Sunday, May 17, 2009

Multiple Intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences was created by Gardner to show that not all people learn the same ways, but may be just as intelligent as another person. A person may be very bright in music, but their interpersonal skills may be lacking. Gardner’s theory focuses on how different people learn differently, by breaking learning into eight different categories. The categories are linguistic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical-mathematical, body-kinesthetic, spatial and, most recently, naturalist.

All of the categories apply specifically to the way a person takes information in to process it. In my own example I scored very highly in the interpersonal category on a multiple intelligence test. I generally learn information better if I am working in a group of people or talking with another person in order to find the information. I did not score well on intrapersonal, so I would not take in information as well if they were in a situation that forced them to work alone. Each category follows this same type of process in order for people to really learn the information. In my experience, I always work better in groups, so I was not surprised that my interpersonal intelligence was much higher. I also know that when working alone, I have a more difficult time focusing and creating the best results possible.

A teacher must be able to teach to all types of intelligences and be able to supply different opportunities on the same assignment since not all students will excel the same way. Following this multiple intelligences will help a teacher develop a curriculum that ensures equal chances for everyone to succeed.

This continues to assessment by teachers creating assessments that adhere to each type of intelligence. The teacher can create an assignment that is authentic to the student, which allows the student to use their best intelligence to complete the assignment. After the assignment is completed, the teacher must be able to evaluate and grade evenly by accepting all the intelligences as possibilities for the student to use.

All teachers should look at multiple intelligences in order to keep students engaged and learning at their highest level. Students should be able to take tests like I did to find what intelligence level they work best at. If these opportunities are presented to the students, there will probably be an increase in success rates in the classroom.

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