personal and social capability

Personal and Social Capability ACARA

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Multiple intelligences test

Mulitple IntelligencesAccording to the ACARA indicators, for self-awareness students need to be able to :

recognise emotions

recognise personal qualities and achievements

understand themselves as learners

develop reflective practice

The multiple intelligences test ( in English, Bengali, Urdu , Arabic, Chinese and Somali) gives you a chance to have a look at what your multiple intelligences look like according to the test. This test is as a written version in English or aural version in all the languages.  This is the second time I have done it. I first did it a couple of years ago and what this second test result shows is that I have changed and grown. I have had an opportunity to strengthen some of the areas which were not so good.  I have worked on my fitness, I have made an effort to know myself better. I am not sure why that has come at the expense of interpersonal skills but I shall think about it. The test is not the answer and it is not necessarily completely accurate. My linguistic score ought to be the best because that is my real strength and is widely acknowledged as such. Were you to do this with students you would be able to have some easy conversations with them about their personal qualities and achievements. You would be able to discuss whether they agreed with the results or not and you would be able to show them it could help them learn better if they knew how they learned and what  their learning strengths are. It also means they can do the test again and have a look again and reflect like I have. The multiple intelligence test then becomes a tool for promoting good conversations about who you are and where you are headed and what you need to do to get here.


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Advice to your 13 year old self


Experience is a great teacher and so this clip would be a good way to get students to engage with older people to get he benefit of their hindsight and life experience. It would also be a good way for them to engage with technology and work out how to present a message which would mean something to others.  According to the ACARA indicators, for self-awareness students need to be able to :

recognise emotions

recognise personal qualities and achievements

understand themselves as learners

develop reflective practice

The video is a a good way of reflecting on what they learn and find out. Year 10s could make a presentation which would be suited to Year 8s. Year 8s could look at what different age groups would say to them at their age. There would then be a mulling over process and then a capacity to look at themselves as learners and as emotional beings. This clip encourages emotional intelligence in a very practical and appealing way.

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Share the love

Corny as it may sound, it was a major concept breakthrough for us as a group to work out our purpose and what we reacted to so wholeheartedly was the notion we could “share the love”. We decided our job would be to be the unblockers, the enablers and the ones who would be able to trigger thinking about personal and social capabilities. We did not think it was our job to tell people how to do it because teachers are professionals with a lot of experience and different ways of approaching their classes and students. We warmed to the notion that we could be facilitators of this and spent quite a long, animated, productive time thinking of all the ways we could spark insight into personal and social capability and whom we could target and how. We isolated our target groups, the resources which would be appropriate and the scaffolding we needed to enable ourselves and our group. We have reached the end of our school year being able to tick all the boxes on the personal and social capabilities ourselves! Great feeling. In fact, if I have time I may well get those capabilities out and chart what we have done to match them.

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Social awareness feedback

socail awareness

How can I improve?

Last week I went through both of the social capabilities in one lesson. When I did the personal capabilities I had to use a lesson for each and the first personal awareness was quite hard to unpack with year 8s. The social capabilities were far easier to manage in a year 8 class and the students cottoned on quickly and so we could do both. it is probably because we did take our time to unpack the personal capabilities really well and also the fact the year 8s would have had other social messages by now from families and school. I have just gathered the feedback for social awareness and am really pleased with their messages of how they can get better at this. They could not have come up with a better list!

Notice indicators of possible problems earlier
Be a bit more open minded
Be more confident
Have a bit more control
Be better at accepting different groups in society
Improve my communication
Respect others
Be friendly
Help others
Not judge others
Be more responsible
Know what is happening before dealing with problems
Think before I speak
Believe in myself
Fix the little things
Be more willing to try new things
Be a contributor using my strengths
Ask if others are okay
Know my own value
Help at home

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The awful truth?

Jiddu Krishnamurti Image: Pinterest

Quotes from Jiddu Krishnamurti are all over the internet since he is relatively popular with 20 somethings and has an influence on those studying philosophy, education, mental health and psychology. He was friends with Aldous Huxley so his role has been to give food for thought for what we call social awareness in the new Australian curriculum. Sometimes it is worth knowing the sorts of influences on our students so we can engage with them and then draw out their thinking and ideas.

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My action plan

action plan template -excel

action plan template – excel

Image : how to be organised

We are following Dylan William’s guidelines for building a teacher learning community and so I have to submit an action. At the moment the plan is a bit out of kilter with what we were discussing in our group yesterday because we were looking at exploring an element and seeing how that would play out in real life in our classrooms. I think in the end the two will mesh quite well. I am using my year 8 class to look at self-awareness and self-management. I shall then blog about it and in the mean time look at things which will help fulfill the goals on my plan:

Teacher Learning Community Australian Curriculum foci:

What is one thing that you will find easy to change in relation to the Australian Curriculum capability or cross-curriculum priority that is the focus of your TLC?

I have looked at the P&S capability quite closely. Much of it comes from what we were doing in student wellbeing which is part of our core teaching strategy these days. Much relates to TeFL and I am getting to know that pretty well. It is also something I have had to address in depth as a year level manager and member of school services team.

What difference do you expect it to make to your practice?

I think I will attend to details better and it will encourage me to keep the student teacher feedback loop going. Much of it lends itself to good classroom/individual discussions around social and personal issues and gives you a way of talking about these things more directly because it is there as part of a national expectation. I see it as a very positive approach. It might escalate workload if we have to assess 32 students and a number of classes in these competencies.

What is one thing that you would like to change that will require support?
What help will you need?

I have found with Wellbeing and now with my Personal and Social Capability blog that it is not something which particularly has traction in the blogosphere or on the internet. The world does not want to know about social development and wellbeing as such. It is seen as alternative and a bit silly. Hard to believe, but it is a fact. I need to find ways of giving it traction and that will require support to find out what Netizens respond to. Mark McCrindle will probably be of help. He has a good online image and can make these sorts of things work online.

What other changes would you like to make later on in the year?
What help might you need?

I don’t know. This is a voyage of discovery and will need to be journeyed and journaled. I need to know we are interpreting the indicators in the same way and that we have a sound understanding of what we mean when we talk about the elements. I also want us to know that the indicators for each element really do apply to that element. That kind of clarity and agreement are essential if we are to teach these things across the nation. I am also wondering if there is a difference between if we apply them to individual students and then to whole groups/classes. Every student has to be able to attain these capabilities so I am assuming it is done individually but there is justification in working on them as a class approach.

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What makes us happy?

Three out of four ain’t bad! Dan Gilbert’s talk on happiness covers three of the four elements for the Personal and Social Capability: self-awareness, self-management and social management. His 20 minute talk which you can find on TED as well under the What makes us happy? playlist is both information packed and thought-provoking. He is an engaging speaker and so it is not difficult to absorb what he has to say . Dan Gilbert is the Professor of Psychology at Harvard and so what he has to say offers plenty of examples of experiments, physiological information about the brain and then the highlights well the problems we have in synthesising happiness and how our belief that choice is the answer – is not the answer at all. That we do not understand happiness very well is made clear and so all of what he offers in this talk has classroom implications for teachers and how they manage their students. It will also influence the tasks we design for the Personal and Social Capability. Well worth the listen and what ought to bring some good exchanges of ideas afterwards.