Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Secret of Longevity

"In Sardinia and Okinawa, where people live the longest, hard work is important, but not more so than spending time with family, nurturing spirituality, and doing for others."

~Corey Keyes, PhD, a professor of sociology at Emory University~

Monday, November 23, 2009

Peer Teacher

You send your son to the teacher, but he is educated by his peers.

~Ralph W Emerson*~

*North American playwright and philosopher, 1803-1882.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Real Beauty

"The beautiful dress does not reflect beauty,

The beauty is the beauty of knowledge and morals,

The one whose father dies is not an orphan,

The real orphan is who brings bad name to his tribe".

~Saidina Ali ~

Friday, September 11, 2009

Writing The Article Summary


  1. Give the title of the article and name of the author (s) and provide a full citation of the article. Identify the author by profession or importance.

  2. Identify the purpose of the article

  3. Tell what the research question is and explain why it is interesting and important. Give your overall impression.

  4. It is important in introductory paragraph include a thesis statement which identifies the main points you will be discussing in the body (analysis) of the review.

Body (Analysis)

  1. Briefly describe methods, design of the study, how many subjects were involved, what they did, the variables, what was measured, and where the reserach was conducted.

  2. Describe the results/what was found

  3. Discuss the strength and the usefulness of the article/study

  4. Discuss the weaknesses, limitations, or problems of the article/study

  5. Discuss what you learned from the article and if you recommend it to other students

  6. Support your analysis with qoutations and/or specific examples throughout.


  1. Summarize the previous discussion

  2. Make a final judgement on the value of the article

  3. State what you learned from the article

  4. Comment on the future or implications of the research.

* Lecture notes for EDC 7720

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Bloom's Taxonomy

COGNITIVE LEARNING, one of the three domains from Bloom's Taxonomy, emphasizes intellectual outcomes. Benjamin Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain. The six levels are: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

The Six Levels of Bloom's Taxonomy

Knowledge is a starting point that includes both the acquisition of information and the ability to recall information when needed.

Comprehension is the basic level of understanding. It involves the ability to know what is being communicated in order to make use of the information.

Application is the ability to use a learned skill in a new situation.

Analysis is the ability to break content into components in order to identify parts, see relationships among them, and recognize organizational principles.

Synthesis is the ability to combine existing elements in order to create something original.
Evaluation is the ability to make a judgement about the value of something by using a standard.

By Tammy Goodwater, San Diego State University


In the 1990's, a former student of Bloom, Lorin Anderson, revised Bloom's Taxonomy and published this- Bloom's Revised Taxonomy in 2001. Key to this is the use of verbs rather than nouns for each of the categories and a rearrangement of the sequence within the taxonomy. They are arranged below in increasing order, from low to high.

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy Sub Categories

Each of the categories or taxonomic elements has a number of key verbs associated with it

Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS)

Remembering - Recognising, listing, describing, identifying, retrieving, naming, locating, finding

Understanding - Interpreting, Summarising, inferring, paraphrasing, classifying, comparing, explaining, exemplifying

Applying - Implementing, carrying out, using, executing

Analysing - Comparing, organising, deconstructing, Attributing, outlining, finding, structuring, integrating

Evaluating - Checking, hypothesising, critiquing, Experimenting, judging, testing, Detecting, Monitoring

Creating - designing, constructing, planning, producing, inventing, devising, making

By Andrew Churches

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Teacher of The Year

Anthony Mullen: 2009 US National Teacher of the Year Interview

By Elizabeth Rich

Premium article access courtesy of TeacherMagazine.org.

At the end of April, the White House announced that Anthony Mullen, a special education teacher in Greenwich, Conn., had been selected as the 59th National Teacher of the Year. A plain-spoken, unvarnished man of 50, Mullen worked as a New York City police officer for 21 years before leaving the department in 2000 to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher of students with special needs. Mullen is now a teacher at Greenwich’s ARCH School, an alternative high school housed in a tiny building with four undersized classrooms. Many of his students have behavioral and emotional disorders and are often on their last academic stop when they reach him.

We recently spoke to Mullen about his method of building connections with hard-to-reach students, his experience at the White House, and what he hopes to accomplish as NTOY.
The following are edited excerpts from that conversation.

How did you find out you were selected to be the National Teacher of the Year?

It kind of went down like a national security secret. We—the four NTOY finalists—had been instructed that we would receive a phone call about one week after our interviews and presentations in Washington, D.C. If the National Teacher of the Year Director, Jon Quam, called it meant that you had not been selected. If your state Commissioner of Education called, it meant that you had been selected.

The school secretary called me from my classroom and told me that the Connecticut Commissioner of Education, Mark McClellan, wanted to speak with me. That’s the moment I knew.

I have to add that the most difficult task after receiving the phone call was not being able to tell my students and colleagues. The official announcement would not take place for another couple of weeks.

How and when did your students find out?

My students learned about my selection while I was in Washington. They were ecstatic. Many newspapers came to my school and took pictures of my students and interviewed them. I don’t think they ever felt so important in their lives. I still have the pictures from the local papers.
What was your experience at the White House like?

It was unbelievable just being in the Oval Office, meeting with the president, and then going out in the Rose Garden. Even now, it just feels surreal. You go into what’s called the Roosevelt Room, which is adjacent to the Oval Office. You’re sitting there waiting and an aide tells you, "In eight minutes, you’re going to go through that locked door, at the end of the Roosevelt Room, through a short hallway. Then you’ll be taken into another locked door which is to the Oval Office where you’ll be greeted by the President of the United States."

And then the one fellow came in and said, "The president’s going to be delayed. It’s going to be 11 minutes before you get in to see him." I took a breath and leaned against the locked exit door. Within 30 seconds, the door opens up and somebody grabbed my hand and said, "Hey Tony, how you doing?" And I turned around and it was the president.

Your trajectory to becoming a teacher was not direct. How did you get to where you are today?

I worked 21 years in the New York City Police Department before becoming a teacher. Family circumstances prevented me from completing a college degree until I was in my 30s and only one college at the time—Long Island University—offered a special degree program that accommodated the fluctuating work schedules of a police officer. I earned a B.A. and continued going to school to earn my master’s degree in education.

Is there anything about teaching that reminds you of being in the police force?

There are a lot of similarities between teaching and the police force besides the obvious one that they’re both public-service professions. Both professions allow you to have a very intimate relationship with strangers who shortly don’t become strangers. You get involved in their lives at important junctures.

As a police officer, your relationships are very temporary, because you’re usually in a crisis mode responding to someone who’s in distress and you have to resolve that immediate situation. In teaching, you’re dealing with students who are in distress, but fortunately you have more time to deal with them. Both of these professions require caring individuals who are people persons—people who actually want to improve the lives of others. It’s this tremendous opportunity to help students, to really be part of their lives and that is what I’ve always wanted to do.

Can you describe the school where you teach?

The ARCH School is a very special place. The students and staff are like a family in many respects, sometimes functional and sometimes dysfunctional. And that’s what makes the school such a great learning environment. It’s a place where teenagers mature and learn about themselves, and more importantly about the needs of others. We teach a lot of academic classes but we always try to sneak in lessons about how to become a better person—the so called “soft skills”—communication, life, and social skills. Too many of my students have never benefited from the thousands of mini-lessons parents provide their children. We have the opportunity to do that in my school because we have a more intimate relationship with our students and we have more time to spend with them to address a lot of their emotional needs.

How is it that you’ve had such success with kids who are really hard to reach?

I paraphrased in one of my speeches an observation that Tolstoy made about the nature of unhappiness. He said that all happy people are happy in the same way, but that all unhappy people are unhappy in their own way. I always remember that idea because it reflects my students. They suffer from depression and bi-polar disorder, anxiety, and a myriad of mental health problems. The staff at my school is very successful with our student population because we give them what they really want and can’t get from a rigid high school schedule—and that’s our time.

We don’t pretend to be therapists, we don’t play the role of psychologists, we just lend an ear. And when a student is having severe emotional difficulties, we all come together and figure out a way to make the day a little brighter for that student.

I’m not a psychologist, but I’ve been working with troubled young people for almost 30 years and even with the saddest and most depressed kids, if you give them a little time and throw a football around with them, they’ll start talking to you because they are looking for answers. It’s a very big responsibility and we treat it very seriously because we know that whatever conversation we have with them will affect their decisions.

In your NTOY application you wrote about a "newly minted" teacher who was struggling and how you mentored her. In your early days of teaching, who mentored you?

I had the great opportunity to visit the classroom of Diane Rhoda, an art teacher at Blue Mountain Middle School, a couple of times in my first year of teaching. I was doing inclusion and I noticed that when I went to different classes with the same group of kids, some were complete chaos and others were productive. The one class that they excelled in was hers. She had this kind of magic chemistry with the kids.

Diane Rhoda not only gave me the organizational skills to be a good teacher, but she always talked to me about what it's like for the students. I took her lessons with me when I went to the high school knowing that no matter how angry a teenager may seem there’s a story there. She taught me how to be a caring and effective teacher. I’ll never forget her.

You have mentioned publicly that you intentionally went after a difficult teaching job. How did that affect your initial attitude about your classroom?

I wasn’t thinking I’m gonna walk into the class, they’re all gonna love me, and everything’s going to go well. I knew that I would be challenged, that it would be very difficult. I knew that because I had dealt with many of these kinds of students when I worked for the police department, particularly when I worked for the narcotics unit where we dealt with a lot of the drug gangs.
When I worked in New York City in Washington Heights and in Harlem, there were the same type of kids that I work with now. When you finally remove this mask that they have, you find just a 14-year-old kid who wants to be a 14-year-old kid and not act like he’s 20 and he’s a hired killer.

You’ve also spoken publicly about the role passion plays in keeping kids focused. What’s the connection?

Children who have behavioral emotional disorders have been yelled at their whole lives. They come from an environment where yelling and screaming is the norm. If they go into a classroom and there’s yelling and screaming going on or you’re too rigid, it’s not going to work. What they want is order because they come from a chaotic life. They have a feel for passion. They can sense it. And as soon as they sense that you really care, not only about them, but about their future, they open up to you. And you have very few behavioral problems in the classroom.

During the Rose Garden NTOY ceremony, the president talked about how he and the first lady did not come from “fancy backgrounds.” And they have both talked about how education can lift children out of difficult circumstances. How do you convey that point to your students?

I was very happy that the president made those remarks because too many children, particularly teenagers, feel hopeless because of the difficult circumstances they find themselves in. They live for today and they don’t really see the value of investing in tomorrow. I tell my students over and over again that life will get better, that origin isn’t destiny. And although I don’t share all the tragedies I faced in my own childhood or as a teenager, I do manage to let my students know that their story is my story. We share a common bond that is felt, if not spoken.

What will the coming year look like for you?
I’m on sabbatical for one year. National Teacher of the Year is actually a 12-month position, which started June 1st and goes until June 1, 2010. I’ll be speaking to many education groups, business groups, and government agencies. I’m also hoping to reach people who are policymakers.

I’m looking to bring greater public awareness to what I believe is the most critical problem facing American education: the dropout crisis. More than one million students will drop out of our nation’s schools this year and they face a bleak future. They’re not going to be able to find any meaningful employment without a high-quality academic or vocational education.

I’m concerned that too many people mistakenly believe that somehow, somewhere these dropouts will find work. Maybe 20 or 30 years ago dropouts could find work in factories and get paid a modest wage, but those jobs don’t exist anymore. And government policymakers and business leaders need to know that today’s dropouts are essentially unemployable, that they will not be able to compete in the global marketplace.

If we have roughly 14 million students in high school and 1.2 million dropping out, that’s a travesty.

What is the solution?

The solution right now to preventing the dropout rate is to not put 100 percent focus on high schools and all things academic. It’s important that every student gets an academic background, but we’ve lost vocational education. Most of our high schools are geared towards getting students into college. And yet we have this population of students—millions of students, literally—who want to do what our ancestors have done for thousands of years: They want to work with their hands. They don’t want to sit in a desk all day. They want to build, they want to create, they want to design. And we’re losing that because we’re so concerned that they take the extra science, the extra math, the extra history and all these things to go to college when all these vocational opportunities are passing them by.

Some comment from the readers:

ErikaW wrote:
This is an inspiring interview- I always enjoy hearing from successful teachers.However- isn't it ironic that they find Mr. Mullen, congratulate him on being a great teacher, and then promptly *remove* him from the classroom for a year? I think good teachers should stay put for maximum impact.
6/4/2009 11:44 AM EDT on Teacher Magazine

Donna Brumbaugh wrote:
Mr. Mullen is to be commended for what he has done and what he will continue to do. He's on the right track to instill change with policymakers and the need for more vocational courses.
6/8/2009 8:27 AM EDT on Teacher Magazine

Imena wrote:
Congratulations, Mr. Mullen! What a touching story of your work and beliefs. Keep up the awesome job. You are a credit to the teaching profession.
6/8/2009 6:03 PM EDT on Teacher Magazine

Sue Isaacson wrote:
Two very important clues here as to why Mr. Mullen has success to begin with: He really cares about his students and they know it, and he has a longer period of time with them. I,too, work with students who are at risk, due to emotional/behavioral problems, but at the elementary level. It's always interesting to me when people (educators included) are surprised at the amount of success we have with our students, and often within a short period of time. The fact is, it's just as Mr. Mullen states " . . . as soon as they sense that you really care . . . they open up to you." And, in a self-contained classroom, you have more time with the students. I think people who want to improve education need to take note, seriously.

Tahir wrote:
people like Antohny Mullen should be role models for young people. They are an asset to any society. In Pakistan, I hope teachers in future will be paid well, patronised, and given due status.
6/12/2009 12:24 PM EDT on Teacher Magazine

Note: Read other interesting article about Anthony Mullen in Proquest Education Journal: From Cop to Top Teacher.

Monday, July 20, 2009

International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities (ICOSH 2009)


The social sciences and humanities share a common object of study: human beings and their world. Using methods of empirical data collection and scientific analysis, the social sciences study human behaviour and society. The humanities explore the basic nature and purpose of human existence. Together, there is a constant evolution of approaches and adaptations to global transformations that affect all the disciplines within the social sciences and humanities. The purpose of this conference is to critically examine the relevance of existing approaches, and to explore innovative ideas and theories that could and should adapt to the on-going changes that affect human existence. In the new millennium, most aspects of human existence, such as quality of life, security, employment, and psychological well-being, depend heavily on relevant knowledge and derive from on-going scientific research. Consequently, research and development has become one of the major forces of progress in the humanities. It is crucial to look into the impacts of research in the areas of the social sciences and humanities in order to sustain as well as improve the various facets of human existence.


To appraise the role, contribution and significance of the social sciences and humanities in the regeneration of knowledge
To provide an intellectual forum for scholars and researchers on the changing geopolitical scenario, and its impact on existing theories in the social sciences and humanities
To promote the generation of innovative ideas in the social sciences and humanities


  1. Epistemology and Methodology

  2. Nation-building and Cultural Identity

  3. Political Violence and Terrorism

  4. Social Movements and Democratisation

  5. Politics and Economy

  6. Globalization and the New Security Agenda

  7. Human and Social Developments

  8. Media and Communication

  9. Environment and Sustainability

  10. Religion, Civilization and Philosophy

Area Studies

Peace and Conflict Studies
Multiculturalism and Multiliteracies


English and Malay


Accepted papers should be 12 font in Times New Roman and 1.5 spaced. Kindly, please send to rozaineekhai@yahoo.com before/on 30th September 2009. Do check our website regularly for more information.


For presenters/participants who have sent us abstracts and/or register before/on 7th May 2009 will be considered as early birds.
Local/Malaysian Participants RM350
(Early Bird) RM300
International Participants/Presenters USD150
(Early Bird) USD130
Students (local/international) RM150

All accepted presenters must pay the registration fee by/on 22nd July 2009. Failing which, your participation will be canceled. Download registration form in Document format here: Registration form.doc. Please click here if downloading fails (online printing).


Please pay by crossed cheque or bank draft made payable to Bendahari UKM (ICOSH09). International participants/presenters are required to make payment through Telegraphic Transfer (TT). Payment arrangements through TT will be available soon. Please visit this website regularly for more information.


Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi.


Any inquiries regarding ICOSH 09 should be addressed to:
The Secretariat ICOSH 2009 FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES UNIVERSITI KEBANGSAAN MALAYSIA 43600 BANGI, MALAYSIA TEL: +603-8921-5210 Fax: +603-8921-3541 E-mail: icosh2009@ukm.my, icosh09@yahoo.com


Know more about our university at : http://www.ukm.my/ Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was founded on May 18, 1970. The UKM main campus in Bangi is located 35 kilometers from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, and occupies an area of 2,709 acres. It has all the amenitie of a modern campus: student residential halls, a medical center, a mosque, fernarium, modern sporting facilities, and an up to-date resource center. UKM also holds the distinction of being the only university in the country with an 18-hole golf course. The location of UKM provides a very conducive environment for learning, while its proximity to the capital city provides it with a dynamic and living extended laboratory to support many of the university's teaching and research activities. UKM also has a branch campus in Kuala Lumpur that houses the Faculties of Medicine and Integrated Health. The year 2005 marked the 35h year of the establishment of UKM. From a mere three faculties in 1970, UKM now has nineteen faculties, centers and institutes, offering programs and research facilities in various fields. Since 1970, UKM has successfully produced more than 32,000 graduates in various disciplines. The dynamics and commitment of the university in providing quality education has made UKM one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Malaysia.

Know more about our Faculty: Please visit http://www.ukm.my/fssk

Know more about university publications: please visit : http://www.penerbit.ukm.my/

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Live to The Fullest

Live each day to the fullest.

Get the most from each hour each day, and each age of your life.

Then you can look forward with confidence, and back without regrets.

~S.H. Payer~

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Learned Man and Wise Man

He who knows others is learned.

He who knows himself is wise.

~Lao Tse~

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Positive Discipline

Kids are like magnets. Depending upon which way they're polarized, positive or negative, they'll either attract or repel the values they're exposed to. That's why I go for the positive approach to discipline. Positive discipline is an approach to discipline that incorporates encouragement, praise, trust and respect for children through firm, wise limits. If you stay positive in your general approach to your kids, most of your value-instilling work will be done automatically.

~Vicki Poretta & Ericka Lutz~

*in Poretta, V, and Lutz, E., (1997). Mom's guide to disciplining your child, New York: Alpha Books.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Learned without Action

The learned man who does not act up to his knowledge is like a patient who describes the qualities of a medicine without using it or like a hungry man who describes the taste of a food without eating it.

~Imam al-Ghazali~

* in Aquisition of Knowledge, Chapter I, Book of Worship, Volume I, Ihya Ulumiddin

Friday, March 27, 2009

Be Kind

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle"


Monday, February 23, 2009

The Power of the West

The East imitating the West is deprived on its true self
It should attemp, instead, a critical appraisal!
The power of the West springs not from her music
Not from the dance of her unveiled daughters!
Her strength not comes from irreligion
Nor her progress from the adoption of the Latin script
The power of the West lies in her Arts and Sciences
At their fire has it kindled its lamp


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Characteristics of Self-Actualizer

Self actualizing person's life is governed by B-values (being value). From a detailed study to 48 eminent actualizers and other informal obsercvation of not-so-known actualizer, here are the following characteristics of self-actualizers:

  1. perceive reality accurately and fully

  2. demonstrate a greater acceptance of themselves, others and of nature in general

  3. exhibit spontaneity, simplicity and naturalness

  4. tend to be concerned with problems raher than with themselves

  5. have a quality of detachment and a need for privacy

  6. are autonomous and therefore, tend to be independent of their environment and culture

  7. exhibit a continued freshness of appreciation

  8. have periodic mystic or peak experiences

  9. tend to identify with all mankind

  10. develop deep interpersonal relations with only a few individuals

  11. tend to accept democratic values

  12. have a strong ethical sense

  13. have a well developed unhostile sense of humour

  14. are creative

  15. resist enculturation.

Self actualizing people were not perfect human being. To be self actualized ones need certain environmental conditions like freedom of speech, freedom to do what one wants to do as long as it harm no one else, freedom for enquiry, freedom to defend oneself, order, justice, fairness, honesty and challenge.

~Abraham Maslow, 1971~

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Greatest Gifts

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.

~Denis Waitley~

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Personal Characteristics of the Effective Group Leader

Leader is one of the most significant variables influencing the group’s success or failure. Following are some personal characteristics of successful group leader:


Courage is demonstrate through willingness to :
  1. be vulnerable at times, admitting mistakes and imperfections and taking the same risk you expect groups members to take;
  2. confront others but to stay ‘with’ them as you work out conflict;
  3. act on your belief and hunches;
  4. be emotionally touch by others and to draw on your experiences to identify with them;
  5. examine your life;
  6. be direct and honest with members in a caring and respectful way; and
  7. express the members your fears and expectations about the group process.

By the behavior you model, you can teach the members that courage does not mean being without fears; rather, it means acknowledging fears and dealing with them.
Willingness to Model.
One of the best ways to teach desired behaviors is by modeling them in the group. Through your behavior and the attitudes conveyed by it, you can create such groups norms as openness, seriousness of purpose, acceptance of others, and the desirability of taking risks. Engaging in honest, appropriate, and timely self-disclosure can be a way to fulfill the leadership function of modeling.


Presence involves being touch by others pain, struggles, and joys. However, it also involves not becoming overwhelmed by a member’s pain. Presence implies not being distracted, but fully attentive to what is going on in the moment. Some members may elicit anger in a group leader, and others may evoke pain, sadness, guilt, or happiness. You become more emotionally involved with others by paying close attention to your own reactions. This does not mean that you will necessarily talk about situations in your own life that caused you to pain or evoked the anger. It means you will allow yourself to experience these feelings, even for just a few moments. Fully experiencing emotions gives you the ability to compassionate and emphatic with your clients. At the same time, as you’re moved by others’ experiences, it is important to remain a separate person and to avoid the trap of over identifying with your client’s situations.

To increase your ability to be present, spend some time alone before leading a group and block out distractions as much as possible. It is good to prepare yourself by thinking about the people in the group and about how you might increase your involvement with them.

Goodwill and Caring.

A sincere interest in the welfare of others is essential in a group leader. You must not exploit members or use them primarily to enhance your own ego. Your main job in the group is to help members get what they are coming for, not to get in their way. Caring involves respecting, trusting, and valuing people. It is vital that you become aware of what kind of people you care for and what kind you find it difficult to care for.

There are various ways of exhibiting a caring attitude. One way is by inviting a client to participate but allowing that person to decide how far to go. Or you can observe discrepancies between a client’s words and behavior but confront that person in a way that doesn’t intensify fear and resistance. Another way to express caring is by giving warmth, concern, and support when, and only when, you feel it toward person.

Belief in Group Process.

Deep confidence in the value of group process is positively related to constructive outcomes. Belief in what you are doing and trust the therapeutic forces in a group. Enthusiasm and convictions are powerful both in attracting to clientele and in providing an incentive to work. Group leader who do not genuinely believe in the value of therapeutic work and who do it only for money or power are behaving unethically.


Openness means reveal enough of yourself to give the participants a sense of who you are as a person. It does not mean that you reveal every aspect of your personal life. Your being open can also enhance group process if you appropriately reveal your reactions to the members and to how you are being affected by being with the group.

Your openness will foster a corresponding spirit of openness within the group. It will enables members to become more open about their feelings and beliefs, and it lends a certain fluidity to the group process. Self-revelations should not be manipulated as a technique; it is best done spontaneously, when it seems appropriate.

Non-defensiveness in Coping with Criticism

Dealing frankly with criticism is related with openness. If you endure as a group leader, you simply cannot afford to have a fragile ego. Group leader who are easily threatened, who are insecure in their work of leading, who are overly sensitive to negative feedback, who depend highly on group approval will encounter major problems when carrying out a leadership function. Some of the criticism may be fair- and some of it may be unfair expression of jealousy, testing authority, power seeking, or projection onto your feelings for other people. It is crucial for you to nondefensively explore with the group the feelings behind the criticism.

If members take a risk and confront the leader and are chastised for doing this, they are likely to feel scolded for taking a chance and may withdraw. Furthermore, others in the group may receive the massage that openness and honesty are not really valued.

Even if someone verbally abuses you as a leader, it is not therapeutic for you to respond in kind. Instead, you can give the person your reactions and let him know how you are affected by the confrontation. You can model for members an effective and non-aggressive way of expressing your thoughts and feelings.

Becoming Aware of Your Own Culture.

Knowing how your own culture influences your decisions and daily behavior provides a frame of reference for understanding the world view of those who differ from you. Openness to diversity is the opposite of being entrapped by a narrow existence. Cultural encapsulation, or provincialism, affects not only you but your group members as well. If you have a sense of your own culture and how your values are influenced by your social environment, you have a basis for understanding the world of those who are different from you in a number of respects. Your willingness to welcome diversity will, to a large extent, determine your effectiveness in bringing energy to a group.

Personal Power.

Personal power does not entail domination of members or manipulation of them toward the leader’s end. Rather, it is dynamic and vital characteristics of leaders who know who they are and what they want. This power involves a self confidence in self. Instead of merely talking about the importance of being alive, powerful leaders express and radiate an aliveness through their actions.

Power and honesty are closely related. People with personal power are the ones who can show themselves. Although they might be frightened by certain qualities within themselves, the fear doesn’t keep them from examining these qualities. Powerful people recognize and accept their weaknesses and don’t expand energy concealing them for themselves and others. In contrast, powerless people need very much to defend themselves against self-knowledge. They often react as if they were afraid that their vulnerabilities will be discovered.

Clients sometimes view leaders as perfect. They tend to undercut their own power by giving their leader all of the credits for their insights and changes. There is a danger that leaders will become infatuated with clients’ perceptions of them as finished products and come to belief this myth.


Group leading can be taxing and draining as well as exciting and energizing. Therefore, you need physical and psychological stamina and the ability to withstand pressure to remain vitalized throughout the course of group. Aware your own energy level. It is good to have sources other than your groups for psychological nourishment. If you depend primarily o the success level of your groups for this sustenance, you run a high risk of being undernourished and thus of losing the stamina so vital to your success as a leader. Unrealistically high expectations can also affects your stamina. Those leaders who cling to such expectations of dramatic change are often disappointed in themselves and in what they perceive as ‘poor performance’ on the part of their group. Faced with the discrepancy between their vision of what the group should be and what actually occurs, these leaders often lose their enthusiasm and begin to needlessly blame both themselves and the group members for what they see as failure.
Willingness to Seek New Experience.

Variety of life experiences enlarge the capacity to understand client’s psychological world. Respect for the complexity of the human struggles that grow out of various cultural background. Learn about human struggles by recognizing and wrestling with your own life issues. It is unrealistic to expect yourself to have the same problems as your clients, but the emotions that all of us experience are much the same. We all experience psychological pain, even though the course of this pain may be different. One basis for empathizing with clients is being open to the sources of pain in your own life without becoming swept up by this pain.

Self Awareness.

A central characteristics for any therapeutic person is an awareness of self, including one’s identity, cultural perspective, goals, motivations, needs, limitations, strengths, values, feelings and problems. Be open to new life experiences and divergent lifestyles, aware why you choose to lead the group, encourage yourself and others to self-discovery and reflect on interactions you have had with members of your groups.

Sense of Humor.

People sometimes take themselves so seriously that they miss an opportunity to put the importance of their problems in perspective. The ability to a laugh and to see the humor in your human frailties can be extremely useful in helping members keep a balanced perspectives and avoid becoming ‘psychologically heavy’. Groups occasionally exhibit a real need for laughter and joking simply to release built –up tension. This release should not be viewed as an escape, for genuine humor can heal.


The capacity to be spontaneously creative, approaching each group with fresh ideas, is a most important characteristics. Discover new ways of approaching a group by inventing experiments that emerge from here-and –now interactions. Working with interesting co-leaders and sometimes, getting some distance from groups (such as conducting fewer of them, doing other thing, or taking vacation) may also help you gain fresh perspective.
Personal Dedication and Commitment.

Being a professional who makes a difference involves having ideals that provide meaning and direction in your life. This kind of dedication has direct application for leading groups. Belief the value of group process in empowering individuals, having guiding vision will make you able to ride out difficult times in a group, stay focused and on track with group members when the waters get rough.

Being a dedicated professional also involves humility, which means being open to feedback and ideas and being willing to explore one’s self. Humility does not mean self-effacing. It is the opposite of the arrogance that is implied in convincing ourselves that we have ‘truly arrived’ and that there is nothing more for us to learn. In addition, professional commitment entails staying abreast of changes in the field, reading journals and books, and attending periodic seminars to remain fresh and innovative.

~Marianne Schneider Corey/ Gerald Corey, Groups: Process & Practices~