We are in an education crisis. We need to restore the teaching profession to one of respect and support and provide effective education to enable current students, the “new kids,” to rise to their full potential
“What a fabulous book. Herm and Dolores have written a truly inspirational resource for teachers. This should be required reading for anyone preparing to enter the classroom—and for anyone who needs to step back and rethink, think through, or reconsider their practice. They speak to the reader’s heart as well as the head, and Herm’s poetry is the best medicine I know for preventing teacher burnout.”
—Carol Jago, president of the National Council of Teachers of English and long-time middle and high school teacher in Santa Monica, California
“The Missing Piece by Dolores and Hermon Card is the book we’ve all been waiting for about how to educate the ‘new kids,’ this evolutionary bunch of uniquely different individuals known variously by labels as quirky as they are. You name it and this book covers it, and in a style as usable as it is advanced. Dolores and Hermon encourage students to make connections to themselves and then work beyond themselves to extend their reach—‘to work with us, not for us.’
“The raw truth about our current education system and how to fix it is covered, with poetry, with solutions and with expansive teaching styles that include meditation, Reiki, chakras, the higher self, and the importance of spirituality. No, this isn’t new age; it is new thought, in its most courageous form—a balanced and realistic way to educate the whole child.
“I was blown away by The Missing Piece. No one else has looked at our educational system today, and the various proposals to fix what’s wrong, with eyes and hearts broad enough to recognize what was and is still missing, what the ‘new kids’ must have—a holistic approach. Thank you, Dolores and Hermon Card, for giving us a miracle.”
—P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., author of Children of the Fifth World, Future Memory, and Near Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story
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THE MISSING PIECE
educating new kids for a new world
By DOLORES R. CARD, HERMON R. CARD
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013 Dolores R. Card, Hermon R. Card
All rights reserved.
I am ... I said Neil Diamond
THE NEW KIDS: who are they?
Teachers, there are new kinds of students in your classrooms, who:
display wisdom beyond their years with expressions of intelligence that cannot be measured by standardized tests.
have the ability to reach correct conclusions, without knowing the process of how they arrived at the answer and are not interested in learning what the process is.
are very independent and prefer to discover information on their own.
are extremely gifted in one or more areas, many have an amazing natural talent for music.
are oriented towards science more than any other subject.
learn quickly even though they do not think sequentially and process information in unusual ways.
display abstract thinking, which they learned to do at an early age and communicate in multiple ways.
feel that they know a better way of doing things and do not respond well to being told that "it has always been done this way."
can be disruptive and restless and may act like what you are trying to teach them is completely irrelevant to them.
cause educators to rethink old standards of teaching and why they are not working with these students.
score high IQ scores, even when failing a subject or even a grade level.
exasperate you and puzzle you, but cause you to be amazed at their insight.
Who are They?
Some have labeled them Indigo children, Crystal children and Psychic children, none of which totally represent who they really are. We have also put other labels on them like ADD, ADHD, ED, LD, AUTISTIC, etc., which misrepresents some of them in a more profound way.
We prefer to call them the new kids. They have brought with them not only a new vigor, but a concentrated focus to help the human race to evolve into new depth of awareness. Those born since the early 1980s, have occupied desks in your classrooms, messy (or neat) bedrooms in your homes, played on athletic fields and filled the hallways at school, as well as your hearts and homes, with a distinctive kind of energy. They sit in classrooms looking at you through disinterested eyes and somehow know they have been compelled by law to absorb as much information as their brains will hold to be able to bring up their test scores to satisfy standards. These test scores primarily are used to maintain the myth that students can be evaluated literally. Often, through frustration, they begin to exhibit behaviors that cause concern for teachers and administrators, not to mention their parents.
We apologize for applying the term "kids" to those who have already reached adulthood, those who were the forerunners for the present generation. 30 plus years ago you were the new kids and since then have added your contributions to the needed changes in our human community. The greatest contribution for some of you is being the parents of the most recent generation of new kids. Many of you have already entered into the teaching profession and are among those who are struggling with worn out, ineffective methods of education.
How Do We Reach Them, Raise Them and Educate Them?
They have arrived on Earth with an instinctive mission to challenge patterns and beliefs that have become counter-productive, even harmful to the qualities needed by the period of time in which we live; an overhaul of society. They are building the bridge to better ways of being.
The goal of this book is to show, through concrete scientific facts, concepts, theories and beliefs based on metaphysical studies, how and why these young people no longer fit into our perceptions of students.
Educating the New Kids: developing a complete human being
No matter what their present personal beliefs are or where they stand on their spiritual nature, educators cannot deny the emergence of a different kind of student. Science has slowly but consistently opened to the idea of what we might consider a new "type" of human being.
Evolution moves forward with regularity to be compatible with the requirements of each generation. We are accelerating our progress as a species and the effects of this can clearly be seen in our youngest citizens—our current students.
Some important studies have been introduced, which will be cited in this book. We need to adjust our fear of change and social disapproval to cultivate an education system that teaches to every aspect of a student. We have much to learn from our failed efforts, in order to create more effective methods of teaching.
New kids do not fit the typical descriptions of a student. They feel that most instruction is beneath their level of reasoning and will resist listening to lectures about topics they feel are not relevant to their life. They will become bored and restless, lose interest and tune you out.
They are children of the moment and are interested in hearing information that will help them move forward in the direction of their purpose.
What is missing and often dismissed is information about the evolution of human consciousness that has been brought down through the ages through oral histories, storytelling and customs that depict changes in human insight and awareness. If we listen closely to these accounts from the people who observed the day to day changes in themselves and others, we can clearly trace the discovery of our inner nature.
IQ test scores of students in the United States have risen significantly, as well as in other countries. Many current students display an intelligence that far exceeds that of previous generations.
In contrast, many teachers and school psychologists report that they are seeing just the opposite in regard to IQ scores. They also observe that a high percentage of students appear to be disinterested in what their school has to offer. Many are unable to achieve any significant academic success and give the impression that they don't care to be successful. For some, attendance at school is sporadic, at best.
Are these the same kids that we have been talking about? Yes, some are the same kids, but those whose life circumstances have failed to recognize and nurture their exceptional character traits. The reality is that their potential is not being addressed, resulting in them falling further into the abyss of negative thinking and risky behavior.
It must be remembered that they see the world through different eyes. They are new people with a different perspective. They are very creative and very sensitive. Therefore a lack of attention to their need for understanding affects them deeply, making it difficult for them to follow their inner feelings of wanting to accomplish something meaningful. Some of these students have rejected their sense of worth and are buying into the stereotype of the "difficult student". To many of them it seems pointless to try to correct this impression.
IQ scores do not reflect the intelligence potential of these students or the way their minds work. Because they perceive reality differently, the information we are trying to impart to them can cause confusion. Scores may be declining, but their intelligence is not.
The Language of Their Passion
Finding where students' passions lie is not that difficult. Passion and talents often correspond. They will gravitate towards their areas of attraction and look for opportunities to participate in or talk about their favorite activities. They will also be more successful in these areas. As the interest develops, and there is no discouragement, it may become a path to a future career.
It is almost impossible to fully predict potential, but helping a student to identify what is important to them is a good place to start. What a person enjoys speaks to something on an inner level. It may be filling a void left by a loss or traumatic event or it might be that it simply reflects the true nature of that person. Being encouraged to talk about an interest will instill confidence by allowing a student to display knowledge and talents about the subject and can create a feeling of belonging. It may also be an opportunity to connect to others who have the same interests and inner goals, which can lessen their feelings of isolation. It is very important for this generation to connect and interact with like-minded people to validate what excites and motivates them.
As they become more comfortable sharing what is important to them, a common language emerges that helps to solidify connections to others and many times cultivates friendships. Expanding their peer group and community connections can also help kids to advance beyond a dysfunctional environment and be motivated to make good choices.
The simple activity that follows has proven to be helpful in opening up communication with peers, without the fear of judgment. It also offers students an opportunity to practice how to effectively express their thoughts.
Give students a few minutes to think of something that interests them. It can be a hobby, an academic subject or an area of expertise.
In pairs, each student explains that interest to the other.
Each listener tells his/her partner what they learned about the exchange.
Teachers may determine an appropriate culminating activity.
Teachers affect eternity; but one can never tell where their influence stops.
Henry Brooks Adams
Planting Seeds of Thought
The analogy of planting seeds in a garden and planting seeds in the human mind is clear. A seed of a certain flower or vegetable is carefully imbedded in the soil of the Earth. Nature recognizes what is to be grown and begins its' course. However, to grow the best flowers or vegetables, nurturing of the seeds is needed to help nature to succeed. Water, nutrients and sunlight encourage growth.
The developing human brain also needs nourishing in much the same way. In order to teach a child a concept that they view as something useful to them, we need to nurture those thoughts, by encouraging exploration of the subject matter over a period of time. Presenting material on a one time basis is not nurturing. Examining the point of the lesson in various situations helps new kids to accept that what you are telling them somehow relates to their lives. The gifts that we bring to life will blossom with attention; the rewards are continuing opportunities to grow.
The truth is that it may not be important that each student thoroughly understands the information you are trying to teach them at the time. (a radical statement) If you plant the right seeds, they may not germinate until needed. It could be two days, two months or it could be fifteen years later: "Oh, that's what he/she was talking about."
We use information when required by our life circumstances, so what may have been in that lesson, or on that exam, although it did not register then, is rising up in memory to meet that need. Test scores reflect this phenomenon. At the time of the test to know the correct answers to the questions may reflect what is important or not important to that student's life at that moment. That is how the new kids' brains work. Outcomes of standardized tests do not reflect the importance of that information to that particular student, nor does it reflect their capabilities.
In 1998 Dr. Howard Gardner expanded the theory of multiple intelligences. Since IQ tests mostly measure logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligence, he recommended that teachers present material in a variety of ways to accommodate the different learning styles of students.
One of the consequences of not measuring other forms of intelligence is that students have sometimes been labeled as having learning disabilities because their particular way of learning was not an option.
Students learn, remember, perform and understand in different ways. These differences challenge an education system that assumes that everyone can learn the same material in the same way and that a universal measurement suffices to test students' learning. The following is an adaptation of Gardner's theory from www.literacyworks.org, as well as adaptations of our own.
The theory of multiple intelligences is very important to education on several levels. First, it encourages teachers and administrators to recognize the different intelligences among students. That trying to educate with a curriculum that is one dimensional does not work. Period. Offering lessons that have multiple intelligences content give options to students to learn by applying their own learning style. This way of instruction can result in more successful outcomes for both teacher and student, something that both are striving for. Making it possible for students to learn in their own way, opens up the possibility for them to become energized about their education. Again, it is a two-way street. As students respond positively, teachers can re-capture their self-confidence and enthusiasm for teaching.
Maybe without realizing it, Dr. Gardner was laying the groundwork for educating the new kids. If you examine each of the types of intelligence, it becomes obvious that each absolutely fits the characteristics of these exceptional students and in many cases, their teachers.
Engaging the New Kids: teachers and students do not have separate agendas—they are co-participants in the process of education.
Creative and innovative ways to engage and employ the innate intelligence and analytical thinking skills of the new kids are essential if we are to reap the benefits of their new patterns of influence and intentions, not to mention hanging on to them long enough for them to complete their education.
The following are general suggestions to support and enhance the education of the new kids. Useful, effective activities follow in later chapters. A partnership must be formed with the new kids to give them a sense of being included in decisions made about their learning. It also fosters a greater opportunity for them to invest in their own education. It would also serve to build trust between student and teacher. Working with these students is, at best, frustrating; but can also be exciting if teachers consider their students' perspective as part of this partnership. To enlist their help is a big step to gain confidence in the teachers' approach.
The key? Discover how they want to learn. A good place to start is at the beginning of a new school year. Explain what you need to accomplish. Be honest; they will know if you are trying to merely placate them. Explain, in terms appropriate for the grade level, what you need to accomplish in a definite time frame. Talk with them about what they need to learn and discuss ways to reach these objectives together. They need to know that some things cannot be changed, but ask for their input for ideas to achieve your shared goals.
An example hand out to students might look like this:
Objective (goal) Methods that could be used
Allow younger students to experiment with ways to think about their projects to both further develop their critical thinking skills and learn to walk through the process and methods of completing their projects (Remember, the new kids are not very tolerant of learning this skill). Encourage them to show you their projects and describe how they did it. Critical thinking, or reflective thinking, is interpretation of information using reason in forming beliefs and making decisions.
Be very careful to not compare students or their work to each other. New kids will not allow even the suggestion that they take on others' abilities as their own. They will not react favorably, which is an understatement. It is one of the instances where they defend their uniqueness and individuality.
Give recognition and value to any efforts made to complete a project, whether it is a written assignment or a hands-on task, especially when the assignment was not completed. Discuss why it was not completed and give credit for the effort. There is not enough merit given to effort made. This does not apply, of course, to the student who just decides not to do the assignment; all students need to be accountable for their work.
Excerpted from THE MISSING PIECE by DOLORES R. CARD, HERMON R. CARD. Copyright © 2013 Dolores R. Card, Hermon R. Card. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter One The New Kids: who are they?.................... 3
Chapter Two The Journey of Humanity: the New Kids through the ages........ 27
Chapter Three The Missing Piece: our spiritual nature; the nature of our
Chapter Four The Art of Teaching.................... 51
Chapter Five The Act of Teaching: activities and applications.............. 85
Chapter Six New and Selected Poetry from The Poetry of Teaching and ... or
else it's only a job.................... 137
Introduction to Metaphysics: Beyond the Five Senses.................... 161
Chapter Seven The Wonderful World of Metaphysics:.................... 165
Chapter Eight New Age Movement: not so new.................... 171
Chapter Nine The Sound of Silence: the comfort and power of meditation..... 179
Chapter Ten The Higher Self: get acquainted with the real you.............. 189
Chapter Eleven The Courage To Be You: connecting with your power of
Chapter Twelve A Bit about Chakras: why the New Kids need to know about
Chapter Thirteen Reiki: The Ancient Healing Art.................... 207
Chapter Fourteen Alternative Education.................... 219
Chapter Fifteen Echoes and Reflections: voices of students and teachers.... 233
Ending Thoughts.................... 239
Bibliography/Recommended Reading.................... 247
The Authors.................... 249
The Authors.................... 251