Exploring Nine Capacities


Mandala personalizado (Technique: Watercolours)

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My friends at Da Capo Institute had a great blog on 9 Capacities for Imaginative Learning that really caught my attention.  These concepts were developed by the Lincoln Center Institute in New York.  While these concepts can be goals for integrated arts education, they also address great concepts for looking at the facets of your life.What follows are the nine concepts and my views on applying them in life.

  • Noticing Deeply: Taking time to identify the details of your surroundings. Doing so impacts your perceptions.
  • Embodying: Select something in your environment whether it is auditory or visual and experience it through your senses, emotions and physical response.
  • Questioning: Apply those question words we learned in school (who, what, when, where, why, how) to explore opportunities to learn, research, try, grow, seed an idea, …
  • Making Connections: See if you can find connects in what your observe, be it patterns, related materials or structure.
  • Identifying Patterns: Patterns can be difficult is some cases to recognize.  Be open to the possibilities.
  • Exhibiting Empathy: Respecting others perspectives, understand their emotions, taking the time to listen can open our hearts and minds to many things.
  • Creating Meaning: Creating a synthesized interpretations in your own voice means allowing for space, time, and experience to shape your thoughts.
  • Taking Action: Act on the synthesis of what you have learned  and experienced will allow for something new and unique to emerge from you. It can also allow others to share in your experiences.
  • Reflecting/Assessing: By continually assessing what you have learned, assess/identify what challenges remain, and assess/identify what further learning needs to happen, may change how you view learning. “It is also not the end of your learning; it is part of beginning to learn something else.”

Maybe, just maybe we can transform ourselves and our communities with this type of learning process.  I would love to hear your thoughts on these nine capacities.

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