How we know what we know

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What happens when your talents are not valued by others? The chances are you will stop valuing them yourself and therefore you stop pursuing them. As this is your talent the value in yourself as a person also goes down. If what we think we were good at in school wasn’t valued, children believe their talents are not talents and therefore not valuable.

Education values what works for society. In one sense every person within a society works for that society, for the smooth running of its services and for its exports to be a successful society in a global market. Therefore the talents that bring wealth to that society are the talents valued in school.

90% of the way we are educated is in one way. Its cognitive based, we read the books, listen to the expert and it’s we have some analyses. But it is very much one way of learning. If you do well in science and maths you get compensated more in attention and money based job opportunity. It’s a case of how we have set up our culture.

The truth is there are multiple types of intelligence and because of this we learn in multiple ways of knowing.

  • Visually – We learn from what we see and believe with our own eyes.
  • Kinaesthetic – Through movement.
  • Somatically – By what and how we touch.
  • Experimentally – By our own experience.
  • Intuitive – By what we know without reasoning.

The learning with all of the above being included is what’s known as integral learning. Bring the whole self into learning, not just the mind. If you leave one of these elements of who you are at the door you are missing a part of yourself. As a teacher in every course, workshop or talk I create I ask myself 'does this course bring the whole of the student into play’. We all learn in different ways and unless you can put together education that brings together all the ways in which we learn, some students will be left behind. This happened to me at school and not something I will allow in my class room :)