As progressive educators, we at Beaver continually ask ourselves what really constitutes intelligence and how that impacts learning and teaching. Unfortunately most of the educational establishment remains stuck on using various forms of standardized testing to quantify intelligence, even though it flies in the face
Thomas Edison created the electric lightbulb and then wrapped an entire industry around it. The lightbulb is most often thought of as his signature invention, but Edison understood that the bulb was little more than a parlor trick without a system of electric power generation and transmission to make it truly useful. So he created that, too.
An editorial by Peter Gow, Beaver’s Director of College Counseling, appears in the Commentary section of the online edition of Education Week (4/29/08). Entitled “The New Progressivism Is Here,” the article charts a renewed interest in progressive education among independent schools seeking to counteract what Mr. Gow terms
In the admission process, people often ask what progressive education really means today. My answer is that, unlike conventional and traditional education, it is based upon common sense.
Every student – every student – is a weak student. Even those students who navigate the worlds of writing, math and standardized testing in a seemingly effortless manner have weaknesses in areas of intelligence beyond those identified in the narrow view of conventional education.
On September 20, 2007, The Globe featured an about professors at MIT who exposed the College Board’s inability to assess with any accuracy the writing section of the SAT I. The article does more than describe the test’s weaknesses; it makes yet another case for abandoning the SAT as a tool for evaluating students for college admission.
In 2000 the Board of Trustees completed a Strategic Plan which committed to major improvements in our arts and athletic facilities and to building our endowment. In 2004 the Visual and Performing Arts Center opened, and earlier that year the Board again committed to moving ahead with the construction of an Athletic Center.
When this year’s Commencement speaker, Susan Diamond ’56, compared Beaver to Home Depot, saying that the two shared a “You can do it. We can help.” philosophy, she drew laughter from her audience, myself included.
If arts programs are to thrive in our schools, arts educators need to abandon convoluted rationale for arts programs and support the position outlined by Ellen Winner and Lois Hetland in a recent Boston Globe editorial
That makes sense in that people with more financial resources have access to programs that teach students SAT test-taking strategies. A few years ago, partly in response to this sort of criticism, in their wisdom, the College Board added