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I want my children to understand the world, but not just bec

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Shaveta Kaushal

on 8 December 2013

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Transcript of I want my children to understand the world, but not just bec

I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place. Knowledge is not the same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding is knowing who we are and what we can do… Ultimately, we must synthesize our understandings for ourselves. The performance of understanding that try matters are the ones we carry out as human beings in an imperfect world which we can affect for good or for ill. (Howard Gardner 1999: 180-181)

Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences


What is the theory of multiple intelligences (M.I.)?
What are some benefits of using the multiple intelligences approach in school?
Clip & Save Checklist: Learning Activities That Connect With Multiple Intelligences
A Different Kind of Smart
A Different Kind of Learning

"An intelligence is the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings."
Howard Gardner
Frames of Mind (1983)

Howard Gardner claims that all human beings have multiple intelligences. These multiple intelligences can be nurtured and strengthened, or ignored and weakened. He believes each individual has nine intelligences:

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.


You may come to regard intellectual ability more broadly. Drawing a picture, composing, or listening to music, watching a performance — these activities can be a vital door to learning — as important as writing and mathematics. Studies show that many students who perform poorly on traditional tests are turned on to learning when classroom experiences incorporate artistic, athletic, and musical activities.

Take music, for example. As educator, David Thornburg of the Thornburg Institute notes,

“The mood of a piece of music might communicate, clearer than words, the feeling of an era being studied in history. The exploration of rhythm can help some students understand fractions. The exploration of the sounds of an organ can lead to an understanding of vibrational modes in physics. What caused the great scientist Kepler to think of the motions of planets in musical terms? Astronomy students could program a synthesizer to play Kepler’s ‘music of the spheres’ and explore history, science, math and music all at once.”


You will provide opportunities for authentic learning based on your students’ needs, interests and talents. The multiple intelligence classroom acts like the “real” world: the author and the illustrator of a book are equally valuable creators. Students become more active, involved learners.


Parent and community involvement in your school may increase. This happens as students demonstrate work before panels and audiences. Activities involving apprenticeship learning bring members of the community into the learning process.


Students will be able to demonstrate and share their strengths. Building strengths gives a student the motivation to be a “specialist.” This can in turn lead to increased self-esteem.


When you “teach for understanding,” your students accumulate positive educational experiences and the capability for creating solutions to problems in life.

Chapman,C. (1993) If the shoe fits... How to develop Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom pg. 10, 11, 19, 20, 224, 225, 226
Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Description: Verbal-linguistic students love words and use them as a primary way of thinking and solving problems. They are good writers, speakers, or both. They use words to persuade, argue, entertain, and/or teach.

Learning Activities and Project Ideas:

__ Completing crossword puzzles with vocabulary words.

__ Playing games like Scrabble, Scrabble Junior, or Boggle.

__ Writing short stories for a classroom newsletter.

__ Writing feature articles for the school newspaper.

__ Writing a letter to the editor in response to articles.

__ Writing to state representatives about local issues.

__ Using digital resources such as electronic libraries, desktop publishing, word games, and word processing.

__ Creating poems for a class poetry book.

__ Entering their original poems in a poetry contest.

__ Listening to a storyteller.

__ Studying the habits of good speakers.

__ Telling a story to the class.

__ Participating in debates.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Math Smart)

Description: Logical-mathematical students enjoy working with numbers. They can easily interpret data and analyze abstract patterns. They have a well-developed ability to reason and are good at chess and computer programming. They think in terms of cause and effect.

Learning Activities and Project Ideas:

__ Playing math games like mancala, dominoes, chess, checkers, and Monopoly.

__ Searching for patterns in the classroom, school, outdoors, and home.

__ Conducting experiments to demonstrate science concepts.

__ Using math and science software such as Math Blaster, which reinforces math skills, or King's Rule, a logic game.

__ Using science tool kits for science programs.

__ Designing alphabetic and numeric codes.

__ Making up analogies.

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Description: Students strong in spatial intelligence think and process information in pictures and images. They have excellent visual receptive skills and excellent fine motor skills. Students with this intelligence use their eyes and hands to make artistic or creatively designed projects. They can build with Legos, read maps, and put together 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles.

Learning Activities and Project Ideas:

__ Taking photographs for assignments and classroom newsletters.

__ Taking photographs for the school yearbook, school newsletter, or science assignments.

__ Using clay or play dough to make objects or represent concepts from content-area lessons.

__ Using pictorial models such as flow charts, visual maps, Venn diagrams, and timelines to connect new material to known information.

__ Taking notes using concept mapping, mind mapping, and clustering.

__ Using puppets to act out and reinforce concepts learned in class.

__ Using maps to study geographical locations discussed in class.

__ Illustrating poems for the class poetry book by drawing or using computer software.

__ Using virtual-reality system software.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Description: Musical students think, feel, and process information primarily through sound. They have a superior ability to perceive, compose, and/or perform music. Musically smart people constantly hear musical notes in their head.

Learning Activities and Project Ideas:

__ Writing their own songs and music about content-area topics.

__ Putting original poems to music, and then performing them for the class.

__ Setting a poem to music, and then performing it for the class.

__ Incorporating a poem they have written with a melody they already know.

__ Listening to music from different historical periods.

__ Tape recording a poem over "appropriate" background music (i.e., soft music if describing a kitten, loud music if they are mad about pollution).

__ Using rhythm and clapping to memorize math facts and other content-area information.

__ Listening to CDs that teach concepts like the alphabet, parts of speech, and states and capitals (i.e., Schoolhouse Rock!).

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Description: Bodily-kinesthetic students are highly aware of the world through touch and movement. There is a special harmony between their bodies and their minds. They can control their bodies with grace, expertise, and athleticism.

Learning Activities and Project Ideas:

__ Creating costumes for role-playing, skits, or simulations.

__ Performing skits or acting out scenes from books or key historical events.

__ Designing props for plays and skits.

__ Playing games like Twister and Simon Says.

__ Using charades to act out characters in a book, vocabulary words, animals, or other content-area topics.

__ Participating in scavenger hunts, searching for items related to a theme or unit.

__ Acting out concepts. For example, for the solar system, "student planets" circle around a "student sun." Students line up appropriately to demonstrate events in a history timeline.

__ Participating in movement breaks during the day.

__ Building objects using blocks, cubes, or Legos to represent concepts from content-area lessons.

__ Using electronic motion-simulation games and hands-on construction kits that interface with computers.

Interpersonal (People Smart)

Description: Students strong in interpersonal intelligence have a natural ability to interact with, relate to, and get along with others effectively. They are good leaders. They use their insights about others to negotiate, persuade, and obtain information. They like to interact with others and usually have lots of friends.

Learning Activities and Project Ideas:

__ Working in cooperative groups to design and complete projects.

__ Working in pairs to learn math facts.

__ Interviewing people with knowledge about content-area topics (such as a veteran to learn about World War II, a lab technician to learn about life science, or a politician to understand the election process).

__ Tutoring younger students or classmates.

__ Using puppets to put on a puppet show.

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Description: People with a strong intrapersonal intelligence have a deep awareness of their feelings, ideas, and goals. Students with this intelligence usually need time alone to process and create.

Learning Activities and Project Ideas:

__ Writing reflective papers on content-area topics.

__ Writing essays from the perspective of historical figures, such as Civil War soldiers or suffragettes.

__ Writing a literary autobiography, reflecting on their reading life.

__ Writing goals for the future and planning ways to achieve them.

__ Using software that allows them to work alone, such as Decisions, Decisions, a personal choice software, or the Perfect Career, a career choice software.

__ Keeping journals or logs throughout the year.

__ Making a scrapbook for their poems, papers, and reflections.

Naturalistic Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Description: This intelligence refers to a person's natural interest in the environment. These people enjoy being in nature and want to protect it from pollution. Students with strong naturalistic intelligence easily recognize and categorize plants, animals, and rocks.

__ Caring for classroom plants.

__ Caring for classroom pets.

__ Sorting and classifying natural objects, such as leaves and rocks.

__ Researching animal habitats.

__ Observing natural surroundings.

__ Organizing or participating in park/playground clean-ups, recycling drives, and beautification projects.
Enriched Environment leading to trust and belongingness:

The classroom that is conducive to learning is a place the learner feels comfortable and not threatened. The room is filled with samplings of students’ work and depicts the unit of study. When gazing inn the classroom doorway and looking around one sees several obvious clues of a brain-compatible environment. Some of these clues are:

examples of the focused unit of study
students’ work displayed
places for independent work such as learning centers and quiet, cozy spots for exploration, study, and reflection
places for collaborative learning
hands-on environment with manipulatives
central place for total class gatherings for discussion and lecturettes. Learners must be made to feel that they are important members of the group and contributors to that enriched learning environment

The brain- compatible classroom is an inclusive classroom. Here each child feels that she belongs, can contribute, is considered important by the teacher and her peers. Throughout the school years, it is important to keep the faith in a child’s natural tendency to learn, to encourage the child with patience, and to remember that rate of learning and interest will always vary. When the classroom is inclusive, the changes will come.After diagnosing each student’s strong intelligences, the teacher can initiate an individualized learning plan that details which supporting intelligences the student will develop. As the teacher plans as a reminder for how she wants to group students and what types of strategies she will select.

Today’s classroom requires that the teacher adapt his her teaching to meet the diverse challenges of today’s students. When we begin to think of students as diversely intelligent rather than measuring each child against one fixed standard with an outdated instrument, the logical/mathematical IQ tear, we will begin to see a true change in the performance of students.

(Chapman, C 1993; If the shoe fits….. How to develop Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom pg 10,11,19, 20)
Great Videos on Multiple Intelligences
A Different Kind of Learning
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