The Enneagram in Education

The sooner a person is introduced to the powerful tool of the Enneagram, the better. We test children for IQ and for academic benchmarks, but how are we developing their character and emotional intelligence (EQ)? The fact that the Enneagram has endless applications and can inform almost any topic (sports, the arts, learning styles, teaching styles, communication, and conflict resolution, to name a few) makes it a rich and flexible resource to use in schools. Administrators, teachers, parents, and students all over the world seem to “get it.”

The Enneagram is beginning to be used in primary and middle schools:
  • The Enneagram is being used in teacher training, parent education, and middle school classes at the Princeton Montessori School.

  • In Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, the Enneagram is being used in the Vineyard Montessori School; encouraging children to understand what moves them as individuals is fundamental to the Montessori educational process.

  • Ashland High School, in Oregon, offers a health-related course using the Enneagram.

  • In the Czech Republic, Eva Velechovska has trained over 6,000 teachers in a two-year period.
At the university level, the Enneagram appears in various departments:
    • At Southern Oregon University, Jennifer Joss Bradley teaches a course in the Masters in Management curriculum called “Developing Emotional Intelligence and the Enneagram.”
    • MBA students at USC and UCLA study the Enneagram in leadership.
    • Sonoma State University’s Master’s program in OD uses the Enneagram and consulting.
    • St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY and Stanford University, in Palo Alto, CA also offer courses in Enneagram and Leadership.
    Theology or Pastoral Studies
    • At Loyola University in Chicago, Jerome Wagner, Ph.D. teaches a course in learning theory, including Learning and Teaching Styles. He introduces the three centers of intelligence as a way of educating the whole person and also offers an Enneagram Certification Program
    • Claremont School of Theology (Claremont, CA), Iona College (New Rochelle, NY), and Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) offer Enneagram and spirituality courses.
    • Georgetown University offers an elective course in the School of Medicine, a general introduction to the Enneagram elements.
    • UCLA Medical Center uses the Enneagram in their Spiritual Care Department for personal and professional development.
    • Antioch University (Los Angeles, CA) and John F. Kennedy University (Pleasant Hill, CA) use the Enneagram in Clinical Psychology.
    • St. Mary's College of California, Oakland, CA describes their Enneagram course as an approach to meeting the needs of a diverse student population, enhancing instructional effectiveness and exploring teaching and learning styles.
    Acting and the Arts
    • Ruth Landis has taught master classes using the Enneagram in acting, playwriting, character development, facilitation skills, and public speaking at the university level and professional training schools in Chicago.
This brief summary shows some of the ways the field of education is utilizing the myriad gifts that the Enneagram offers. If we can introduce reasons behind our thinking, feeling, and acting at an early age, we can only imagine how our world can become a more informed, inclusive, and compassionate place.

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Ruth Landis is a trainer, coach, and consultant who designs and facilitates inspired, breakthrough workshops and programs in communications, sales, leadership, team building, coaching, personal growth, self-mastery, image development and presentation skills, creativity, and developing high-performance in teams, organizations, and individuals.

Although Ruth draws from a wide variety of theories and techniques in her work, she utilizes the Enneagram as a foundational approach in all her training designs. In addition, because Ruth is a body-centered psychotherapist in private practice and has vast experience as both a director and actor in theatre and film, she brings fun, truth, specificity, creativity, and depth to her "hands on," innovative, and experiential work.

Ruth's Values:

  • Collaboration, creativity, equanimity, and inclusion
  • Expanding awareness in all aspects of human life: the workplace, personal relationships, the world at large, and self
  • Personal responsibility, empowerment, growth, respect, and generosity
  • Being "present" and clear
  • Feeling safe enough to be able to face difficult challenges, then making new and courageous choices
  • Learning and change that includes the whole self: the astute and insightful mind; the intelligent and action-oriented body; and the wise and intuitive heart