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Multi-Dimensional Learning – Creativity Throughout the Curriculum

Karen Bishop

This paper will illuminate an eclectic creative methodology, already in practice on the A Level Drama and Theatre Studies Course at Pembrokeshire College, Haverfordwest. Evidence of the success of this methodology can be supplied through video footage, schemes of work and lesson plans. This methodology is a bridge between Mainstream Education and Holistic Education, addressing the whole person in the learning environment, whether primary, secondary, FE or HE.
It is also titled ‘Creative Learning’, yet since it addresses the whole person it is multi-dimensional, including the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual. The methodology utilizes Howard Gardner’s ‘Multiple Intelligences’ (He names 7); Daniel Goleman’s ‘Emotional Intelligence’; DEMOS thinktank Tom Bentley’s ‘Learning Beyond The Classroom’; John P. Miller’s ‘Holistic Curriculum’; the Perennial Philosophy; the Transpersonal philosophy of Ken Wilber and the teaching methodology of Educational Drama practitioner Dorothy Heathcote, who synthesizes them with the emerging transpersonal awareness of practitioners in Religious Education such as the theologian John Hicks, the late Ninian Smart and many others. It takes a transformational position and thus includes transmission and transactional learning methods.
     This unique methodology celebrates the multi-dimensional nature of consciousness. It seeks to shift our perception through the re-conception of the human being and thus initiate the creative transformation of education. It seeks to stimulate a higher order of synthesizing ability, and to allow teachers, educators and students to make connections, relate truths, co-ordinate ideas and integrate concepts. To achieve this, the methodology creates internal and external spaces in learning for creative opportunities to develop a holistic consciousness, that is the ability to think in ‘wholes’ and is inclusive of reflective self-spectatorship and development. Further, it values spontaneity in its original Latin meaning in the learning environment and seeks to enrich the contexts of our experience with greater depth and integrity.
     This methodology is based on our new and emerging understanding of human consciousness and incorporates this understanding in its design. The paper will present this methodology as a creative opportunity for teaching training courses.
     Research for this methodology resulted in a thesis/dissertation entitled ‘The Re-Enchantment of the World – The Transformation of Education through the Re-Conception of the Human Being.

Author Bio(s)

Karen Bishop is a professional eclectic educational practitioner with an M.A in Educational Drama. She studied at Trinity College, Caramarthen. Karen has been teaching A Level Drama and Theatre Studies at Pembrokeshire College for five years and during this time combined practical research in multi-dimensional learning for a Masters whilst teaching and running the course. However, experience in Holistic Education stems back over 10 years. Karen has been a co-focaliser for 2 conferences in Spiritual Education; ‘The Spirit of Learning’ 1998 and ‘Soul in Education’ International Conference, Findhorn, Scotland 2000. She has also presented for the past few years at OISE’s Holistic Conference in the University of Toronto and has run workshops in Britain and Canada. Recently she presented and facilitated a workshop on Multi-Dimensional Learning for the FreeSpirit Conference in London (see Karen is also a member of the University for Spirit Forum and has presented talks on Multi-Dimensional Learning and Creativity and will be facilitating in the forthcoming conference ‘The Emerging Spirituality Revolution: Embodying the Spiritual Imperative of our Time’ on the 4th and 5th November 2006. Karen is also running staff training workshops at Pembrokeshire College in ‘Creative Learning’.