Becoming a scholar practitioner

Studying human motivation has been interesting and an adventure. Thinking about what motivates people to do the things that they do is the same as asking myself why I wake up each day to work, to go to school and to be with my family. The course on human motivation for me has become a process of self-awareness and growth.

I have learned that motivation is more than just needs and drives, more than intrinsic and extrinsic, more than values and goals, but that it is a complex process that is more than the sum of its parts.

Human behavior is governed by the integration of internal and external processes and in order to understand behavior, one must be able to comprehend how the internal and external processes influence the person. I now realize that to be able to understand, predict and change behavior, the most important thing to examine is what motivates and what does not motivate him/her. In the same breath, effecting change to help disadvantaged individuals take control of their lives means providing them with the motivation to do so.

The ability to think and examine human motivation theories and apply it to real life situations is in effect one of the enduring traits of a scholar-practitioner. A scholar practitioner is a professional who is committed to both study and explore the field that he/she is involved with and to be able to bring that learning and knowledge to his/her practice of her profession (Beck, 1999).

Thus, a scholar-practitioner in the field of clinical psychology would commit herself to research and evaluation of her profession as well as applying what she has learned to her clients which would be most beneficial for them. In the past, scholars were confined to the academe; they researched and gained esteem through their work, and the practitioners practiced and became popular through their clients.

However, one begins to see that the scholar and practitioner could learn from each other and by combining research and practice, one becomes a more effective instrument of social change. Social change is a giant leap, but nonetheless it starts from the small steps of the scholar-practitioner, for the objective of the scholar practitioner is always for the benefit of the greater number of people, if by helping a small group of people become better persons, then this groups would be able to touch more people and in the process change is facilitated.

This course has helped me appreciate the psychology of human motivation and that there are a number of ways to extend that knowledge to real life situations, so that the knowledge is put to good use and I also believe that effecting change without the appropriate knowledge and training is ineffective.

I see now that if I want to pursue a life dedicated to the helping profession, I must be able to understand what matters and what motivates the person so I could be of more service to them. I can only become a scholar-practitioner if I continuously seek learning experiences and trainings that would keep me abreast of the developments in my field as well as dedicating myself to seek new knowledge and new understanding of human behavior through research.

Moreover, I need to translate that knowledge into my practice and therefore be able to give my clients the help they need and empowering them to take control of their lives and become agents of change in their own way. Reference Beck, L. G. (1999). Metaphors of educational community: An analysis of the images that reflect and influence scholarship and practice. Educational Administration Quarterly, 35; 19, 13-45.

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