By Rick Ackerly, Guest Blogger
In the foreword to Schools for All Kinds of Minds, Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s, writes:
More than ever, America needs the kinds of minds that generate new perspectives, seek solutions, and discover emerging opportunities. Those are the minds of many of the students in your schools today who, at first glance, look a lot like the struggling student I was in school. I invite you to take a second look at the individuals who walk through your school doors. Join us in helping as many kids as possible become more aware of their unique talents and more confident in their learning abilities—and help us rescue the wonderful potential that may otherwise be lost.
Slow it down. He said a mouthful, and it is critical that we get all the pieces of this:
- The world needs graduates who generate new perspectives, seek solutions, and discover emerging opportunities.
- We need all kinds of minds fully functioning and geared into the real world in productive ways.
- We need all kinds of minds to be good at different points of view, good problem solvers, curious about and capable of doing something with new opportunities.
- Visit any number of schools across the country and it won’t be obvious that the teachers and students are working on this need. It seems they are about other business. If they are struggling, let them be struggling toward the most important outcome. What was that? “Generate new perspectives, seek solutions, and discover emerging opportunities.”
- Take a second look at each student. See the genius in them. Notice them in their uniqueness. See that each one has a brain that activates when curious.
- Each of us is more powerful when we are aware of, appreciate, and see the power in our unique learning abilities—our unique approach to the world. That is a good definition of “confidence.”
- We must stop squandering an enormous amount of human potential.
And speaking of mouthfuls, Schools for All Kinds of Minds is one well worth reading for those of you aspiring to be leaders of learning.
Rick Ackerly is a nationally recognized educator and speaker with 44 years of experience working in and for schools. He recently published his first book, The Genius in Children: Bringing Out the Best in Your Child. Rick’s articles about education and diversity have appeared in Education Week, The New York Times, The Independent School, and Multicultural Education. You can read his short weekly essays on his website.
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- Schools for All Kinds of Minds – Read book excerpts, purchase the book, download book extras, and more!
- The Genius in Children: Bringing Out the Best in Your Child, by Rick Ackerly