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The 8 Smarts

Every now and then the topic for my blog entry “falls into my lap.” I saw a circular object that resembled a clock face on the wall of a kindergarten classroom today. The object was entitled “The 8 Smarts” and had a single pointer at the center of the circle and 8 “slices,” like the slices of a pie. When I started to read the slices, I immediately thought of the TV show “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” although I have seen that show only once or twice.

“The 8 Smarts” is more like, “Are you smarter than a kindergarten kid?”

The slices of the pie were of equal sizes and the circular nature of the object was important, because no piece of the pie is more important than any other. The slices, in a clockwise direction and starting from the first slice that I noticed were labeled: Word, Art, Nature, Music, Self, Body, People, and Number… bringing us back to Word again.

How many people have I known who possessed all of “The 8 Smarts?” Darn few…. How many people have I known (sometimes people of “importance” and “power”) who possessed only 1 or 2 of “The 8 Smarts?” Far too many….

I believe that one of the goals behind the device on the wall is to teach “balance.” Another is probably to teach an appreciation for the gifts possessed by others. I hope that those goals are realized in the generation passing through schools now, but I suspect that the societal filters and pressures that affected preceding generations will affect these kids as well.

For the rest of us, “The 8 Smarts” embodies a goal, and perhaps a device by which we can be measured, to see how far we have really come.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo 

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