Doctoral Demeanor and Student Accountability Activity

Doctoral Demeanor and Student Accountability Worksheet

Earning a doctorate means reaching the highest educational level in your field. As a member of the doctoral community, you assume a privileged role in society. Your behavior, attitudes, and way of thinking all reflect your role—inside and outside of the classroom.

In SAS, the term doctoral demeanor refers to the personal attributes that shape a student’s doctoral identity. For example, doctoral demeanor may entail balancing confidence, competence, and high achievement with the humility that comes from continuous learning. As you progress in the program, your ongoing challenge will be to shape your doctoral identity to accept increasing levels of accountability and leadership in society.

As a member of the doctoral community, you are also expected to demonstrate doctoral-level accountability for the learning process. The following table outlines key aspects of doctoral learning.
Doctoral learning consists of… Doctoral Learning is not…
Student-Driven Learning

Ø Taking responsibility for reading the syllabus and meeting all course requirements and deadlines

Ø Taking initiative to engage others and co-create the class experience

Ø Using syllabus instructions and course materials to self-assess learning

Ø Making adjustments to ensure continuous improvement and development
Passive Learning

Ø Asking redundant questions; holding others accountable for one’s own performance

Ø Expecting the facilitator to dominate the dialogue and provide “all the answers”

Ø Waiting for the facilitator to provide a score or grade

Ø Making the same mistakes; blaming others for one’s mistakes
Active and Engaged Inquiry

Ø Learning how to learn and critically think in a scholarly way

Ø Providing insightful, original responses and comments from your perspective

Ø Accepting ambiguity and complexity

Ø Thinking for oneself, adding new value, and creating one’s intellectual voice
Passive Thinking

Ø Memorizing facts and concepts without adding original analysis or reflection

Ø Providing rote answers; making vague, superficial comments

Ø Seeking only simplistic, familiar, or “black and white” answers

Ø Reiterating others’ ideas without adding new value or relevance

Answer the following reflection questions:

Ø How do you already demonstrate a doctoral demeanor in your personal, professional, and/or community life, and what aspects are you adding to your daily life?

Ø What would happen if you were to change your demeanor in your personal, professional, and/or community life?

Ø How do you envision your demeanor changing as a result of participating in the doctoral program?

Ø What behaviors will maximize your successful entry in the program?

Ø What expectations do you have of your classmates and faculty members in the program? What do you think your classmates and faculty members expect of you?

Ø What changes do you need to make to move from passive thinking to active and engaged inquiry?

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