The first aspect of the Allen Key that reflects this toolhardy philosophy is the shape. A regular shaped hexagon has six lines equal in length and six equal angles. This predilection for six inspired me to develop the Six Degrees of Contemplation™, the nucleus of the A.K.T.P™. (See below for the elements of the Six Degrees of Contemplation™.)
Secondly, besides being a regular shape, the Allen Key comes in different sizes. I've coined the phrase "...one tool suits all..." (as opposed to one size fits all) to explain the premise behind using the same topic and activities for a multi-levelled class (post secondary). For example, Level 1 literacy and numeracy students would write a receipt - record the items, costs and calculate overall cost, while Level 3 would record items etc, but they would also calculate discounts and GST (General Services Tax).
The interconnectedness of this shape is the third reason why I developed this philosophy. This interconnectedness directly relates to my perspective of integrating subjects within one learning context / resource. No one subject area stands alone outside in the real world, so why cocoon them in the educational setting.
My fourth rationale for developing this philosophy being, the Allen Key is a multifunctional tool. It's not just for erecting an IKEA kitchen, stool, chair etc, it is widely used in other areas e.g. cycling, to construct and maintain bikes, or in building. This tool lends itself to a coalescing of learning and teaching elements within a given educational / schooling / training framework. Let me give you an example from my teaching - developing literacy
and numeracy skills by embedding them in a vocationally related topic e.g. horticulture.
Degrees of Contemplation
- learning styles
- integrated project based learning resources
- equitable relationship between teacher and learners (adults).
(I'll cover each of the contemplations in future blogs.)
You may be thinking, "So what's new?", and my answer to you is nothing. Teachers are very aware of the above elements, but it is how I embed them in my every day teaching practices and resource development, that holds the Allen Key answer.
- To sum up my A.K.T.P™ -
- the six angles of the Allen Key represent my Six Degrees of Contemplation™
- the lines, both external and internal, represent the interconnectedness of my philosophy
- the one tool suits all aspect, considers the use of one activity with different elements for students with varying skill levels
- the multiple sizes of the Allen Key, relates to the same tool / strategy being able to be used for different applications
- the multifunctional aspect corresponds with the integration of different subject areas into one contextualised project based resource
- using one tool simplifies the development and delivery of teaching materials.