Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Subject: Podcast Award Ceremony at Sullivan School
Larry Welkowitz did an interview with a teacher at his daughter's school. The school held an award ceremony where every student received some type of an award. This ceremony was to identify the individual strengths of each student at this small school of only 50 students. It reminds what Alex Haley the author of Roots once said "find the good and praise it." Larry Welkowitz recognized this approach as being a Multiple Intelligence approach to education. The teacher said that was the approach and she was looking at something from the author Howard Gardener of Multiple Intelligence as they spoke. The point being to realize that each child gives off their own unique beam and "the beam is stronger at a small school". The teachers also have to take on more roles which allows them to know each student in a more personal way. The awards are to instill a sense of pride and to encourage them to work harder to develop those strengths. In the world of Asperger's we often worry that if the Asperger student focus too much on their strengths their social weaknesses will also increase. If by focusing on their strengths, may allow them to make great contributions but will that ultimately make them happy. In this dilemma I would apply what I refer to as the platinum rule: 'treat others the way they want to be treated.' In conclusion I will leave you with the words of Howard Gardener:

I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place. 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. The performance of understanding that try matters are the ones we carry out as human beings in an imperfect world which we can affect for good or for ill. (Howard Gardner 1999: 180-181) www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htm

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