- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; 2 edition (March 29, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465024386
- ISBN-13: 978-0465024384
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach 2nd Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
The failings of schools have been discussed and analyzed from a dazzling array of perspectives. In this study, the author, a professor at the Harvard School of Education and a practitioner of cognitive science based on a theory of multiple intelligences, adopts a credibly innovative approach, contending that even when a school appears to succeed, "it typically fails to achieve its most important missions." The root flaw, as he views it, is a lack of "genuine understanding"--as opposed to "acceptable mastery"--on the student's part. Gardner sees access to better education in the alliance of three potential teammates: the intuitive preschooler, the traditional older child working through a curriculum, and an expert/teacher capable of extending skills and understandings in new ways. One answer to why so many students lose their enthusiasm for school is found here, as well as promising proposals for school reform, like museum collaborations and apprenticeship projects. Gardner's study offers a wealth of material for significant school restructuring.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
A convincing call to reexamine the way children learn in their earliest years, and to make use of those new findings in classrooms. MacArthur fellow Gardner (Education/Harvard; To Open Minds, 1989, etc.) developed a theory that human beings learn and perform through multiple intelligences (seven, to be precise, from verbal to kinesthetic and interpersonal). His own and other studies in these areas revealed that students who may be letter-perfect in a school subject such as physics fail spectacularly in transferring that knowledge from classroom exercises to problems in the real world. Even adults abandon book learning and invoke pictures of the world--including stereotypes about the forces of gravity or about skin color--that they constructed as early as five years old. The emperor is exposed as being not only naked but ignorant. If such early childhood ``schema,'' as Piaget called them, are so tenacious, then harness them for learning in the advanced classroom, Gardner advises. He recommends reevaluating the concept of apprenticeships and using the hands-on, multimedia techniques seen in children's museum programs. The developmental theories of Piaget and Chomsky are respectfully challenged, the push to ``cultural literacy'' and ``back to basics'' less respectfully. At issue is the unexamined idea. Gardner calls for schools and teachers to encourage personal ``Christopherian confrontations,'' the encounter between belief and reality that Christopher Columbus presented when he did not sail off the edge of the world. An exciting proposal for restructuring schools in order to guide students to a genuine understanding of the world. A bonus is the extraordinary insight into why children and adults seem to resist learning and why they often behave in such mystifying ways. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
My dad once told me that I never learn anything until I break something. I was 16 and had just wrecked my first car. I never crashed again. This is the concept behind Gardner's book. We learn from our experiences. We learn by applying knowledge in real life situation. Knowledge is not necessarily power, but it is part of the equation. After teaching concepts in my class with follow-up assignments which were real life activities/experiences, I saw test results improve and student interest increase dramatically. Students only want to learn what is useful to them so teachers must show subject matter to be relavent to the student's lives. Gardner explains how a students mind can grow through these means.
This is a great read even if you are a parent who want to explore how your child learns. Highly recommended!
Gardner's theory that each child contains several intelligences (i.e., mathematical/logistical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, kinesthetic, with one or more predominating) appears to be a viable thoery in my experiences as an instructor. This book has allowed me to understand why some children simply don't respond to the traditional ways of teaching. Reading this has reduced the frustration level for both me and my students, and has let me expand my methods and level of instruction. Since I also am in favor of apprenticeships for students (matching their skills w/ jobs) and taking risks, this book appealed to my own philosophies.
Possibly the best legacy of Gardner's teaching is that many children who would otherwise be left-for-dead instructionally are now being taught to good results using Gardner's methods, including my own.