Not How Smart Are You But, How Are You Smart?

“Kids make their mark in life by doing what they can do, not what they can’t… School is important, but life is more important. Being happy is using your skills productively, no matter what they are.” ~ Howard Gardner 

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“These great thinkers [Gardner, Armstrong ] have proposed a much healthier question regarding intellect, not how smart are you but, How are you smart?…The ways in which you are smart are a part of the seed within you and hold the key to your further growth.” ~ Jim Cathcart

Learning is about discovering your purpose and passion in life. Schools should provide diverse pathways and opportunities for students to explore and unleash their specialized skills and abilities…not standardize them.

It is far more important that students are free to learn in school and well educated, than subjecting them to continuous testing to determine if they have been educated well.

Testing and training students to sort and compare how well they meet common standards does not prepare them for the social and emotional challenges of uncommon careers.

“The second concern is justifying the Common Core on the highly dubious notion that college and career skills are the same. On its face, the idea is absurd. After all, do chefs, policemen, welders, hotel managers, professional baseball players and health technicians all require college skills for their careers? 

Do college students all require learning occupational skills in a wide array of careers? In making the “same skills” claim, proponents are really saying that college skills are necessary for all careers and not that large numbers of career skills are necessary for college…

Nearly every study of employer needs over the past 20 years comes up with the same answers. Successful workers communicate effectively orally and in writing and have social and behavioral skills that make them responsible and good at teamwork. They are creative and techno-savvy, have a good command of fractions and basic statistics, and can apply relatively simple math to real-world problems like financial or health literacy…

All students should master a verifiable set of skills, but not necessarily the same skills. High schools fail so many kids partly because educators can’t get free of the notion that all students — regardless of their career aspirations — need the same basic preparation.

As states pile on academic courses, they give less attention to the arts and downplay career and technical education to make way for a double portion of math. Maintaining our one-size-fits-all approach will hurt many of the kids we are trying most to help. Maybe the approach will just lead to another unmet education goal. But it won’t resolve the already high rate at which students drop out or graduate without the skills and social behaviors required for career success.”

Robert Lerman, “Are College and Career Skills Really the Same?” – The Business Desk / PBS NewsHour

“What do you desire? What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like?

Let’s suppose, I do this often in vocational guidance of students, they come to me and say, well, we’re getting out of college and we have the faintest idea what we want to do. So I always ask the question, what would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?…

Well, it’s so amazing as a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way. Or another person says well, I’d like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses. I said you want to teach in a riding school? Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do?

When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way…”

“What If Money Was No Obect” ~ Alan Watts

“So, a lot of people are talking about how to fix education right now. Here’s what we’re doing: The Roadtrip Nation Experience is a program that empowers students to map their interests to future pathways in life. The heart of this experience is students exploring their communities and speaking with local Leaders to learn the steps that they took to get to where they are today.”

~ The Roadtrip Nation Experience

Everyone has been made for some particular work 

and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.

~ Rumi

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3 thoughts on “Not How Smart Are You But, How Are You Smart?

  1. I like the quote from Alan Watts about choosing to do what you would do if money was no object – to do otherwise would be to waste time, earning money so you can keep on doing things you don’t enjoy. There not much fun in that!

  2. Pingback: (What’s So Special ‘Bout) Rigor, Grit and Standardized Testing? | WagTheDog

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