Jagged Learner Concept

So, what is it?  It’s the notion of appreciating everything about each individual learner.  It’s the combination of all things learners bring to their profile.

The jagged profile provides a lens through which kids’ strengths and weaknesses are recognized.  Kids can use the jagged profile to focus on their strengths and to understand how their weaknesses effect learning.  They can experiment with their profile of intelligences by challenging themselves to utilize their weaker intelligences as well as their stronger ones.  With the help of their teachers, our kiddos can develop strategies to build on their strengths while “growing” their weaknesses.  Kiddos begin to understand that the goal is to develop balance in the use of their many intelligences.  Taking responsibility for developing and employing those strategies promotes independent, lifelong learning (Fogarty).

As teachers this opens the door of differentiation and the theory of multiple intelligences.  This is the perfect framework for educators as they strive to reach and teach every kid.

In an article entitled Beyond Average  in Harvard Ed. Magazine (Hough, L. 2015) Hough explains the importance of understanding individuals.  Hough cites Rose (the YouTube video from the previous post) who believes that by not understanding individual differences and trying to put kids into the average zone, we are greatly missing the mark.  He further discusses the importance of treating people in “one-dimensional terms” – the struggling kid as well as the good tester.

So, what does this look like?  In another paper entitled Rambling through the wilds: a concept of jagged study zones (Meisalo et al., 2002) an example of what this could look like by using a model to create educational environments which challenge the learner and make the learner to commit to the learning process.


I considered this in light of writing, how different our students are and the way they approach any project, hence the many jagged edges visual that opens this post and the cartoon above.  That kid looks totally committed to the project at hand.

How powerful to consider using multiple strategies, multiple environments and multigenre to bridge the gap!  This is an exciting new concept if we allow the individuality of each child to shine.

Hough, L. (August, 2015). Beyond Average. Harvard Ed. Magazine.

Meisalo, V., Sutinen, E., Gerdt, P., Kurhila, J. & Suhonen, J. (2002). Rambling Through the Wilds: A Concept of Jagged Study Zones. In P. Barker & S. Rebelsky (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2002 (pp. 596-601). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved December 4, 2016 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/10114.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s