Human beings are intelligent; they are complex lifeforms far superior to any other animal, so when a teacher says they could get a dog to do some of the work we do, there’s a reason I feel insulted (and it’s not just teachers). I may not be able to understand the work yet but I’m pretty sure a spaniel wouldn’t be capable. However, the education system doesn’t really accommodate for everyone, and here’s why:
There are, in actuality, multiple types intelligence. Schools mainly look at linguistic intelligence (word smart) and logical-mathematical intelligence (logic smart). That is only two out of the eight, which are: musical (music smart), interpersonal (people smart), bodily-kinesthetic (body smart), spatial (picture smart), naturalist (nature smart), intra-personal (self smart) and the two listed previously. Howard Earl Gardner came up with this theory in 1983 because he wanted his children to have a better understanding and knowledge of the world.
A person may be very good at socialising and asking people questions, however they may struggle academically, schools would see this student as not very bright or that they don’t perform well in exams and they may conclude this person will not do well in life. But their success might be becoming a talk show host or presenter for example because of their strong interpersonal intelligence. Disregarding other intelligence types not only makes someone seem simple, but also ignores that the different types may help in other subjects. Take music, for example. As educator David Thornburg of the Thornburg Institute notes, “The mood of a piece of music might communicate, clearer than words, the feeling of an era being studied in history. The exploration of rhythm can help some students understand fractions. The exploration of the sounds of an organ can lead to an understanding of vibrational modes in physics. What caused the great scientist Kepler to think of the motions of planets in musical terms? Astronomy students could program a synthesizer to play Kepler’s ‘music of the spheres’ and explore history, science, math and music all at once.”
So how are students supposed to feel when compared to a pet? This is clearly not going to have a positive affect on their work. Schools should adopt more techniques in lessons to include all intelligence types and help every pupil to feel intelligent and like they can be successful in any way they wish.
As Einstein once infamously said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”