Enhancing Learning and Thinking

By Robert F. Mulcahy; Robert H. Short et al. | Go to book overview

2
The School as a Home for the Mind: A Climate for Thinking

Arthur L. Costa

The Greeks had a word for it: paideia. The term, popularized by Adler Proposal ( 1982), is an ideal concept we share--a school in which learning, fulfillment, and becoming more human are the primary goals for all its inhabitants-- students, faculty, and support staff. It is the Athenian concept of a learning society in which self-development, intellectual empowerment, and lifelong learning are the most valued core elements.

The development of thinking as a goal of education is not just kid-stuff. If education is to achieve an intellectual focus, then the total school environment must mediate all its inhabitants' intelligent behavior. The school must become a home for the mind for all who dwell there. I offer a hypothesis: Teachers will more likely teach for thinking if they are in an intellectually stimulating environment themselves.

A quiet revolution is taking place across America in corporate offices, industrial factories, government bureaucracies, and schools--a mind/brain revolution. Increasingly, those attributes of a climate conducive to intellectual growth and self-fulfillment are becoming universally recognized and accepted. The conditions that maximize creativity are being described, understood, and installed ( Perkins, 1983; Kohn, 1987). The new paradigm of industrial management emphasizes an environment in which growth and empowerment of the individual are the keys to corporate success. Pascarella writes:

Management is heading toward a new state of mind--a new perception of its own role and that of the organization. It is slowly moving from seeking power to empowering others, from controlling people to enabling them to be creative. . . . As managers make

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