Multiple Intelligences Workshop
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I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place. Knowledge is not the same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding is knowing who we are and what we can do... Howard Gardner 1999: 180-181
Multiple Intelligencesin the classroom
Five Minds for the FutureThe "disciplined mind" covers the conventional approach of developing an ability to master an academic subject, a craft, or a profession as well as, in the other sense of "discipline", the ability to apply oneself to the business of learning.The "synthesising mind" is the ability to absorb, sift, select, and make sense of the vast and indigestible amounts of data that surround us in the internet age. This could be the most important of the five minds for survival in everyday and working life as we flounder in ever-higher tides of data. The "creating mind" is Gardner's third category. This is the mind that "forges new ground" and discovers new ways of doing things. The fourth category is the "respectful mind". This is about recognising the "otherness" of people different from ourselves and respecting the differences of, for example, traditions, religion, and ethnicity.
Gardner's final category is the "ethical mind". This goes beyond simply respecting others towards actively striving to do good, trying to make the world a better place.
How do they stack up?Disciplined Synthesising Creative Respectful Ethical Managing Self
Using Symbols & Texts Thinking Relating to Others
Participating & Contributing
What are Multiple Intelligences? Multiple intelligences refers to a theory of intelligence developed in 1983 by Howard Gardner, a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Howard Gardner denes intelligence as the ability to solve problems, fashion products, or provide services that are valued in a culture.
Howard Gardner claims that all human beings have multiple intelligences. These multiple intelligences can be nurtured and strengthened, or ignored and weakened. He believes each individual has nine intelligences:
Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence -- welldeveloped verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words
Mathematical-Logical Intelligence -- ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical or numerical patterns
Musical Intelligence -- ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber
Visual-Spatial Intelligence -- capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence -- ability to control one's body movements and to handle objects skillfully
Interpersonal Intelligence -- capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others.
Intrapersonal Intelligence -- capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes
Naturalist Intelligence -- ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature
Existential Intelligence -- sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.
All human beings possess all nine intelligences in varying amounts.
Each person has a different intellectual composition. We can improve education by addressing the multiple intelligences of our students.
These intelligences are located in different areas of the brain and can either work independently or together.
What do multiple intelligences have to do with my classroom? There are numerous ways to express oneself, and probably even more ways to gain knowledge and understand the universe. Individuals are capable, the theory of multiple intelligences advocates, of deep understanding and mastery in the most profound areas of human experience. Even long before the theory emerged and was named in 1983 by Howard Gardner, numerous teachers fostered the intelligences of their students.
Think of it this way:J.K. Rowling, Richard Feynmann, Savage, Colin McCahon, Daniel Carter, Helen Clark, Deepak Chopra, Jane Goodall, and Gary Larson are students in your class.
J.K. is writing the next Harry Potter adventure on scraps of paper. Richard is daydreaming the equations enabling a quantum computer. Savage softly hums the tunes for the sequel to "They dont know." Colin has painted brilliant landscapes on each windowpane. Daniel can't wait to get to PE. Helen has organized the school's student council. Deepak provides in-class spiritual counseling. Jane adds a new animal to the class zoo daily. Gary scrawls funny pictures in the margins of his notebook.
The next time you have a chance to reect on your class, imagine your students as individuals who have fully realized and developed their intelligences.
How can applying M.I. theory help students learn better?
Students begin to understand how they are intelligent.In Gardner's view, learning is both a social and psychological process. When students understand the balance of their own multiple intelligences they begin To manage their own learning To value their individual strengths
Teachers need to understand how students are intelligent as well as how intelligent they are.Knowing which students have the potential for strong interpersonal intelligence, for example, will help you create opportunities where the strength can be fostered in others. However, multiple intelligence theory is not intended to provide teachers with new IQ-like labels for their students.
Students approach understanding from different angles.
The problem, "What is sand?" has scientic, poetic, artistic, musical, and geographic points of entry.
Students that exhibit comprehension through rubrics, portfolios, or demonstrations come to have an authentic understanding of achievement.
The accomplishment of the lawyer is in winning her case through research and persuasive argument, more than in having passed the bar exam.
Students become balanced individuals who can function as members of their culture.Classroom activities that teach to the intelligences foster deep understanding about the essential questions of life, such as: Where do we come from? What's the world made of? What have humans achieved? What can we achieve? How does one lead a good life?
How do I apply multiple intelligences (M.I.) theory in my classroom?
There are many different ways to apply multiple intelligences theory in the classroom. You probably employ a variety of intelligences already.
While you look at the following grid, think of other events, artifacts, content and activities you might incorporate into the subject matter you teach.
Intelligence typeVerbal-Linguistic Mathematical-Logical Musical Visual-Spatial Bodily-Kinesthetic Interpersonal Intrapersonal Naturalist Existential
Incorporated into subject matterBooks, stories, poetry, speeches, author visits
Demonstrated byWriting stories, scripts, poems, storytelling
Exercises, drills, problem solving
Counting, calculating, theorizing, demonstrating, programming computers
Tapes, CD's, concert going Posters, art work, slides, charts, graphs, video tapes, laser disks, CD-ROMs and DVDs, museum visits Movies, animations, exercises, physicalizing concepts, rhythm exercises Teams, group work, specialist roles
Performing, singing, playing, composing Drawing, painting, illustrating, graphic design, collage making, poster making, photography Dance recital, athletic performance or competition Plays, debates, panels, group work Journals, memoirs, diaries, changing behaviors, habits, personal growth Collecting, classifying, caring for animals at nature centers
Reection time, meditation exercises Terrariums, aquariums, class pets, farm, botanical garden and zoo visits, nature walks, museum visits Working on causes, charity work, astrology charts
What are some simple ways to get started?
Most importantly, start small . . . no matter how grandly you're planning. Minor adjustments to your curriculum make a big difference in students' motivation and understanding.
Here are four strategies for applying M.I. theory to your class:
Add a cross-curricular element to a unit. For example, think of how you might liven up a math lesson by inviting students to write song lyrics, invent dances, or write stories that help them recall important math facts or procedures. Emphasize the core curriculum, but invite student expression in areas previously considered outside the scope of that content.
Offer students a variety of presentation options for projects. In addition to writing reports, let students "show what they know" by giving oral presentations accompanied by visual aids they create to organize the information and remove the pressure to know everything by heart. Other presentation options include role-playing exercises, plays, debates, murals, Web publishing, and multimedia computer presentations (using multimedia software such as Powerpoint or Keynote).
Apply M.I. thinking to group projects. To help students develop "interpersonal intelligence," use cooperative learning techniques. In the case of M.I. work, after ascertaining some of your students' multiple intelligence strengths, you may wish to organize cooperative learning groups so that there is an interesting distribution in each group. Students with strong interpersonal s