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5 Areas of Development
What are the 5 Areas of Development?
Arun Kapur, 5 Areas for Development Creator
In an era of unprecedented change, particularly stemming from rapid technological progress, what can we do to ensure that learners have the skills they need in order to succeed in all areas of their life? What will the future look like in a decade from now? What are we preparing our learners for?
The Five Areas of Development is a holistic approach to learning that strives to break down the silos in education and ensure the development of a learner in all Five areas of Development - Cerebral, Emotional, Physical, Social and Spiritual. Through this process of development, we hope to inspire our learners and equip them with the skills and processes that will help them navigate new content and challenges that the future might present.
The Royal Academy, a residential school in Bhutan, has developed a holistic curriculum focusing on the 5 Areas of Development. Each area is given equal weighting and the interconnection between all areas is emphasised.
Cerebral development (the academic area) emphasises communication, comprehension, critical thinking and curiosity to enhance academic learning.
Physical development focuses on health, fitness and sports.
Social development supports students to get involved in their communities, work towards common goals and understand themselves and others.
Spiritual development is focused on core values, awareness and practice, rather than on a particular religion.
Emotional development encourages learners to pay attention to their emotions in order to identify, understand and express them positively and productively.
The structure of the school day guides holistic development. The day begins with student-led group physical exercise followed by reflective mindful practice. Students then participate in six learning experiences, one of which is another physical activity. Learners are able to flow between the learning experiences based on preference for teaching style should they wish to do so. Based on the individual passions of the students, teachers will provide feedback to the development coordinators to ensure the curriculum covers all areas of interest.
The goal is to help all students actualise their potential. There is a strong focus on assessing students against themselves, not each other. Teachers also focus on their own development in order to support this holistic environment, becoming co-learners in the model.
Over the last couple of years, the innovation has been adopted by the Vasant Valley School, Pallavan Learning Centre, New Delhi and Paradise Valley school, Oman.
A brief overview of how the innovation looks in practice can be found here
A short video from the innovator, Mr Arun Kapur, can be viewed here
School at The Royal Academy’s COVID response
When the students left the campus on the 22nd of March, individualized work for two weeks was sent. In the meantime, teachers collected information on each student regarding their access to devices and the internet. Students living in all 20 Dzongkhags (districts) of Bhutan and limited access to the internet were the major challenges. Using this data, learning experiences were individualized to the level of each student in the Five Areas of Development and their access to devices and the internet.
The mentor meetings continued every week and the mentors kept track of the growth of each of their mentees based on their Roadmaps. The design of the learning experiences allowed students to learn and contribute to their communities. The student, their mentor, parents and the teachers collaborated on the creation of the reports that describe the learning journey of the students.
How did we support them during COVID-19 pandemic - Paradise Valley school, Oman
- A team is also creating learning materials that can be broken into a range of formats (High definition videos to SMS), taking the concepts that are applicable worldwide while using the analogies from Bhutan. These could be shared through different platforms to be used by learners across the world.
- How did we support them during COVID-19 pandemic - Paradise Valley school, Oman
- Created short videos with activities they could do at home with parents and siblings - creating the social group for learning
- Encouraged parents to create videos when the children were doing those activities and share
- Checked in on individual students and their families for emotional support
- Staff created story reading videos in English and Arabic
- Story reading - on social-emotional areas
- Yoga lessons
- All lines of communications were open.- Used emails, WhatsApp, Class dojo
- For staff as well there were regular meetings and daily phone calls from the head of school, especially for the expatriate teachers staying alone.
- Online resources were shared periodically bearing in mind screen time
We have also compiled a comprehensive list of online resources to help learners in their growth in all the Five Areas of Development. We hope you are able to contextualise the collated resources to aid your learners actualise their potential in all areas of development. You can access it here.
We also carried out three closed group webinars on the following topics. If interested, you can access those reports below:
You can read more on Arun's musings on education here.
5 Areas of Development is a practical, multi-dimensional model aiming to address the needs of students through changing the focus of education. The goal is to show young people that there are many different aspects to a person beyond academics.Impact
Impact is measured through student and teacher roadmaps. Teachers use this reflective tool to continuously monitor students in a holistic way.Scalability
The concept, ideas and intention of the 5 Areas of Development could be easily used and adapted in other schools around the world to enrich any school curriculum.