That's now the very definition of "old school".
That belief influenced the way children were taught as well as what they were taught, which was more or less the things that were accepted as helping them become "smarter", like the Three Rs.
Thankfully, we've come a long way from that approach, which has opened the way for broader and more effective learning.
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
If you think back to your own school days you probably noticed at some point that you and your friends didn't learn the same things at the same pace or as easily as each other.
It's long been recognised and understood that everyone learns differently but, once we accept that, it becomes a challenge for teachers to offer each individual the opportunity to learn in ways that best suit him or her.
That's where the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, developed by psychologist and educator Howard Gardner at Harvard University, comes in.
Gardner postulated that humans have several different ways of processing information and that these ways are relatively independent of one another.
He identified eight intelligences: linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.
We all have them
According to Gardner's theory, each individual has varying degrees of each intelligence, based primarily on genetics.
It's probably a fair assumption that Mr and Mrs Mozart weren't star athletes, but given that young Amadeus was composing music at age five, they seem to have passed on some decent musical genes!
Further, Gardner explains that no one form of intelligence is better than any other; all are equally valuable and viable.
What he did note, however, was that there are cultural biases toward and against certain types of intelligences, which brings us back to the traditional Western emphasis on the Three Rs, with a high value placed on linguistic and logic-mathematical intelligence and a far lower value on many others, such as spatial and naturalistic.
Growing intelligence through opportunity
Lively Learning embraces Gardner's idea that experiences and learning opportunities can enable intelligence to grow.
We offer planned learning opportunities in each of the intelligences so that all children can shine through their preferred, more dominant intelligences, but also grow their less dominant ones.
Our program also acknowledges that, as each person has a unique combination of intelligences, we all learn in different ways, so we present each concept through a range of intelligences.
Some of us learn better by listening, some by drawing, some by doing, and some though interaction.
How we present the bear facts
As an example of how Lively Learning presents a single concept through the multiple intelligences, here's how we approach a bear.
Listening to a bear story and facts about bears taps into linguistic intelligence.
Exploring the bear's environment, such as mud, leaves, rocks and seed pods, works well for children with strong naturalistic intelligence.
Dressing up as a bear, role playing with the bears in our Discovery Room, doing a puzzle with a bear in it, going through hoops to find a bear, and so on, leverages body intelligence, and spatial intelligence.
For those who learn best visually, we create bear art work, and for those whose strengths include maths and logic, we buy food at the zoo shop to feed the bears and sort the nature items into baskets.
Each child not only learns through their strengths, but also has the opportunity to participate in activities presented via multiple intelligences that are not their strengths.
How Lively Learning embraces Multiple Intelligences
We provide a full range of learning through climbing, music, movement, art and craft, play, stories, and hands-on displays, giving children opportunities to learn in ways that work best for them.
Considering that intelligence can be grown, exposing your child to a variety of activities is the best way to nurture his or her multiple intelligences so that they grow to their genetic potential.
That's why the Lively Learning motto is 'Where all children shine'.
If you look at our star emblem, you'll notice that it has eight flecks to represent the eight intelligences.
We also encourage and facilitate parental participation, because we believe that parents are a child's most important teachers (which we'll outline further in an upcoming blog post).
Have we got you wondering?
When people are first introduced to the concept of Multiple Intelligences, it's only natural for them to start thinking about their own strengths and weaknesses.
Now that we've told you that you've probably passed on your strengths to your child, perhaps you're even more curious.
So here's an online test that you can complete to help you determine which intelligences are your dominant ones.
With any luck, that knowledge will empower you to learn things more effectively yourself.
Of course, if you have any questions, we'll be happy to answer them.
Lively Learning Programs will allow YOUR CLEVER CHILD TO SHINE
Click the link to read more about the developmentally appropriate Multiple Intelligence Program for children 16 months to 4 years with their carer; and the Read, Write and Number Program for children 3-5 years: http://www.livelylearning.com.au/programs.html