We’ve thought really carefully about how to categorise our learning experiences. You might expect us to divide experiences into conventional subject categories like maths, foreign languages, sports, crafts and so on. However, we think it is vital for both educators and learners to think about the development of a balanced person and wanted to find a better way to describe the categories of learning experiences.
What framework are you using to categorise learning experiences?
We are using the ‘Multiple Intelligences’ framework created by the psychologist Howard Gardner to categorise the learning experiences. We call them ‘Strengths’.
What is the Multiple Intelligences theory?
This theory suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.
The word ‘Intelligence’ drew criticism from the psychometric community who argued that these categories should be called traits or talents. However, the simple truth revealed was that many schools and cultures focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical teaching and learning but we should also pay equal attention to individuals who show gifts in other significant areas: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich and create value in our world.
Why don’t we use traditional subjects for categorising learning experiences?.
We don’t use subject categories as we want to emphasise overarching learning skills and behaviours over knowledge based content. This simple model helps teachers, learners and parents be aware of the many doorways to presenting a topic, skill or learning experience and the many differing talents and receptive abilities of learners.
This model for organising and searching for learning experiences avoids a hierarchy of subjects and celebrates the wide capacities and aptitudes to be nourished in the developing person.
We also think that the best learning experiences adopt an interdisciplinary approach that overcomes traditional barriers between different disciplines. This helps learners to be able to understand and link concepts across many domains a key skill identified by future workplace skill forecasters.
What sort of learning falls into each area?
- Reading and writing
- Thinking in words
- Remembering written and spoken information
- Using language to express and appreciate complex meanings
- Explaining things well and expanding vocabulary
- Understanding the order and meaning of words
- Reflecting abstractly on the use of language
- Debating and giving speeches
- Using words to create images
- Using humour, puns and word games
- Drawing and painting
- Hand crafts
- Using and manipulating space
- Thinking and creating in three dimensions
- Capacity of mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation
- Graphic and artistic skills
- Putting puzzles together
- Interpreting pictures, graphs and charts
- Recognising patterns
- Working with maps and diagrams
- Taking things apart and putting them back together
- Using one’s body
- Manipulating objects and using a variety of skills through mind-body union
- Dancing and sports
- Creating things with hands
- Physical coordination
- Using gross and fine motor skills
- Remembering by doing
- Engaging in risk taking with the body
- Acting, and mime
- Self awareness, self management, self motivation
- Understanding one’s own motivations and emotions
- Reflecting, regulating and controlling own feelings and moods
- Understanding one’s own thoughts and feelings
- Using self knowledge in planning and directing one’s life
- Pursuing personal interests and setting individual plans and goals
- Receiving and being tuned to direct and subtle feedback
- Appreciating the human condition
- Cognitive problem solving and operations
- Thinking about abstract ideas
- Analysing situations; examining how things work
- Conducting scientific experiments
- Solving complex computations
- Calculating, quantifying, considering propositions and hypothesis
- Perceiving relationships and connections
- Using symbolic thought and sequential reasoning skills
- Inductive and deductive thinking patterns
- Creating, performing and appreciating music
- Singing and playing musical instruments
- Recognising musical patterns and tones
- Remembering songs and melodies
- Understanding musical structure, harmonies, rhythm and notes
- Matching feelings to music and rhythm
- Exercising empathy and compassion
- Understanding others’ needs, intentions and motivations
- Understanding and interacting effectively with others
- Using verbal and non verbal communication effectively
- Noting distinctions among others, such as moods and temperaments
- Entertaining multiple perspectives
- Social awareness, relationship management
- Resolving conflict in groups
- Enjoying friendships
- Leading, sharing, mediating
- Building consensus
- Helping others with their problems
- Being an effective team member
- Interest and sensitivity to the features of the natural world
- Recognising, identifying and classifying flora and fauna
- Developing powers of observation in nature
- Interest in conservation and planetary flourishing
- Sensing patterns in and making connections to elements in nature
- Exploring human behaviours and habits, or those of other species
- Observing similarities, differences or changes in the environment
- Developing sensory perceptions
- Categorising and cataloging things, noticing relationships in nature
What format should I write the descriptions in my listing?
Think of your listing as your own personal website. Write descriptions in a clear and engaging way.
Can you help me if I’m still unsure?
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