Autopilot Education versus MBE Theory

We are rarely conscious of our deepest values, which is why we run much of the time on autopilot; out of touch with our inner selves

An appreciation of a global self is part of developing a global consciousness. Only when we realize our potential as individuals can we place ourselves in a global context. Moreover, it is important that we recognize our values and beliefs in order to develop clear goals for our surroundings and ourselves.

Murray (2011) shares his concern that we “are rarely conscious of our deepest values, which is why we run much of the time on autopilot; out of touch with our inner selves” (p. 67). In a post-industrial society, it is no longer sufficient to uncritically follow a template, i.e. ‘running on autopilot’. Instead, we must stay open to change, continue to improve systems and practices, and strive to discover new solutions to the mounting problems facing our global community.

While traditional schools have largely favored individuals with mathematical and linguistic intelligence, the MBE theory might highlight the importance of fostering other intelligences as well

It is within this context, that Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) theory provides a useful framework. MBE theory stresses an interdisciplinary approach to ensure that all learners receive the appropriate education. Echoing Howard Gardner’s concept of multiple intelligences, MBE theory links education with neuroscience. While traditional schools have largely favored individuals with mathematical and linguistic intelligence, the MBE theory might highlight the importance of fostering other intelligences as well (e.g. spatial, social, and metaphysical).

As Katzir, Immordino-Yang, and Fischer (2007) argue, an “interdisciplinary focus us vital to finding answers to the new set of questions that arise from the globalized context” (p. 86). Gardner (2004) also touches on the “ability to tackle problems and issues that do not respect disciplinary boundaries” in his list over skills needed for the 21st century. The real world does not work within neat disciplines like ‘organic chemistry’, ‘economy’, and ‘environmental science’.

We need to transcend such disciplinary distinctions in order to reach viable solutions to the mounting hill of problems caused by globalization and industry. Further, we must gain a better understanding of how different learners might best reach their potential through various teaching methods. With the concepts provided by MBE theory, such methods can be found in the intersection between cognitive science, education, and neuroscience.

References:

Gardner, H. (2004). How Education Changes: Considerations of History, Science, and Values. In M. M. Suarez-Orozco & D. B. Qin-Hilliard (Eds.) Globalization: Culture and education in the new millennium. London, England: University of California Press.

Katzir, T., Immordino-Yang, M. H., & Fischer, K. W. (2007). Mind, Brain, and Education in the Era of Globalization. In M. M. Suárez-Orozco (Ed.). Learning in the Global Era: International Perspectives on Globalization and Education. London, England: University of California Press.

Murray, P. (2011). The Sustainable Self: a personal approach to sustainability education. New York, NY: Earthscan Publishers.

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