Some thoughts about how to avoid another education war
"an attempt to give validity to everything but academics." Is this fair? Why posit traditional academics would be excluded? Cannot both kinds of intelligences be accounted for?
It would seem obvious at this point that 'non-academic' intelligence cultivation is pretty useful. The happiest, most successful folks on this rock are not necessarily the book smartest. Most arrived there by knowing when and how to apply what little basic knowledge possessed but more importantly, knowing how to lead and build consensus and support - the stuff SEL is about.
Qualities as fuzzy as courage, magnanimity, self-awareness, situational awareness, humility and other virtue traits can be benchmarked, quantified and tracked. True there is no universal yardstick for this kind of intelligence but the measurement tools are actually as rigorous as those used to access an essay or the soundness of a math proof.
In fact, it can be argued that focusing on meta skills development can have a much greater impact on achieving equality, increasing quality of life and mitigating negative coping strategies than a purely academic curriculum/pedagogy.
A useful case study is RBK, a character accelerator in MENA where upwards of 70% of female youth are unemployed. RBK grads skip an unemployment line that is 85 million long not because of technical or 'academic' acumen or strong foundational knowledge - many are refugees with out a high school diploma - but because of the social, emotional, logical and meta intelligence acquired in the accelerator. They are thriving because of their communication skills, ability to separate the music from the noise and ultimately, their acquired virtues.
We are at a steam engine moment in humanity. There will be life Before AI and life AFTER AI. Yes foundational, academic, technical knowledge is essential to moving forward both individuals and communities. But we are having our frontal lobes handed to us by an entity that has an IQ orders of magnitude greater than our own. An entity that possesses not only the collective wisdom of all of humanity but also the knowledge of how to piece it together given context. As such, it does not feel productive to be fighting against the one thing that can actually save us - our humanity.
Rebecca, I appreciate your thoughts around this topic and look forward to your contributions to this fii...conversation.
The current conveyor belt paradigm must be replaced by a student paced mastery paradigm built on learner competencies and student agency.
It’s also called social engineering. What is the aim and who gets to decide what values should be encouraged? Making every aspect of humanity, including individual personality traits and emotional states measurable only instrumentalises people. Creates a mindset of self assessment and performative emoting that encourages narcissism. Reducing humans to complete measurable data sets of “multiple intelligences” to be educated into correct social and emotional behaviour, based on nothing but subjective ideas about the ideal person , is not in your lane. Progressive ideology is not seen for what it is because it’s the water you swim in.