Monthly Archives: July 2016

About Teaching Excerpt: Broadening the view of Student Intelligence

We now know that Piaget’s formal reasoning is only one aspect of intelligence.

The processing of learning into active behavior with hands-on and adapting mechanisms must take an equal place in the current definition of intelligence. Hands-on learning can no longer be regarded as lesser talent.

Yet the schooling definition of thinking remains quite narrow. It is limited to the 6 o’clock things, the reasoning and analysis things. And somehow that need, to teach the 6 o’clock kind of thinking, has become the only kind of thinking to teach. We ask our students to stay often in the receiving mode, studying facts and analyzing, examining what the experts have done. While this is a part of all learning, it is just not enough.

Circle12and6oclockWith formal thinking as the highest level, the best thinkers are the abstract thinkers, and direct experience takes a back seat. Using these stages, we view children through the narrow bias of logical ability, neglecting to take into account the whole range of knowing that human experience is.

We start with the concrete and we move to the abstract. But it is not just the ability to be abstract that we are after. Learning is active doing. Learning is problem solving, creating hypotheses, tinkering with them, drawing conclusions, and much more.

In Piaget’s conception, we have a vivid description of the functions of the left cerebral hemisphere. The whole brain needs to be engaged. There is no hierarchy on the cycle. All parts of the cycle are equally necessary and equally intelligent. Together they comprise the wholeness of how we learn. It is not better or smarter to be at 6 o’clock. It is simply a part of the cycle.AbtTchgCover.jpg

We need to return to direct experience by using what we learn. The cycle represents how each of us learns at whatever developmental stage. The cycle describes how we move from direct experience to expert knowledge, through reflection to action, and then to integration.

Learn more about the 4MAT Teaching method in the About Teaching book!

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Diversity Makes you Brighter

New Research shows Diversity Makes You Brighter

New research confirms the key advantage of diverse groups as a resource for developing more creative approaches to problem solving.

A key excerpt…
Diversity improves the way people think. By disrupting conformity, racial and ethnic diversity prompts people to scrutinize facts, think more deeply and develop their own opinions. Our findings show that such diversity actually benefits everyone.” 

Read the full article from the New York Times to learn more.

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Create a Learning Mindset

Students learn in different ways.  And their success when entering a new learning experience may depend on how well they understand their own unique approaches to learning. 

For example, what learning methods do they rely on the most? And which ones might they struggle more to develop.

About Learning offers a full range of self-assessment tools to help raise awareness of these differences.

We provide practical and effective strategies for developing student understanding and awareness of how they learn.

Want to Learn More?

Download our Free 4MAT Assessment Tools Brochure to learn about the printed and on-line assessment tools from About Learning. Just fill out our request form and we will promptly send you a link to our on-line guide!

Or try out the 4MAT On-line Learning Type Measure. Just sign up as a New User and select Teacher/Professor/Facilitator as Membership type.