Sunday, April 7, 2013

Raising Funny Kids 24: The Magical Realm of Learning

Our learning environment should not be limited to a classroom with four walls, where our days are spent stuffing as much information into our brains as possible, only to base our entire academic success on our ability to regurgitate it back up on a bubble test. This type of assembly line education might have helped to stabilize the population boom during post-industrial era, but it is outdated in a world where knowledge is widely accessible and technology is advancing exponentially

Today, schools like MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Stanford offer a free, online learning initiatives, an early trend toward where the world is heading: Unlocking knowledge in what will eventually become a Global, Open-Source Learning Initiative. 

In the neuroscience community, a deeper understanding of brain-compatible teaching strategies have emerged that can increase authentic, long-term learning, yet teachers are still following formulas in pursuit of higher test scores. These test scores do not measure intelligence nor are they in alignment with our present technological and global trajectories toward cooperative learning. 

The only way that diverse learning styles and intelligences can be respected is to allow for a competency-based curricula. 

Academic success has never been commensurate with an individual's level of intelligence, which, according to Howard Gardner, is made up of distinct learning proficiencies that can work individually or together. 

To better serve the changing learning dynamics of our global population, we need to step out of the more traditional verbal-linguistic comfort zones of direct lectures and include more visual-spatial and bodily-kinesthetic instruction, as well as holistic learning principles that are geared toward developing multiple intelligences rather than stifling them in outdated, unimaginative, highly pedantic concerns for book learning and formal rules. 

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