Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Eight Levels of transformation

As promised here are the 8 levels of transformation. In most stories, the hero or protagonist changes. The 8 levels of transformation help describe the kinds of changes s/he undergoes.

They are not mutually exclusive my any means. They overlap, and characters can change at many levels at once.

  1. Level 1: Physical kinesthetic. Character develops strength or dexterity. Popeye eats spinach and grows muscles; Baby (Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing) learns how to dance and wins the contest.

  2. Level 2: Inner strength. Character develops courage, overcomes fear. Lucilla and Proximo (Connie Neilson and Oliver Reed in Gladiator) help Maximus (Russell Crowe) in his effort to restore the republic of Rome.

  3. Level 3: Emotional. Character matures, thinks beyond his or her own needs; Han Solo returns to fight the good fight in Star Wars.

  4. Level 4: Moral. Character develops a conscience; Schindler develops his list

  5. Level 5: Psychological. Character develops insight, self-awareness. Neo (Keanu Reeves in The Matrix) understands who he is in relation to the Matrix.

  6. Level 6: Social. Character accepts new responsibility with respect to family, community, or a group; Max (Mel Gibson in Road Warrior) sticks around to help the small community defend itself against terrorist bike gangs.

  7. Level 7: Intellectual/creative. Character advances his or her intellectual/creative ability in order to learn or do something new; this allows him or her to solve a problem, puzzle, or mystery, leading to new understandings about a situation (Neo in The Matrix). This level captures the essence of making students heroes of their own learning stories.

  8. Level 8: Spiritual. Character has an awakening, which changes his or her entire perspective. With the help of a spiritual mentor, Larry Darrell (Bill Murray in Razor’s Edge) achieves a sense of enlightenment that alters his perspective about what is important in life.

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