The exploration of core capacities emerged years ago, from the work of Linda O’Toole, senior fellow and researcher from The Learning for Well-being Foundation, with processing patterns and individual differences. The capacities were instruments to explore subtle differences in how people learn and communicate. Still, they also revealed something about people’s unique ways of processing, as she realised some people relied more on certain capacities than others. Inner differences were also present in how people engaged with each capacity; for example, how one listens and what one listens for was different from person to person.
After all this work and the deeper exploration of the capacities within The Learning for Well-being Foundation, the research on Core Capacities for Living and Learning represents a significant step in the inquiry into holistic development of children and adults. Their elementary nature and individualised expression demonstrate these capacities seem to be closer to the ways children naturally explore their inner and outer worlds. Some research results show that capacities such as listening or empathising are expressed even before birth; this ensures a strength-based view of human beings, equipped with the necessary abilities to relate. Also, to see how abilities are mutually supportive with sensing, listening, and observing, acting like gateway capacities.
Now, there is a particular interest in listening from children how they experience these core capacities and whether there is a connection with spirituality.
Does empathy help us feel connected to the whole of humanity?
Does observing create a sense of awe and wonder about the universe?
These are some of the questions to explore in the following research phases.