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The Personal Competencies Through the Eyes of the Classroom Teacher

It’s not just content that’s important!

Personal qualities like motivation, mindset, and grit are just as important to learning
as content, and researchers are interested in studying this idea. Dr. Suzanne
Carreker, former senior vice-president of innovative solutions at Neuhaus Education
Center, and Dr. Regina Boulware-Gooden, vice-president of research and
school improvement at Neuhaus, highlight the importance of these and other
personal skills for students and teachers in a recent article published by The
Center on Innovations in Learning (CIL) at Temple University in Philadelphia,
PA.  Drs. Carreker and Gooden call these personal skills competencies.  In their
paper, Personal Competencies through the Eyes of the Classroom Teacher, Drs. Carreker and Boulware-Gooden suggest that fostering student competencies is easier if a teacher understands his or her own competencies. First, a teacher explores his or her personal interests. Curiosity drives a teacher to seek new knowledge (cognitive competency). A growth mindset gives a teacher the resilience and grit to keep learning (motivational competency). The teacher’s high expectations for success (social/emotional competency) drives the teacher to think of ways to learn more (metacognitive competency). 

When teachers acquire these competencies in their personal lives, they apply them to their teaching as well. Knowing themselves on a deeper level not only helps teachers see these competencies in their students, but motivates them to find ways to help kids develop these qualities for success.

Barbara Conway, Ph.D.
Author: Barbara Conway, Ph.D.