A lot of knowledge in any kind of an organization is what we call task knowledge. These are things that people who have been there a long time understand are important, but they may not know how to talk about them. It's often called the culture of the organization.
Now intelligence seemed quantifiable. You could measure someone's actual or potential height, and now, it seemed, you could also measure someone's actual or potential intelligence. We had one dimension of mental ability along which we could array everyone... The whole concept has to be challenged; in fact, it has to be replaced.
Perhaps, indeed, there are no truly universal ethics: or to put it more precisely, the ways in which ethical principles are interpreted will inevitably differ across cultures and eras. Yet, these differences arise chiefly at the margins. All known societies embrace the virtues of truthfulness, integrity, loyalty, fairness; none explicitly endorse falsehood, dishonesty, disloyalty, gross inequity. (Five Minds for the Future, p136)
While we may continue to use the words smart and stupid, and while IQ tests may persist for certain purposes, the monopoly of those who believe in a single general intelligence has come to an end. Brain scientists and geneticists are documenting the incredible differentiation of human capacities, computer programmers are creating systems that are intelligent in different ways, and educators are freshly acknowledging that their students have distinctive strengths and weaknesses.
If Confucius can serve as the Patron Saint of Chinese education, let me propose Socrates as his equivalent in a Western educational context - a Socrates who is never content with the initial superficial response, but is always probing for finer distinctions, clearer examples, a more profound form of knowing. Our concept of knowledge has changed since classical times, but Socrates has provided us with a timeless educational goal - ever deeper understanding.
But once we realize that people have very different kinds of minds, different kinds of strengths -- some people are good in thinking spatially, some in thinking language, others are very logical, other people need to be hands on and explore actively and try things out -- then education, which treats everybody the same way, is actually the most unfair education.
There are clear differences between child and adult artistic activity. While the child may be aware that he is doing things differently from others, he does not fully appreciate the rules and conventions of symbolic realms; his adventurousness holds little significance. In contrast, the adult artist is fully cognizant of the norms embraced by others; his willingness, his compulsion, to reject convention is purchased, at the very least, with full knowledge of what he is doing and often at considerable psychic cost to himself.
Knowledge is not the same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding is knowing who we are and what we can do... Ultimately, we must synthesize our understandings for ourselves.
No individual can be in full control of his fate-our strengths come significantly from our history, our experiences largely from the vagaries of chance. But by seizing the opportunity to leverage and frame these experiences, we gain agency over them. And this heightened agency, in turn, places us in a stronger position to deal with future experiences, even as it may alter our own sense of strengths and possibilities.
Emile Zola was a poor student at his school at Aix. We are all so different largely because we all have different combinations of intelligences. If we recognize this, I think we will have at least a better chance of dealing appropriately with many problems that we face in the world.
In roughly the last century, important experiments have been launched by such charismatic educators as Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, Shinichi Suzuki, John Dewey, and A. S. Neil. These approaches have enjoyed considerable success[...] Yet they have had relatively little impact on the mainstream of education throughout the contemporary world.