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Squared bhutan4
Hundred 2018
Looking to develop a holistic curriculum with engaging assessment tools for students and teachers?

5 Areas of Development

Marker Bhutan
A new school culture that refocuses the curriculum to address 5 key areas of development (cerebral, physical, emotional, spiritual and social) and uses innovative methods to assess students, teachers and the school as a whole.
Introduction

What are the 5 Areas of Development?

Hemant Somasekharan
“Teachers ask students to demonstrate what they have learnt, transforming learning into something they want to do. Students begin to teach their peers and become leaders in their own right.”

Arun Kapur, 5 Areas for Development Creator

In an age where Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence is becoming the new norm, how do we prepare our learners to thrive in this world? What will the future look like in a decade from now? What are we preparing our learners for?

In an era of unprecedented change particularly stemming from the rapid technological progress, what can we do to ensure that learners have a competitive edge while maintaining core human values? 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 areas, rather than merely cerebral. Through this process, we hope to inspire our learners to amplify the use of emerging new intelligence to augment human intelligence rather than replacing them.

Students may struggle in areas such as how to regulate emotions, stay physically fit and maintain a work-life balance, due to the lack of emphasis on these areas.  

The Royal Academy, a Bhutanese residential school that largely teaches economically vulnerable students, has developed a holistic curriculum focusing on 5 Areas of Development. Each area is given equal weighting and the interconnection between all areas is emphasised.

Cerebral development (the academic area) teaches 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 realise 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 and Pallavan Learning Centre, New Delhi. 

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

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Intended Outcomes
7852
Views
ALL
Target Group
2015
Established
Resources Needed
5 teachers are needed to act as the main coordinators, one for each development area.
HundrED Criteria
innovativeness
impact
scalability
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 is measured through student and teacher roadmaps. Teachers use this reflective tool to continuously monitor students in a holistic way.
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.
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Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

01
Integrate the 5 Areas of Development into the school's learnin...
Before adopting the 5 Areas of Development, a mindset shift at the school may be needed, along with some practical preparations.
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02
Create individual roadmaps
These roadmaps set out the plans and visions of each individual student and teacher at the school.
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03
Create a roadmap for the whole school
Begin the process of combining individual roadmaps to eventually create a whole school roadmap.
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04
Incorporate the 5 Areas of Development into the curriculum
Sports, reflection and contemplation are included in the curriculum every day, and nature retreats are organised twice a year to give students a different kind of learning experience.
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05
Redesign assessment methods
Through the 5 Areas of Development, a range of methods are used to assess learners' progress.
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06
Continuously evolve the curriculum
The curriculum is dynamic, with a focus on skills and processes over content.
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Contact

Connect with the innovator

Hemant Somasekharan
Innovator
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