Like I said in my last post, my friend Joel Fox along with my brother Curtis and I, have decided to undertake a process which will hopefully lead to the creation of at least one high school. A high school, which will be much better at meting the needs of youth and, those that they have with in society and, that society, has with regards to them, then the currant public school system dos (Canadian public system that is). So, on that note, I recently received an e-mail from Joel, which in my opinion was one of the most weighty heart profound, and genuinely awe inspiring things I have ever head or seen him articulate. In the second paragraph of his e-mail he asserted that, “School is totally cerebral. There’s no emotion – we’re told to leave it at home. It doesn’t matter how we feel. Yet, is emotion not one of the most important parts of our life? It’s it’s own family of intelligence, according to a certain psychologist dude. (I think you’ve heard of him.) Ahh yes – his name is Howard Gardner.“ We’ll I totally agree with this statement having had my creative bone totally squashed out of the learning process. And isn’t creativity just an expression of our emotions! Then he goes on to give us Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence, which is as follows.
We learn, we communicate, we solve problems in at least seven ways.
Intelligence is the ability to see a problem, then solve a problem or make something that is useful to a group of people.
According to him, there are 7 Intelligences:
Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence can be developed in maths lessons eg stories with time, lines, story maps;
Logical/Mathematical Intelligence can be developed in drama by scheduling rehearsals, measuring for sets, scale models, estimating costs, budgeting;
Visual/Spatial Intelligence can be developed through studies of society eg models, map making, illustrations;
Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence can be developed through science and technology eg the study of vibration and making of instruments;
Bodily/Kinaesthetic Intelligence can be developed through music eg singing and clapping, rap songs and dance;
Interpersonal Intelligence can be developed through co-operation and team learning strategies used in any subject and group problem solving work;
Intrapersonal Intelligence can be developed through peer tutoring, buddy systems etc.
So for more info on the Theory of Multiple Intelligence just go to the Cook School web site.
And later one in the e-mail he writes this:
“And, speaking of support, I think the schools are totally missing out on AMAZING opportunities to create a community. Why not let the parents get involved? How about the veterans? They would LOVE to tell stories and hang with kids. Groups and people of all kinds, dance and theatre troupes, special guests of any and EVERY kind could be invited to perform at schools. This already happens a LITTLE – but mostly, I think, because those performers invite themselves.
How about parents, anyway? Why don’t parents each get a day to show the kids their special knowledge and expertise that they use in their work. Or even a special hobby of theirs. I don’t think school should be focused on what work you want to do in the future. It should be focused on how to pursue what you love, what really make you tick. I know I am bound to be slapped with a big “UNREALISTIC” for saying these things – but that’s why I’m tellin’ you, mah special crew. Unrealistic. That’s makes me laugh. Is it better to be realistic and slightly depressed and unsatisfied or contently following your dreams? Is it realistic to throw away what you love to follow the dreams of a cold, heartless system? I think one of the main assumptions that is leading the world astray is that we NEED to work all the time to stay alive and be happy. But it’s the system’s DESIGN. This is just how we’ve designed it – it doesn’t have to be this way. We can redesign it so that people don’t have to work at things they don’t love. We can redesign it so that it’s focused on people’s needs and how to meet those needs, what would make life the best it could possibly be.
And THAT, mah boys, is JUST what we are doing.”
So aren’t those some of the best ideas you have ever heard, well about school that is! Well I think so that is why I’m sharing them with you here. But to end this post I would just like to say this, we don’t have to throw the concept of organized secondary school education out the window just, most of the methods and processes we are currently using to manifest it.