Academic: Lessons from Lotus Slippers by Naomi
This recent article in ASCD’s
Education Update spotlights the importance of interpersonal intelligence.
How can teachers draw students out
of their point of view and break through cultural stereotypes when becoming familiar
with other cultures?
This is a challenge not easily overcome
by the standard lecture or reading the chapter in the text. Facts alone do not
engage one’s interpersonal intelligence.
Priddy summarizes her approach in
her book China Educator’s Toolkit
“I divide academic empathy in the social sciences into three categories: historical empathy, pushing students outside presentism to understand people living in other times; cultural empathy, engaging with contemporary cultures outside of students’ experiences and challenging students’ cultural biases; and social empathy, building activities in which students learn to listen to one another’s perspectives and collaborate to form new learning.”
Gina Boyd, Teacher of Gifted Students, Tippecanoe Schools., Lafayette, Indiana wrote to me recently about her use of The MIDAS with her class of high ability students. It is always interesting to hear about the wide variety of uses for the MIDAS Profile. Gina agrees with other educators that MI helps gifted students to have more nuanced views of what it means to be smart. The MI framework allows students to appreciate themselves as well as different kinds of smartness in their peers.
“I teach 4th and 5th grade high ability students in a self-contained classroom. During the first quarter of the 4th grade year, I teach a unit on giftedness in which the students learn about themselves as learners.
I use MIDAS with my class every other year because I have my students for 2 years, and I will be using it again in September of 2019.”
I received the following update from Mayra Ruiz, MIDAS director in Puerto Rico. This initiative was instigated by a dynamic and inspirational group of instructors and has snowballed to all four campuses: Hato Rey, Mayaguez, Manati, Bayamon and Arecibo. It is gratifying for me to hear that the work continues despite the challenge they had recovering from devastating hurricanes.
At the Career Institute of Puerto Rico (ICPR) Junior College, MIDAS is finally given the importance it deserves and for which I have fought for many years. It is in the plans of the President, Dr. Olga Rivera, to use MIDAS for 2019, as a tool to promote our Institution.
Over the years, ICPR has used MIDAS for:
Teaching: Objective: Increase Retention and Graduation rates
Training the Faculty: Objectives: 1. Influence how to offer classes. 2. Upgrade to the Faculty in Technology.
Recruitment: Objectives: 1. Locate students in careers according to their intelligences. 2. Provide the Admissions Officers with the offers they should emphasize.
Sales and marketing: Objectives: 1. Identify the best way to sell the programs, according to the prospect’s ability to solve their problems. 2. Advertising campaign regarding MIDAS.
For several years now, I have been working with MIDAS and to get the most out of it.
Sincerely, Mayra Ruiz, Career Institute of Puerto Rico (ICPR) Junior College
With the help of colleagues in the Netherlands, Singapore and China we are now organizing MIDAS Certification training workshops. Certification ensures that MIDAS users are familiar with proper administration and interpretation procedures. MIDAS is different from most tests and assessments and so for students to get the most benefit from their profiles, it is necessary for them to receive the right guidance.
There are four levels of Certification: Foundations, Practitioner, Mentor & Master Mentor. Feedback from MIDAS Practitioner, Dionne Heng Cheng Peng describes very well the goals of the training.
From Dionne Heng Cheng Peng, 11-7-18, Singapore
“After knowing MI, I have learnt to see my kids with a different lens, knowing that each one of them is unique and crafted differently. Individual has their different learning preferences as individual intelligences are scaled differently. I am excited and motivated to partner my students’ parents in bringing out the best of their child with the MIDAS report. Many parents are frustrated and having this power struggle with their kids due to a clash of their intellectual styles with their kids. Being able to work together with parents deriving the best way to communicate with their child and to guide the child finding their best study skill that intrigues their learning are my motivation for now!
I am definitely intrigued to know that even the most difficult or not recognized child is smart in their own way who can also contribute in their small ways to give back to society. Helping individuals to find their confidence, motivation and ownership to learning is so exciting. As a parent myself, I am so thankful that MI has opened my mind and changed my ways in responding to my own kids, helping them to take ownership of their learning as this is a life-long learning skill. I have learned to ask “How are you smart?” instead of “How smart are you?” now.”
My thanks to Henry Toi and his colleagues at NurtureCraft for organizing two workshops for me. First, we trained a group of people to be Certified MIDAS Administrators at the Practitioner Level. Second, I conducted at daylong workshop entitled, Neuroscience and the Art of Teaching. See group photo below.
“The sun is rising, and teachers are arriving…ordinary men and women,” as educational reformer John Dewey put it, “...of whom we expect the extraordinary”.
The sobering realities of life as a modern-day teacher and educator in America, USA Today.
USA Today coordinated with reporters from 15 cites to describe how teachers are feeling about their profession and public attitudes towards teachers.
This is a touching and rather disturbing description of the state of teachers and public perception in America today. It provides a stark contrast with the situation in Denmark where teachers are well-educated, highly paid and very respected. Their educational approach is nearly the polar opposite of the US (no testing) but still their students score very highly on the PISA tests.
The article concludes:
Respect and disrespect
“Teachers hold our hands and wipe our noses, tell us we can be more than we are, maybe more than we think we can be.
In return, we tell pollsters that they’re underpaid, without being sure what they actually make; that we endorse collective bargaining, yet often resist higher taxes; that we even support their right to strike, preferably in someone else’s district.
A day with American public school teachers ends with this irony: These people, whom opinion polls show to be among the nation’s most respected, feel disrespected.”
Speaking of Mary Helen Immordino-Yang… she is the president of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society. She and her colleagues organized a fine conference in Los Angeles in September.
She co-authored a very impressive monograph with Linda Darling-Hammond and Christina Krone entitled, The Brain Basis for Integrated Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. The Aspen Institute, 2018
The Intrapersonal intelligence is spotlighted in this article that describes the neuroscience research of Mary Helen Immordino-Yang. I highly recommend this article because it does a fine job summarizing the excellent research of Dr. Immordino-Yang.
“As teachers, we can help students become aware of how emotions steer thinking, and help them develop well-tuned intuitions… If teachers are not attending to the inherent role of emotions in thinking, then the emotions that are being recruited in the classroom may not be facilitating the kind of deep thinking you want. The key is to set up the class so that the students have conductive emotions about the actual ideas that you are working on.”
Intrapersonal intelligence is spotlighted in this article that describes the neuroscience research of Mary Helen Immordino-Yang
“The preference for Youtube and videos signals a shift in learning styles, Pearson’s director of global research and insights said. The role of video and visual learning is “essential in rising learners and the generation to come, “ Broad said. Pearson has also found that there is growing interest in other video-based learning platforms like Khan Academy. Some teens are turning to YouTube because they find it’s easier to understand something when they watch someone explain it visually. It also helps that they can pause and rewind a video if they don’t understand it right away.”
So… the visual-spatial intelligence is important for learners of all ages.
Reading this article reminded me again how educators have been talking about the need to infuse movement into our instruction. Of course, MI theory highlights the equal importance of kinesthetic intelligence in human thinking and learning along with the academic related linguistic and logical mathematical intelligences. I appreciated Michelman’s article because it focused on the upper grades (and not just elementary children, which is the usual approach). She also highlights the important role of “playfulness” in learning and this counters the usual attitude that high school learning must be serious to be effective.
“It’s a strange way we’ve set up the education – that play is ‘extra,’ something that just little kids do,? Says Wendy Ostroff, an associate professor … “to bring play to a screeching halt just as students hit adolescence reflects a misunderstanding of the research literature on the importance of play for learning.”
This brief article also mentions how neuroscience evidence describes how physical movement can enhance attention and engagement.
“She also wants teachers to understand the “neuroscience rule of thumb?: Children can only handle sustained, focused attention in a sedentary state for about as many minutes as they are old, plus or minus two minutes (e.g., 10 – 14 minutes for a 12 year old), she said, “After sustaining focus for about 15 – 18 minutes, even the average adult brain then needs to something, such as move, talk, and so on.”