In his article “It’s not What You Know but How You Use It: Teaching for Wisdom” Robert Sternberg asserts that children be taught how to use their knowledge to benefit the world. U.S. presidents and businessmen have not used their wisdom well. Many educated people believe they are the center of the universe, all knowing, powerful because of intelligence, or able to escape blame because of intelligence. Although intelligence may rise throughout generations, wisdom does not. The “Balance Theory” says that people do what’s best for everyone. Students should be taught to benefit society by thinking critically and viewing situations from different perspectives. Teaching students wisdom will give them their own views, but also allow them to sympathize with others. In some history classes, students are taught that their country often made harmful decisions. Mandela and Mugabe are examples of the difference wisdom makes in decisions. Wisdom is critical, so the past isn’t repeated.
First, I agree with Sternberg when he says, “My own view is that smart and well-educated people are particularly susceptible to four fallacies, precisely because they are so skilled.” He then goes on the explain the egocentrism, omniscience, omnipotence, and invulnerability fallacies. Looking back through history it is clea...
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...t him or herself. World leaders are put in power to make decisions to benefit the citizens of their country. There are a few leaders who are corrupted by the power and use it to benefit themselves. Even though most people are good and follow the “balance theory,” a select few ruin the idea.
I highly recommend this article, which could be read by anyone. Sternberg’s main audience is anyone who is currently enrolled in school or teaching. They should read this to grasp a better understanding of the purpose of education and its service to people. Sternberg clearly states that wisdom is needed so people don’t repeat horrible events from the past. He gives concrete examples of leaders that were intelligent but no wise. These examples reinforced his argument that children should be taught to use their intelligence to benefit their town, their country, and even the world.
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