The Office of Faculty Development

Self-Awareness and Positionality

There is a reason self-awareness is often a focal point in books regarding individual growth and self-development. Self-awareness is simply the skill of being conscious of your own motivations, desires, actions, emotions and what shapes them. Being able to identify why you view the world the way you do and recognize that your view is not ubiquitous is integral to personal growth and to positionality. 

Positionality encourages the self-identification and critical reflection of an individual’s social standing and the power dynamics that come along with that social standing. Recognizing positionality allows for the highlighting of alternative perspectives and power dynamics. Understanding the position of students relative to instructors, and the inevitable gaps in shared experience, allows for the possibility of meeting students where they are and creating a more equitable path to success. 

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