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Teacher Mamas: What is the Multiple Intelligence learning style?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

What is this type of schooling? I've looked at a website about it and I know that the idea is that it is supposed to honor different ways of learning, but how does this happen in a classroom and what does it look like? Is it child led, teacher led or in between? Anybody have experience with it and like it? Dislike it? Why?

TIA!
post #2 of 14
I've never heard it referred to as a teaching style--- thought it was more an awareness/harnessing of each persons individual stregths & weaknesses. Looking forward to hearing more.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
a polite boomp...
post #4 of 14
It's a Howard Gardner thing. You could definitely search him on Google and find out. It's the idea that every kid is intelligent in one area, like Musical intelligence, spatial intelligence, etc. Really, do a google search on Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences theory, you'll probably find more info than you know what to do with.
post #5 of 14
It would probably look very different in a public school setting vs. private, and different based on the age group, of course.
Which is the setting and age group you'd like some examples from? I can give you an idea of how it works in public elementary school.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks buddhasmomma I googled and i found some great info.

kvan, I'm looking private school first grade through third, but I'd love to hear anything you'd like to share about it. What do you think about it? Do the children seem to get their educational needs met through it?
post #7 of 14
I am going to let someone who is more articulate in this than I am really explain it to you but I'll toss in my two cents.

My dd1's alternative public school does this and we've loved it. It is teacher led. It is just presenting the information - and letting them learn it - in various ways. Not all kids are visual or auditory learners. That is generally how most schools teach. If you are a V or A learner then you are set. If you are not, then you're up for a hard time being successful. Even if you are a V or A learner, you can really get a more complete grasp on it using different modes of learning.

So for example, some kids learn better if they can move their bodies - kinesthetic (sp?) or with music - both of those are other "intelligences" that can be used to teach/learn.

If you just lecture to the class, it is auditory. Some kids will get it; some won't. If you just have them read information from books, the visual learners will get it but not the other kids.

In our school, you can see the multiple intelligences being used with manipulatives (we usually think of this for math but can be used for other subjects too), as music is incorporated, in the outdoor classroom, etc. You still have a teacher led program that looks like what you may remember from your childhood - but better. It is not anything weird or "out there" - just being respectful of the individual learning styles of children and offering the information in a variety of ways so as to help everyone be successful learners.
post #8 of 14
Multiple intelligences is a way of looking at brain function. Brains with injuries often loose specific abilities and through study of this, Howard Gardner was able to discern specific intelligences or ability areas that are specific to certain areas of the brain. This study has been translated by people into ways of teaching. It helps teachers plan units of study because it helps them teach all students, including gifted and special ed students. Everyone has all 8 intelligences, we are just sometimes stronger in some areas than others. For example, I had a student once with cerebral palsy who had a verbal IQ of a 9th grader. She was in 1st grade at the time and could not read a word. She could, however, talk like a well read 9th grader and recall great amounts of info read to her. That is an extreme example.

I have had a lot of teacher training in this practice. A teacher can go all out and have a classroom full of MI activities for each unit of study. That way, children are learning from MI centers and they all get to learn about the unit in ways that appeal to them. This is not teacher directed, but student led. Or a teacher can just add more types of activities to the teaching he/she already does. The ways teachers teach vary as much as children vary in their needs. MI is a label that does not tell you anything really about a school or classroom until you visit it and see for yourself how they do it.

The way Kirsten's child's school does it sounds like the first type I describe.

Final note: It is just one way of teaching and one way of understanding the brain.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Kirsten and kathipaul so much for your input!

kathipaul, do you think all children benefit from this method? Is there anyone who wouldn't from your perspective?

TIA
post #10 of 14
From my understanding, multiple intelligences are:
-Linguistic intelligence ("word smart")
-Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")
-Spatial intelligence ("picture smart") :
-Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart") :
-Musical intelligence ("music smart") :
-Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
-Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")
-Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")

(Can you tell I had fun with the smilies??? )

With the multiple intelligences--at least one is naturally occuring in every person--some may have more than one--but the point of knowing it is to teach to the intelligence--or to increase the intelligence of another. So for some, if their intelligence is linguistic intelligence--they learn easier and better by words (either reading or hearing)...or for those who have kinesthetic intelligence--they need a physical experience to set the information in "cement" in their brains....

That we all learn different ways, by:
-words (linguistic intelligence)
-numbers or logic (logical-mathematical intelligence)
-pictures (spatial intelligence)
-music (musical intelligence)
-self-reflection (intrapersonal intelligence)
-a physical experience (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence)
-a social experience (interpersonal intelligence), and/or
-an experience in the natural world. (naturalist intelligence)

Does that help?
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneermama
Thanks Kirsten and kathipaul so much for your input!

kathipaul, do you think all children benefit from this method? Is there anyone who wouldn't from your perspective?

TIA
No - but that is a simplistic answer because one teacher cannot be everything to all children. So, the way a teacher teaches can impact a child and benefit or not benefit a child. If the teacher does a lot or a little MI, a child still might not be benefiting because of other issues. Perhaps the teacher is using a lot of worksheets and that is not really the child's learning style. Or the child loves to write and there is not much. MI has to be combined with a clear understanding of how to meet children's needs in general and the specific kids in the classroom you teach. Does this make sense?
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsfatty
From my understanding, multiple intelligences are:

-Spatial intelligence ("picture smart") :


With the multiple intelligences--at least one is naturally occuring in every person--some may have more than one--but the point of knowing it is to teach to the intelligence--or to increase the intelligence of another.


It is "visual-spatial" not just pictures but things you can see, diagrams, drawing, colors, etc.

They are all in all of us, to great or lesser degrees. Using MI in your teaching should find ways to use what is strong and also strengthen what is not.
post #13 of 14
His ideas have been around for nearly thirty years.

I first read about him in my educational psychology class in 1974.
post #14 of 14
I got my teaching credential about 3 years ago and I'd say we got a lot of training in this. Most teachers incorporate these ideas into their classroom in some way-- some more than others. I think it would look different in each classroom depending on the teacher. There are a lot of books out there about this-- my 9 y o has a book called "You're Smarter than You Think" or something. It is written for kids to understand their particular learning style.
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