The basis for all learning is established through the movement of line. The definition of line is the path of a moving point. This definition encompasses every aspect of the learning process. Without line, words could not be written, equations could not be solved, plans could not be drawn and all that we know today would not exist in the manner we are accustomed.
The Basic School system takes this knowledge to heart and emphasizes English, mathematics and the arts as it’s main components. This system follows Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence approach to curriculum, instruction and assessment.
Professor Howard Gardner of Harvard University challenged the traditional notion of IZ and defined intelligence as a serious of independent capacities that worked together as an integrated whole. His definition of intelligence states that the ability to fashion and solve problems directly relates to the cultural and community settings. He believes that everyone is born with potential in a number of different intelligences. This potential develops in many ways according to the cultural environment.
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences include bodily kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intra-personal intelligence, linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, musical intelligence, naturalistic intelligence and spatial intelligence. Gardner believes humans have evolved to have several intelligences rather than one cohesive intelligence. Each intelligence is relatively independent of the others but work cohesively in different situations. Gardner criticizes our educational system because of his beliefs. He views the educational system as having a bias toward the linguist and logical mathematical intelligences which are the two components of the commonly understood “IQ.”
The theory of multiple intelligences does not deal with such concepts as motivation, attention, persistence, learning strategies, learning styles, adaptability, practical intelligence inspiration and wisdom. Instead it looks primarily at the cognitive operations. It is strong on intellectual operations and weaker in accounting for emotional, creative and spiritual life. This does leave some lose ends but not enough to stop the educational system in seriously looking at his theory. His approach gives us an enrichment viewpoint rather than an overwhelming one by supplying us with unrelated bits of data.
Gardner’s strong belief is what the proponents of the Basic School system base their premise. Teachers have multiage children in their classes to provide the students with a more stable environment. Each student stays with the same teacher for no less than two years. The curriculum is based on mathematics, English and the arts. The other subjects are taught with themes so students are more able to see the connection between the areas. This benefits not only the students but the teachers as well. The students know what to expect from their teachers along the the teachers knowing what they can expect from their students. Parents have more involvement with not only their child’s home education; but, with the staff’s involvement with their child. There is a comfortability level built between the parents and the teacher.
Gardner’s theory and the development of the Basic School suggests that individuals are smart in many different, often surprising ways. It is suggested that some of those ways are rarely recognized in the normal school systems of today. The Basic School takes this premises into account and teaches students in multiage groups using the curriculum to emphasize English, math and the arts.
Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences and Education
Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner School