Higher Learning

Higher Learning Network’s mission is to empower and teach urban youth and adults how to develop their own natural gifts, talents and abilities: with a focus on life skills, job training and entrepreneurial skills.

Higher Learning comes from within. Trust the process.

Man’s knowledge is merely a drop of water in God’s oceans.

Everyone has a natural gift, talent and ability. It is our mission to help them nurture and develop those gifts to be constructive contributors to society.

Today’s students will need a variety of high-level competencies to compete in tomorrow’s workplace. VAANT helps students develop a number of 21st Century skills by reinforcing communication and collaboration skills, instilling student responsibility, and encouraging and enabling creativity.

Intellectual Virtue in Education

Philosophy for Children: 

The practice of introducing children to the problems and methods of philosophy, in their school classrooms, is gaining popularity. Philosophy for children brings together epistemologists, ethicists, and practitioners – children can be introduced to philosophy, the value of and motivations for doing so, and the epistemological and ethical implications of the idea.

Aims:  The aim is to bring together teachers and others with an interest in the teaching of philosophy in schools, to share ideas and experiences, to learn from pioneering work going on in this area and to strengthen links amongst the community of those who believe that education can be enriched by the inclusion of philosophy. The practice of introducing children to the problems and methods of philosophy, in their primary school classrooms, is gaining popularity.

Figure:1 The Philosophy has increased its school base from 60 to 90 and has a re-contract rate of 91% with those schools who have worked with us beforehand because we like pretty charts; here is a breakdown of some of our findings recently

Figure: 2

“Intellectual virtue owes both its birth and its growth to teaching (for which reason it requires experience and time)”.


Thinking Classroom Philosophy in 4 Questions       

What?Teach learners how to think and learn4.hlearn

  • Discover, value and use learners’
    thinking skills, learning styles and multiple intelligences profiles
  • Combine the best new educational  
  • practices with the best traditional ones
  • Build and enrich learning relationships


  • Because learners need flexible skills more than knowledge
  • Because future economic & life success depends on skills and creativity
  • Because everyone learns in a unique way
  • Because education must prepare learners for an exciting but uncertain future
  • Because of Article 13a, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child


  • By matching teaching styles to learning styles
  • By valuing each learner for what they do well
  • By educating for skills, attitudes and values as well as knowledge
  • By preparing learners for their futures not our pasts
  • By valuing, supporting and resourcing all educators

What if?

  • All learners are engaged, excited and interested in their lessons?
  • School’ evolved to match different lifestyles and different learning styles?
  • Teachers have time to enjoy their profession and real opportunities to thrive?
  • There is only one initiative and it is called “Learning”?


What’s Multiple About Intelligence?3.hlearn

 Learning = Access + Process + Express

‘Emotivation’ is a made-up word to acknowledge that the 3 ideas above don’t happen automatically. Their success depends on many things including context, motivation, emotional intelligence, collaboration, self-esteem and the strength of your professional learning community)

The Multiple Intelligences

There are at least 8 different ways to be clever; each meeting 8 scientific criteria. The criteria are debated but the concept is sound, practical and used by educators across the world. The following areas offer multiple routes to learning, teaching, creativity and success:

Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence12.hlearn

Your mind comes alive to a rhythm and a melody. You may not be a concert pianist, but you engage easily with music. You may learn well to background music. You could use beats and tunes to pick up new skills and ideas.
Mathematical/Logical Intelligence13.hlearn
Logic and order are important to you. You can think like a machine. Your mind pulls you towards numbers and patterns. Learning can flow for you when ideas fit neatly together, with reasons.
Interpersonal Intelligence14.hlearn
You are an expert in the behavior and emotions of other people. You understand the weather of human moods. Your mind loves to communicate with others. Learning can happen for you when your team is working well.
Intrapersonal Intelligence16.hlearn
You are an expert on yourself. You know your strengths and targets. You know what makes you feel and think different things. You can communicate well with yourself. Learning alone may suit your independence.
Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence17.hlearn
Words, words, words – written, read, spoken, heard. Words are the food of your mind. You use words, you love words, you learn with words. Language is your life.
Naturalist Intelligence18.hlearn
You know your place in the environment, and you know the environment – city, country, mountain, motorway, animals, people – your mind knows how nature works. Learning can happen when nature and its organizing principles are available to you.
Bodily/Kinaesthetic Intelligence15.hlearn
Your mind controls your body with great skill. Your body does just what you want it to. You manipulate objects easily. You may learn best through moving and touching.


  Visual/Spatial Intelligence

Close your eyes and you can imagine whatever you want. You can go anywhere; create anything – in your mind. In your head, you can change what you’ve seen. Images may help you to learn. 


 Existential Intelligence6.hlearn

 Life is your mystery – you have to solve it. You ask “Why?” and the bigger the question, the better. Learning may need to be deep and wide for you.
(This is acknowledged as ‘half an intelligence’ it doesn’t yet meet all of the 8 criteria for an intelligence)




   What’s Multiple About Intelligence?

Intelligence: Who has it? Who hasn’t? Is it fixed from birth? What’s it for? What is it? Where is 2.hlearnit? Can it change?

Scientists argue about the definition of intelligence and everyone takes a view on what it is:

  • The ability to make decisions and judgments that create positive effects – Graham
  • Knowing there’s always more to learn – Jodie
  • Thinking, “I can…” – MJ, Westhoughton.
  • Being able to deal with the unexpected – Andy
  • Making connections – Janice Young

There are consequences of our different definitions of intelligence:

IQ: Let’s say you believe that IQ is the best way to define and measure intelligence. Consequences:

  • You have to get over a certain score in an IQ test to be clever
  • You have to be good at verbal and non-verbal reasoning to get a high score
  • If your strengths are in other areas, you are not intelligent

Carol Deck: (Mindsets and Self-Theory) Let’s say you think that intelligence is related to self-belief. Consequences:

  •  Some people believe they can become cleverer and are therefore    positive/active about learning and growth
  • Some people believe they’re stuck with their lot and are therefore negative/passive about learning and growth

Howard Gardner: (Multiple Intelligences) Let’s say that intelligence is the ability to solve problems and create things that are of value to your society. Consequences:


   Explore the facts that every child matters

  • Everyone is clever because of what they do well1.hlearn
  • Verbal and non-verbal reasoning is valued
  • Running a meeting is valued
  • Fixing things is valued
  • Creating a piece of art is valued
  • Managing your emotions is valued
  • Running a family home is valued
  • People are valued for what they do best
  • I’ve been using the concept of Multiple Intelligences both in the classroom and in training for over a decade.
  • All my training is inspired by the inclusive approach of Multiple Intelligences that can raise academic and life success for all