gardner

Gardner originally identified seven areas of intelligences in 1983, however, he added two additional intelligences in 1999. The nine intelligences are:

  1. Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence - well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words
  2. Mathematical-Logical Intelligence - ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical or numerical patterns
  3. Musical Intelligence - ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber
  4. Visual-Spatial Intelligence - capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly
  5. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence - ability to control one's body movements and to handle objects skillfully
  6. Interpersonal Intelligence - capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others.
  7. Intrapersonal Intelligence - capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes
  8. Naturalist Intelligence - ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature
  9. Existential Intelligence - sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

Using the following inventory, http://www.ldrc.ca/projects/miinventory/miinventory.php, I identified my own areas of personal strengths, in the following order:

Body/Kinesthetic
Interpersonal
Visual/Spatial
Math
Intrapersonal
Naturalistic
Linguistic/Music

I wasn’t surprised by this assessment of strengths. It’s a very applicable and practical way to categorize one’s interests/hobbies/learning styles.  When you know a person, you can really identify with the results of such an inventory check!
Learning, for me, can best be successful when presented in a variety of ways with opportunity for hands-on experimentation and applications.  I am a very visual learner and learn best by “by doing”.  I was not surprised by the findings of this MI self-inventory, however, I scored lower than I thought I would in some categories.  My strengths include Interpersonal, Spatial, and Body/Kinesthetic Intelligences. 

Applying this in the classroom, it is sometimes difficult to adhere to the need to teach in a way that always appeals to your students (even when cognizant of this).  Student results would definitely change my choices for teaching and technology.  I would want, and do want, to learn efficient ways of successfully accomplishing this way of teaching for my students.  Right now, I feel that I usually try to appeal to different learning styles by incorporating different activities throughout the day to give students opportunities to experience their Intelligences.  I am continuously changing and planning for each year in this regard.

As you get to know students and work with them, it doesn't take long to identify individual learning styles.  What I find most difficult is it seems to me that students with learning disabilities have more body/kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligences that can be difficult to always teach to.  For example, assessment may be best tested orally with a student but in the "real" classroom it is difficult to do this in the classroom with your other students, or arrangements have to be made to accompany the student.  However, as more and more students with special needs join your classroom, it makes you wonder how you can deal with students to best suit their needs.  In other words, sometimes you can't avoid the paper-pencil activities, however, incorporating other intelligences when I can is what I try to do. 

Students themselves, will often tell you what works best for them.  They will often choose to work with manipulatives, say for math, than to draw their counters when performing a math problem or writing the equation.  Then again, which child would rather sit and listen, take notes, etc. than another activity that would appeal to an intelligence that is more interactive and appealing to other senses?  I know I felt this way in university!

Sources:

Infed.org. "Howard gardner, multiple intelligences and education." Retrieved at http://www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htm

Thirteen ed online. Concept to Classroom. A Series of Workshops. "Tapping into Multiple Intelligences."  Retrieved from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/mi/index.html

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