August 23, 2006

Teaching using Multiple Intelligences

Posted in philosophy at 8:52 pm by mrsmauck

Our discussion in Methods today was about student diversity. How are we supposed to teach the at-risk students, the overachievers, the gifted students, and the average ones, all at the same time? I think the more important question is how do we teach students with so many different sets of talents? I think it’s important to believe that every student has something to offer to your classroom, no matter how bad their grades are. These categories are really just arbitrary, in my view, because they’re based on grades. Rather than worry about the diversity of intelligence level (which is based only on assessment, ususally), we should focus on teaching to Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.

I want to administer a survey or quiz in the first couple days of school to try to understand how my students learn best, and what they’re best at doing. This won’t be so much for my benefit–I just want the kids to know that I believe Howard Gardner’s statement:

It’s not how smart you are; it’s how you are smart!

I’ll plan to teach to all the intelligences with lots of project choices and a combination of group and individual projects. To me, GT programs reward those who excel on standardized tests-probably those who have linguistic and logical intelligence-but not others. Those who argue this say that all the areas are correlated, but I couldn’t disagree more. I’m really high on the linguistic and interpersonal scale, but way low on logical, spatial, kinesthetic, and musical. And I score really high on standardized tests, usually. Here’s a great site with simple definitions and example of M.I., and links to lots of online tests. See how you’re smart!

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