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Back to School - Can we make our LEARNers “smarter”?

  1. Can we REALLY help ourselves get “smarter” - first? After all – most us teachers are “oldies” – and we all know that “oldies” can’t do much allthingslearning!

But, what about if we question the types of achievement we expect at universities and the types of performance we are expected to show in our jobs – and how happy we are with these things.  8 Howard Gardner, whether you agree with everything he says of not (or more importantly what others say he says), has been telling us for years that “real intelligence” is not monolithic, it is not fixed, and it certainly is not only “neural”.
Intelligence is fluid, malleable and expansive – like life! Human beings have a wonderful capacity to adapt to new and complex situations and we have the potential to create new ways of thinking – when we are “allowed” and “encouraged” to… And, we have different types of smarts”. 8
“Experiential intelligence particularly supports day-to-day expert thinking in a domain. Experiential intelligence also particularly supports coping with recurrent everyday situations. Reflective intelligence particularly supports coping with novelty. Reflective intelligence also particularly supports thinking contrary to certain natural trends.”  Sounds a lot like the life we all have today! And, also shows the need for greater levels of “creativity” in all we do. 8 In an earlier guest-blogger post, Ian Jukes, talked about how “school smarts” were getting in the way of “street smarts” – I would wager that conventional “teaching smarts” have a lot to do with the lack of “learning smarts” we are seeing in our schools, colleges and universities. IMHO…
Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton have taken a closer (and recent) look at how these ideas are impacting education. For them, how people (especially teachers and educators) think about learning depends on how they conceptualise “intelligence”. We all know that our own “teaching” reflects our own underlying assumptions about what kinds of “smarts” are worth having – and whether we pigeon-hole students in terms of what we think are their “fixed abilities” or whether we truly see our role as a “talent development expert” for every single student. 8 I believe that every single teacher needs to ask themselves the question I posed in this posting – discover what they really believe about “intelligence” and then do something about it. Schools, colleges and universities need to also look at the implications of such new understandings on how they want “to do business”.

  1. Can we make our LEARNERS “smarter”? Of course, we can!

But, first we have to “believe” it…8 For those of interested in “bedtime reading”, take a look at my “library”: Tony’s LEARNABLE INTELLIGENCE Library