Sunday, October 14, 2007

Skull-Encased Little Universes

In education we are constantly classifying children. "Gifted and Talented", "Learning Disabled", "English Language Learner", and "Emotionally Disabled" are a few of my least favorite labels. I understand the need to have some knowledge of our students in order to know how to best proceed with the dance of teaching them well, but so many of these labels are not treated as starting points, but rather as fixed categories that objectively capture a little person's essential selfness. Which is hogwash. Human beings are such incredibly complicated entities. Each little brain, I've come to believe, is as complex and unique and mysterious as an entire universe. The mixture of nature and nurture create explosively intricate and unquantifiably unique minds. There's not just "8 Kinds of Smart," more like 10,000. Which means there is the potential for trillions upon trillions of different "types" of humans.

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