More than Knowing

Article Screenshot from the Global and Mail on 5-11-18

A Word to the Wise:  Why Wisdom Might Be Ripe for Rediscovery by Jonathan Rauch
May 11, 2018

It may be intuitive to all educators that wisdom is a precious human quality, distinct from any other ways of knowing. It is also affirming to see that researchers have made recent strides in developing a definition of wisdom and its component parts because, with this information in hand, teachers and parents can be better equipped to foster, shape, and directly teach for wisdom. Jonathan Rauch of the Brookings Institute writes about the importance of this research for those who want to contribute to the development of a civil society. He makes it clear that wisdom is not just knowing more; it also entails a package of traits that include not only intelligence or expertise, but also empathy and action. He makes the case for learning how to teach wisdom by pointing to the individual and collective merits of having wisdom’s positive attributes spill over, making life better for all. With a now-more-than-ever urgency, he points to evidence that people in wise-reasoning mode are more positive, see others' points of view more easily, are better self-regulated, and are more forgiving. Then he asks the big question for those prioritizing curriculum, use of time, and values for schools: Has any healthy society ever asked for less wisdom?

Submitted By: Elizabeth Morley, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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