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For Further Study
1. Reflect upon what you would like to do to awaken or reawaken
aspects of your own inner genius. Look over your memori es of peak
lea rni ng experi ences, act ivit ies that you arc most passiona te about in
your current life. and things vou'd like to do in the future it given t he
t ime and opportunity, Choose one or two of these and begin lining them.
After some ti me, check in wit h colleagues who are engaged in their own
process of genius exploration and share your experiences with t hem.
2. What arc some experiences or materials that you've exposed your
st udents to th at ha ve created special moments of joy, curiosi ty, pl ayful-
ness, humor, or other quali ties of genius?Look over the list ofsuggestions
above and add your own ideas to them. Then t ry out one or two new
possibili t ies wit h your class and sha re the responses with colleagues.
.3 . What pan s of your curre nt classroom sett ing show aspects of t he
genial cl imat e described in t his sect ion! What ot he r dimensions of a
genial cl imate would vcu like to incorporat e int o your classroom!
Choose one of t hes e to focus on and spend some rime exploring ways to
integrate it int o your program (e.g., experiment wit h a "test-free zone"
in your classroom).
4. Describe each of your st udents in terms of one or more of the 12
qualities of gen ius descri bed in t hi s. hook. Then, add to th is. description
aspect s of one or more of t he eight intell igences from the theory of
mult iple intelli gences or anot her learning model that celebrates differ-
ent ways of knowing and learn ing. Add other gifrs, no matt er how
insigni ficant th ey may ini t ially appear. Fina lly, put all these g i f r ~
toget her in Cl "genius descript ion" for each of your students. Srarr wit h
one or t wo students who have had part icular difficul ty functioning in
school, and then work your way through t he whole class over a pe riod
of weeks or months.
Awakening Your Child's Natural Genius: Enhancing Curiosity, Creativity, and Learning
Ability,byThomas Armstrong. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1991. Practi cal guide
for parents and teachers that includes chapt ers on creative approaches to music,
art, hi story, science, math, and reading.
Creat ive Educati on Foundation , 1050 Uni on Rd., Buffalo, NY 14224; 716-675-3181;
fax: 716-675-3209. Publishes yearly catalog of resources on creat ivity for educa-
Experiences inVisual Thinking, by Robert H. McKim. Boston , MA: PSW Engineering,
1980. A marvelous collection of exerci ses for st imulat ing inventiveness and the
imaginat ion.
The Humor Project , 110 Spring St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866; 800-225-0330. Has
a mail-order service for resources on humor and creat ivity in the classroom, holds
an annual internati onal conference, publishes the periodical Laughing Matters,
and holds workshops and semina rs worldwide.
The Official MuseumDirectory, R. R. Bowker, P. O. Box 1001, Summit, N] 07902-1001 ;
800-521-8 110. A comprehe nsive listing of aquariums, arboretums, art museums,
children's museums, hi story museums, planet ariums, zoos, science and natur al
history museums, and more; listed by state.
Powers of Ten (film, 9 minutes), Cha rles and Ray Eames, producers, 1978. Pyramid
Film and Video, Box 1048, 2801 Colorado Ave., Santa Moni ca, CA 90406;
800-421-2304. $125 (purchase) ; $60 (rental for educators ). Takes the viewer on
a journ ey int o micro- and macro-worlds (from subatomic part icles to the uni -
verse) by powers of ten . A brilliant film that evokes wonder in its viewers.
Workman Publishing Co., 708 Broadway, New York, NY 10003; 212-254-5900 ,
800-722- 7202. Publishes books and mat erials for kids cove ring a wide range of
areas from juggling and harmoni ca playing to science and hi story st udies (in-
cluding a do-it -yourself time capsule) .
Zephyr Press, 3316 N. Chapel Ave., P. O. Box 66006-LA, Tucson , AZ 85728-6006.
Publishes books and materi als coveringeach of the eight intelligences in multiple
int elligences theory.
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About the Author
homas Armstrong, Ph.D., is the author of eight books, including
Multiple Intelligences in theClassroom, In Their Own Way, A w a k ~
eningYourChild's Natural Genius, 7 KindsofSmart, and TheMyth
of the ADD Child. He can be reached by mail at p.a. Box 548, Clover -
dale, CA 95425, by pho ne at 707-894-4646, or by fax at 707-894-4474.
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