Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education

Martin Luther King

The many faces of intelligence

Different aspects of humans make up the personality and presence of a single person.  One of these aspects is intelligence and there are many different kinds of intelligence. The types of intelligences are brought out by  Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences sets out several different ways it is formed.  These include:

  • Spatial – Visualising the world in 3D
  • Logical – Quantifying things, making a hypothesis
  • Bodily – Co-ordinating your mind with your body
  • Naturalist – Understanding nature and living things
  • Musical – discerning sounds, pitch, tone and timbre
  • Linguistic – speaking, finding the right words
  • Intra-Personal – understanding self, feelings and thoughts
  • Interpersonal – sensing other people, their emotions and motivations

Learning domains

According to Bloom’s taxonomy of learning domains, there are three parts of the brain.

Cognitive Domain

This part of the brain is concerned with analysis and interpretation by helping to bring information to situations.  Cognitive intelligence is a key component.

Affective Domain

This part of the brain is the basis of the formulation of character.  This domain is about vision, people and meaning as well as feelings and emotions. Additionally, values and beliefs are formed in the affective domain.

Psychomotor Domain

This part of the brain is about behaviour.  This brain works by turning cognitive and affective intelligence and character into behaviour.   It is about how we act and what we choose to do with the information we have at our fingertips.

Character is key

Intelligence, plus character is the total of how your brain works, what you feel and how you act.  For me, the most important components of character are: :

Your Personality Type

Understanding your personality type is a crucial aspect of character development. It encompasses traits and tendencies that define how you interact with the world and process experiences. For instance, some people are naturally introverted, enjoying solitude and introspective activities, while others are extroverted, thriving in social settings and drawing energy from being around others. Recognizing and embracing your unique personality traits fosters self-awareness and helps you navigate life’s challenges more effectively.

Lived Experiences and How You Interpreted Them

Lived experiences shape your character significantly. How you interpret and respond to these experiences is even more crucial. For instance, overcoming adversity can foster resilience, while positive experiences can build confidence. The key is in the interpretation – seeing challenges as opportunities for growth, or joyous events as moments to be grateful for, can profoundly impact your character development.

Your Worldview and Beliefs

Your worldview, encompassing beliefs about the world and your place in it, greatly influences your character. This perspective is shaped by various factors like cultural background, education, and personal experiences. A positive and open-minded worldview can lead to a more empathetic and understanding character, while a negative or narrow worldview might limit your potential for personal growth and positive interactions with others.

How You View Others and Your Relationships

How you view and relate to others is a reflection of your character. This aspect covers the scope and depth of your relationships – whether you approach others with trust and empathy or suspicion and cynicism. Building deep, meaningful relationships often requires a level of vulnerability and understanding, indicating a strong, well-rounded character.

What You Say and Do

Actions and words are the most visible manifestations of your character. They reveal your true values and beliefs. Consistency in what you say and do is key to integrity, an important character trait. Practicing kindness, honesty, and responsibility in your daily interactions can strengthen your character and positively impact those around you.

The Values You Hold Dear and Live By

Your values are the guiding principles of your life. They influence your decisions, actions, and how you interact with others. Living by values such as honesty, kindness, and respect indicates a strong character. Conversely, understanding and acknowledging the values you choose not to follow is equally important in defining who you are.

What Motivates You

Understanding what drives you is essential in shaping your character. Motivation can come from various sources: the desire for success, the need to help others, or the pursuit of personal growth. Recognizing and harnessing these motivations can lead to a fulfilling life, where your actions and choices align with your deeper goals and aspirations.

Self-Reflection and Growth

An often overlooked but vital component of character is the capacity for self-reflection and the pursuit of personal growth. Continuously evaluating and evolving your beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours in response to new experiences and insights is crucial for developing a well-rounded character. This ongoing process ensures that your character is not static but a dynamic and responsive aspect of who you are.

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