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multiple intelligence theory
According to Howard Gardner, adolescents and adults reflect eight different intelligences, all
differing in value in American culture. Gardner's work has opened the door to a school of thought that encourages and accepts varying types of intelligence and to foster improvement on these skills in the classroom. Oftentimes, standard classrooms reward specifically linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences.With Gardner's theory, teachers can reward all intelligences in order to encourage a career path in the child's most fitting intelligence field. Considering adolescents are beginning their career path, Gardner's work is especially important to guide teens into a field they will excel in.
Below are the eight different intelligences that Gardner identified in his research:
Example of Behavior:
Ability to control one's body skillfully
Plays sports, can learn dance routines
Ability to notice subtle aspects of other people's behaviors
Perceiving mood of others, detecting unspoken thoughts
Awareness of one's own feelings, motives, and desires
Using self-knowledge to relate to others,
understanding emotions and their differences
Ability to use language effectively
Writes effectively, gives persuasive speeches and arguments
Ability to reason logically, especially in mathematics and science
Solves math problems quickly, creates and tests hypotheses easily
Ability to create, comprehend, and appreciate music
Playing an instrument, reading music, defining pitch
Ability to recognize patterns in nature and differences among natural objects and life-forms
Able to detect flavor differences, identify different species, classifying natural forms
Ability to notice details of what one sees and to imagine and manipulate visual objects in one's mind
Draws realistically, sees things and learns visually
Suggestions for Teachers:
Daily educational planning and home-learning activities should encourage all 8 different types of intelligence. For example, in addition to a math lesson, consider adding a creative project such as a collage that can connect back to classroom learning. By making activities like art, cooking, and exercise mandatory for all students, it is more likely that the student will find their best-fitting intelligence. Although it is difficult to sway away from activities that focus around logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligences due to state standard expectations, try to create time where students can exercise their different intelligences.
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