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Excellent Workshops based on multiple intelligences

Attention to diversity is one of the challenges of the Areteia Educational Project, which aims to create a context of success for each student, accepting and working on weaknesses, but above all, encouraging the strengths and talents of each student.

In this way, in accordance with the fundamental principle of the Educational Project which states that all pupils can learn, though they need not all do it in the same way, Areteia applies Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences with the creation of the Excellent Workshops.

The theory of Multiple Intelligences developed by Gardner states that there is not one intelligence but multiple types, and that we all possess similar abilities, though some of us are more skilled in some things than in others.

Areteia began this initiative in the 2010-2011 academic year, and with time it has become one of the pillars of the school’s educational project. On the one hand, the Excellent Programmes enable the pupils to learn about a subject, and on the other hand, they enable the development of each pupil’s potential to the maximum, so that through their strengths they reach excellence. Each student is assigned to a Workshop related to the type of intelligence in which they stand out.

Luis Garcia, headmaster of Areteia, helps us to better understand this. “For more than 20 years we’ve been holding events and organising one-time activities to motivate the students to show the best of themselves, and after the successes achieved, we believed it necessary to go one step further and organise these activities within the curriculum and the school day, with the objective of going further in this wonderful task of maximising the best in each pupil. For this reason, since 2011 we have incorporated the Excellent Workshops in our Educational Project and begun to work on them”.

Art techniques workshops

“Outside the curriculum, but at the same time perfectly linked with the pedagogical objectives, on Friday afternoons within school hours we break out of the school structure and work on the workshops. We put the Primary pupils together, and the ESO, Baccalaureate, and Vocational Training pupils together, who are then in turn divided up according to the workshop they’ve been assigned”, the headmaster says.

The choice of Excellent Workshop is agreed on between the tutor, the pupil, and the family, and is supervised by the school’s Psychopedagogy Department. This decision is made during the first few weeks of the year, in which the tutor of each group presents Gardner’s 8 Multiple Intelligences. An analysis is then made of each pupil’s potential to agree on their participation in the most suitable workshop for them.

ESO Science Experiments Workshop

Luis Garcia adds that “year after year we survey the pupils to draw valuable conclusions about the satisfaction achieved in each workshop and, based on these conclusions, we redesign the offer for the following academic year”.

It is difficult to highlight certain workshops above others, though we can confirm that “the Sports; Self-defence; Science Experiments; Rock; and Singing programmes etc. are the most popular, while the Video; Photography, and Radio and Readers programmes are chosen by fewer pupils, but with a higher level of motivation and potential to progress.”

The Excellent Workshops, based on Multiple Intelligences, help to promote the objectives of the Areteia Educational Project, and form a real Learning Community. “These workshops create particularly motivational moments for the students, and also for the teachers, given that they can share their hobbies, tastes, and skills, etc. with the pupils. It is, ultimately, about favouring an experience of being able to contribute, to be useful, to be competent, to be good, and to build.

In this way, the school becomes greater because it provides its participants with happiness and learning”, Luis Garcia concludes.

ESO Rock Workshop

What do our pupils and teachers say about the Excellent Workshops?

  • The Comics Workshop is a space in which a group of pupils who like drawing get together to work on this hobby in a fun way. To do this, exercises are recommended in which they can develop a feeling for human anatomy, proportion, movement, and narrative, which help to stimulate and mould their creative dimension. David Segovia, Teacher
  • The Comics Workshop is a calm space with nice people where I learn and improve in something I like. Miguel, 1st Baccalaureate B pupil.
  • I like drawing and learning from my teacher, I want to be an artist and I love my classmates. Fiorela, 2nd ESO A pupil.

ESO Comic Workshop

  • For me, being part of the Sport Workshop has been a very productive experience, because I see pupils of different ages interact in one learning context, respect each other in the face of differences in terms of ability, and resolve conflicts which arise, with the older ones mediating, so that there is a healthy atmosphere of co-operation. Iván Cortijo, Teacher.
  • I chose the Sport Workshop because it was the one which stood out most to me. In this workshop, I can play and enjoy doing what I like: moving around and playing. And if I’m with my friends, even better. I feel that I’m part of a team. Also, thanks to the workshop I play sports which I wasn’t very good at, like basketball, badminton, tennis, etc. Juan, 4th ESO B pupil.
  • Friday afternoons are different and fun. It’s a way of becoming closer to the pupils, thanks to their aptitude for and motivation to take part in the activity. The environment is great, and students from different year groups interact, so it’s really enriching. Beatriz Moreno, Teacher.
  • In the Redecorate your World Workshop you can be creative and no one judges you. Paloma, 3rd ESO C pupil.
  • Friday afternoon is fun and there’s a good atmosphere. I do things which we never do. Adriana, 1st ESO B pupil.

ESO pupils in the Video Editing Workshop

Fourth Educational Innovation Day at Areteia School

On the 5th of March, Areteia School, part of the NACE Schools Group, will be celebrating the Fourth Educational Innovation Day: “Innovation in the approach to inclusion in schools”.
Areteia School is dedicating this fourth edition to innovation in the processes of identifying and responding to the different needs of pupils, to increase inclusion at school. Attention to diversity is the objective of the Areteia School Educational Project. For this reason, innovation when it comes to inclusion at school is one of the essential areas required for them to advance in their educational mission. Last year’s Educational Innovation Day was a complete success. With the title “From failure to success at school: maximising the pupils’ potential”, the 3rd Educational Innovation Day explored the issue of a lack of success at school and in particular, new guidance about how each pupil can achieve their own personal progress.

At this year’s event, Areteia School will welcome respected experts who will help us to understand the challenges involved in inclusive education. At the Fourth Educational Innovation Day, we will learn about how schools can ensure full inclusion with the help of researchers and professionals such as: D. Luis García Carretero, Headmaster of Colegio Areteia; D. Sergio González Andión, Managing Director of NACE Schools; D. Rafael Carbonell Peris, President of the Schools Board of the Autonomous Community of Madrid; and D. Gerardo Echeita, Committee for Inclusive Education at the Autonomous University of Madrid. In addition, a round table will be held with representatives from Full Inclusion Madrid, the Madrid Dyslexia Association, the Spanish Federation of ADHD Associations, the Madrid Asperger’s Association, and the Gifted World Foundation.

The pupils at Areteia School will also participate in this event. Over the course of the day they will present different projects about inclusion in schools in which they have collaborated with UNICEF, Más por ellos, the Isabel Gemio Foundation, Rainfer and the Protectora El Bosque.

Entry to the event is free of charge and attendees will also receive a certificate of attendance. However, as places are limited, you must reserve your place by sending an email to rosalia.gomez@areteia.edu.es. For more information, the full programme specifies the different conferences about what schools can do to favour the inclusion of each and every pupil.

The Fourth Educational Innovation Day is an event which defines the most important objective of Areteia School: educational innovation and the training of teachers. This is fundamental both for providing support for pupils with learning difficulties, and in our educational model.
Areteia School learns from and is committed to pupils’ education, accompanying and supporting them on their journey. That’s why there is a dedicated Educational Innovation Department which develops projects to enable the school to meet its objective: to create a context of success for every pupil, working on their weaknesses and encouraging their individual talents.
We hope to see you at the Fourth Educational Innovation Day, an opportunity to share advances in diversity and inclusion in schools which answers Areteia School’s educational objective: for pupils to make progress feeling good about themselves and others.