Competency 4: Self and Other

Teachers are self-aware. How does this happen? In this fourth in a series of 5 posts, teacher learning as practiced at SIT is outlined. In the area of self and other, teachers need to be knowledgeable about, skilled at, hold attitudes of, and be aware of these dimensions of their professional practice.

Teachers need to be knowledgeable about

  • theories and practices of group dynamics
  • theories of identity development
  • the multiple dimensions of identity — their own and others’ — including language, class, race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, physical ability, and religion

Teachers need to be skilled at

  • listening with empathy, by attending to and reflecting content and feelings
  • resolving conflicts among and between members of the group
  • communicating effectively and professionally across differences
  • helping other people recognized and rise above biases in order to enhance their interactions with other members of a group
  • creating an environment where divergent views can be expressed and heard
  • articulating their own understanding of shared events as distinct from that of others’ experiences,a and eliciting others’ experiences of these events
  • observing and evaluating their own behavior and its impact on others, and modifying this behavior in the interest of the group
  • observing and evaluating the behavior of others in shared experiences, and giving them feedback on the impact of their behavior

Teachers need to hold attitudes of

  • openness to and valuing of differences in people
  • commitment to helping their students become more open-minded, more tolerant, and accepting of people who are different from them

Teachers need to have awareness of

  • their own feelings and opinions as a participant in group experiences
  • their feelings, opinions, interactions styles, and the way they affect others
  • the uniqueness of their experiences of a shared event
  • different perspectives represented in the classroom

These teaching competencies are excerpted from the MA in Teaching student handbook (2007-08). They are common to all of SIT’s MA in Teaching programs.


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