ERIC Number: ED363396
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Varieties of Excellence: Identifying and Assessing Children's Talents. A Series on Authentic Assessment and Accountability.
Kornhaber, Mindy; Gardner, Howard
The current wave of school reform, with its emphasis on the learner, affords the opportunity to create environments that can foster excellence. The ability to support the development of excellence is threatened by commonly held beliefs that excellence depends on innate ability and that anyone who works hard enough will succeed, irrespective of the support they receive. This paper, one of a series of essays written for New York State's "Standards of Excellence" project, challenges common beliefs and asserts that: (1) human beings possess a varied array of mental competences, strengths, or "intelligences" that they can combine and call on in different ways to achieve excellence in diverse disciplines; and (2) those who are deemed excellent have developed their competences in meaningful contexts over an extended period of time. Topics discussed include the varieties of potential excellence, broad and narrow views of excellence, conditions for the achievement of excellence, community involvement in the creation of meaningful contexts, teacher involvement in the nurturing of domains of excellence, and forms of curriculum and assessment that engender understanding. Recommendations for schools seeking to support excellence include encouraging and supporting teachers to develop diverse competences through cooperative learning; providing forms of assessment that are fair to those with diverse strengths; and aligning school, family, and community to support the long-term development of individuals' competences. Contains 113 references. (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Change Strategies, Community Involvement, Competence, Creative Development, Definitions, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Excellence in Education, Family School Relationship, Intellectual Development, Multiple Intelligences, Performance Based Assessment, Skill Development, Student Evaluation
NCREST, Box 110, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 ($8).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: DeWitt Wallace/Reader's Digest Fund, Pleasantville, NY.; Leon Lowenstein Foundation, New York, NY.; Aaron Diamond Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Teachers Coll. National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching.