you prepare your weekly reflection entry, keep Brookfield’s Four Lenses in mind and make a meaningful connection to one or more of them in your entry. You will recall that those lenses are:

Practitioners’ autobiographical experiences—that is, their own experiences as learners;
The eyes of the students or clients with whom they work;
Theories relevant to their professional roles; and
Their colleagues’ perceptions.
Resource ToolboxBEGIN ACTIVITYICONTranscript

Toggle Drawer[u02s3] Unit 2 Study 3Diversity and Goal Setting
Diversity encompasses many different characteristics within individuals and in groups. Think about the diversity that can appear in your own professional setting; the following is a sampling of some of the diversity characteristics that may be represented:

Disability status.
Socioeconomic status.
Sexual orientation.
National origin.
Gender identity.
It is impractical to cover all areas of diversity in all types of professional settings, so as you read the articles and watch the media pieces, think about how the main ideas could apply to your own setting and specialization as well as how those ideas might relate to other forms of diversity. This general principle applies to all activities in the course. Read Definitions [DOC] to gain a broader perspective. Reviewing the KWL chart you completed in Unit 1 will help you locate your professional specialization in the general framework of the discussion.

Click What Is Diversity? to view the media piece.
Click SMART Goals to view the media piece.

Setting goals that are too broad or general may result in little change or improvement. You will learn about setting specific, measurable goals in this piece.

Use the Capella library and the Internet to complete the following: 

Plaut, V. (2014). Inviting everyone in. Scientific American, 311(4), 52–57.
Toner, M. (2016). Diversifying diversity. Presidency, 19(1), 12–17.
Wells, A. S., Fox, L., Cordova-Cobo, D., & Kahlenberg, R. D. (2016). How racially diverse schools and classrooms can benefit all students. The Education Digest, 82(1), 17–24.
Elias, M. J. (2014, August 27). SMART goal setting with your students [Blog post]. Retrieved from 

Originally published 2014 ©; George Lucas Educational Foundation.
What might SMART goal-setting look like in an educational setting? Read about setting SMART goals in this article.

Specialization-Specific Resources
This media piece provides a starting point for further learning. Note that some of the readings in your area of specialization may be required for successful completion of your course. Others are recommended or optional enrichment. Refer to your unit studies for required readings.
If you are in the Teaching and Learning Program, which is based on a personal, customized approach rather than specializations, we encourage you to explore the range of P–12 specialization-specific resources in this presentation as appropriate to your interests.
Click Specialization-Specific Resources to view the media piece.
SMART GoalsBEGIN ACTIVITYICONTranscriptWhat is Diversity?BEGIN ACTIVITYICONTranscriptSpecialization-Specific ResourcesBEGIN ACTIVITYICONTranscriptLearning Components
This activity will help you achieve the following learning components:

Define inclusivity in an educational setting.
Identify challenges related to inclusivity and diversity.
Summarize professional experience related to inclusivity and diversity.
Analyze strategies for integrating inclusivity and diversity in an educational setting.

Toggle Drawer[u02s4] Unit 2 Study 4Discussion and Assignment Preparation
To prepare for the Unit 2 discussion, use the Diversity Worksheet to consider your own diversity and where you are situated within the identified diversity characteristics.

Complete the “How You Identify Yourself in Relation to Each Group” and the “Implications for Your Work” columns.
Be sure to note the information in the worksheet instructions that will help you decide how to do so. You will not be sharing this worksheet in the discussion, but you will reflect on the content and use it to complete your discussion.
Your first assignment, Self-Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, is due this week. Be sure you are following the assignment instructions carefully. Ask your instructor if you have any questions.
Learning Components
This activity will help you achieve the following learning components:

Identify challenges experienced in relation to inclusivity and diversity.
Summarize professional experience related to inclusivity and diversity.

Toggle Drawer[u02a1] Unit 2 Assignment 1Self-Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
Whenever someone wants to embark on a journey of personal or professional improvement, he or she must consider the starting point. In this first assignment in the first course of your program, you will document your starting point by completing a self-assessment.
Assignment Instructions
There are two sections in this assignment: the self-assessment and a goal-setting proposal. Follow these steps to develop these sections:

In Unit 1, you should have taken the self-assessment in the Self-Assessment and Proposal Template (linked in the Resources). If you have done so, proceed to Step 2. If you have not, complete the following:

Read each item on the self-assessment and reflect on your current level of proficiency. Mark your current level as a 0, 1, 2, or 3.
Part of effective self-assessment is the ability to explain why you assessed your skills as you did, so the next step is to write a short narrative (3–4 sentences) for each item, presenting the evidence to support your rating.

Move to the Learning Goals Proposal section of the template. The headings for each part of this section are already there for you, along with prompts to help you craft each part. Complete the following:

Describe the main strengths that emerged from your self-assessment of the course knowledge and skills.
Describe opportunities for growth that emerged from the self-assessment.
Identify three goal statements for learning during this course. Each goal statement should be observable and measurable so you can evaluate your progress later on.
Create a brief action plan. Explain which observable actions you will take to address each of your goals throughout the course.

Save your completed Self-Assessment and Proposal Template and submit it as a Word document in the assignment area.

Self-Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Scoring Guide.
Self-Assessment and Proposal Template [DOC].

Toggle Drawer[u02d1] Unit 2 Discussion 1Situating Yourself Within Diversity Characteristics
In preparation for this discussion, you completed the Diversity Worksheet, including your own characteristics and what your position within those characteristics implies for your work. Based on what you learned about diversity in this unit and your own work on the Diversity Worksheet, complete the following:

Choose two of the cultural groups identified on the worksheet. Expand on the detail that you gave in the “Implications for Your Work” column for those two groups. What are your strengths in working with those two groups, and what opportunities exist for growth?
Reflect generally on how you completed the two columns in the template. What were your “big ideas” or “aha” moments related to how your diversity characteristics apply to your work?
Make a Connection
After responding to the discussion prompt, pose a question or comment on an issue that interests you. This is meant to engage your peers and let them know how they can best support you.
Response Guidelines
These guidelines apply to your responses to other learners, which are in addition to your response to the discussion topic itself.
Respond to at least one learner. In your response, ask two or more questions that each post raised for you. Asking questions is an effective way to carry on the discussion in an online environment! Be sure to return to the discussion so you can see the answers to your question; you may have more to add.
Post your initial responses in the discussion area by Thursday at 11:59 p.m. (Central time zone). Comments to other learners’ posts are due by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (Central time zone).
Learning Components
This activity will help you achieve the following learning components:

Define diversity in an educational setting.
Determine areas of strength.
Identify opportunities for improvement.

Discussion Participation Scoring Guide.

Toggle DrawerUpdates and HandoutsPeriodically, information will be posted in this space for the good of the class.
Toggle DrawerAsk Your InstructorThis forum was created to provide a convenient space for you to ask questions—questions about particular assignment and discussion activities, questions about the course in general, questions about expectations. If there is something that you feel you could use help with, please post your question here. Most likely, some of your classmates will have the same concern, so your post may help several learners. If you feel your question is private, please use the Messages tool found under Notifications.

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