Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Educational institutions around the world are seeing higher instances of bullying, aggression, hyperactivity and many other behavioural problems. In acknowledging these issues and remembering that we are preparing children for their future in society, is education that focuses heavily on academic subjects really substantial?
Looking at Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence, we see that the curriculum develops and caters to most of Gardner’s proposed realms of intelligence, be it Verbal, Mathematical and even Kinetic. Only what Gardner called Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligence is neglected (Gardner, 2011). These two realms of intellectual capability may be the key to preparing youth for a sound future. The 3 R’s, though not obsolete, need to be taught hand in hand with the 3 C’s: Character, Community and Choice. Educators
and parents alike should focus on building people of strong moral and ethical character, developing a sense of community and teaching the ability to make good choices.
Character—Encouraging children to question themselves, consider the consequences of their actions and understand certain universal values creates greater self-awareness, a greater awareness of others and more pro-social behaviour (Noddings, 2006). In today’s race to eradicate bullying, character education as a preventative measure operates under the philosophy that people with an awareness of their behaviour and the consequences of it will not take part in or tolerate behaviour like bullying.
Community—Instilling a “Social Spirit” is critical to creating active members, who feel a strong attachment to their community and understand the needs to contributing and building social structures (Montessori, 1914). Fostering collective ideals and giving students a chance to participate in the governance of their community not only provides them the ability to apply moral ideals and logical thinking, but empowers students to shape their world.
Choice—Children who feel like they can make choices will be more apt to engage in solving problems, rather than turning to learned helplessness. Giving children the ability to make choices about their own lives actually empowers them to step up and take responsibility. From this point, guidance can be given to help children make good choices. In other words, give them the forum while providing them with proper tools and the results will be positive.
The 3 C’s, Character, Community, and Choice, are not the only subject matter needed, but they should indeed be at the heart of the curriculum to produce children with just that; heart.
Gardner, H. (2011). Frames of Mind The theory of multiple intelligences. Philadelphia: Basic Books (original work published 1983)
Montessori, M. (1914). Dr. Montessori's own handbook. Frederick A. Stokes Company. Retrieved from http://www.archive.org/stream/drmontessorisow00montgoog#page/n10/mode/2up
Noddings, Nel. (2006). Critical Lessons: What Our Schools Might Teach But Do Not. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 29 November 2011, from http://0-ib.myilibrary.com.mercury.concordia.ca?ID=45875
Written by Amanda Preston, Dynamix Teambuilding Professional.
Dynamix: Team-building for Kids and Teens, since 2002.
Picture taken from Google Images, source: http://firsttimehouseflipping.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Three-Cs-300x204.jpg