EIGHT APTITUDES APPROACH

A core strand of the DNA of the Dikshant family, The Eight Aptitudes mirrors and builds upon the unique approach to education at Dikshant International School.

Dikshant International School is not alone in offering a fully rounded, holistic education. Many schools claim to, many schools try to, and some schools do. What sets us apart though is our determined, deliberate and focused approach to this all-roundedness, as embodied in The Eight Aptitudes. We have a plan, and an end in mind – what we do has purpose and structure, and is not just empty activity to fill time, or to capture those prospectus shots.

We believe that ALL learning, not just that which takes place inside the classroom, is vital for the full development of our students, and that the variety of experiences on offer outside lessons – whether it be in sports, in the music rooms, on picnics or visits, working for local charity projects, or simply gathering for Assembly at the start of each day - are just as important in developing the whole person. In a very real sense, schools that only develop the typically academic aptitudes are short- changing their students.

The intellectual basis behind this educational philosophy is in the pioneering work of Professor Howard Gardner at Harvard University in the USA, on the ‘multiple intelligences’ that all of us have. His model has been worked into an octagonal model, which shows the aptitudes in pairs. The diagram of the same is shown below. Notice how the pupils’ well being is at the centre of, and is a natural outcome of the development of all the aptitudes.

The Eight Aptitudes, in their pairs, are: Logical & Linguistic, Cultural & Physical, Social & Personal, and Moral & Spiritual.

Linguistic and Logical

Linguistic:

Words, spoken or written, in English and Hindi will be a cornerstone of Dikshant education. We want our students, irrespective of their age, to develop a love of reading, leading on to creative writing, good note-taking, analysing and debating issues and the effective presentation of their own idea and thoughts. This can be done both on paper and orally, although, the latter coming naturally.

Logical:

The world of logic, reasoning, abstractions and numbers needs no introduction. Mathematics is obviously pivotal, but mastering this aptitude takes the students into the realms of science, computing, economics and philosophy, and the acquisition of skills such as recognition, reasoning, investigation and calculation. All of these subjects and talents will have real prominence in the Dikshant curriculum, none more so than the constantly developing world of information and communication technology.

Social and Personal

Social:

At Dikshant we pride ourselves on our level of care of our students. The daily interactions with peers and younger / older students help to provide a sense of responsibility, perspective, and the chance to develop the ability not just to think for themselves but also for others, be it in their class, the school as a whole or further afield.

Personal:

As Sun Tzu wrote in the 6th century BC, in The Art of War, “know your enemy, and know yourself”. Here in the 21st century, vital aspects of growing up are understanding yourself, knowing who you are, what you can personally achieve, what you aspire to and, perhaps most important of all, what to avoid. In a wide variety of ways, Dikshant seeks to instill responsibility, self-discipline and independence of thought and action in all our students. The more broadly involved in school life they are, the opportunities to ‘know themselves’ they will have.

Cultural and Physical

Cultural:

The creative arts, in all its many disciplines, painting, drawing, pottery, craft and design, dance, drama, music and the wide variety of creative technologies, are available at Dikshant. They represent a crucial part of our educational experience and we encourage all our students to get fully involved, not just actively but also to visit galleries and museums or to go to plays and concerts. Every encouragement is given to individual students to further their own cultural and creative interests. Regular opportunities exist in assemblies and various school shows for students to watch their peers perform, and learning to be part of an appreciative and attentive audience is as important as direct involvement.

Physical:

A healthy lifestyle and ability in a wide variety of physical activities, whether through excelling or merely taking part, should be vital objectives for all Dikshant students. Sporting strength and depth is a prominent part of the Dikshant DNA. Whilst formal sport and physical education obviously play a major role in this, our Activities Programme provides a wide range of possible opportunities for all our students to stay fit, fashion their creative instincts in a physical fashion and lead healthy lives, whether through outdoor sports or martial arts.

Moral and Spiritual

Moral:

What is right? What is wrong? We want all Dikshant students to make the correct decisions in life. We want them to have appropriate role models, sometimes not easy in the 21st century. We want them to learn from the mistakes of the past, even though mankind generally seems to find this difficult. We will never forget that we are educating the leaders of the future and we want, and need, them to make the right decisions as adults. Much of the moral platform for these decisions comes from how they interact with each other in their school years

Spiritual:

Spirituality can be defined as involving deep feelings and beliefs. Our interpretation of spirituality is not an explicitly religious one, though of course for some individuals, this aspect will be significant. All Dikshant students must develop an inner strength, fortified by an appreciation of their own individual positives and negatives. To attain this, our students must become aware of their own environment around them, the ideas which have shaped modern civilization and the nature of the world in which they live, all of which they must relate to their own thoughts and ideas. Such are many of the values of studying subjects like Environmental Studies, History, Geography, Biology and Social Studies, to mention just a few.

All the staff at Dikshant International School know that they have a responsibility to always be aware of how what they are doing with students contributes to the development of these aptitudes, to help embed them in the daily life of the School, and to play an active role in encouraging students to REFLECT on them. Only through genuine reflection will real learning become clear. The approach is never at any stage meant to be reduced to a ‘box-ticking’ exercise, but instead naturally suffuses all that we do.