Cultivating Multiple Intelligences in School

30 Sep

For me, Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is one of the most refreshing definitions of intelligence that I’ve ever encountered. It suggests that every person is intelligent in his or her own way, which of course goes against the traditional definition of intelligence. He is one of the first psychologists who proposed that every individual possesses seven kinds of intelligences in varying degrees. Therefore, we can understand people’s cognitive competences better by uncovering their unique intellectual profile.

 

Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom

 

 

A teacher who applies the multiple intelligences theory usually approach learning differently from other teachers who are more concerned about measuring their students’ general intelligence (g factor). Instead of assigning a single project to everyone in the class, a history teacher who uses the multiple intelligences approach will frequently break the class into groups. They will also attempt to tap their students’ intelligences through a variety of activities like the following:

 

  • Verbal/linguistic intelligence – The teacher will assign reports or essays that will allow them to express what they’ve learned through words.
  • Logical/mathematical intelligence – Students are asked to provide graphs and figures that explain the economic changes from the Spanish colonial period to the day our country declared its independence.
  • Spatial intelligence – Students are asked to work fill in a story board or create a mural that represents Philippine history.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence – The teacher asks students to present a skit or even an interpretative dance about the different eras in Philippine history.
  • Interpersonal intelligence – Students are asked to work in pairs or groups to find out more about the Philippine history. Brainstorming sessions and debates are also encouraged in the class.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence – The teacher asks each student to work on a report, a diagram, or a journal that discusses how changes in history affect the present condition of the country.
  • Naturalist intelligence – Students are asked to discuss how the Spanish, American, and Japanese periods affected agriculture in the Philippines as well as how its natural resources were exploited throughout time.

 

I Should’ve Known Better

 

 

When I was in high school, I had a science teacher who comes up with unique class projects and activities. During that time, I honestly thought that she was just giving us a hard time. She frequently asks us to work in groups, but we are also given the liberty to work on our own sometimes. I also remember the time when she asked us to create a model of the human heart using any medium we want. This time, we were asked to work alone. I really hated that project because I don’t really consider myself an artsy person.

 

However, I really enjoyed that class because we were asked to do new things each day. It never got boring. There was even a time when she asked us to present a short skit about famous scientists. Until this day, I remember how my groupmates and I conceptualized our representation of Archimedes. We ended up with one lead character sitting in a bath tub and shouting “Eureka!” when he discovers that the water displaced is equal to the volume of the parts of his body submerged in the tub.

 

Now that I’m familiar with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, I understand why our science teacher made an effort to assign various projects and activities to our class. She wants to tap our cognitive competences, highlight our strengths, and address our weaknesses whenever possible. She thinks of diverse activities that would make use of our intelligences, so everyone is given a fair chance to excel in class.

 

Her approach was really effective. Who would’ve known that I’d still remember our short play about Archimedes in the tub?

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2 Responses to “Cultivating Multiple Intelligences in School”

  1. monetteabalos September 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    I agree with you classmate!

    I also appreciate the importance and benefits of dealing with students based on their multiple intelligence.

    Monette:)

    • marrissegarchitorena October 14, 2012 at 5:53 am #

      I’m really happy that you’re reading my posts! Can you please give me the address of your e-Journal so that I can read yours as well? 🙂

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