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Learning Synthesis

Valerie Griffith HSP 301 11/16/11 Learning Synthesis Over the last two months I have started my journey to becoming a human services professional. In those months I have discovered more about myself and why it is that I am so passionate about wanting to help others. It has been quite an experience thus far and for once in my life I feel as if I am in the right place. In order to understand and reflect on what I have learned, I plan to reflect on highlights from the class that helped me expand my knowledge and explain how I have met the Council for Standards in Human Service Education, or CSHSE National Standards. Core class is built around an inductive teaching method. According to Felder & Prince (2006), in an inductive teaching classroom students are presented with a challenge and then learn what they need to know to address the challenge ( 2). Inductive teaching promotes students to be involved. I have learned that this inductive teaching method is very successful to me in the way that I learn. Inductive teaching method is also important to the way I learn, because I retain information better when Im interacting with others and having a good time. I have learned that I also feel more comfortable about my responses to questions after Ive discussed those questions with others. The inductive teaching method helps me to develop ideas and strategies further.

Learning Synthesis

During one session of core, we took a quiz to pinpoint how we as individuals learn. After taking the Kolb learning style inventory, I have gained the knowledge about myself that I am a concrete experience learner. According to Kolb (1985): A high score on concrete experience represents a receptive, experience- based approach to learning that relies heavily on feeling- based judgments. High CE individuals tend to be empathetic and people- oriented. They generally find theoretical approaches to be unhelpful and prefer to teach each situation as a unique case. They learn best from specific examples in which they can become involved. Individuals who emphasize concrete experience tend to be oriented towards peers and less toward authority in their approach to learning, and benefit most from feedback and discussion with fellow CE learners (p. 1). After reading this description of how I learn, I felt that it was dead on. I have learned through my experiences and that is why I have chosen a career in human services. After taking the Kolb Learning Style Inventory, it has helped me to acknowledge the way I learn and how I interact with others. This lesson taught me more about myself which is important in advancement and growth. In another assignment we were asked to reflect on our values. I am 20 years old and I have never been asked what my values are. I learned a lot from this assignment about myself. First of all, every individual in the world has somethings that they truly value in life. Values play a huge role in how you live and work. When you acknowledge your core values and live by them you determine your priorities and the future of your

Learning Synthesis

life path. Each value in a persons life is learned from others and has influenced you to become the person you are. Each individuals values are different and ranked at different levels of importance. As you move through life, your values may change, but they are important in understand who you are and where you are headed. Three values that are important to me are honesty, equality and confidence. Another area that I had not really researched about myself was why I truly wanted to help others. I entered this program knowing that I want to become a chemical dependency counselor for adolescents. The reason I want to become a chemical dependency counselor for adolescents is because of my experiences as an adolescent with chemical dependency issues. When I deeply thought about why I really wanted to help adolescents with chemical dependency issues, I learned that it was because I found my way out and found happiness. When I got sober I wasnt sure what to do with my life and I feel as if this career really found me. I found this quote by Buddha (n.d.) and it states: thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared ( 3). This quote inspires me to help adolescents overcome their fight with addiction and find happiness in sobriety. The human services degree is based on curriculum that is assigned to meet the CSHSE National Standards and Specifications. In core class specifically, we focused on standards 12, 13, 17, 19 and 20. These standards are specific to the education of successful students and releasing them into the field as professional human service providers. When the schools curriculum meets the standards of the CSHSE National

Learning Synthesis

Standards, there is confidence in the professionalism of those graduating from the program and the program becomes accredited. The first standard that core class was developed around is standard 12. Standard 12 states that, the curriculum shall include knowledge and theory of human systems, including: individual, interpersonal, group, family, organizational, community and societal (CSHSE, 2010, p. 6). The best example of meeting this standard would definitely have to be the Loeb book. The Loeb book is compiled of many different stories from many different authors. Each short story helps to see life in a different view. My favorite story was by Rosalie Bertell, who told a story of her mother. My mother, a World War I newlywed, lived in an apartment northeast Washington, D.C. She tells me how she noticed that black women, after working all day in white homes, would stand for an hour or more waiting for a bus to take them home. If they were only blacks at a corner, the buses did not stop. My mother went down every evening to stand with the black women so that the buses would stop- until the drivers got the point (p. 192). This short story recognizes the systems in play and how you as an individual can help to change such systems, which is an important skill. The next standard is the 13th and it states: the curriculum shall address the scope of conditions that promote or inhibit human functioning (CSHSE, 2010, p. 6). The Loeb book also covers stories about the many different populations of the world and the

Learning Synthesis

negative and positive outlooks. Next, there is the 17th standard. According to CSHSE (2010), learning experiences shall be provided for the student to develop his or her interpersonal skills (p. 8). The student interaction throughout this class is what really covers this standard. When we share our stories, inspirations and values it has taught me patience, improved my listening and talking skills. I have learned so much about my peers and it reinsures my desire to become a counselor. Then there is standard 19. Standard 19 states: the curriculum shall incorporate human services values and attitudes and promote understand of human services ethics and their application process (CSHSE, 2010, p. 9). Going into human services it is so important to know the ethical standards so that you are providing a safe work environment for your client, co- workers as well as yourself. According to Martin (2011), the codes of ethics are ever- growing and changing entity, never in final form, and always open for evaluation and debate (p. 34). With that in mind I have learned that that responsibility to stay on top of these obligations is crucial to a career as a human service professional. The last standard that was covered in core was standard 20. According to CSHSE (2010), the program shall provide experiences and support to enable students to develop awareness of their own values, personalities, interpersonal styles, and limitations (p. 9). In class we played this game about values. We were all given $5,000 fake money. The teacher would list products to buy such as a cure for AIDS, any three cars of your choice, and a pill that would end world hunger. There were many different types of products and

Learning Synthesis

the game was geared to see who would buy what. This game was fun but it also taught me a lot about my values. I care a lot about other peoples well-being but I also care just as much about my own. I was different from most of the other people who were spending most of their money on things for others. I was buying products that would support others, but I was also buying products that appealed to my wants as well. This exercise really made me become more self-aware. These last two months have been stressful, but I know in the end it will totally be worth it. As I reflect on the assignments done, the books read and the classes attended, I see growth in myself. I see growth in my fellow classmates as well. Though it has only been two months, I am positive that this experience will be like none other. So far, I have discovered so much about myself and other populations around me. I have enjoyed meeting this fine group of individuals who share the same passion of wanting to help others. I no longer look at my past in a negative light, but see how it has guided me to a future that is bright. I want to utilize my experiences to guide others to happiness. I am so happy that I have found this program and am a part of it now. The CSHSE National Standards can help me to achieve my goal of becoming a chemical dependency counselor for adolescents as a trained professional in human services.

Learning Synthesis

References Bertell, R. (2002). The impossible will take a little while: a citizens guide to hope in a time of fear. New York: Basic Books. Buddha. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2011, from: http://en.thinkexist.com/quotes/buddha/ CSHSE. (2010). Retrieved November 16, 2011, from: http://www.cshse.org/documents/Standards-Bachelor_2010Revised.pdf Felder, R., & Prince, M. (2006). The Case for Inductive Teaching. JEE, 95 (2). Kolb, D. (1985). Learning Style Inventory. Massachusetts: McBer and Company. Martin, M. (2011). Introduction to human services: through the eyes of practice settings . Boston: Pearson Education.