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International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

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A CMI-triplization paradigm for reforming education in the new millennium


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DOI (Permanent URL): 10.1108/09513540010371975

Article citation: Yin Cheong Cheng, (2000) "A CMI-triplization paradigm for reforming education in the new millennium", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 14 Iss: 4, pp.156 - 174


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The Authors

Yin Cheong Cheng, Asia-Pacific Centre for Education Leadership and School Quality, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

Acknowledgements

This paper is adapted from a keynote speech presented at The 5th UNESCO-ACEID International Conference on “Reforming Learning, Curriculum and Pedagogy: Innovative Visions for the New Century” in Thailand, 13-16 December 1999.

Abstract

This article proposes a new paradigm including the concepts of contextualized multiple intelligences (CMIs) and triplization for reforming education. A pentagon theory is developed as the base for learning and teaching, to help students develop the necessary CMIs in the new century. Then the article illustrates the concepts and processes of triplization, including globalization, localization, and individualization, and explains why they together can provide a completely new paradigm to reform school education, curricula and pedagogy and how they can substantially contribute to the development of CMIs, of not only students, but also teachers and schools. Finally, the implications of the new paradigm for changing curricula and pedagogy are advanced. It is hoped that the new century education can support students becoming CMI citizens, who will be engaged in life-long learning and will creatively contribute to building up a multiple intelligence society and global village.

Article Type:

Conceptual Paper

Keyword(s):

Education; Improvement; Society; Paradigm.

Journal:

International Journal of Educational Management

Volume:

14

Number:

4

Year:

2000

pp:

156-174

Copyright ©

MCB UP Ltd

ISSN:

0951-354X

Introduction

The rapid globalization, long lasting impacts of information technology, drastic shocks of the 1997 economic downturn, and strong demands for economic and social developments so as to excel in both international and regional competition have become driving forces of educational changes and developments in the Asia-Pacific region and other parts of the world to face up the challenges particularly in the new century. It is evident that numerous educational reforms and school restructuring movements are going on to pursue educational effectiveness in nearly the whole of the Asia-Pacific region (Townsend and Cheng, 1999). Policy-makers and educators in each country have to think how to reform curricula and pedagogy and to prepare their young people to cope more effectively with the challenges of the new era (Dalin and Rust, 1996; Gardner, 1999). Unfortunately, the environment is changing too fast and is full of uncertainties and ambiguities. In such a context, most policy-makers and educators get confused with numerous novel but conflicting ideas and lose their direction in the rapid globalization; they lack a comprehensive framework for understanding the rapid developments and their impacts and for advancing significant and relevant implications for innovations in curricula and pedagogy. It is not a surprise that most of their reform efforts become reactive, piecemeal, fragmented, or finally ineffective even though they have worked very hard and invested huge resources in them with a good will.

My paper aims to provide a new paradigm for understanding and developing school education to meet the challenges in both local and international communities in the new millennium. Based on the previous research on multiple educational functions, I will delineate the nature of contextualized multiple intelligences (CMIs) and illustrate their importance in the development of citizens and their society in both the local and global contexts of complicated technological, economical social, political, cultural, and learning environments. Furthermore, I will propose a pentagon theory of CMIs as the base for reforming learning, teaching, and schooling through which students can develop the necessary CMI in the new century. Then, I will illustrate the new conceptions and processes of globalization, localization, and individualization, and then explain why they together can provide a completely new paradigm of school education and how they can substantially contribute to the development of CMI of not only students but also teachers and schools. Afterwards, I will discuss further the implications of the new paradigm of education for reforming curricula and pedagogy so as to cope with the challenges in the new century. For convenience, I would like to name this paradigm as the CMI-triplization paradigm of education.

CMIs

In the light of the biological origins of each problem-solving skill, Gardner (1993) suggested that there are seven human intelligences, including musical intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, spatial intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence. This biological perspective of multiple intelligences (MIs) may be useful to understand individual’s cognitive competence in terms of a set of basic abilities or “intelligences” (Gardner, 1993). When we want to design a curriculum and pedagogic methods to develop students’ related abilities and intelligences to survive a context of complicated technological, economic, social, political, and cultural environments, however, this perspective may be too “ basic” and limited and does not have a strong and direct relevance to such a context in the new century. Comparatively, it is useful to design curricula and pedagogy for early child education or lower primary education to develop their basic abilities, but it is not sophisticated enough for higher form education that should be highly contextualized to the social, economic, political, cultural, and technological developments (Berman, 1995; Guild and Chock-Eng, 1998; Guloff, 1996; Mettetal and Jordan, 1997; Teele, 1995).

My previous research on school effectiveness (Cheng, 1996) has shown that there are five different types of school functions in the new century, including the economic/structural functions, social functions, political functions, cultural functions, and educational functions. All these functions represent the different contributions of education to development of individuals, the school as an institution, the community, the society, and the international community in these areas. To achieve these functions, education should develop students’ intelligence in the areas of these five functions. Further, taking into consideration the traditional assumptions of human nature in social contexts (Bolman and Deal, 1997; Schein, 1980), as well as the importance of technology to development, we can assume that human nature can be represented by a typology, including technological person, economic person, social person, political person, cultural person, and learning person, in a complicated context of the new century. Therefore, human intelligence should be contextualized: that is, in a context of the technological, economical social, political, cultural and learning environments in the new millennium. As such, the human intelligence can be categorized into the following six CMIs shown in Table I, including technological intelligence, economic intelligence, social intelligence, political intelligence, cultural intelligence and learning intelligence.

Pentagon theory of CMI development for curricula and pedagogy

Based on these CMIs, a Pentagon Theory of CMI development for reforming education, curricula and pedagogy can be proposed to meet the developmental needs in the new millennium. It suggests that school education should be re-designed based on the premises of a new paradigm – as depicted in Figure 1 – as follows.

Relevant to the development of CMIs

The development of students’ CMIs is the basic condition for the development of individuals, institutions, communities, societies, and international communities in the complex local and global contexts, particularly in the technological, economical social, political, cultural, and learning aspects. Therefore, the curricula, pedagogy and school education should be reformed with clear relevance and concrete linkages with the development of CMIs.

Encouraging CMI interactions

The relationships among these six CMIs are interactive and mutually reinforcing with the learning intelligence at the centre as shown by the pentagon in Figure 1. The design of school education should encourage and facilitate such interactions and reinforcements among CMIs. This has strong implications for the needs of balanced curricula and pedagogy not only in lower grades of primary and secondary education but also in tertiary education, if we want to have citizens with broad mind sets or MIs to deal with the diverse challenges in the new era.

Facilitating intelligence transfer

Intelligence transfer from one type to another (e.g. from economic intelligence to political intelligence or social intelligence) should be encouraged and facilitated to achieve a higher level of intelligence or meta-thinking. The transfer itself can represent a type of intelligence creativity and generalization. It is hoped that inter-intelligence transfer can be transformed into a dynamic, ongoing and self-developing process not only at the individual level but also at the group, institutional, community, society, even international levels. This will be very important in the creation of a high level knowledge-based and thinking society or an intelligent global village.

Taking learning intelligence as central

To accelerate the development of all other CMIs, the development of learning intelligence can play a central role (Figure 1). Instead of teaching and learning huge volumes of information and factual materials, the content of curricula and the process of pedagogy should put emphasis on developing students’ ability to persistently learn how to learn systematically, creatively, and critically. This may partly reflect why the current educational reforms in different parts of the world emphasize the ability and attitude to life-long learning in curricula and pedagogy (Education Commission, 1999; Townsend and Cheng, 1999).

Developing CMI teachers and CMI schools

The success of implementing CMI education for students depends heavily on the quality of teachers and the school. Whether teachers themselves can develop and own a higher level of CMI and whether the school can be a MI organization and can provide a MI environment for teaching and learning will affect the design and implementation of CMI education.

Therefore, in the reform of school education, how to develop teachers as MI teachers and schools as MI schools through staff development and school development inevitably become an important agenda and necessary component.

Globalization, localization and individualization of education

In order to maximize the opportunities for development of CMIs for students, teachers, and the school, globalization, localization, and individualization in schooling, teaching, and learning are important and necessary to the reform of school education, curricula, and pedagogy in the new era. The following paragraphs will highlight their conceptions and implications for development of CMIs.

Triplization: globalization, localization, and individualization

Rapid globalization is the one of the most salient aspects of the new millennium particularly since the fast development of information technology (IT) in the last two decades (Brown, 1999). To different observers, different types of globalization can be identified even though most of the attention is in the areas of economy, technology, and culture (Brown and Lauder, 1996; Waters, 1995). From a broader perspective consistent with the concepts of CMIs, we may classify it into multiple globalization, including technological globalization, economic globalization, social globalization, political globalization, cultural globalization, and learning globalization in the new millennium (Figure 2). Particularly, learning globalization is very important, reflecting the global concern, networking, and sharing of how to learn and develop and face up to the challenges of an era of change and transformation in different areas.

Inevitably, how education should be responsive to the trends and challenges of globalization has become a major concern in policy making in these years (Ayyar, 1996; Brown and Lauder, 1996; Fowler, 1994; Green, 1999; Henry et al., 1999; Jones, 1999; Little, 1996; McGinn, 1996; Curriculum Development Council, 1999). In ongoing policy discussion of educational reforms, people emphasize the importance and impacts of globalization on the future of next generations and their society and try to make every effort to adapt their education system, as well as curricula and pedagogy, to cope with the demands and challenges from globalization. Unfortunately, they often ignore the necessity and importance of localization and individualization or they put these three processes in a contradictory position. Without localization in education, they will be unable to meet the local needs, involve community support, and enhance site-level motivation and initiatives (Kim, 1999; Cheng, 1996). Without individualization in education, all efforts of reforms will be unable to meet the needs of students and teachers (as well as schools) and to motivate them to be effective in teaching and learning. In other words, these reforms will not be able to elicit the necessary initiative, imagination, and creativity from school members and community members, and to make contribution to the process of globalization, not just receiving its impacts. Therefore, globalization, localization, and individualization are all necessary components in current educational reforms. All of these processes as a whole can be taken as a triplization process (i.e. triple + izations) that can be used to discuss educational reforms and formulate the new pedagogic methods and environments to implement new curricula for enhancing CMIs of students. Triplization or all these three processes are necessary to educational change and development in the new millennium.

In order to re-conceptualize and reengineer school education and change curricula and pedagogy for the new millennium, the phenomena of globalization, localization, and individualization can be perceived and illustrated as shown in Figure 2 and Table II.

Globalization

It refers to the transfer, adaptation, and development of values, knowledge, technology and behavioral norms across countries and societies in different parts of the world from and/or to a society, a community, an institution, or an individual. The typical phenomena and characteristics associated with globalization include growth of global networking (e.g. Internet, world wide e-communication, and transportation), global transfer and interflow in technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning aspects, international alliances and competitions, international collaboration and exchange, global village, multi-cultural integration, and use of international standards and benchmarks. Depending on the perspectives, the globalization processes is also described by some different and popular concepts, such as standardization, normalization, diffusion, socialization, politicization, sharing, cultural transplant, multiculturalism, colonization, hybridization, and networking (Pieterse, 1995; Brown, 1999; Waters, 1995).

Implications of globalization for education should include maximizing the global relevance, support, intellectual resources, and initiative in schooling, teaching, and learning (Daun, 1997). Some examples of globalization in curricula and pedagogy are Web-based learning; learning from the Internet; international visit/immersion programs; international exchange programs; international partnership in teaching and learning at the group, class, and individual levels; interactions and sharing through video-conferencing across countries, communities, institutions, and individuals; and new curricula content on technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning globalization.

Localization

It refers to the transfer, adaptation, and development of related values, knowledge, technology, and behavioral norms from/to the local contexts. It has two types of meanings: first, it can mean the adaptation of all related external values, initiatives, and norms to meet the local needs at the society, community, or site levels; second, it can also mean the enhancement of local values, norms, concern, relevance, participation, and involvement in the related initiatives and actions. Some characteristics and examples of localization are as follows: local networking; adaptation of external technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning initiatives to local communities; decentralization to the community or site level; development of indigenous culture; meeting community needs and expectations; local involvement, collaboration, and support; local relevance and legitimacy; and concern for school-based needs and characteristics and social norms and ethos (Tam et al., 1997; Kim, 1999; Cheng, 1998).

The implications of localization to change in education, curricula and pedagogy are to maximize the local relevance, community support, and initiative in schooling, teaching, and learning. Some examples for practice of localization include community and parental involvement in school education; home-school collaboration; assurance of school accountability; implementation of school-based management, school-based curricula and development of new curricula content on technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning localization (Sabar, 1991, 1994).

Individualization

It refers to the transfer, adaptation, and development of related external values, knowledge, technology, and behavioral norms to meet the individual needs and characteristics. The importance of individualization to human development and performance is based on the concerns and theories of human motivation and needs ( e.g. Maslow, 1970; Manz, 1986; Manz and Sims, 1990; Alderfer, 1972). Some examples of individualization are the provision of individualized services; emphasis on human potentials; promotion of human initiative and creativity; encouragement of self-actualization; self-managment and self-government; and concern for special needs. The major implication of individualization in curricula and pedagogy is to maximize motivation, initiative, and creativity of students and teachers in schooling, teaching, and learning through such measures as implementing individualized educational programs; designing and using individualized learning targets, methods, and progress schedules; encouraging students and teachers to be self-learning, self-actualizing, and self-initiating; meeting individual special needs; and developing students’ CMIs.

With the concepts of triplization, students, teachers, and schools can be considered to be globalized, localized, and individualized during the process of triplization. Or, simply, they are triplized. Of course, they themselves can contribute to globalization, localization, and individualization through their own globalizing, localizing, and individualizing.

A new paradigm of school education: CMIs and triplization

A new paradigm of school education for the new millennium can be built on the concepts of CMIs, globalization, localization, and individualization in schooling, teaching and learning. Its assumptions about the future of the world, human nature, the developments of individuals and the society, the aims of education, the students and learning, the teachers and teaching, and the school and schooling are contrastingly different from the traditional paradigm, as shown in Tables III-VII. The new century paradigm is also named as “New CMI-triplization paradigm” and the traditional one as “Traditional site-bounded paradigm.”

About the world, human nature, and development

The new CMI-triplization paradigm assumes that the world is in multiple globalization including technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning globalizations. Also, these globalizations are increasingly interacting in the whole world. The world is moving very fast to become a global village, in which different parts of the world are rapidly networked and globalized through the Internet and different types of IT, communications, and transportation (Albrow, 1990; Naisbitt and Aburdence, 1991). All countries and areas have more and more common concerns and sharing. Also, the interactions between nations and people become boundless, multi-dimensional, multi-level, fast, and frequent. They become more and more mutually dependent with international collaborations, exchanges, and interflows.

In the new paradigm, human nature in a social context of the new millennium is assumed to be multiple, as a technological person, economic person, social person, political person, cultural person, and learning person in a global village of information, high technology, and multi-cultures. Both individuals and the society need multiple developments in the technological, economic, social, political, cultural and learning aspects. Life-long learning individuals and a learning society (or knowledge society) are necessary to sustain the continuous multiple developments of individuals and the society in a fast changing era (Drucker, 1993, 1995). From the view point of the CMI theory, the society has to tend towards a multiple intelligence society that can provide the necessary knowledge and intelligence base and driving force to support the multiple developments. And the individuals have to tend towards being multiple intelligence citizens who can contribute to the development of a MI society.

As compared in Table III, the traditional paradigm perceives that the world has limited globalization, mainly in the economic and social aspects. All the nations in different parts of the world are loosely related, if not isolated, in only some limited areas especially in the economic aspect. They have serious competitions and conflicts more than sharing and collaboration. There are very limited, loose, and weak interactions between nations and people. As a whole, they are loosely coupled with some limited international collaborations and interflows (Beare and Slaughter, 1993; Naisbitt, 1984).

Human nature in such a context is mainly assumed as a economic person or a social person in an industrial or business society. Both individuals and the society pursue narrowed developments, mainly on some aspects such as economic, social, or political developments. School or vocational education is assumed necessary to provide the needed manpower for certain developments of a society at some stages (Cheng and Ng, 1992; Cheng, 1995). Therefore, the need for life-long learning or for a learning society may not be so important. The society is an industrial or agricultural society with emphasis on some types of intelligence or knowledge related to the existing stage of development of a society. Individuals are expected to be citizens with bounded types of knowledge or skills that meet the needs of society at a certain stage of development.

About the education environment and aims of education

Following the assumptions about the world and development, the new century paradigm assumes that the education environment is inevitably characterized by triplization, including globalization, localization, and individualization at the different levels (macro, messo, and micro) and aspects of the education system. As the education environment is very fast changing and becoming very complicated and full of uncertainties and ambiguities, the boundaries of schools, as well as the education system, become unclear and disappear. Students and teachers interact frequently and intensively with the “real world” in learning and teaching (Townsend, 1999). Continuous educational reforms and developments are inevitable due to various local and global challenges emerging from this changing education environment.

In such a context, the aim of education is to support students to become CMI citizens who will be engaged in life-long learning and will creatively contribute to the building up of a MI society and a MI global village.

As compared in Table IV, the traditional paradigm assumes that the education environment is mainly characterized by the needs of the local community, which is slowly changing with moderate uncertainties and complexity. Thus, the boundaries of schools and the education system are assumed to be relatively stable and certain. Teachers and students rarely interact with the “real world” in their teaching and learning. Students enter the “real world” only after graduation or leaving schools. Educational reforms are often limited and superficial, mainly as a reaction to the raised public accountability and local concern. From this paradigm, the aim of education is to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to survive in a local community, or to support the development of a society, particularly in the economic and social aspects at a certain stage.

About students and learning

New paradigm of learning

In the new paradigm of school education, students and their learning should be individualized, localized, and globalized (Table V).

Individualized students and learning: it assumes that the student is the centre of education. “Individualized student and learning” means that students and their learning should be facilitated in a way such that all types of transfer, adaptation, and development of related values, knowledge, technology, and norms during the learning process can meet their needs and personal characteristics, and that their potentials, particularly CMI, can develop in an optimal way. Different students can learn in different styles. Individualized and tailor-made programs (including targets, content, methods, and schedules) for different students are necessary and feasible. Students can be self-motivated and self-learning with appropriate guidance and facilitation, and learning is a self-actualizing, discovering, experiencing, and reflecting process. Since the information and knowledge are accumulated at an undeliverable speed but are outdated very quickly, it is nearly impossible to make any sense if education is mainly to deliver skills and knowledge, particularly when students can find the knowledge and information easily with the help of IT and Internet. Therefore, the new century paradigm emphasizes that the focus of learning is on how to learn, think, and create. In order to sustain learning as life long, learning should be facilitated as enjoyable and self-rewarding.

Localized and globalized students and learning: students and their learning should be facilitated in such a way such that all types of transfer, adaptation, and development of related values, knowledge, technology, and norms can bring in local and global resources, support, and networks to maximize the opportunities for their development during the learning process. Through localization and globalization, there are multiple sources of learning. Students can learn from multiple sources inside and outside their schools, locally and globally, and are not limited to a small number of teachers in their schools. Participation in local and international learning programs can help them achieve the related community and global outlook and experiences beyond schools. Also their learning is a type of networked learning. They will be grouped and networked locally and internationally. Learning groups and networks will become a major driving force to sustain the learning climate and multiply the learning effects through mutual sharing and inspiration. We can expect that each student can have a group of life-long partner students in different corners of the world to share their learning experiences.

It is expected that learning happens everywhere and is life long. School education is just the start or preparation for life-long learning. Learning opportunities are unlimited. Students can maximize the opportunities for their learning from local and global exposures through the Internet, Web-based learning, video-conferencing, cross-cultural sharing, and different types of interactive and multi-media materials (Education and Manpower Bureau, 1998). Students can learn from the world-class teachers, experts, peers, and learning materials from different parts of the world. In other words, their learning can be a world-class learning.

Traditional paradigm of learning

In the traditional thinking, students and their learning are part of the reproduction and perpetuation process of the existing knowledge and manpower structure to sustain development of the society, particularly in the social and economic aspects (Cheng and Ng, 1992; Blackledge and Hunt, 1985; Hinchliffe, 1987; McMahon, 1987). It is not a surprise that education is perceived as a process for students and their learning being “reproduced” to meet the needs of the society. The profiles of the student and learning are clearly different from those in the new paradigm (see Table V).

Reproduced students and learning: in school education, students are the followers of their teacher. They go through standard programs of education, in which students are taught in the same way and at the same pace, even though their ability may be different. Individualized programs seem to be unfeasible. The learning process is characterized by absorbing certain types of knowledge: students are “students” of their teachers and they absorb knowledge from their teachers. Learning is a disciplinary, receiving, and socializing process such that close supervision and control of the learning process is necessary. The focus of learning is on how to gain some knowledge and skills. Learning is often perceived as hard work to achieve external rewards and avoid punishment.

School-bounded learning: in the traditional paradigm, all learning activities are school-bounded and teacher-based. Students learn from a limited number of school teachers and their prepared material. Therefore, teachers are the major source of knowledge and learning. Students learn the standard curricula from their textbooks and related materials assigned by their teachers. Students are often arranged to learn in a separated way and are made responsible for their individual learning outcomes. They have few opportunities to mutually support and learn. Their learning experiences are mainly school experiences alienated from the fast changing local and global communities. Learning happens only in school within a given school time frame. Graduation tends to be the end of students’ learning.

About teachers and teaching

New paradigm of teaching

In the new triplization paradigm, teachers and their teaching should be triplized: individualized, localized, and globalized (see Table VI).

Individualized teachers and teaching: teachers and their teaching are facilitated in a way such that all types of transfer, adaptation, and development of related values, knowledge, technology, and norms during the teaching process can maximize their potentials to facilitate students’ learning in an optimal way. Teaching is considered a process to initiate, facilitate, and sustain students’ self-learning and self-actualization; therefore, teachers should play a role as a facilitator or mentor who support students’ learning. The focus of teaching is to arouse students’ curiosity and motivation to think, act, and learn. Also, teaching is to share with students the joy of the learning process and outcomes. To teachers themselves, teaching is a life-long learning process involving continuous discovery, experimenting, self-actualization, reflection, and professional development. Teachers should be MI teachers who can set a model for students in developing their MIs. Each teacher has his/her own potential and characteristics, and different teachers can teach in different styles to maximize their own contributions.

Localized and globalized teachers and teaching: the new paradigm emphasizes that teachers and their teaching should be facilitated in such a way such that all types of transfer, adaptation and development of related values, knowledge, technology, and norms can bring in local and global resources, support and networks to maximize the opportunities for their development in teaching and their contributions to students’ learning. Through localization and globalization, there are multiple sources of teaching, for example, self-learning programs and packages, Web-based learning, outside experts, and community experiental programs, inside and outside their schools, locally and globally. Teachers can maximize the opportunities to enhance effectiveness of their teaching from local and global networking and exposure through the Internet, Web-based teaching, video-conferencing, cross-cultural sharing, and different types of interactive and multi-media materials (Education and Manpower Bureau, 1998). With their help, students can learn from the world-class teaching materials, experts, peers, and teachers in different parts of the world such that their teachers’ teaching can become world-class teaching. Through participation in local and international development programs, teachers can achieve global and regional outlooks and experiences beyond schools. Furthermore, their teaching is a type of networked teaching. Teachers are grouped and networked locally and globally to develop and sustain a new professional culture and multiply their teaching effects through mutual sharing and inspiration. They become a world class and networked teacher through localization and globalization. It is not a surprise that each teacher can have a group of life-long partner teachers in other parts of the world to continuously share and discuss their experiences and ideas of professional practice.

Traditional paradigm of teaching

As discussed in the traditional site-bounded paradigm of learning, teachers and their teaching are often perceived as part of the reproduction and perpetuation process of the existing knowledge and manpower structure to sustain developments of the society. As compared in Table VI, the characteristics of teacher and teaching are contrastingly different from those in the new paradigm.

Reproduced teachers and teaching: teachers are the centre of education. They have some technical, social, and professional competencies to deliver knowledge to students. Teachers teach in some standard styles and patterns to ensure standard knowledge to be taught to students even though teachers’ potentials and personal characteristics may be different. Their major task is to transfer some knowledge and skills they previously have to students, and therefore teaching is often a disciplinary, delivery, training, and socializing process. Also, teaching is often perceived as hard work in order to achieve some external standards in examinations.

School-bounded teachers and teaching: in the traditional paradigm, teachers and their teaching are bounded within the school. Schools are the major venue for teaching and teachers are the major source of knowledge. Teachers are often arranged to teach in a separated way and are kept responsible for their teaching outcomes. They have few opportunities to mutually support and learn. Their teaching is bounded such that teachers teach the standard curricula with their textbooks and related materials assigned by their schools and the education authority. The teachers and their teaching are often alienated from the fast changing local communities or international contexts. From these traditional perspectives, teachers are clearly school-bounded and separated, who rarely have any global and regional outlook to develop a world-class education for their students in the new century.

About schools and schooling

New paradigm of schooling

It prescribes that schools and schooling should be triplized, including individualized, localized, and globalized (see Table VII).

Individualized schools and schooling: school is perceived as a facilitating place to support students’ learning. School itself should be a CMI environment for supporting students to develop their MIs. Each school has its own strengths, potential, and characteristics. Based on their strengths, different schools can conduct and manage schooling in different styles to maximize their own contributions to students’ learning. The focus of schooling is to arouse curiosity and motivation of both students and teachers to think, act, and learn in a MI way. Schooling is also an open process to initiate, facilitate, and sustain self-earning and self-actualization of students and teachers. It provides opportunities to share the joy of learning and teaching among teachers and students. To face up the challenges in the new century and pursue CMIs, school is a continuously learning and developing organization, involving institutional continuous discovery, experimenting, actualization, reflection, and development.

Localized and globalized schools and schooling: schools and their schooling should be managed and facilitated in such a way such that all types of transfer, adaptation, and development of related values, knowledge, technology, and norms can bring in local and global resources, support, and networks to maximize the opportunities for their developments and their contributions to students’ learning and teachers’ teaching. As discussed previously, in addition to the school itself, there are multiple sources of teaching and learning – self-learning programs and packages, Web-based learning, outside experts, community experiental programs, etc. – inside and outside the school, locally and globally. Parents and communities, including social services, business, and industry, are actively involved in schooling. The partnership with them is necessary to support effective networked schooling and multiple sources of learning. Locally and globally networked schooling can provide a wide spectrum of learning experiences and maximize opportunities for teachers and students to benefit from various settings and cultures. With the help of globalized schooling, students can benefit from the world-class experiences from different parts of the world. Schools can maximize the opportunities for teachers and students to enhance the quality of teaching and learning from local and global networking and exposure. Schools in the new century paradigm are conceptualized as world-class and networked schools.

Traditional paradigm of schooling

As discussed previously, school is perceived as a place of reproduction and perpetuation of the existing knowledge and structure, and therefore schooling is a process for “being reproduced or reproducing”. It is reproduced from the existing key social elements such as traditional values, beliefs, knowledge and structures in the society. And it itself is reproducing or perpetuating these social elements to next generations through teaching and learning. As shown in Table VII, the profiles of schools and schooling are different from those in the new century paradigm.

Reproduced schools and schooling: a school is the central place of education and source of knowledge and qualifications, which delivers some knowledge and skills to students, socializes them into given norms, and qualifies them if they meet the specified standards. Schools should be organized and managed in some standard styles and patterns to ensure standard knowledge and norms to be delivered to students, even though schools’ characteristics and strengths may be different. The major task of schooling is to transfer some knowledge and skills to students, and teachers are laborers of transfer. Therefore, schooling is a disciplinary, delivery, training, and socializing process to qualify students to satisfy the manpower needs in the society. Inevitably, schooling involves hard work for both students and teachers to achieve some external standards in examinations. It is not a surprise that a school is a stable bureaucracy equipped with designed structure, policies, and procedures to ensure the standards of teaching and learning outcomes.

Bounded schools and schooling: a school is almost like an isolated island bound by all activities of schooling, teaching, and learning in a very narrow way. There is no clear need to have strong community linkage and parental involvement as the school is the major source of knowledge and qualifications. Parents and communities are just receivers of educational outcomes. Schools are often arranged to manage in a separated way in order to be kept accountable for their schooling outcomes. Schools, even within the same community, have few opportunities to mutually support and learn. Schools can provide a standard environment, curricula, textbooks, and related materials for teachers and students to teach and learn. The opportunities for learning are quite limited. School life and its activities are alienated from the rapidly changing external “real” environment or local communities. Schools are bounded and separated from the outside world.

Implications for the new century curriculum and pedagogy

From the above discussion, we can see that there are two completely different paradigms of education: the new triplization paradigm and the traditional site-bounded paradigm. In order to meet the future challenges and needs in the new millennium, there should be a paradigm shift from the traditional site-bounded paradigm to the new triplization paradigm. In other words, education should be moved from the traditional site-bounded, teacher-based, and subject-focused learning and teaching to the new globalized, localized individualized, and CMI-based learning and teaching.

From the comparison of characteristics of teaching, learning, and schooling between these two paradigms as presented in the proceeding sections, we understand that the concepts, quality and content of curricula and pedagogy in the new century are completely different from the traditional ones. Inevitably, there is also a similar paradigm shift in curriculum design and pedagogic methods if we want to have a new paradigm of education for our students to achieve their future in the new millennium. Based on the new assumptions about the world, human nature, developments, education environment, and aims of education, the characteristics of triplized learning, teaching, and schooling as well as the pentagon theory of CMIs, the implications for reforming curricula and pedagogy can be drawn and are summarized as follows (for the comparison between the two paradigms, please refer to Table VIII).

Aims of the new century curriculum

Traditionally, curricula often aim to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to survive a local community or meet the manpower needs of a society in the economic and social developments. But with the triplization paradigm, the aims of new curricula should be to develop students as a triplized life-long self-learning MI citizen of a MI society and a MI global village with multiple developments in technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning aspects.

Characteristics of the new century curriculum

MI/triplization-focused curricula

In the traditional paradigm, the focus of the design of a curriculum is on the content and delivery of subject knowledge. The structure of a curriculum is mainly based on the structure of subject knowledge and the needs for same standard contents and same arrangements for the same age group. Therefore, the curriculum structure is often linear, step by step, and subject dependent. Whether the curriculum is globalized (or world-class), localized and individualized is not the concern. In contrast, the new paradigm focuses on the design of a curriculum with respect to developing students’ MIs and ability to make triplization for their own learning and development. Therefore, the design is based on characteristics of development of CMIs and maximizing development opportunities for students’ individualized, localized, and globalized learning. The curriculum structure is often hybrid, integrative, and interactive with the support of IT, networking, local and global exposure, and field experience and virtual reality.

World-class and globalzied curriculum

The curriculum content should be the world-class and globalized, pooling the world-class materials and designs for learning and teaching and maximizing global relevance and exposure in different development areas. The content is also related to technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning globalization. Whether it is subject-based is not the major concern.

Localized curriculum

The curriculum also includes local resources, materials, and concerns to ensure the local relevance and community involvement to maximize opportunities for students’ localized learning. Class-based curricula, school-based curricula, and community-based curricula are typical practices to increase the local relevance and support in the field (Smylie, 1991, 1994; Sabar, 1991, 1994). Technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning localization are also important areas of the new century curriculum.

Individualized curriculum

The curriculum design and content are flexible and adaptable and can be indivdualized – in terms of learning targets, content, methods, and schedules – to meet the developmental needs of individual teachers, facilitate their self-learning and self-actualization, and optimize their potentials as triplized MI students.

Characteristics of new century pedagogy

The traditional pedagogy emphasizes delivering subject knowledge and skills to students. Inevitably, the pedagogy is mainly to ensure students’ learning as a disciplinary, receiving, and socializing process and assumes that close supervision is necessary during the learning process. The opportunities for traditional learning are often very limited in a fixed period within a site-bounded but IT-absent environment. Also, the pedagogy has no clear linkage with CMI development of students, and it is often driven by the delivery of subject knowledge and external standards in examinations. Contrastingly different from the traditional paradigm, the new triplization pedagogy has the following characteristics (see Table IX):

Facilitating students’ life-long self-learning

The new pedagogy is to ensure students’ learning as a self-actualizing, discovering, experiencing, enjoyable, and reflecting process. Teachers’ inspiration and students’ own motivation and self-reward are crucial to this self-learning process.

Multiple sources for student learning

In addition to the school itself, there are multiple sources of student learning – for example, self-learning programs and packages, interactive multi-media materials, Web-based learning, outside experts, community experiental programs, etc. - inside and outside the school, locally and globally. Through different types of partnership and collaboration, other schools, local and overseas organizations, institutions and communities including social services, business, and industry, are actively involved in different types of education programs for students.

Globally and locally networked student learning

Student learning is locally and globally networked through, for example, the Internet, e-communications, visiting programs, local and global exchange programs, and sharing by video-conferencing. The networked learning can provide a wide spectrum of learning experiences and maximize opportunities for students to benefit from various settings and cultures. With the help of globalized learning, students can learn from world-class experiences from different parts of the world and various cultural settings. Therefore, the opportunities for students can be maximized to enhance the quality of their learning from local and global networking and exposure. In the new triplization paradigm, schools are conceptualized as world-class and networked learning organizations.

World-wide IT pedagogical environment

In order to make triplizing school education possible, it is necessary to build up a world-wide IT pedagogical environment for student learning and teacher teaching. It should include some typical and important components such as world-wide networking through the Internet, Web-based learning, interactive self-learning, multi-media facilities and learning materials, and video-conferencing for local and international sharing and exposure. Through the help of this environment, boundless and unlimited opportunities can be provided for students’ learning and teachers’ professional development inside and outside schools.

Based on pentagon theory of CMI development

The pedagogy should be also based on the pentagon theory of CMI development. It should encourage students’ CMI interactions and facilitate intelligence transfer among learning, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological intelligences. Also, developing students’ learning intelligence should be at the core of pedagogy. Students should be facilitated to learn how to learn, think, and create particularly in the triplized local and global contexts. Teachers themselves should set a MI model for facilitating and stimulating students’ self-learning. Schools should become a CMI pedagogical environment, in which students are immersed and inspired to be self-actualizing and developing in CMIs. Team/group learning, open-end learning projects, problem-based learning, and integrative and thematic learning are typical examples of pedagogic approaches in the new school education.

New quality assurance of teaching and learning

Since the traditional paradigm emphasizes the delivery of knowledge and skill, the quality assurance of education is often focused on how well learning and teaching are organized to deliver the necessary knowledge and skills to students; how well the delivery of knowledge and skills to students can be ensured through the improvement of teaching and learning; how well teachers’ teaching can be improved in a given time period; and how well students can arrive at a given standard in teaching examinations. Clearly, the paradigm shift towards triplization induces a new concept of quality assurance in education. The new quality assurance can be based on the following major questions:

  • How well learning, teaching, and schooling are triplized? (This question aims to ensure that student learning, teacher teaching, and schooling can be well placed in a globalized, localized, and individualized context.)
  • How well students’ learning opportunities are maximized through the IT environment, networking, MI teachers, and MI schools? (This question intends to ensure the maximizing of opportunities for students’ learning and development in a triplized MI environment.)
  • How well students’ self-learning is facilitated and sustained as potentially life long ? (This question tries to ensure the maximized opportunities for students’ self-learning are sustainable life long.)
  • How well students’ MIs and their ability to triplize their self-learning are developed ? (This question focuses on ensuring the relevance and outcome of student learning in terms of MIs and ability of triplizing self-learning.)

From the above discussion, the implications for paradigm shift towards new curriculum and pedagogy are substantial and completely different from the traditional thinking and practice. They can provide a new paradigm for reforming curricula and pedagogy in different parts of the world if globalization, localization, individualization and CMIs are all considered to be necessary in education for the new millennium.

Conclusion

We have here a new CMI-triplization paradigm for rethinking and re-engineering our school education.

If we believe, in the new millennium, our world is moving towards multiple globalizations and becoming a global village with boundless interactions among countries and areas, our new generation should contain CMI people in a fast changing and interacting global village. The development of the society should be multiple towards a learning MI society. The aims of learning, curriculum and pedagogy should be to develop students as MI citizens who will creatively contribute to the formation of an MI society and an MI global village with multiple developments in technological, economic, social, political, cultural, and learning aspects.

We expect our schools, teachers, and students to be triplized in the new century. Our learning, teaching, and schooling will be finally globalized, localized, and individualized with the help of IT and boundless multiple networkings. We will have unlimited opportunities and multiple global and local sources for life-long learning and development of both students and teachers. New curriculum and pedagogy should facilitate the triplized learning and make its process interactive, self-actualizing, full of discovery, enjoyable, and self-rewarding. New curricula and pedagogy should be triplized and also CMI-based, that they can provide world-class learning for students. Students can learn from the world-class teachers, experts, peers, and learning materials from different parts of the world in any time frame and get local, regional, and global exposure and outlook as a CMI citizen. We believe, that teachers, as the key school actor, will play a very crucial role in the whole process of triplization in education. They will learn to triplize themselves as a triplized MI teacher, transform their schools as a triplized MI school, and facilitate students to become triplized MI students. Also, they will help to transform school curricula and pedagogy as triplized and world class curricula and pedagogy to meet the challenges and needs in the new millennium.

Finally, I have a dream: after the great efforts of all of us in learning, curricula, and pedagogy:

  • all our students will become triplized MI students. They fully enjoy life-long self-learning and actualization and become CMI citizens;
  • all our teachers will become triplized MI teachers. They will share the joy of triplized learning and teaching with their students and pursue life-long learning and professional development; and
  • all our schools will become triplized MI schools. All educators and teachers will be dedicated to making contributions to triplization in learning, curricula and pedagogy and create unlimited opportunities for all students’ life-long learning and development in Hong Kong and different parts of the world in the new century.

ImageConceptions and implications of triplization
Table II Conceptions and implications of triplization

ImagePentagon theory of CMI development for redesign of curriculum and pedagogy (with globalization, localization and individualization)
Figure 1 Pentagon theory of CMI development for redesign of curriculum and pedagogy (with globalization, localization and individualization)

ImageGlobalization, localization and individualization
Figure 2 Globalization, localization and individualization

ImageCMIs
Table I CMIs

ImageTwo paradigms for school education: the world, human nature, development of individuals and the society
Table III Two paradigms for school education: the world, human nature, development of individuals and the society

ImageTwo paradigms for school education: the education environment and aims of education
Table IV Two paradigms for school education: the education environment and aims of education

ImageTwo paradigms for school education: student and learning
Table V Two paradigms for school education: student and learning

ImageTwo paradigms for school education: teacher and teaching
Table VI Two paradigms for school education: teacher and teaching

ImageTwo paradigms for school education: school and schooling
Table VII Two paradigms for school education: school and schooling

ImageTwo paradigms for curricula and pedagogy
Table VIII Two paradigms for curricula and pedagogy

ImageComparing the new and traditional pedagogies
Table IX Comparing the new and traditional pedagogies

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