There are many things that go under the heading "self directed learning & personal/professional goal setting." I suppose the two most important factors are learning and goal setting. It's hard to believe that the school part of my physical therapy education is almost complete. I am about to encounter all of the challenges that come with a clinical internship.
I have progressed in my goal setting abilities, but I am still not at the point where I am pleased with my goal setting skills. I feel comfortable writing goals for myself as far as my learning is concerned. I still need to work on setting objective and measurable goals for my patients.
I feel as though I have come so far in my learning as a PT student. I've always had a good attitude when it came to learning. I've always wanted to learn. Believe me, PT school gives you EVERY opportunity to learn. It seems as though we went nonstop from orientation through Tier II prep. I'll admit when I first started PT school, I felt a bit overwhelmed. As time went on, I learned how to deal with all of my new found knowledge. I had to learn to focus on what we were learning at the time, and not go off on tangents. I had to learn that there would be time to learn everything; I didn't have to learn it all in the first two weeks of school. As time went on even further, we had more and more responsibilities. We had the addition of data collection for thesis and preparing for thesis defense. I believe that all of the work that I did in the beginning of last year with time management and setting priorities helped me to make the time when we were focusing on thesis a much smoother process.
My learning was definitely enhanced by getting used to PBL (problem based learning). I was always used to lectures, so I had to get used to finding the information out for myself and not being spoon-fed the information. Another progression that I made that has helped my learning was my ability to talk more in facilitation. I was never much of a talker in big groups. I understand that. It was definitely something that I had to work at. I am still working at this, but I have definitely progressed from when I first started school. This may be because I tend to over think a situation. So, instead of just speaking up, I think about it to much. By the time I'm ready to say something, the conversation has moved on. Like I said, I've progressed, but not as much as I'd like to. There is always room for more progression.