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Posts Tagged ‘educators’

Are There Different Kinds of Smart?

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Not long ago, most viewed intelligence as a single quantity …an immutable, monolithic construct known as “intelligence quotient” or “IQ.”

Today we’re pretty sure that is wrong.  Thanks to Howard Gardner’s groundbreaking work and to corresponding developments in neurobiology, most experts now suspect there are at least several different kinds of intelligence.  Rather than a single quantity, intelligence is now largely seen as a grouping of capacities, each defined by Gardner as “an ability to solve a problem or fashion a product that is valued in one or more cultural settings.”

How many are there?  At last count, Gardner list 8 1/2 … Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Visual-Spatial, Musical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalist and half for Comedic Intelligence.

How many are likely to emerge?  Nobody really knows, but ultimately the question of precise numbers misses the point:  a more important question may be, “How do we use our many skills most effectively?”  And the answer seems to be.  “Use them often.”

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Overcoming Conventional Wisdom

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

TowerFor centuries, people believed that Aristotle was right when he said that the heavier an object, the faster it would fall to earth. Aristotle was regarded as the greatest thinker of all times and surely he could not be wrong. All it would have taken was for one brave person to take two objects, one heavy and one light, and drop them from a great height to see whether or not the heavier object landed first. But no one stepped forward until nearly 2000 years after Aristotle’s death. In 1589, Galileo summoned learned professors to the base of the leaning Tower of Pisa. Then he went to the top and pushed off a ten-pound and a one-pound weight. Both landed at the same time. But the power of belief in the conventional wisdom was so strong that the professors denied what they had seen. They continued to say Aristotle was right.

A Word About Old Education – Dewey

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

I ran across this in my email this morning and wanted to share it with you:

Dewey (1899) (yes, that would be the 19th Century) wrote
<http://bit.ly/JvR3cG>:  ’I may have exaggerated somewhat in order to
make plain the typical points of the old education: its passivity of
attitude, its mechanical massing of children, its uniformity of
curriculum and method. It may be summed up by stating that the centre
of gravity is outside the child. It is in the teacher, the textbook,
anywhere and everywhere you please except in the immediate instincts
and activities of the child himself.’

We recently went through evaluation for accreditation.  One of the points the evaluators focused on was the compilation of student achievement in order to improve the educational program.   eTutor focuses on the individual student and makes improvements to the instructional program based on individual results.

Many students and parents, as well, view instruction and assessment as competition.  Learning is not a race and should not be viewed as such.  Each child is special and his/her instructional program should be special.  Comparisons between student learning result in a host of problems and issues that extend well beyond the school years.  It seems we have not changed much since the 19th Century.

Seven Questions for Your Child’s Reading

Monday, April 30th, 2012

In choosing books for children the following was recently found in a book of poetry.  Although aimed at boys of the period the guidelines are worthy  today of consideration by all parents:

Read your children’s books yourself.  Or better still, get your child to read them aloud to you.  Ask yourself during the reading:

  • Does this book lay stress on villainy, deception or treachery?
  • Are all the incidents wholesome, probable and true to life?
  • Does it show young people contemptuous toward their elders and successfully opposing them?
  • Do the young characters in the book show respect for teachers and others in authority?
  • Are these characters the kind of young people you wish your children to associate with?
  • Does the book speak of and describe pranks, practical jokes and pieces of thoughtless and cruel mischief as though they were funny and worthy of imitation.
  • Is the English good and is the story written in good style?

Adapted from One Hundred and One Famous Poems (1958)

The Power of Expectations

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The effect of one person’s expectations on the behavior of another is another instance of the power of attitudes. People are always communicating their thoughts in a variety of subtle ways.  And others are responding…positively, negatively or passively.  Strong, positive attitudes about one’s self and others bring out the best in others; cause positive responses that accelerate growth and learning.

See all others as the potential vessels of your own treasured knowledge and ability, be willing to share yourself in a tolerant, loving manner, and your effort will be richly rewarded by the growth of those around you.