PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: AN ACEDEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL CONSIDERATION Ross McDonald University of Phoenix GEN/200: FOUNDATIONS FOR GENERAL EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS February 25, 2013 Students transitioning from high school to college today face many challenges. They are besieged by a host of external influences that may shape or cloud their ability to take responsibility. These influences include family, friends, religious beliefs, personal biases, and socioeconomic background.
Even though these external influences seemingly dictate the decisions we are able to make, personal responsibility ultimately is an individual’s ability to respond to the ever-changing influences presented in life in a mature and reasonable way, employing the sum of our knowledge and experience and our willingness to accept and be held accountable for the consequences of our actions. Doherty (1998) argues that society’s increasing refusal to hold individuals accountable for their actions and a tendency to blame others for the individual’s circumstances are a concerning trend.
Doherty (1998) cites the tragic Jonesboro, Arkansas shooting in 1998 as a case in point, where two teenagers opened fire on students at a middle school. His article examines the reactions of the political and intellectual classes at the time and their unwillingness to place responsibility on the perpetrators, instead blaming all of us individually and collectively. Personal responsibility, however, must begin with a smaller, individual action. For example, for students to attain any level of success in college, they must accept responsibility for the decisions they make every day.
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These decisions will include when to study and for how long, when to go to class, what type of job they need, and how they will socialize. Nontraditional or adult returning students face the same challenges but have more experience in handling these issues in most cases than traditional students. This experience, their recall of it, and the growth that ensued, can help them make better-informed decisions. Both categories of students, however, must exhibit some level of personal responsibility in order to accomplish college uccess. In my experience as a student and as a professional, one aspect of personal responsibility many people struggle with is time management. Time management is an essential skill that must be acquired in order to be able to accomplish assigned tasks efficiently and by a given deadline. This is my Waterloo. I find myself spending most of my time doing things that must be done urgently to meet a deadline and wondering what happened to all the time that I thought had to accomplish the task in.
If I am unable to manage my time well, it adversely affects my work, education, and personal life. Time is a finite resource that cannot be recovered once spent. In spending or managing my time, it is essential to learn and employ strategies that work for me and to be mindful of new ideas or technologies to improve the outcomes. One of the strategies that I have rediscovered is outlined in our current text. I am going to re-implement a daily to-do list. I did this previously but became lazy with it and just attempted to keep track of what I needed to accomplish in my head.
Now that I run a full-time business, am a full-time student, and have a full-time family, I need to evaluate my ability to keep track of the things that I want to accomplish. Amanda Mergler, Ph. D. states in her doctoral dissertation, “Personal responsibility has been defined as being accountable to oneself and the needs and well-being of others. ” Mergler, A. (2007). I need to be able to prioritize tasks so that I am more efficient in accomplishing them. Implementing a to-do list will allow me to have more time because I will not be wasting the time that I do have trying to figure out what needs to be done next.
I can just look at my to-do list. This will give me a greater ability to meet my responsibilities and be able to meet the needs of those who depend on me. We face different challenges every day as students and professionals. Recognizing external influences for what they are and maintaining individual accountability for our actions is important for success in any arena. Going to college is an outstanding opportunity for personal growth if the student takes advantage of it. One of the ways to do this is to become the master of ime and not let time master us. While we may not be able to control all of the outside influences we are bombarded with, if we master our time we can be one step closer to achieving the goals we have set. Annotated Bibliography Ross McDonald University of Phoenix Gen 200 February 25, 2013 Annotated Bibliography. Mergler, A. (2007), PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: THE CREATION, IMPLEMENTATION, AND EVALUATION OF A SCHOOL-BASED PROGRAM. 3. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus. (eprints. qut. du. au/16382/1/Amanda_Mergler_Thesis. pdf) Mergler’s work attempts to show how a school-based program of personal-accountability education can benefit students and instructors alike. The author also lays out a plan for implementation of such a program. Doherty, B. (1998). Blame society first. Reason, 30(2), 8. Doherty’s article asserts that there is a continuing trend within society to remove blame from the individual and shift it to the collective. Summary of References The above references support my essay in the following ways.
Mergler provides an excellent definition of personal responsibility that is applicable to students in particular and life in general. Mergler’s work also directly relates to developing programs to teach students personal responsibility in an academic setting. Doherty’s article from Reason supports my assertion that individuals are blaming outside influences for their actions and that society is not holding the individual personally responsible. Mergler’s work is in the form of a scientific paper, presented as a doctoral thesis, and was accepted by the Queensland University of Technology.
It is, therefore, a reasonable choice as a dependable reference for my essay. Doherty’s work was presented in the periodical Reason. Reason claims in their mission statement that they are a monthly print magazine directed at “free minds and free markets. ” While I agree with the material presented here, some may call into question the reliability of this reference based on its political slant. Both Mergler’s and Doherty’s works are relevant to this essay. Mergler’s work is directly related to personal responsibility in an academic setting.
She provides a very well reasoned definition of personal responsibility and lays out a plan for students and faculty to implement and follow. Doherty’s work asserts, as I do, that individuals are not demonstrating personal responsibility in society today. Doherty cites the tragic Jonesboro, Arkansas shooting in 1998 as a case in point, where two teenagers opened fire on students at a middle school. His article examines the reactions of the political and intellectual classes at the time and their unwillingness to place responsibility on the perpetrators, instead blaming all of us individually and collectively.
Mergler holds a Ph. D. in philosophy from the Queensland University of Technology. This is a doctoral dissertation and a scientific study and does not seem to contain any bias. Philosophy is, however, by its very nature a subjective discipline. Doherty is the senior editor for Reason magazine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and is a libertarian/conservative journalist. Accordingly, his article may contain bias in that direction.
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