"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Amazing Effect of KIPP on Howard Gardner

Dean McCartney of the Harvard GSE (and Bellwether Board Member) and Howard Gardner, of multiple intelligence fame, did a drive-by evaluation back in January at KIPP in Revere, MA.  The deftly-edited video below, with classical piano accompaniment, is the result.

Dr. Gardner was there long enough, obviously, to forget everything he ever wrote about, taught about, preached about, regarding multiple intelligences.  Also, please note that Dr. Gardner praises the "flatness" of the KIPP classroom, by which he means the total masking of individual talents.  Shameful and embarrassing to see.

It is quite a thorough repudiation, don't you think, of the importance of the whole concept of multiple intelligences, all for the benefit of what?  Who arranged for these luminaries to visit KIPP?  Who bought lunch?

Of course, it could be, too, that multiple intelligences are only important and applicable in the leafy suburbs of Wellesley or Newton, rather than in the total compliance test prep lockdowns of KIPP and the KIPP wannabes--where multiple ways of knowing are melted down in the iron crucible of KIPP.  No Excuses.

One may have expected, too, that Dr. Gardner, as a psychologist, could have had something to say about the psychologically-sterilizing regimen of KIPP-notizing that these children are subjected to, which is based on alternating jolts of learned helplessness and learned optimism, per Dr. Seligman's applied methods. But I guess there are only so many minutes in a visit, and from the video, it looks like it was approaching mid-day when the Harvard dons made their exit.  One can't do everything before offering a blanket recommendation for these neo-eugenics schools.  After all, the test scores are terrific.

Here is the earlier version of Howard Gardner, back before he decided that multiple intelligences in the classroom were unimportant for children locked down in segregated containment camps.

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