The highest graded assignment I have ever gotten was for an English lesson plan that made use of multiple intelligences and aimed to get all of them working in sync together with the whole class.
The article I found most interesting is this one by Howard Gardner himself outlining why multiple intelligences should not be seen solely as learning styles. Just for my own reference I’m going to include a picture of his learning styles that helps me refer to them:
On the other side, I read this article which breaks down the learning styles people have in line with Gardner’s multiple intelligences. This is conflicting information as Gardner himself is saying how teachers should not be dismissing a child’s learning as ‘just his learning style’ and I agree with that though it doesn’t mean that I can’t incorporate all learning styles in the classroom with different activities.
I do mostly agree with the fact that we are all skilled to certain extents with each one of the multiple intelligences. From this picture alone I know that for most of the time I am a linguistic, kinesthetic and spatial learner.
and this is where most of my experience lies. I have always had a passion for things that include drama, writing, speaking and quite often I also have to write/draw about things before I will understand them. I don’t really know if everyone has had the same experience, but when I was learning to read, write and spell I could pull images up in my head of signs I had seen, or lines in books and use this as a reference for how to spell the word – I was told this is a photographic memory.
This doesn’t mean that I haven’t grown in some areas, as I have gotten older and had more life experience I think that I have become increasingly intrapersonal and interpersonal and I’ve developed a deeper understanding for other people and myself. I have never been logical-mathematical and I really struggle to understand abstract concepts unless they’re written down to me, in-fact I have been reteaching myself maths from P – 8 and the way I’ve been doing this is incorporating as many visuals as possible and writing as many notes as I can. I have managed to learn to be more of one multiple intelligence by using others that I am better with and I think the same goes for teaching. We shouldn’t be excluding any multiple intelligence from the classroom because we can teach children more in certain areas through the ways they learn best.
I think it’s funny how I have read an article by Gardner himself about how we shouldn’t use multiple intelligences as learning styles, though all I have done in the previous sections is try and justify why we should whilst still agreeing with the article. Of all the teaching theories we have learnt about in our time at uni, multiple intelligences and different learning styles has always resonated with me and been a priority in my teaching and planning. I think because I really can see where my own strengths are, and that these are different strengths, even compared to my partner. She is much more musical, kinesthetic, logical and interpersonal and I think since we have been together I’ve been able to develop in these areas by observing what she does when she’s learning something new and reflecting on how I can do that too. The main point to Gardner’s article is that if we see a child learning something through a learning style, we shouldn’t dismiss that this is the only way they will learn something and only teach them through that learning style and I agree with that totally.
Take perspectives into account
I spoke to my partner, Rhi about my thoughts on this topic because as mentioned above we have very different learning styles and I wanted to see whether she would agree or argue with my thoughts. I firstly asked her if she really did believe that she was better at some intelligences than the others, and she did. Whilst she has taught herself to be a better linguistic learner, it is not her preferred style of learning – much the same as I can complete logical-mathematical activities but I would not want to learn everything in this way because it’s not as efficient for me.
I can see the bias here for the both of us is that we can see what areas we are most confident with and have had a wealth of experience in learning through these ways for the last twenty years. I think if I were to ask a child the same question the answers would not be exactly the same, I think when we are younger we are more capable of learning through all seven styles and this is when we are most likely to develop intelligence in these seven areas. I asked Rhi if she believed that also, and she agreed as when she was younger she was all-round and could complete tasks in all areas fairly well, but as she got older and less confident in certain areas she dismissed them and stopped progressing her knowledge within them.
Perhaps as teachers our goal should be to encourage children to nurture all aspects of intelligence, and instead of applying just one to a specific child, we should support them to discover new ways of learning through other scopes?
In summary for this activity, I think I still believe in the 7 learning styles though I am aiming to use them more effectively in the future.
Where I would have seen a child who was talented with linguistic or visual aspects of learning, and accompanied to that I think I would rather encourage them to learn something through different elements as well.
Another thought that hadn’t crossed my mind until this activity is that we could possibly be more receptive to learning all the multiple intelligences whilst we’re younger and we develop our preferences through our experiences of learning with these multiple intelligences.
A secondary goal from this activity is to bring with me into the classroom a good attitude relating to all of the seven multiple intelligences and to aim to use them all in an engaging way with my students so that they have the opportunity to become skilled with all of them.