Fostering Intellectual Virtues: A Guide for Academic Advisors on Motivating Students to Cultivate Critical Thinking, Responsibility, Accountability, and Independence.

Molly Jack (University of East London)

Tuesday, April 9, 2024 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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Session Outline

Academic Advising extends beyond supporting students to attain their full potential (Steele, 2018). It encompasses a range of intellectual character virtues such as critical thinking, open-mindedness, tenacity, courage, honesty, and humility (Baehr, 2013). These virtues are akin to intellectual excellence acquired and developed from critical thinking skills and a balanced moral consciousness (Battaly, 2006). Therefore, students should be inspired and driven to assume responsibility for their actions throughout their academic journey (Schwartz, 2020), necessitating a commitment to accountability.

Academic Advisors must understand how important it is for their advisees to develop the characteristics necessary to enhance their intellectual virtues by motivating and supporting them to develop those core skills (Dow, 2013) and emphasising how intolerant the labour market is to intellectual dependency.

The aim of the presentation is to provide useful insight for both students and academic advisors on the relevance of developing strong intellectual virtues. It will delve into the crucial role of Academic Advisors in motivating their advisees to develop intellectual virtues with a specific focus on fostering critical thinking, responsibility, accountability, and independence (Young-Jones et al., 2013).

The objectives are to re-echo the importance of intellectual virtues against employment outcomes: ensuring that students are equipped with appropriate tools and techniques essential to cultivate effective study habits that will enable them to achieve academic maturity and intellectual autonomy, and Advisors have the necessary resources to create an enabling and supportive learning environment that facilitates and build responsible, accountable, intellectually independent students equipped for employment.

The presentation will explore strategies that will empower students to become autonomous learners and take ownership of their learning. Ensuring that both students and advisors understand how valuable intellectual virtues are and their significance in nurturing well-rounded and self-driven individuals. It will further demonstrate how intertwined responsibility and accountability are and highlight their symbiotic relationship in shaping a student’s character, academic success, and personal and career development beyond university (Al-Khafaji, 2017).

Ultimately, it will address the importance of mentorship and positive reinforcement in the adviser-student relationship by harnessing the values of creating a supportive learning environment that fosters a student-centred approach, open communication, trust, and authenticity. It will also allow advisers to inspire students to cultivate effective study habits, embrace challenges, learn from failure, engage in reflective practice, develop resilience and tenacity and take ownership of their studies whilst contributing to creating a community of learners branded by responsibility, accountability, and independence.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C3 - Academic advising and tutoring approaches and strategies
P3 - Commit to students, colleagues, and their institutions through engagement in continuing professional development, scholarly enquiry, and the evaluation of professional practices
R3 - Motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet challenges, and respect individuality