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Landmark Forum and Creating Fresh Perspectives (transcript)

KSA 2: Saudi TV Channel 2, June 23, 2010

What does it take to be successful? Landmark Education spokesperson Deborah Beroset provides expertise on transformative learning vs. informative learning on a show that aired throughout the Middle East.

Transcript:

Interviewer:

 

The desire to succeed is a universal need that transcends cultures, nations and even age groups. And the recent influx in the competitive educational programmes and increased reliance on standardized testing scores has made educational achievement more competitive and more challenging than ever for students around the world.

Scientists have studied the concept of intelligence for centuries, and instead of coming up with one definitive conclusion as to its origins and properties, the debate between nature versus nurture, book smarts versus street smarts carries on today.

We caught up with two learning experts in New York City to find out their views. Tim Levin is a founder and CEO of Bespoke Education, an organisation which provides educational and test prep support for students from elementary to grad school.

Tim Levin:

 

You've got people who talk about emotional intelligence. You've got people who talk about IQ. I think intelligence can be a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and it's not that easy to quantify.

For me, I think of intelligence as being someone with a lot of curiosity about the world around them, someone who wants to think about creatively solving problems. And I think people like that challenge themselves to really look at the world in a new way. And I think of those people as being some of the most intelligent people.

Interviewer:

 

Deborah Beroset is a transformative learning expert at Landmark Education, which offers seminars and courses in more than a 110 cities across the world. She believes that intelligence and progress is not just a matter of acquiring knowledge but also how it is perceived.

Deb Beroset:

 

If you look back on history I think you'll see that the major breakthroughs in thinking haven't been a result of simply having more information than anyone else, it's because really you know when we thought the earth was flat everyone had the same information they were working with. When before someone said there was gravity everyone had the same information. Those kinds of breakthroughs come from a fresh perspective from a new view of the same content.

Interviewer:

 

In addition to the acceptance that there are various types of intelligence there are also several stages of development. Although they're societal norms and time lines for basic skills like when a child should acquire motor and memory ability, Levin, a former science teacher says it's common for a wide range of levels in intelligence to be found even in the same classroom.

Tim Levin:

 

We like to categorize you're at this level, you're at this stage; the fact is many students are strong in certain areas all at the same time. The challenge for a good classroom teacher and the challenge for the student is really to accentuate the things that you're really good at, try to do the best you can with the things you aren't that good at, and for the classroom teacher they really need to try to awaken in students a love of learning that perhaps gets them interested in the subject matter regardless of their level of understanding of it.

Interviewer:

 

Beroset teaches seminars to hundreds of students of all ages for Landmark, which promotes the methodology of transformative learning.

Deb Beroset:

 

One way of educating students that makes all the difference in the world is if you can combine informative learning, where they're actually taking information with transformative learning where the child is able to look at what is the conversation, I have the perspective I have about myself and my capabilities or the perspective on the material. So for example, if a child is working on a math problem and has a perspective that they are not good at math they're going to struggle. If the teacher can help the child realise that they're current perspective is constraining and to actually take on that they are good at math, that math is easy, it will make all the difference in them succeeding.

Interviewer:

 

But Levin urges students to continue to strive for academic achievement as well, which despite increasing awareness and appreciation for other forms of intelligence is still a standard of measurement in society especially for young graduates who are just starting out.

Tim Levin:

 

I think you can't reach for the most success in the top jobs et cetera, until you have a basis of knowledge that you can really jump off of and that you can impress people with. I think there are a lot of different ways to be successful, but in order to keep the doors open in front of you, you really need to do as well as you can in school and have the best grades and have the best test scores you can to be able to give yourself the options ahead of you.

Interviewer:

 

So I guess the smart call would be to say that there's no one right path to success. For the Youth Cafe I'm Shirley Mather in New York City.

[end of audio]