Kathleen E. Yandan, Teacher I – Cupang Elementary School
Traditional education system has produced hundreds of well-taught and academically intelligent generations of graduates but not everyone managed to succeed in the path the system prepared for them. The reason: they have their own path to take.
The old system of education limited the previous generations only to what is written on books and on the chalkboards. Before, even arts and sports were not given prior importance compared to the attention being given to the academic achievements of students; nothing used to matter except learning the lessons that were being taught inside the classrooms. It was indeed unfortunate that the norms used to turn a blind eye from a kaleidoscope of talents and skills. Because of that, many weren’t able to hone the skills they were gifted with nor were they able to utilize it when they grew up.
On the other hand, psychology says that everyone has different abilities and fields of expertise. On the context of education, students have different skills and talents. For instance, the ones who don’t excel much in mathematics and science may be a prodigy in writing and in public speaking. According to Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, it can never be stated that anyone is a fool for he could be skillful on his own way. That is why the way of teaching cannot be limited to cater only some, it must be able to reach and draw out the hidden talents that are contained within the students. Moreover, it’s not just the teachers’ flexibility that should be adjusted, the system’s perception to other types of intelligences must be molded to be better as well.
Recent studies say that a child’s retention is higher when he was taught in a manner that he likes. For instance, musically-inclined students are more participative in the discussions about music or even those which involve music as material. So as to the technologically-advanced students, they learn more on a discussion that utilizes technology as a medium of teaching.
The education system must expand its vision to all types of intelligences. Education is not and will never be limited to textbook lessons that are being taught within the four corners of a classroom. Education extends to the outside world, it involves physical activities, and it has colors and sounds as well. We have been stating that ‘no students shall be left behind’ when the truth is many students were trapped oblivious of the raw talent they possess.
Filipinos have been caged in the misconception that intelligence is determined by the degrees in mathematics or in science; that success is achieved when a student managed to become a professional. Though in fact, intelligence can never be determined through a single basis and success is felt only by those who can do things extraordinarily because of their extraordinary ability.
It’s about time to pay equal attention to all talents. A fish can’t climb a tree as stated by Albert Einstein; beacause it’s a natural swimmer.