We’ve thought long and hard 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 consider the development of a balanced person and wanted to find a better way to classify learning.

What framework are you using to categorise the learning experiences?

We are using the ‘Multiple Intelligences’ framework created by the psychologist Howard Gardner to categorise the learning experiences. We call them ‘Strengths’.

The strengths categories are:

  • Verbal - e.g reading and writing, thinking in words, storytelling

  • Logic - e.g cognitive problem solving, thinking about abstract ideas

  • Visual - e.g drawing and painting, using and manipulating space

  • Musical - e.g creating, performing and appreciating music, singing, and playing

  • Body - e.g using one's body, manipulating objects, dancing and sports

  • People - e.g exercising empathy and compassion, resolving conflict in groups

  • Inner - e.g self awareness, self management, self motivation, authenticity

  • Naturalistic - e.g interest in the natural world, recognising flora and fauna

  • Existential - e.g contemplating deep questions about the human condition

What sort of learning falls into each area of the Strengths?

Take a look at this help page for more detailed examples of each category. These are also shown on the Strengths page of the listing process, so you can see them while you're creating your listing.

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. Our belief is that we should 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 doesn't Eequ 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 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 children.

This model for organising and searching for learning experiences avoids a hierarchy of subjects and celebrates the many 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 both children and adult learners understand and link concepts across many areas. This is a key skill identified by future workplace skill forecasters.

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