Friday, January 16, 2009

learning from reality in the wood shop

Howard Gardner was brilliant in noticing that students vary in their predispositions toward methods of learning. These are the "multiple intelligences" he described:
Linguistic intelligence ("word smart")
Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")
Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")
Musical intelligence ("music smart")
Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")
Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")
Unfortunately, utilizing these in the classroom has been a failure as teachers struggle to find the right dosage of each to meet their student's needs. How does one measure and administer a recipe so complex? And how do teachers administer learning opportunities that they themselves were deprived in the crucial years of their own development? Far simpler is the approach of offering wood shop. In wood shop, you find each of these learning styles and intelligences automatically in use, in just the right dose for each student's display of "intelligence" as students do their math, physics, social studies, reading, development of spatial sense and learn to work effectively with others. Want to hear some music? Give kids saws and hammers. The music is divine.

I am up way too early this morning so I can take my daughter Lucy to the airport for her return to Columbia University.

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