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The 3 A’s Dr. Richard Gacka Director: ABLE LD Project 1/29/11

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1 The 3 A’s Dr. Richard Gacka Director: ABLE LD Project 1/29/11
Attitude Achievements Abilities This presentation was developed by Dr. Richard Gacka based on his experience in the fields of Special Education and Adult Basic Education. He currently serves as Director of the ABLE Learning Differences Project, the NW PA Professional Development Center and Educational Programs at Stairways Behavioral Health. Dr. Gacka is a PA Licensed Psychologist and PA Certified School Psychologist with over 30 years experience as a psychological examiner with the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. He has over 40 years experience in the field of education having held positions ranging from speech therapist to Asst. Director of Special Education. This PowerPoint presentation is designed to be used in conjunction with either webinar or on-site professional development training, but it can also be used for independent home study, especially when utilized as a preparation for an on-site training. The text associated with each slide provides background information on the subject presented in the slide. On-site workshops provide a more in-depth orientation to the topic and provides the opportunity for discussions and presentation of actual case studies. Comments on the presentation are appreciated. Dr. Gacka can be contacted by at Please visit the ABLE LD Project website at Dr. Richard Gacka Director: ABLE LD Project 1/29/11

2 What have I done in my life? What are my talents and abilities?
What do I value? What kind of person am I? The individuals that you work with do not live in a vacuum. They have lives, families and jobs. They have good days and bad days. Some come from nurturing and supporting homes and some have had difficult lives from the time they were young children. With that said, the reality is that they are coming to you for help and it is your duty to work with them, to find out what they need and how to help them to learn, to select effective materials, and to provide instruction, guidance and support in a structured and safe environment. If you went to a doctor with an ailment you would expect that the physician would ask you questions, observe your behavior, look at the parts of your body where you indicate you have pain, and perhaps order outside tests. The same general rules apply to finding out what a student needs to learn; ask questions, observe behavior, and perhaps administer formal tests. What is most important for the patient is what the physician does with the diagnostic information, and what is most important for your students is what you do with your observations. If you are in a helping profession, you automatically assume the role of detective, charged with making sense of signs, symptoms, behaviors and observations and integrating that information into a useful plan for future action. Each student presents a puzzle to be solved, pieces to be identified and arranged into patterns so that underlying information becomes obvious. The idea of the graphic above is to highlight the need for the teacher to identify critical pieces of the puzzle, and to organize them so that they make sense and result in a clear picture of the student’s needs. The three areas that we will be discussing today are the students Abilities, their Achievements and a broad, but critical area that we will refer to as their Attitudes. Notice that I use the plural form in listing each of the three area. You will see why in a later slide, but get into the habit of thinking in terms of multiple abilities, achievements and attitudes. Self-reflection is a very important skill. It provides the raw material for making decisions, developing plans and generally is at the heart of each person’s self-determination of who they are. While we observe clients or students, we need to remember that we need to teach the students to do the same thing. Many students lack adequate self-assessment skills, or they have negative beliefs and form barriers that block forward movement. As you go through this training remember that a goal of learning the 3A’s model is to teach students or clients to use it themselves. Just as the goal is for you to develop better observation skills, the goal with your students is to have them develop better self-assessment skills. Reflection, self-analysis and metacognition

3 Perceptions are in fact, an alternative reality
What do I value? What kind of person am I? What have I done in my life? What has he done with his life? What does he value? Who is he? What are my talents and abilities? What are his talents and abilities? The three Key factors, the 3 A’s, exist on several levels. This slide shows a second perspective on the 3A’s, what others think of your abilities, achievements and attitudes. In cases where there is a large discrepancy between the student’s self-assessment and an outside neutral observers assessment of the individual, additional investigation is needed to find the reasons for the discrepancy. How an individual is perceived by others, is a key determiner of potential success. The term “clueless” implies the significance of the fact that the individual’s perceptions do not match some more generally perceived perception. Frequently, a barrier to moving ahead is the variability between the individual’s view and the view of one or more “external” entities. But impressions shape people’s reactions to you, and determine what they expect of you (or don’t expect of you). Perceptions are in fact, an alternative reality

4 So, Your are Never Alone differences differences differences
This graphic summarizes and illustrates the three different levels that need to be considered in any interaction or situation. Frequently, problems arise when one of the parties see only their point of view, which often can be quite different from the point of view of the others. For example, a teacher may become frustrated at a student’s lack of work because he/she has the perception that the student actually cares, or, a student may sit in class totally confused but not ask a question because they perceive that the instructor is too busy. These misconceived perceptions serve as roadblocks or barriers to effective communication and can be the cause of learning difficulties. They are situational factors which have the same impact as actual Learning Disabilities. Who you think you are Who you are Who I think you are

5 The Players The “real” you (is important but may have little to do with perceptions) Your perception of yourself (very important) Other people’s perception of you (very important) The difference between the three (something to look at as part of your diagnostic assessment) This slide identifies, and comments on, the three players engaged in every interaction, and suggests that the “real reality” may be less important than the “perceived reality” because actions are usually based on perceptions. It is important for students to learn that the impressions that they transmit, are the raw material of other people’s construction of their image of the student, and that they will act in accord with those images. Many students believe that their view of themselves is sufficient, and that others need to make adjustments to accommodate their self-image. Before any learning even starts, this can present major barriers in many areas that are needed for an effective learning interaction.

6 So in order to find out about the various players, we will need to:
Know what to look for (so we will know it when we see it) Have direct interaction and information (if possible) Trust that the student is giving accurate self-assessment information Have a set of structured questions to guide our observations and questions Establish open and honest communication between us Notes regarding the numbered items: That is why we are conducting this training and why teachers, tutors and support staff need to master two skills: A) keep your eyes open, i.e. refine your sensitivity, and B) learn from your experiences, i.e. link what you see with what you have seen before. You cannot do what needs to be done with a computer or sitting behind a desk. You need to be “face to face” so that you can trigger reactions by asking questions or presenting tasks, and most importantly, you need to be there (with your eyes open) to see what results Do not be gullible and naïve, many of the students know how to avoid addressing the very things that need to be addressed (they do that because those things are difficult or uncomfortable). You need to, in an non-confrontational way, addresses the differences between perceptions and negotiate an acceptable rate of movement in the direction that you want the student to move. Plan ahead for your interactions, and if necessary have a guide to the tasks or questions that you want to address. Do not just “wing it,” especially if this diagnostic observation approach is new to you. The word “trust” was also used in #3 and here it is again. Trust is ESSENTIAL, for you to become the guide or mentor for the student. But what you need to remember is that a key element in trust is that both parties will work hard to achieve the negotiated goals that have been established.

7 You will need to constantly hone your perceptiveness and learn from your experiences
A major element of good assessment and understanding people is perceptive observation, seeing what is not obvious and hearing what is not openly stated. Good communication and good observation require sensitivity to the messages that all behavior communicates. A large part of perceptiveness is having a conceptual model upon which hang your observations. If you have a solid conceptual foundation, pieces of information are less isolated, and a framework for seeing and understanding patterns or associations is established. A conceptual model provides the glue that helps you to remember, organize, or realign insights that you draw from what you hear or observe. The 3 A’s model provides you with such a conceptual foundation. The 3A’s model presented in this workshop is based on many years of client contact in the formats of psychological assessment and remedial instruction. The nature of the contacts permitted in-depth discussions with clients of personal background and environmental information. The 3A’s is a model that was derived from direct client contacts. The 3 A’s model is at the same time simple and complex. It integrates nicely with other models and it permits analysis at many levels. As a “model,” it is a theory, not fact. It is a tool for organizing your ideas. But it is a model that will allow you to identify important factors contributing to an individual's current status so that you can be effective in your planning and intervention. Observation is of little value if it leads only to the assignment of labels or classification. Observation should lead to planning and then to intervention. Later in this presentation you will see in how the 3A’s model can be used for those purposes. The information is right there in front of you. Learn to see what is not obvious and hear what is not said. (Oh, if they only sold those kind of glasses) You just need to be skilled enough to see it!

8 The “Three A’s” Ability – what can you learn?
– A simple, but useful way to categorize important factors that support employability, independence and learning. Ability – what can you learn? Achievement – what did you learn? Attitude – what do you want to learn? The concept of Ability is referenced by words such as: Can do - Raw Potential - Innate Resources – Horsepower – Could – Facility – Talent – Knack - Gift - Affinity - Propensity - Smarts The concept of Achievement is referenced by words such as: Did – Accomplishment – Completion – Attainment – Success – Realization, Knows about - Gets high grades - QPA - The concept of Attitude is referenced by words such as: Outlook – Mindset – Way of Thinking – Position - Posture – Feelings - Values - Open to - Bias - Predisposition toward - Personality - Work ethic - mood - value - chip on his shoulder How many time have you heard comments such as: He has so much potential but …….. He is such an overachiever. He could have, if he would have just made a little effort Boy, does he have an Attitude! Each of those statements suggest a lack of balance or a discrepancy between one or more of the three A’s All 3 of the A’s are variables that are internal to the learner, but that have external manifestations. At the same time, development of Ability, Achievement and Attitude will reflect the ongoing interaction between the individual and their environment. A useful way to think of this is through the use of the formula B = PE(SMI). Behavior is a function of both the Person and the Environment in Simultaneous Mutual Interaction. In understanding why a student is having problems, you will need to gather information about all three key factors (the 3 A’s), the environments in which they are manifest, and how the internal and environmental factors relate to one another. The slide above shows the three major attributes that will be discussed in detail in this presentation. It also highlights the fact that those three attributes are internal to the learner or client, indicating that the focus of intervention will need to be on obtaining behavioral and attitudinal change. That change will be achieved by capitalizing on the strengths that may exist in each area, while modifying instruction/therapy to address weaknesses. Variables such as practitioner skill, instructional/treatment materials, intervention setting, time spent on task, existence of distractions, atmosphere of the facility, influence of peers, family support, domestic stress, and appropriateness of content can all impact on the prognosis for success. One key variable that is not talked about enough is Intervention Quality, and that is the reason why this presentation will emphasize the theme; “good teaching is the best strategy for all students, and the best strategy for working with students who have learning differences.” Too often, teachers, counselors and therapists are looking for some type of “workbook” that will have the answers to the client’s needs. A “workbook” is not the answer. Consistent, honest, relevant and structured intervention, adapted skillfully to the unique needs of each individual is what is needed, and that is the definition of “good teaching.” Note: the word “teaching” is used because all interventions are variations of teaching. While they may be called counseling, training, or case management, they all involve guiding the client so that they can do in the future some desired behavior that then cannot do now.

9 You need to understand it, and practice it.
You may be getting restless and thinking, “OK, I get it, where’s the beef?” But please bear with me for just a bit. Everything we have talked about so far is very abstract and somewhat “conceptual” but is is ESSENTIAL THAT YOU RECOGNIZE IT. Why? Because it is not the kind of material that can be learned by reading or that can just be memorized for a multiple choice test You need to understand it, and practice it. What we have talked about so far is the foundation for being an educational detective, and that is what a diagnostician is. Watching , studying, developing hypotheses and then testing them. That is what diagnostic observation is all about. But to see, you need to know what you might see, otherwise important information just “goes in one ear/eye and out the other.” So, you will need to move beyond college studying for tests, and actually learn something. PS And nobody is going to grade you on a curve.

10 The 3 A’s Abilities Achievements Attitude
We will now begin to dig into the 3A’s taking each individually. But remember, while we will be discussing them individually, in the real world, they always interact and have an impact on one another.

11 The concept of Abilities might also be expanded to include capacities that are commonly referred to as “talents,” “gifts,” “propensities,” “knacks,” or “potential.” These attributes are often observed in artistic, social, mechanical or athletic endeavors. Ability is a term that is used to classify the variety of cognitive skills that are needed to solve problems and to utilize existing knowledge in new ways. Abilities, include general capacities such as attention, concentration, memory, and self regulation, but also include abstract reasoning as well as traditional verbal and visual symbolic processing. You might think in terms of multiple abilities, blending ideas of traditional IQ with other capacities such as spatial reasoning, social intelligence, mechanical reasoning, etc. In this section we are going to talk about the first of the Three A’s, Ability, or more appropriately, Abilities. There is probably little doubt that there is such a thing as “ability.” You only have to observe the different ways that each individual within a group will approach a problem or the methods they choose for a solution. Think of any trait, and you can probably identify a range in the observed quality of performance, with some individuals performing better or worse than others. Abilities are more than IQ, although a lot of people, especially educators look at IQ as being the most important factor. It is this author’s premise that while important, Ability is not the most important of the 3A’s, but without a doubt it is important. If anyone ever walks up to you and asks you whether you want to be smart or not, answer “yes.” Having abilities makes life easier than not having them. But having abilities is no guarantee of anything. There are many smart people in the world who are unhappy, and many not so smart people who like themselves and, who by all measures, are leading a rewarding and fruitful life. If you think about your experiences you might also recognize that the individuals who show weakness in one trait sometimes have a strength in some other trait. This rather “common sense” observation has been researched, analyzed and formalized into an area of study called “multiple intelligence,” and a related area known as “learning styles.” Both now have hypothesized models, tests to measure those hypothesized traits and even workbooks that can be used for skill training. The existence of multiple intelligences is the topic of a great deal of academic discussion, but also provides an interesting way of looking at the variability that is evident in human performance. What is probably most important for the instructor or clinician to do, is to approach every student believing that they have a variety of abilities and with a goal of identifying their relative strengths. The goal is to capitalize on those strengths, while attempting to develop or circumvent weaknesses. Think of abilities in the plural, there are many different abilities that are important for potential success. The main purpose of this section is to convince you to look at the “whole person.” While this might seem like trite psychobabble, it speaks to the reality that there is more to success than IQ. As part of our assessment experience we have had occasion to test all new entrants to a men’s homeless shelter. Consistently, within every group we could identify individuals who had intellectual abilities that would rival any college population. We will be making the argument that it is important to use the person’s abilities to facilitate their learning, and to provide the emotional “booster” that stimulates fuller use of other abilities. Many abilities are latent, and need to be solicited and nurtured.

12 What are some types of ability?
Verbal linguistic Mathematical Social perceptiveness Mechanical Musical Athletic Coordination Interpersonal Leadership Nurturance Parenting “Common Sense” Artistic Dramatic Vocal Endurance Analytical Empathy Health Visualization Self-Awareness Perseverance Creativity Memory Leadership Intuitiveness Our culture places a great deal of emphasis on symbol mastery and manipulation, particularly oral and written language symbols. The traditional definition of “smart” describes an individual who listens and speaks well and has the ability to master a range of factual information. Underlying the obvious skills of vocabulary, fluent verbal expression and ability to memorize, are other more subtle skills such as the capacity to make judgments of worth, ability to sequence, manipulate ideas in terms of time and space, and the ability to see consequences to the second and third level of causality, etc. These are “mental processes” that work in the background and are the tools used by effective learners. You may have had the good fortune to know individuals whose formal schooling was limited, or who report that “I didn’t do well in school,” yet they are able to solve problems, make things, and generally do well on the tasks of daily living. It is common to see lists of individuals who in their youth had learning problems but as adults were able to overcome their difficulties. Often these people show a talent for specific tasks such as construction or mechanical reasoning. This inconsistency between abilities is what makes each individual unique. While it is beneficial to have as many abilities as possible, variations between abilities is common. Some individuals may not have verbal, academic or mechanical talents yet they have a “sense” of how to get along with people. They have good judgment or intuition and they seem to “know” what to do or what to say. The concept of “Emotional IQ” has been formally proposed, but more on that will be presented later when we discuss Attitude. You could look at effective emotional regulation as a type of ability. For now, lets summarize with the simple statement, “there are lots of ways in which a person can be smart.” This slide shows some of the many areas in which an individual can have ability or talent. You should talk with your students and try to identify their strengths in many of these areas, because unique talents can often help the individual’s learning in other areas, or have value in terms of their personal and/or occupational success.

13 The Wechsler Intelligence Scale, the most widely used IQ test, contains items that measure vocabulary, auditory reception, listening comprehension, ability to express ideas in coherent sentences, memory of verbal input, mental manipulation of verbal information and other language processing skills. It also measures non-verbal skills, but for purposes of an educational prognosis, verbal proficiency is a very important skill. In upcoming slides, we will identify some of the “non verbal,” “other,” “alternative,” or “multiple” intelligences that an instructor can tap both for direct learning, but also to supplement possible verbal difficulties. There are many definitions of “Intelligence,” and most people have their own concept of what it is. To a large degree, “intelligence” is defined by the content of intelligence tests. In our society intelligence is often equated with verbal competence and the capacity to manipulate symbols. Vocabulary knowledge, abstract reasoning, spatial reasoning, memory and pictorial reasoning all are processes tapped by traditional tests. While there may be multiple intelligences, it is also a fact that verbal proficiency is a key factor in academic success. In the environment of schooling, intelligence and verbal proficiency are closely related. One might look at the issue of ability from two perspectives, the types of ability that lead to success in the eyes of the society in which the individual lives, and the types of ability that an individual believes are needed to live a safe and productive life. The difference may appear subtle but it is significant for educators, and frequently is at the heart of issues related to the content of curriculum, or in plain English, “what is taught,” and the relevance of that content to the learner. One only needs to go to the local bookstore and browse through the array of “Test Your Intelligence” books that are readily available. You will see pages of what appear to be arcane graphic, numerical and textual problems whose answers, while correct, seem to prove little except the ability to detect cognitive trickery. Experience also shows that a large subpopulation of individuals who come to adult education or social service programs have weakness in the basic techniques of problem solving, evaluation, identification of patterns, etc. Anyone in an instructional capacity can easily be mislead to focus on the content while ignoring the processes that support learning. As a group, students who populate Adult Basic Education programs often do not show well developed thinking and problem solving skills, in addition to their obvious academic deficiencies. Educators need to identify and develop problem solving abilities which are needed for a successful life within the constraints that exist on the individual’s environment.

14 “Variability” and the term “normal”
The bell shaped curve is an interesting statistical concept that can help you to understand the distribution of any randomly occurring characteristic. It is a tool for displaying “variance,” how much a variable differs from its average. The statistical measurements used are scaled scores, standard deviation and mean. The mean or “average” tells about where the typical score or most representative score would fall. The standard deviation tells how much scores differ from that average score. A simple example illustrates this point. The scores 0,0,0,6,6 and 6 yield an average of 3 but the scores vary quite a bit (and thus would have a higher standard deviation) than say the scores 2, that also have a mean of 3 but much smaller variability. Standard scores are related to the bell shaped curve, allowing for the comparison of a specific score with that of the group. Standard scores easily translate into percentile scores. The height of the curve represents the number of cases at any point on the score continuum. Obviously more individuals usually score near the middle than at the extremes, thus the curve is higher. The scaled score and standard deviation allow you to make important comparisons. The concept of ‘variability” is critical to understanding the measurement of intelligence using ”IQ tests.” How well you answered questions compared to how well everyone else answered the same questions is at the heart of test standardization. Each test has an average or mean score reflecting the average of everyone’s scores as well as a standard deviation, or measure of how spread out those scores were. Typically, intelligence is measured with tests that have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16. Understanding the statistical concepts inherent in the “normal curve” is very useful and you are advised to pursue additional readings on the topic. Interestingly, “a significant difference between ability and achievement” is at the heart of the longstanding criteria for diagnosis of a Learning Disability.

15 The Bell Curve and Intelligence
Deficient Ability Superior Ability The historical definition of “LD” has assumed 1) average ability and 2) discrepancy between potential and achievement Learning Problems But not LD Possible LD -- Average or above with Learning Problems There is a relationship between the normal statistical distribution (the Bell Shaped Curve) and the terms that are used to describe intellectual ability. It is critical to remember that the curve can be used to describe any attribute that theoretically occurs at random - an IQ score resulting from an IQ test is just one of those variables. A main theme of this talk is that there are many types of ability and every person will vary to some extent in their problem solving abilities. The normal distribution has value in explaining what is observed and it provides a statistical way to measure the extent to which any attribute varies from the “average” for that attribute. This slide illustrates the continuum of Intellectual Ability and the terminology used to describe different score groups. The vast majority of people fall within the “average range.” individuals who show significant and generalized problem solving difficulty historically were classified as falling within the “retarded” range (mild, moderate, or severe). Newer, terminology uses the label “Generalized Intellectual Ability.” In between “normal” and “generalized” is a range that is often referred to as “borderline.” That group shows generalized problem solving difficulty, but at a less severe level. By definition, Learning Disabilities apply to individuals with at least “average ability” but who have learning problems that are not consistent with their being “average.” Students who are classified as having “generalized intellectual impairments” or “borderline ability,” will have learning problems, but they are not technically classified as “Learning Disabled.” Over the years, makers of tests have devised subtest scores or “Index” scores that represent ways to look at different clusters or combinations of test items. This has facilitated the identification of individuals who vary widely across different types of test items. This has led to formal analysis of patterns that appear when large groups of students are tested and that type of analysis became very important in the assessment of students with Learning Disabilities. Generalized Intellectual Difficulty Low Average Average Above Average Gifted “Borderline” range

16 The identification of various “sub-sets” of skills, slowly developed into what is commonly referred to as “Multiple Intelligences,” or “everyone has some variability in their levels of proficiency when tested in a variety of areas.” The literature proposes several classification systems. It is the concept of variability between abilities that is the most important thing to remember. Specific classification systems can vary, in fact, you can make up your own. The slide above shows a relatively common classification system. "Body Smart” Reliance on learning by doing—moving and manipulating objects, bodily movements, competitive and collaborative sports and movement games, drama and role-playing, inventing or building a model or design.   Enjoyment of physical activity through drama, gesturing, dance, and hands-on learning activities.   Specific physical skills such as coordination, balance, dexterity, strength, flexibility, and speed.  Best learning through games, movement, and building. The capacity to use their body or parts of their body to make something, do something, or put on a production Skills in one or more  sports or movements. Ability to take things apart and put them back together. "Word Smart"  Skillful use of language and words including anything associated with complex thought possibilities such as reading, writing, abstract reasoning, and symbolic speaking.     Skillful listening and enjoyment of speaking in public, reading, spelling correctly, and writing.   A good memory for names and dates, and  a strong vocabulary.    The ability to manipulate the syntax or structure of language and phonology or sounds of language.   Sensitivity to the meaning of words and order among words.   Sensitivity to the rhythms, inflections, and sounds of words.   Sensitivity to the rhetorical aspects of language; language can be used to inform, please, stimulate, persuade, excite, etc. "Number and Logic Smart” Scientific reasoning and thinking skills that are dominated by inductive reasoning techniques such as finding patterns, identifying abstract concepts, searching for relationships and connections, classifying, categorizing, sequencing and outlining.  Solving problems with logic, calculating math problems quickly, and preference for seeing things categorized in a logical sense of order.  Sensitivity to logical patterns and relationships, statements and propositions, functions, and other abstractions. "Self Smart” Knowledge and understanding of oneself—regarding feelings, emotions, thinking, self-reflection, and metacognitive skills.   The ability to set personal goals, work alone, and have a clear sense of direction in life.  An accurate picture of one's strengths and limitations; an awareness of inner moods, intentions, motivations and desires. “People Smart” Person to person contact and relationships found in pairing, grouping, and cooperative team work. The ability to verbally as well as non- verbally interact with people or groups of people and takes leadership roles. The ability to perceive and make distinctions in the moods, intentions, motivations, and feelings of other people. The ability to understand and interact effectively with other people. Talkative, social behavior. “Logic Smart” Part of traditional IQ tests. The ability to reason things out and to draw correct conclusions about things. Mathematicians and scientists will need this skill. So will Musicians.

17 Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles
Visual Learners Auditory Learners Tactile Kinesthetic Learners Hands On Learners Logical Sequential Learners Emotional or Humanistic Learners A variation of multiple intelligences is the topic of learning styles. To some extent they are talking about the same thing, that people have internal variation in how the think and process information. Unfortunately, in too many cases the discussion becomes focused on details of the theory and actual implementation is never attempted. It may be useful to think of how you learn and what types of learning environments you prefer, and try to apply a similar analysis with your students. The following general description of different learning styles may help you in your analysis. Visual Learners: These learners need to see the teacher's body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of a lesson. They may think in pictures and learn best from visual displays including: diagrams, illustrated text books, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and hand-outs. During a lecture or classroom discussion, visual learners often prefer to take detailed notes to absorb the information or draw diagrams to represent concepts. Auditory Learners: They learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say. Auditory learners interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. Written information may have little meaning until it is heard. Tactile Kinesthetic Learners: Tactile/Kinesthetic persons learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them. They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration. Some tasks, i.e. golf, involve “motor memory.” Hands On Learners: They have difficulty learning through reading or lecture, things offered that way don’t seem to make sense. However, once shown, they can grasp concepts and apply them to new situations. Logical Sequential Learners: Like things organized with ideas building upon one another and relationships clearly identified. They like things to “make sense.” Emotional Learners: Need to “feel” or “identify with” information or concepts.

18 You can use the blank template shown in this slide for working with students to make them aware of, and talk about, their different learning preferences, strengths and weaknesses. Have students enter comments in each block describing the types of activities that they like or do not like, and how they deal with areas that are difficult for them. If done as a group exercise, students will become aware of the wide variation that exists within even a small group of students. You don’t really need a template to do this, just use the white board and draw a central hub with classifications radiating out from it. Have students make up the classifications, name them, define them and give examples. It would be a very lively and productive group activity. Worksheet for Analysis of Individual Strengths, Weaknesses and Preferences

19 What kind of ability does each of the following describe?
Knowledge Test: What kind of ability does each of the following describe? Bob is so quick on his feet and funny. I wish I could think of a comeback like he does. Mary can really read a crowd. She knows just what to say and what people want to hear. Al is so analytical and logical. He can get right to the heart of the problem. I can't tell you why I know it, but I just know! I’ll vote for Tom, he always gets the job done! I trust him. Ted can fix anything! For a young man, Bill is sure talented when it comes to business. Gary is a great speaker, he just has a way with words. Glenda is a great basketball player. Wilma is such a good mother! Use the following ideas as a jumping off point. Do you notice how often a specific action or task can represent the use of multiple talents. Verbal skills, perceptiveness, witty, social skills Social perceptiveness, leadership, intuitiveness Analytical, logic, perceptiveness Intuitiveness, self-confidence, leadership Leadership, social skills Mechanical reasoning and dexterity Business acumen, money management, perceptiveness Social skills, verbal proficiency, leadership Athletic skills Maternal skills, organizational skills Mental quickness, situational assessment Social comfort Think of ability as being much more than IQ or ease of academic learning. Many of your students, despite barriers, show many of these other types of ability.

20 Lets explore Abilities: Interview Format
Are you good with words? Are you good with reading and writing? Have you ever held a leadership role in any group or organization? Do you play a musical instrument or sing in a group? Are there any sports that you are good at? Are you mechanically inclined? Do you seem to make friends easily? Are you good at managing money? Do you speak any languages other than English? Do you have any older children who are successful as an adult? Do you have any children who are doing well in school? Do you keep you home neat and tidy? Are you in good physical condition in terms of weight, health, and stamina? Do you know how to use a computer, smart phone or other technology? Are you mature, trustworthy and responsible? Have you been successful in a specific job you have held? Do have any hobbies or recreational interests? Do other people tend to like you? In your work, do you get along with supervisors and people in authority? Do you have any artistic talent? The slide above is written in what might be considered to be an “interview format.” You could use these questions if you were discussing abilities with a student and you wanted to screening of a lot of areas. Like any interview question, think of it not as only a single question, but also as the jumping off point for a number of discussion points.

21 Lets explore Abilities: External Rating Format
__ is good with words? __ is good with reading and writing? __ has held a leadership role in a group or organization? __ plays a musical instrument or sings in a group? __ is good at some sports? __ is mechanically inclined? __ can make friends easily? __ is good at managing money? __ can speak a language other than English? __ has older children who are successful as an adult? __ has children who are doing well in school? __ keeps their home neat and tidy? __ is in good physical condition in terms of weight, health, and stamina? __ knows how to use a computer, smart phone or other technology? __ is mature, trustworthy and responsible? __ has been successful in a specific job they have held? __ has hobbies or recreational interests? __ Other people tend to like me? __ Gets along with supervisors and people in authority? __ Has artistic talent? The slide above has the same questions, but they are written in a “external rater” format. If you remember the earlier discussion of the possible difference between a student’s perception of themselves, and the perception that other people have of them. This format provides the information about your perception of the student. You can use any of these lists of questions as a type of “reality check” in cases where students are not aware of how people see them.

22 Lets explore Abilities: Self-Report Format
I am good with words? I am good with reading and writing? I have held a leadership role in any group or organization? I play a musical instrument or sing in a group? I am good at some sports? I am mechanically inclined? I can make friends easily? I am good at managing money? I can speak a language other than English? I have older children who are successful as an adult? I have children who are doing well in school? I keep my home neat and tidy? I am in good physical condition in terms of weight, health, and stamina? I know how to use a computer, smart phone or other technology? I am mature, trustworthy and responsible? I have been successful in a specific job I have held? I have hobbies or recreational interests? Other people tend to like me? In my work, I get along with supervisors and people in authority? I have artistic talent? The slide above has the same questions, but they are written in a “self-assessment” format. If you remember the earlier discussion of the possible difference between a student’s perception of themselves, and the perception that other people have of them. This format provided the information about self-perception. It can be very interesting to watch students as they complete this, as you see or hear responses that may not be consistent with your perceptions of the person. You can use any of these lists of questions as a checklist or simply as a guide for an individual or group discussion

23 Ability is the Power Source
It appears to vary in terms of innate “strength.” How strong are the student’s interests? It appears to vary in terms of “type.” What are the student’s interests? It appears to vary in terms of “flexibility.” How rigid and intense are the student’s interest? It appears to vary in terms of “relevance.” How useful are the student’s interests? It appears to vary in terms of “social value.” To what degree do the student’s interests help them to be socially accepted or rejected? Ability has several interesting characteristics. It varies between individuals, some people appearing to have more than others. If you believe in multiple intelligences, the profile would look like a number of transparent bell shaped curves stacked one behind the other with the individual's relative placement for each type at a somewhat different place on each curve. The indicator of “overall ability” would show an average of those locations, but as would be very clear, the process of averaging may cause some important detail to be lost. Ability varies by type, for example, some people will have an affinity for painting while another may have a talent for bowling. Expand the list of abilities to include speaking, reading, dancing, singing, playing games, making money, selling things, designing buildings, performing surgery, remembering historical data, throwing a ball, understanding natural patterns, and many more and it is clear that there are a lot of opportunities for an individual to be good at something. Some people are talented, but that talent is rather narrow. Outside of a specific profession or setting, the individual is much less capable. At the same time, some individuals seem to show talents across many areas, they have a talent in music and can be the life of the cocktail party or shrewdly negotiate a contract. These individuals display flexibility in their potential. It’s good to have a lot of different abilities, an be able to use them. Some abilities have limited value outside of small special interest groups. Knowledge of the batting averages of every hitter since 1920 or telling the day of the week that any date in history fell on are talents, albeit ones with limited value. At the same time, specific abilities in a specific area may have significant value such as the gifted artist who may have poor mechanical skills and be something of a recluse. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

24 Find out About You Learning Style
Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire From Barbara A. Solomon and Richard M. Felder at North Carolina State University. Take a test to identify your learning style. There is a wealth of material on the Internet dealing with the topic of Learning Styles. Simply enter “Learning Styles” into any good search engine (such as Google) and you will have hundreds of sites to visit, many with their own self-inventories. If you have access to the Internet at your school or agency, you might have students complete an inventory as a class activity and discuss with students their understanding of their learning styles. If you do not have access at work, print out a questionnaire, have students complete them, and enter them at home and bring in their profiles. The idea is to gain insight into each student’s preferences for learning. The key idea is not just to take tests, rather, it is to talk with students about the various ways that people learn and which ways work best for them. The tools to do this are readily available. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

25 Concepts to Remember (Ability)
Most people have a variety of abilities Ability is more than just IQ Think in terms of multiple abilities and learning styles The “perceived you” both, internal and external, may be more important than the “real you” Abilities can be improved, and they can be used to offset deficits It is useful to talk with students about their abilities so that they can better understand themselves and use them more effectively in their learning Identifying variability is important when doing diagnostic observations and assessment

26 The 3 A’s Abilities Achievements Attitude
We will now begin our discussion of the second of the 3A’s, Achievement. While it seems to be the primary goal of educational entities, it may in many respects be the least important of the three, although it is important in it’s role of providing the content or substance of day to day activities. Keep in the back of your mind however, that the importance of academic knowledge will vary between cultures, environments and time. Knowledge has a great deal of utility, but it can be viewed as having a “life span” and a “stage,” both concepts that directly impact it’s utility.

27 A # 2 Achievement – what you did with your abilities?
Achievement represents the accomplishment of positive goals. In educational settings it is primarily viewed as mastery of factual knowledge and the processes needed to apply that knowledge. Outside the classroom it represents positive accomplishment of personal goals, social or economic success, or a variety of other achievements. Achievement represents the mastery of factual knowledge and the processes needed to apply that knowledge. Major areas of traditional academic achievement include computation, reading comprehension, technical skills, writing skills, knowledge of the sciences (including physics, biology and or chemistry), general knowledge (geography and social sciences) and broad communication skills. Some publications define “basic competencies” or “cultural literacy” as the mastery of content that is thought to be needed for success in life. Something that appears to be more common, is the equating of knowledge with the ability to pass a specific test. Frequently, the workplace requires mastery of a second set of specific technical skills or procedures superimposed on top of the basic skills needed for success in life. There are many other types of achievement that often go unrecognized outside of the academic environment. Physical, financial, family and social achievement are just a few. Interestingly, students often display abilities that result in achievement in areas that are not observed in their academic success, i.e. they may be a strong parent in terms of child rearing and family management but have little self confidence in their math ability on a test. If you notice similarity between Abilities and Achievements you are observant. Achievements simply reflects the use of Abilities. Simply having ability is only one half of the equation. Identifying and discussing areas of contextual achievement can be very useful in motivating and guiding students in a more formal learning environment. In many cases, the student may feel that they have never achieved because of their poor reading or math, when in fact they have many successes in their personal life.

28 The concept of Achievement can be expanded beyond academic mastery to include achievements that frequently involve group participation, academic learning, vocational success, and other demonstrations of successful utilization of abilities. Many students have achieved success in athletics, domestic stability, language proficiency or even successful triumph over significant life challenges. While they remain poor readers, or spellers, many students have achieved some level of success in meeting personal goals. Achievement represents the mastery and application of knowledge and skills. Traditional components include mathematics reasoning, computation, reading comprehension, writing, sciences (including physics, biology and or chemistry), general knowledge (geography and social sciences) and broad communication skills. Mastery of vocational, social, artistic, and athletic skills linked to other abilities also constitute other forms of achievement. We talked about Ability as being “potential” to do something. Achievement is what you have done or mastered through the use of that potential. In everyday life there are many occasions where knowledge or mastery of skills is important, in fact, the first impression you create, through the knowledge you show or the quality of the responses you make, can determine what people will think of you for a long time. We often think of Achievement only in terms of academic knowledge, but it is much more than that. There are many people in the world who are not “book smart” but who have achieved great things and have a type of wisdom that many “smart” people may lack. Achievement is linked to accomplishment, sometimes formally recognized but sometimes unrecognized, except for the satisfaction it provides. Athletic, artistic, musical, political, religious, and other accomplishments represent Achievement. Achievement is important, it is like a tool that is used to make decisions or solve problems. Achievement can be viewed as “what you know” or “what you did.” There are many areas within which a person can achieve; work, parenting, hobbies, their neighborhood, etc. Achievement can also be a key factor in the development of self-confidence and possession of a positive self-image, and those two factors are critical in a person’s future learning and success. So, we are proposing that potential, by itself, is not enough. What students do with their potential is also important.

29 Factors that impact goal achievement
Goals Maturity and perceptiveness Innate emotional and personality traits Situational Factors Expectations of others Availability of guides and mentors Acceptance and internalization

30 Ability is like a tool box of instruments for producing things
Achievements represent the results of using your abilities Think of student abilities as the potential and tools that they possess for possibly producing or achieving things. It is not unusual for students to be unaware of this potential, although they may have vague perceptions, frequently masked as some self-reference, i.e. “I can’t do anything,” “I’m poor in math,” or “I good at sports.” In cases where self-references are negative, those perceptions can negate the existence of talents and abilities.

31 What are some types of achievement?
Good grades Diplomas, degrees and certificates completed Languages mastered Raising successful children Maintaining a good marriage Athletic awards Offices held in clubs Promotions Proficiency with tools Hobbies or interests Drawings or paintings Playing an instrument Acting in a play Singing in a choir Volunteering Effectively manage money Staying fit Staying out of trouble Having many true friends Relocating from a different country Voting Live independently A main goal of adult education is often defined as the need to develop traditional areas of achievement. In a developed society, life-long learning is a reality, and much of that learning demands proficiency in reading, writing, math and oral communication. However, with adults who have deficiencies in key academic areas, time is usually limited so the luxury of a “second chance at it” is not the same as it was the first time. Students need to develop mastery of the key fundamental processes efficiently, and that can be best done by providing instruction that is relevant to their immediate needs. I once observed a student sitting at a table staring into space in the waiting area outside the classroom. The area was filled with magazines and books. I asked the student why he was sitting there, and they replied, “I’m waiting for reading class to start.” Clearly, the critical connection between a traditional definition of “learning,” and the reality of, “learning because you need to use knowledge,” had not been established. Instruction or training needs to be provided in the context of its relevance to their lives and the amount of time available for training. This may mean reducing the formal content to the “essentials” and focusing on the types of applications that are found at work or at home.

32 Non Academic Types of Achievement
Skilled in the use of tools or equipment. Has mastery of specific techniques or processes Succeeds in athletic competition Completes external tests or performance criteria. Is recognized for quality artistic or musical performance. Shows mastery of alternative symbolic systems (drafting, shorthand, etc.) Displays fluency in other languages. Is recognized for leadership or social service. Does community volunteer work. Pays for children to go to private school or college.

33 Lets explore Achievements: Interview Format
Have you spoken or performed before a group? Have you held a job for longer than a year? Do you play a musical instrument? Have you operated large equipment? Are you skilled at using hand tools? Can you speak languages other than English? Are all of you bills paid? Have you traveled outside of Pennsylvania? Have you ever been arrested? Have you received any certificated, diplomas or awards? Do you have a drivers license? Have you ever had an accident? Are you in good physical condition in terms of weight, health, and stamina? Can you use a software such as Excel and a word processor? Are you doing volunteer work? Are you a good cook? Do have any hobbies or recreational interests? Do other friends that you visit or that visit you? Have your read more than 3 books in the last year? Do you clip coupons and save money when you shop? Are you a leader in your church or social organizations. Have you cared for a pet? Have you served in the military? Are you current with your rent or mortgage payments?

34 Lets explore Achievements: External Rating
__ has performed before a group __ has held a job for longer than a year __ has plays a musical instrument __ has operated large equipment __ is skilled at using hand tools __ speaks languages other than English __ has paid all of the bills __ has traveled outside of Pennsylvania __ has never been arrested __ has received a certificate, diploma or awards __ has a drivers license __ has never had an accident __ is in good physical condition in terms of weight, health, and stamina __ can use a software such as Excel and a word processor __ has done volunteer work __ is a good cook __ has hobbies or recreational interests __ has friends that they visit or that visit him/her __ has read more than 3 books in the last year __ clips coupons and saves money when they shop __ is a leader in their church or social organizations __ has cared for a pet __ has served in the military __ is current with their rent or mortgage payments

35 Lets explore Achievements: Self-Report
I have spoken or performed before a group I have held a job for longer than a year I play a musical instrument I have operated large equipment I am skilled at using hand tools I canspeak languages other than English All of my bills are paid I have traveled outside of Pennsylvania I have never been arrested I have received a certificated, diploma or award I have a drivers license? I have never had an accident I am in good physical condition in terms of weight, health, and stamina I can use software such as Excel and a word processor I have done volunteer work I am a good cook I have hobbies or recreational interests I have friends that I visit or that visit me I have read more than 3 books in the last year I clip coupons and save money when I shop I am a leader in my church or social organizations I have cared for a pet I have served in the military I am current with my rent or mortgage payments

36 Why is talking about achievements important?
It leads nicely to discussions about the difference between goals and achievements It is a topic that can be used to develop self-reflection which can lead to better planning It brings to the forefront the meaningful things that many people have done in their life It provides a springboard for discussions of “why did I succeed,” which easily leads to the topic of attitudes (which we will discuss shortly)

37 Caution Some students will come to an ABLE class predisposed to do three things: Be “down on themselves” and have little appreciation of what they have done in their life because their focus will be on their lack of only academic achievement Inadequately internalize or understand the need for achievement. Many of these students live a life style that continues to be very dependent on government, non-profit agencies or their parents. They are often emotionally immature and have not developed personal responsibility or goal planning and implementation abilities. They may be hypersensitive to perceived criticism and respond to any discussion by simply terminating any interaction or responding in an immature way. They may have been raised in an environment where much of this material is foreign to them. They may have been raised in an environment of low expectations or chronic chaos, and as a result, function in a type of survival mode. All of these indicate a need to intervene carefully and with sensitivity, but with continuing focus on self-awareness and the expectations that come with the use of abilities and talents. The preceding questions, and discussion points may present something of a problem when students have minimal achievements. It centers attention very intensely on the difference between talking about doing, and actually doing. This slide presents three reasons why student may be antagonistic toward discussions, or may try to dismiss them for a variety of reasons. Many students have such myopic views of the world, and have had such limited experiences, that the abstractness of a discussion about the 3As may be difficult. These are defenses used by the students to avoid a difficult topic. Be prepared for such reactions by having encouraging comments about new perspectives and avoiding any direct negative examples.

38 The 3 A’s Abilities Achievements Attitude
We will now begin the discussion of the third A, Attitude. This may be the most important of the 2A’s because Attitude serves as the gatekeeper for experiences that allow for the development of abilities and subsequent achievements. Attitude touches on some issues that are very close to the kernel questions of, “Who am I,” “Why am I here,” and “What do I want.” Many issues touch upon personality attributes, mood and self-regulation, all factors with very strong physiological links. In discussing Attitude we will be dealing with some very powerful internal forces.

39 The dynamic relationship exists between the three factors
Abilities Achievements Attitudes Of the 3A’s Attitudes is probably the most potent in terms of interacting with the other two. Think of your inquisitiveness or your creativity or productivity when you are “in a bad mood,” or have to be somewhere that you dislike. These strong internal feelings shut down abilities or drain the energy from sustaining efforts in areas where there may be achievement. How many people get discouraged and terminate dieting, and never achieve the intended goal of weight loss. These forces can have the same affect in terms of academic effort, motivation and achievement. In our discussion of Attitude we will be talking about many factors that mask themselves as academic problems or learning difficulties. Changes on any one of the three factors will have an impact on the others

40 Attitude A wide range of supporting emotional, affective, cognitive and behavioral attributes that are critical for the utilization of ability and achievement. Attitude includes such things as social concern, motivation, punctuality, responsibility, honesty, self-monitoring, reaction to supervision, acceptance of authority, personal values, etc. It is frequently considered under the general labels of “social intelligence,” “personality,” “maturity” and “work ethic.” Attitude is the third of the A’s we will be discussing, but is probably the most important. In some ways it shares characteristics with Ability, because many of the traits that will be referenced do reflect emotional abilities. Attitude is a nebulous characteristic because it permeates so many areas of life, but does so in subtle, integrated and hard to recognize ways. In many ways Attitude is always lurking in the background, ready to impact events that are taking place. Current research is uncovering chemical and physiological roots to behaviors that have historically been considered under the umbrella of free choice. Attitude is not a new concept, it has been recognized through general terminology as such as “maturity” or “growing up.” In developmental terminology it represents a complex series of neurodevelopmental processes that interact with environmental variables. The matter is complicated further by concepts such as “choice” or “free will.” The latter reflects the view that at some point each individual has to weigh information available to them and make choices based on that information. A somewhat newer concept, referred to as “social IQ,” or “emotional IQ” is germane to this discussion. There is growing attention to issues of emotional maturity, self-monitoring (executive functions), and social intelligence.

41 Attitude – what you want to learn?
A wide range of supporting cognitive, emotional, affective, cognitive and behavioral attributes that form the foundation for the use of ability in the acquisition of information and skills. Attitude can be viewed as a wide range of supporting emotional, affective and behavioral attributes that form the foundation for the use of ability in the acquisition of information and skills. “Attitude” is a term that is used to includes a wide things such as interests, motivation, reliability, self-control, responsibility, reaction to supervision, planning, evaluation, self-image, values, and much more. It is the most important of the 3A’s. In the workplace or educational setting, “attitude” is frequently considered to fall within the general areas of “personality,” “maturity” or “work ethic.” Attitude is often the source of difficulty in cases of employment termination or school failure. When employers are asked about prerequisites for employment, the majority of items that they list are “soft skills” and are related to Attitude such as honesty, perseverance and concern for quality. Attitude and “want” are closely related. An individual may have adequate innate ability and mastery of the prerequisite content, but if they do not want to utilize their Ability and their Achievement it is unlikely that they will experience success. High ability is not a guarantee of success. Mastery of knowledge is no guarantee of success. Attitude is, in most cases, an essential prerequisite for action. Your students will not learn what they do not want to learn, or are not aware that they should know. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

42 The Building Blocks of Attitude
What you value Who you think you are Your frustration tolerance Your willingness to subordinate to authority How much you like people Your level of perseverance Your feelings of membership Your concern for quality Your concern for safety Your level of patience How much you “care” about what you do. Your anger management Your concern for the future Your level of impulse control Who you listen to for advice How much effort you are willing/able to put forth and sustain Your ability to focus Your capacity to accept responsibility Your openness to new ideas Your view of yourself Your sense of entitlement Your level of honesty Your ability to take criticism Your level of self- centeredness Attitude is a very nebulous thing. It touches on elements that can lead to serious philosophical discussions regarding “free will” or physiological causality. Those perspectives are worthy of discussion, but the fact remains that in may ways Attitude is the switch that either allows or stops Ability and Achievement from flowing toward productive ends. Individuals who are unsuccessful in life often develop perspectives that project responsibility away from their own decision making or responsibility for their own behavior. Often, their attitudes are marked by suspicion, resistance, and sometimes oppositional behavior. Related to all of these traits you will often find an underlying conflict over power and authority. Within some sub-populations that have a higher than average use of ABLE funded programs, resolution of issues surrounding power, authority, values, and respect must precede any formal instruction. Such discussions open the gate, and an extensive period of non-academic “attitude adjustment” may need to follow. In some cases, this allows the innate ability, and often the unacknowledged achievement, to emerge. Resolution of Attitude issues may result in greater than usual levels of achievement. In some cases, the horsepower is there, and the foundation knowledge is present, but the attitudinal switch needs to be opened allowing the student’s Abilities and Achievements to be utilized. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

43 Lets explore Attitude: Self-Report P1
I have working with others. I have get along with and accept supervision and administration. I am likely to do what I say I will do. I am likely to steal if no one is around or watching. I am likely to lie to get out of a situation. I am likely to be at the appointed place, and be there on time. I care about the quality of the work that I do. I can accept criticism from supervisors. I am jealous of people who have wealth and authority. I accept the blame for something I did. I care about my appearance and the impression that I convey. I feel like I have energy and enthusiasm. I have a positive view of the world, of society, of the future. I care about the feelings and welfare of others. I belief in the saying, “every man for themselves.“ I am likely to “blow off” something that is hard. I easily becoming “bored” or careless. I am likely to “stick with” a job that his difficult.

44 Lets explore Attitude: Self-Report P2
I am happy with my life. I am willing to help others. I usually wait and think things through. I am likely to listen and follow directions. I care a lot about being popular. I believe in being assertive and taking what you can get. I believe that quality of my work is important. I tend to be critical of others. I tend to get angry when I make mistakes. I tend to be angry at other people’s mistakes. I would be a loyal employee. I feel that I deserve to have things that I want. I have a good relationship with my family. I think that training, education and schooling are important. I spend my free time wisely. I watch a lot of TV. Many things make me mad, that “push my buttons.” I like myself. I think I am as smart as most people.

45 Emotional Intelligence
Elements of EQ (Emotional Intelligence) Intrapersonal Scales Self-Regard Emotional Self Awareness Assertiveness Independence Self-Actualization Interpersonal Scales Empathy Social Responsibility Interpersonal Relationship Adaptability Scales Reality Testing Flexibility Problem Solving Stress Management Scales Stress Tolerance Impulse Control General Mood Scales Optimism Happiness Emotional Intelligence Perceiving Emotions The ability to perceive emotions in oneself and others as well as in objects, art, stories, music, and other stimuli. Facilitating Thought The ability to generate, use, and feel emotion as necessary to communicate feelings or employ them in other cognitive processes. Understanding Emotions The ability to understand emotional information, to understand how emotions combine and progress through relationship transitions, and to appreciate such emotional meanings. Managing Emotions The ability to be open to feelings, and to modulate them in oneself and others so as to promote personal understanding and growth. Innovation. Understanding your creative style coupled with the ability to generate creative responses to business problems yourself and through others. Self-Awareness. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses coupled with drive to improve your capability. Intuition. Using instinct, hunches and feelings along with facts and information to guide decisions. Motivation. Achievement striving, energy, initiative and persistence. Empathy. Taking an interest in people and listening to their views, problems and concerns. Social Skills. Building relationships with people and communicating effectively with them. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

46 Your attitude is like a pair of sunglasses:
It colors everything we see We all see the world through the lens of previous experiences and personal biases. Attitude colors our approach to new situations and tasks, and may be potent enough to cause counterproductive behavior. An individual’s values are important because they are at the heart of many of the biases. The student will invest their energy in what they feel is important, and their values drive the assignment of importance. Money, acceptance, friendships, are possible valued traits. Attitude is a constant way of thinking about and looking at the people and things. It includes the student’s point of view of the way things are now, as well as their expectation of the way things are going to be. Because a solidly positive attitude is the necessary foundation for success in anything, attitude is one of the most valuable personal possessions. Does the student have a good attitude toward themselves? Does the student have a good attitude toward his/her work? Does the student have a good attitude toward those with whom they work? Does the student have a good attitude toward authority? Does the student have a good attitude toward other people in general, regardless of their ethnic background or religious beliefs? Does the student have a good attitude toward life and the rewards it holds? The lenses through Attitude colors everything that we see varies over time due to physiological and environmental factors. This makes the subject even more complicated because it is not just a matter of achieving positive Attitudes once and having they functional from then on. Rather, it is seeing that Attitude variables are positive every day and sustained at a positive level in the face of situational challenges. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

47 Interpersonal skills are as important for maintaining employment as technical skills. Increasingly, employment requires working with people or working as a member of a team. The term that is most frequently used to describe the myriad of skills needed to get along with others and function as a member of a team is “soft-skills,” but when you look at them, the have a great deal in common with the elements listed under Attitude. The third A, Attitude, is increasingly recognized by employers as a critical skill. In today’s instructional environment, the term “soft skills” has replaced the term “attitude,” but they are the same thing. Most individuals who lose their job, will lose it because of attitude related issues.

48 The document shown in the slide provides a very comprehensive review “soft skills” as they relate to employment. If you have not read this report, you should. Download a copy from the LD Project website at and go to the “download files” section.

49 Print this picture and give it to every student

50 Learning Involves the Integration of All Three A’s
Ability is a range of potential, how much you could learn if everything else went right. Achievement is a range of accomplishment, how much you did learn using your ability and attitude. Attitude is a critical control mechanism that determines how much of your ability you use and what skills you value enough to acquire. Abilities Achievements Attitudes Learning always represents the interaction of all three factors. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

51 Illustrative Patterns
The patterns that follow illustrate combinations of characteristics that you are likely to encounter. The profiles were drawn from direct experience but do not represent any single individual. There are no “pure” profiles, because variability in the hundreds of characteristics within each “A” result in an unlimited number of manifestations. If you become familiar with the characteristics of the three major areas; Ability, Achievement, and Attitude, you will quickly begin to categorize your observations using the framework. Soon you will begin noting strengths or particular weakness in any single area, and patterns will soon begin to become evident. The purpose of this section of the presentation is to introduce you to some common general patterns. The purpose is not to label or classify, but to illustrate that intervention, if it is to be successful, will need to identify and prioritize activities based on the individual’s needs. The use of the 3 A’s model helps to articulate those needs and to conceptualize them in a way that can lead to a more comprehensive and integrated intervention. The profiles that follow present each of the A’s as a vertical bar, resulting in a three variable bar chart. The relative strength of characteristics in each area is shown by the height of the bar. That is, if ability is perceived to be low or a characteristic where there are many problems, that bar would be shown as being low. Each of the three A’s are rated individually, although in real life there is interaction between them. Look at the patterns as general tendencies and not specific to any exact level of any variable. The patterns represent different types of difficulties that require different types of interventions. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

52 A Weak - Medium - Strong Many individuals in Adult Basic Education classes show deficiencies in the area of ability, and as a result, also show difficulties in the area of achievement. The various levels intellectual capacity range from what had been classified as “mentally retarded” through a much larger sub-group that historically has been referred to as “slow learners” or having “borderline ability.” Over the past 30 years the criteria for a formal diagnosis of cognitive functioning has become more stringent, leaving increasing numbers of individuals in a type of grey area that represents the functional range between the normal classification to the upper level of the subgroup classified as having generalized cognitive impairment. All of this nomenclature and classification is not of great relevance to the adult educator, but the underlying condition should be. What is important is a recognition of the cognitive needs of individuals who show generalized cognitive deficiencies. And as noted earlier, this is almost always associated with limited academic achievement. In this particular profile, the third A, Attitude is quite strong reflecting the possible results of a nurturing and supportive home environment and/or and a high quality educational program. While limited in their independent problem solving and academic levels, individuals with this type of pattern frequently have a strong work ethic and they tend to be liked by peers and co-workers. They will require a relevant curriculum that is taught using simplified grammatical patterns, high levels of repetition, structured presentations, and extensive use of manipulative materials and participatory involvement. “Hands-on” instruction with relevant and concrete materials is the instructional approach of choice. Direct Instruction is an effective teaching method with individuals who have a need for more structured presentation. High levels of repetition will be needed to offset memory difficulties. Traditional “lecture” tends to be much less effective than experiential learning. It is not unusual to find students who match this profile in ABLE funded programs. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.


54 B Weak - Medium - Strong This pattern is seen frequently in technical school or adult education classes, particularly in programs that have a focus on pre-college refresher or workforce preparation instruction. Since the vast majority of individuals fall within the “average” classification, this type of “average” profile is common. The distinguishing feature is the mild to moderate deficits in achievement combined with strength in the area of Attitude. Frequently these individuals will present as having had some degree of success in life, only to have some major event such as a job lay off or a plant closing bring to the forefront their lack of flexibility in the job marketplace. Often, individuals with this pattern know what they need to know to do their job and to lead their lifestyle of choice, but accidents and terminations turn their world upside down and they find themselves in need of remedial instruction. Sometimes the extent of their achievement deficits is rather surprising, but often the deficits are evident primarily on formal tests of academic proficiency. These individuals are relatively invisible to the system because they have “found their niche,” and are not focused upon until some major change occurs. Students with this pattern show good potential for improvement, but instruction may need to be slower, more highly sequenced and relevant. They may show an appetite for learning but will often lack the creativity and self-direction of a more “independent learner.” Once again, Direct Instruction is a desirable technique, and it is likely that it may be able to move at a somewhat quicker rate. Often, learning also involves a “cultural shift” as clients must acclimate to a verbal and intellectual world rather than one in which the person can survive using manual proficiency. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

55 C Weak - Medium - Strong This subpopulation presents real challenges for the adult education instructor. Their prognosis for formal improvement is not good, especially if the content of instruction is “traditional.” They do not perform well in environments where the content is demanding, and they often report that the instruction is “boring.” There is a high degree of inter-relatedness between each of the areas, resulting in difficulty in determining which areas are most potent in causing the severe learning problems and behavioral difficulties. What is most striking is the difference between a student who displays this pattern and one who displays pattern “A.” Though both have very limited ability, pattern “C” students will tend to have been much less successful and quite likely will have a range of associated behavioral and emotional difficulties. This is a pattern that might frequently be associated with oppositional behavior, poor attendance, and cyclical multi-program enrollments, often with students who may have been assigned to special education during their school career. Individual in this classification will require that their attitudinal and emotional needs be addressed prerequisite to, or concurrent with any adult education enrollment. To ignore these characteristics is to guarantee a lack of success in instruction. As a group, they need to be guided and externally motivated. Students in this group will have difficulty assuming responsibility for their studies, and on a more general level, their status in life. They are not intuitive, will have primarily short-term concrete goals, and may display poor mental discipline or perseverance. A focus on these Attitudinal factors should be a major theme of initial services. Learning is difficult and motivation is low – a difficult combination to deal with. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

56 D Weak - Medium - Strong Individuals who display this pattern will be extremely challenging. The innate strengths in the area of Ability are often utilized, but for unproductive purposes. Students who display this pattern may prove to be particularly challenging due to oppositional behavior and “gamesmanship.” Manipulation, confrontation, and frustration are hallmarks of instruction with students in this grouping. Students with this pattern will readily display the potential that they possess, but often it is used for counterproductive ends. Their academic levels may be artificially low, frequently reflecting lack of effort more than any innate learning problem. In some cases, the individual may have attended demanding post-secondary training programs or achievement will be much lower than one would expect based on their capacity due to the fact that the individual “blew off” any studies. In this case, the attitudinal problems will have had the primary negative impact on achievement. It would not be surprising to find individuals with this pattern to be involved with the legal system or be involved in some type of formal mental health treatment. In many cases they display interpersonal and personality problems. At the heart of any intervention there will need to be a focus on values, acceptance of authority, personal responsibility and mutual responsibilities. Formal content instruction may be provided, but it would need to be secondary to improvement in areas classified under Attitude. If those issues can be resolved, significant improvement may be achieved. These clients hold the potential for the most rewards and also the most frustration. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

57 E Weak - Medium - Strong Individuals who display this pattern will present with academic weaknesses, but at levels that are greater than their measured ability or their general capacity to perform well on formal IQ tests. The issue of “overachievement” is certainly debatable, but what may be observed with individuals who show this pattern is their use of non-traditional abilities (which may not be compatible with the questions that make up an IQ test) combined with determination and a desire to succeed. Since individuals who display this pattern often have a strong work ethic and high motivation, they present few problems in the instructional setting outside of slow progress. An approach utilizing hands-on instruction in areas of specific need would be desirable. It is likely that “lecture” based instruction would be less effective since the low ability suggests poor overall language ability. Efforts taken to “get to know the student” and to study their cognitive styles may yield academic rewards. This group is particularly vulnerable to increasing demands for performance in the workplace. As the demands for “multi-tasking” and technical proficiency increase, these individuals experience growing stress and anxiety. They want to do well, but the demands keep getting harder. In some cases, efforts to align expectations with ability may be necessary. It is often useful to review with the students, all of the different types of ability that exist so that they do not focus only on the academic/verbal. It will be important to reinforce a positive self-image. Actual ability may not be as low as formal testing suggests. It is possible that the low ability score is an artifact of the testing instruments. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

58 F Weak - Medium - Strong The major characteristic in this pattern is the significant discrepancy between some critical types of achievement and the individual’s documented ability. The concept of “significant discrepancy” is a cornerstone of historical definitions of L.D. and a key criteria for diagnosis (this is currently being challenged). Individuals who fit this pattern may display few deficits until formal assessment of reading, math or writing skills are attempted. While the overall Ability estimate is high, it is very common to find significant variation within the various types of ability, especially if a thorough diagnostic study has been completed. In such a case the profile becomes more complex as there is variability within capacities, combined with primary and secondary impact of those deficits resulting in problems in several areas of achievement. Attitude generally is within acceptable limits, but a common associated problem is the development of secondary negative personality traits as the individual attempts to compensate for the underlying deficits. These may manifest themselves as poor self-concept or poor overall social acumen. There is some emerging discussion of “social learning disabilities” just as there are “language,” “motor,” “decoding,” and other specific areas of difficulty. In many cases an “average” impression in the area of personality and behavior can be maintained. Intervention calls for addressing the specific underlying process deficits, frequently involving development of compensatory skills while attempting to strengthen the underlying weak process skills. The ability to look at academic tasks and break them down into their contributory cognitive functions can be very helpful in understanding these “processing deficits.” Learning is facilitated by the individual’s overall strong ability. Direct Instruction can be beneficial, especially if it involves formal training in the cognitive areas that are weak. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

59 G Weak - Medium - Strong 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.
Some individuals present with innate ability, frequently manifest as strong verbal language skills. After only a few minutes of conversation with these individuals and their potential is evident. They often give an initial impression of being well adjusted and having a positive attitude toward education and self-improvement. Interestingly, their primary deficit is in the area of achievement, a finding that frequently is surprising based on their positive initial impressions and strong interpersonal skills. Frequently individuals with this pattern have had some disruption in their educational programs such as family difficulties, frequent relocations, or possibly be what is sometimes referred to as “late bloomers” who missed opportunities in their developmental sequence. Another subset that might fit this profile is a group of individuals who during their school years did not particularly value formal education, but now in their middle years, recognize the opportunities that they missed. Sometimes there are specific achievements that are present, but frequently they are focused or of limited generic value. Often, health problems are the catalyst for “uncovering” the achievement deficits, for example, men who had innate ability and who worked successfully in “shop” occupations until some injury caused them to be unable to perform the required physical requirements. At age 50, their academic deficiencies are suddenly thrust into the spotlight. Individuals in this group might be expected to make strong gains if the correct content and methods are used. More traditional instruction can be utilized and their strong verbal skills can be capitalized upon. This group will also benefit from Direct Instruction as the clear identification of goals and demonstration of correct responses removes ambiguity and allows them to use their natural abilities for reinforcement and practice. In some cases, preliminary work in “attitude adjustment” may be necessary, especially if dramatic life changes are involved. In most cases this adjustment will need to focus on acceptance, rather on the elimination of negative traits. These individuals clinically may look like individuals with a “Learning Disability” but they often do not meet the formal definition for that diagnosis. In some cases, these individuals may “undiagnosed” Learning Disabilities that went undiagnosed while the individual was in school. Generally, the prognosis for this pattern is quite good. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

60 Closing Questions 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

61 Is ability a guarantee of success in academic achievement?
No Some individuals have abilities in areas that do not translate well into academic proficiency as measured by school success. Some individuals have ability, but because of specific underlying learning difficulties they fail to achieve well in traditional educational settings. Some individual do not value academic and expend their energies in other areas. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

62 Is ability a guarantee of success?
No, we can all think of individuals we know who “are so intelligent” yet they never seem to succeed or they fail to seize opportunities. While it helps to have ability, having it is no guarantee of success. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

63 Is attitude an important factor in learning?
Absolutely “Attitude” refers to a variety of processes that can be the most important determiners of success. Think of attitude as a pair of glasses, that color everything that the student sees. It is not reality that they see, it is reality tinted by their glasses. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

64 Ability Achievement Attitude
You might find this and the following two slides helpful in organizing your thoughts after dealing with a student. Simply write notes or impressions inside the appropriate circle. Doing so will help you to see patterns and inter-relationships and generally help you to apply the 3As model in developing your hypotheses about what will need to be done.

65 Ability What you can do Achievement What you did do Attitude What you want to do

66 Achievement What you did do Accomplishment Ability What you can do Potential Attitude What you want to do Desire

67 And the most important thing to remember!

68 Thank You for Attending
For more information or to comment on this presentation, contact: Richard C. Gacka Ed.D. (814) Visit our web site at for additional Professional Development Materials 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

69 So, now that you have a conceptual framework (the 3 A’s) to organize your observations, and tools (the checklists) to collect information, what do you do next? You analyze the information you have collected to generate a profile of the individual, and You use the profile to determine how you will need to adapt your instruction or treatment. We have now reached the point where we move from having an interesting philosophical discussion of a “model,” to using what we have discussed to improve the quality of the instruction or therapy that you deliver. You now have a conceptual model for determining what information should be collected; information about Ability, Achievement and Attitude. You now have tools that you can use to gather information both from the individual and from external observation You now need to do two things: Organize the information into some format that makes it easier for you to see patterns or trends Use the trends that you observe to make decisions about how you will need to adapt your instruction or services so that they “fit” the characteristics of the individual. This is the fourth critical variable Intervention. How you adapt your services is the topic of other resources available through the ABLE LD Project under the titles Adaptations and Accommodations. 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

70 Profile of an Individuals Strengths and Weaknesses
Using available software such as Microsoft Excel allows you to create effective graphic representations of your diagnostic observational data. This same software allows you to compare observations across time, providing you with the opportunity to generate your own “evidence” of the efficacy of your instruction or intervention. In this slide, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the individual in various domains are plotted using the Quick Screen of Service Needs. Last revised 8/6/08 3A's Richard Gacka Ed.D.

71 Values and Work Ethic Ability Achievement

72 Values and Work Ethic Axis 3 Abilities Axis 1 Achievements Axis 2

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