Critical Reflection Paper
Due: Week 8
The primary goal of this paper is to enable you to analyze your background and beliefs and how they influence your interaction with others on a personal and professional level. As we live and work in a diverse society, it is important that we become aware of our history, values, possible biases, and prejudices. What we hold as ‘truths’ has been shaped by what were taught through participation in family, religion, schools, universities and other institutions. These socializing influences have contributed to how we think, act, feel, and interact with others who think, act, or feel differently.
The purpose of this paper is to encourage you to clarify your own identities, values and beliefs and to begin to think about how they impact your ability to function effectively in a diverse environment. It is a given that confidentiality and non-judgmental attitudes will be maintained by all participants.
This paper should be no less than 10 pages consisting of:
Section 1: Background:
Describe the development of your beliefs and attitudes towards difference (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, abilities). Include how you believe they were shaped by factors such as:
Ethnic or racial heritage
Gender and sexual orientation
Religious beliefs or affiliation
What kind of messages (spoken or unspoken) did you get about people who were similar to you and those who were different from you in those categories?
Section 2: Current Assessment:
Describe your current beliefs and attitudes towards difference (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, abilities). Respond to the following:
Have you chosen to retain those of your upbringing or have you modified or replaced them?
Identify and discuss biases you now have regarding groups different from yourself (those distinguished from your ethnic or racial heritage, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, income, religious beliefs or affiliation).
How do those biases influence the ways in which you interact with members of those groups?
Were you particularly interested in or surprised by any of the information/feelings you may have uncovered while completing this assignment?
Section 3: How do your past experiences affect your work?
Your life experiences influence the manner in which you interact with people and perform your role as a professional. Your experiences and attitudes can be powerful tools to enhance your competence or can be stumbling blocks in your work with people. Assess your cultural competence by responding to the following:
Examine your knowledge about and attitudes toward difference and identify any deficits.
Examine your strengths – have your particular experiences, knowledge and attitudes made you sensitive/ concerned/empathetic/ aware/ engaged?
Make note of any of your own attitudes that make you uncomfortable or which you feel you need to improve.
How do you plan to enhance your cultural competence?