Friday, January 24, 2014

Beginning the school year - what talents do your students bring to your class?

All individuals whose talents weren't recognized at school.

With the current press in schooling focusing on achievement in literacy and numeracy it is all too easy to overlook the unique talents that students have. An education focused on developing all students talents and gifts also provides students the opportunity to become literate and numerate in meaningful contexts.

By being aware of the interests and talents of learners teachers can capitalize on such abilities in all areas of learning.  Benjamin Bloom's research on gifted adults showed that by age 12 their decision to  develop career paths had been chosen.

Howard Gardner
It would be a good idea for teachers to tell their students that they want to help everyone develop their personal set of interests during the year.

 One way to do this is to introduce the idea that there  at least 8 ways of being 'smart' or intelligent and that it is possible for everyone to get better at them all - obviously some students will have greater inherent talent.

Pass out a copy of the below based on Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence research - or list on whiteboard.

Go through with class using yourself as an example.

Colour in your ability in each segment - and maybe comment on areas you want to get better at ( some personal goals). Self smart individuals are those who care about others at lot ( empathy) - people smart get on well with people.

Sir Ken leads the way.
Have each student colour in their own degrees of interest - maybe number their top 3.

It is a good idea to use the same diagram during parent interviews ( after a quick explanation of multiple intelligences) and to ask them where they think their child (ren) excel. 

 Bloom's research found that many schools were unaware of outside interests of their students! 

When planning activities in class studies keep the range of ways of being intelligent in mind.

 It is worth remembering that our identities are linked very closely to our interests and that our interests determine what we pay attention to - and, if we are lucky, to a worthwhile vocation.

Sir Ken Robinson speaks out on creativity

Beginning of school year blog


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