11 February, 2011


Photo 42/365

My mother-in-law just sent me an article that made me want to be a teacher. An educator. If you have just a few minutes, I'd encourage you to read the whole thing. If not, here are some key phrases that really made me think.

"The primary purpose of education is to enable students to make a living as adults; without this capability, everything else falls away. Yet we still teach within a basic framework established in the 19th century."

"The fact is, we too often teach students to perform without their actually learning anything. Most of the time, students are simply remembering lines, notes, steps, terminology, and so on... We must ask ourselves, are we preparing students to function as human beings, or just as flesh-and-blood versions of a hard drive?"

"Why am I convinced that this would work? Because the arts relate to the unique ways in which human beings think... To focus on these [key characteristics of the human mind] is to enhance the very qualities that make us ... us. In other words, to be artistic is to be human."

The article's author also mentioned something I've never heard of before: the "Habits of Mind"...  as I'd like to think of myself as a "characteristically intelligent, successful person" I'd better make sure to employ at least a few of these!

The Habits of Mind as identified by Costa and Kallick are:
  • Persisting
  • Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  • Managing Impulsivity
  • Gathering Data Through all Senses
  • Listening with Understanding and Empathy
  • Creating, imagining and Innovation
  • Thinking Flexibly
  • Responding with Wonderment and Awe
  • Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition)
  • Taking Responsible Risks
  • Striving for Accuracy
  • Finding Humor
  • Questioning and Posing Problems
  • Thinking Interdependently
  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  • Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

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