“Knowledge is continually derived from
and tested out in the experience of the learner”
Kolb (1984 p27)
preparing for Stage 1 of my PGCertHE, I was pleased to look into the
work of David Kolb and successors. There I found the academic support for
a reality that had slowly been dawning on me as both a learner and teacher.
Whilst facts, figures and theories can be taught in a conventional manner,
the teaching of most subjects can benefit, often significantly (as least
for some students) by including experiential elements to the classes. This
is particularly the case not only for practical and artistic subjects (cookery
and music for example), but for within the heading of life skills.
My own interest and experience is in the teaching of those essential abilities
that might fall under the heading of 'Spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development', but unfortunately are often excluded from curricula: how to
understand and develop our 'deeper' or real selves.
key interest is the 'soft skills' or transferable 'life skills' that are
essential in professional and personal lives, those that recognise 'the
human element' in all situations, including work and education. We are,
after all, each unique human beings with feeling and emotional as well as
physical needs. Whether it's 'human reliability', 'emotional intelligence',
or just being aware of the feelings of those around us, integrating these
facets of ourselves with the conventional (objective) reality is key to
become whole and feeling fulfilled in life.
A full list of subjects that I am currently able to offer, at most levels, is here. Full courses descriptions with learning outcomes etc, are available on request.
Below is a summary of subject areas for which experiential modules or
classes can be provided. Further related subjects can also be developed
Whilst some individuals continue to
find a depth and inner meaning to life through their chosen religious
faith or through specific
spiritual practices, 'spirituality' is increasingly acknowledged
as being equally valid and important in a secular world. This
one example of the process of transcendence that I see emerging in the
world: a recognition that, whatever our cultural roots we are all human
beings with a need to 'belong' and to balance our material lives with a
spiritual one: with compassion and co-operation as guiding principles.
Such an approach to life goes hand-in-hand with the following subjects
which I teach.
That inner drive to improve
ourselves, which for so long seemed to mean 'survival of the
fittest', is increasingly being acknowledged as underlying a shift in
how we are thinking: what I call the process of transcendence. But what
evolutionary consciousness and what does it mean in practice? For some
examples see this article and for an introduction to the subject follow the link above
Whilst education obviously has a key
role in providing us with important skills and preparing us for jobs in
the wider world, my focus has always been on education that helps a
student understand and Be themselves. For, after all, who is going to
perform better in the workplace - the self-confident person who is at
peace with themselves and the world, or someone in a state of inner
confusion or worse?
foster and fully utilise high IQ and academic brilliance is
obviously important, but life without 'heart and soul' is dry and
meaningless. Development of our emotional intelligence (EI)
enable us to bring together our thoughts and our emotions; how we think
and how we feel. On the above pages I share my personal experience of
this developmental journey and offer some approaches to enhancing our
you value most in life? Perhaps your own health, or the smiles of your close
family and friends? What gives live meaning? Being able to enjoy a country
walk maybe? Contrast such answers with those provided by the advertising
industry and our pre-occupation with material wealth and possessions. As
the finances of families and states shrink in the current climate, we are
all being forced to question what it is we actually need to survive and
be happy. To acknowledge and let go of old attachments - physical, mental
and emotional is to begin to embrace the One Reality of life and to Be happy,
rather than thinking we need something or someone to MAKE us happy. On
the above link I explore related ideas and practices. (coming soon).
It has been said (I'll be glad to receive references to this please) that whereas we can hide behind words, we cannot hide behind music. Sound is somehow more fundamental.
Art generally has this ability to tap into our psyche, our
deeper/higher levels of consciousness. Which is why art has such
potential for healing and enabling of transcendent thought. The above
link offers examples from my personal and experiential teaching experiences.
are many techniques and practices, pastimes and activities that can help
us to access our inherent spiritual natures. Besides the above range of
healing art activities (plus being in nature!) the 'method' that I have
found to be of tremendous value to myself and my many students over the
year, is Reiki Healing. Simple yet profound it is both a 'self-healing'
technique and a path to our personal, self and spiritual unfolding, and
thus to our enhanced well-being. Compatible with any faith tradition, Reiki
a practical way of helping us to feel an integral part of One Reality.
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Copyright 2012 by Keith Beasley