Cloninger, Kevin
September 2006
Curriculum & Teaching Dialogue;2006, Vol. 8 Issue 1/2, p15
Academic Journal
In our current educational climate, great emphasis is placed on the acquisition of knowledge. Whether it is No Child Left Behind or the myriad of other state and federal programs calling for standardized testing, our children and our teachers are asked to satisfy the tests or to be held accountable. As educators, we must ask ourselves whether this paradigm of learning and knowledge accounts for all aspects of cognition and consciousness. Standardized testing can assess neither the students' worldviews nor their passions; yet these are fundamental forces in learning. Exponents of such provincial views of human thought would have us believe that wisdom and intelligence are merely the accumulation of knowledge. By adopting a narrow view of cognition, we settle for a reductionistic view of the human being-one that is tragically out of touch with research in psychology and education. Intuition is the last frontier of the mind, since it is an aspect of cognition that knows no boundaries. More precisely it is a view of the whole. Intuition is an essential force behind many of the greatest discoveries in all fields of study. Take, for example, Einstein, who once said in regards to his genius, "The only real valuable thing is intuition." One could also call on Darwin's insights into the evolution of species to illustrate the point. Let us not stop there. One could discuss Godel's theorem, Plato's theory of forms, Emerson's transcendentalism, or Gandhi's theory of nonviolence. Intuition is often the great inspirational spark that gives the rationally minded something to test methodically; it is the origin of a great many hypotheses and theories. For this reason, educators should be very concerned with how to foster the intuition of their students, not to teach better the lessons of the past, but because we hope that they will see our civilization through the unpredictable future.


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