This article describes a balance theory of wisdom and applies the theory to the context of schooling. First, the article discusses why intelligence-related skills are an important, but not a sufficient, basis for education. Second, the article briefly reviews alternative theories of wisdom. Third, the article presents a balance theory of wisdom, according to which wisdom is defined as the application of tacit as well as explicit knowledge as mediated by values toward the achievement of a common good through a balance among (a) intrapersonal, (b) interpersonal, and (c) extrapersonal interests over the (a) short term and (b) long term to achieve a balance among (a) adaptation to existing environments, (b) shaping of existing environments, and (c) selection of new environments. Fourth, the article discusses the measurement of tacit knowledge, in general, and of wisdom, in particular. Fifth, the article discusses how wisdom might be nurtured in schools. Sixth, the article describes a concrete project currently under way that involves the development of wisdom in middle-school children. Finally, the article concludes that it might be worthwhile for schools to emphasize the development of wisdom.
Sternberg, R. J. (2001). Why schools should teach for wisdom: The balance theory of wisdom in educational settings. Educational psychologist, 36(4), 227-245.