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Howard Gardners theory of multiple intelligence purchases credibility to something teachers have known for generations. Students differs in their skills and abilities. Some students doing well in some activities but not achieving others. The prodigious thing about the theory is that it's deals with different kinds of individual uniqueness and suitable to apply while planning your lesson plans and units. By being capable to use this theory, you can get the valuable platform of using it as educational and instructional approach dealing with diverse classrooms to include art, music, charts, and group work on a regular basis.
I think that Multiple Intelligences (MI) " is the most viable and effective platform for 21st century educational and instructional methodologies based on the understanding of the value of diversity in today's classrooms which has become the most defining aspect of social " as Donovan A. McFarlane stated. Suzanna Gangi conducted a research paper about how effective and vial MI theory by Gardener is.
According to Suzanna Gangi, a teacher first should understand the nine intelligence in order to be able to impel Gardener's IM theory into her/his classroom. Then, the teacher should identify the intelligence strengths of his/her students. After that, she / he should target those intelligence and prepare suitable instructional materials to pursue those intelligence strengths and she/ he should give her/ his students the chance to advance and express the suitable way to acquire the instructional goals. Gangi states "Studies have shown that teaching to students' strengths using MI has many benefits, including meeting students' learning needs and engaging students, which can lead to higher student achievement."
She says that determining students' intelligence needs many ways in order to a vital approach in the classroom by applying several inventories, questionnaires, and tests which have been created for this purpose. Also, teachers can apply The Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS) and the Teele Inventory of Multiple Intelligences (TIMI) are two examples of questionnaires teachers can use to determine the intelligence preferences of their students and observe students in the classroom to know the teaching styles which they need. For example. If a teacher notices that some students often sing, they probably have a strong musical intelligence. If others like to move around or build things, then they probably have a strong bodily-kinesthetic intelligence or spatial intelligence.
After identifying different kinds of intelligence, teachers can view their students in a new way. Campbell and Campbell (1999) stated "MI provides a new lens to perceive students and a new tool for acting on that information" (p. 10). This new lens has teachers and students looking at their strengths instead of weaknesses. "Instead of defining themselves as either 'smart' or 'dumb,' students can perceive themselves as potentially smart in a number of ways" (Moran et al., 2006, p. 23). In thinking this way, teachers and students have higher expectations because the focus is on the strengths of the learner. This also gives students a can-do attitude since they are using their strengths (Campbell and Campbell, 1999)."
knowing various intelligence strengths of students, teachers can move to the next steps to educate them. They should plan lessons on the basis of their students' strengths as a foundation learning activities in the classroom. Teachers should incorporate learning activities and use different materials which match students' skills. They use their learners' strong intelligences to gain acquaintance to the intelligences which may be weaker.
Gangi's research paper suggests ideas to apply MI in the classroom. Teachers can verify daily learning activities to deal with students' skills such as activity centers, simulations, and presentations. They can make group of students relating to their intelligence and include the complimentary and compatible profiles.
"Rettig (2005) recommended targeting one or more of the intelligences into daily lesson plan activities. He suggested that many teachers already incorporate MI without realizing it."
Gangi on her research paper shows that the most important principle in dealing with MI is to choose a number of intelligences to target in one lesson or activity and not to apply all nine intelligences in the same lesson. Moran et aI. (2006) explained that using MI in the classroom allows teachers to provide students with "rich experiences-activities in which they can engage with the material personally rather than just absorb it in an abstract, decontextualized way."
Gangi mentions that "Thomas Armstrong (2009) wrote that one way to incorporate MI in daily learning activities is through activity centers. Each center can be dedicated to one specific intelligence, and activities can be set up where the student will use that intelligence to complete the activity. Students can choose which activity center they would like to complete. This allows students to select an activity that suits their intelligence strengths and also gives them an opportunity to explore other intelligences."
As a teacher of English language, our Saudi curriculum is mixed of different branches of educational courses. One unit deals with science for example. The other deals with arts. The third deals with geography or history and so on. I think we have more chances to apply it more than those teachers who concentrate on one field of knowledge only. There are many different ways to apply multiple intelligences theory in the classroom. I probably employ a variety of intelligences already. As Armstrong mentioned that the best way to apply MI is by making activity centers which each center deals with one intelligence. I tried to apply the idea of centres "corners" in my classroom
How do I apply the MI theory in my classroom?
To apply Gardner's theory in an educational procedure, I organized my classroom into nine learning corners, each devoted to one of the nine intelligences. The students spend nearly all the time of the lesson of that day moving through the corners. I can take 2 or 3 periods together and sometimes I need more than one day to go round the corners. They visit each corner 10 minutes or more and sometimes to a whole period. Curriculum is thematic, and the corners provide nine different ways for the students to learn the subject matter of one unit. We may need more than one day to apply it.
\we start each day with a specific lesson of the unit and discussion explaining one aspect of the current theme. For example, during a lesson on animals' kingdom , the morning's lecture might focus on spiral intelligent. As having a zoo corner prepared by my students in one corner . In a lesson about kinds of animals, one lecture might describe the life of Safari & pet animals. They can listen to a song or say poems about different kinds of animals.It refers to the musical & verbal intelligences. Another group can write and design a story about animals. After the morning lecture, a timer is set and students - in groups of three or four - start work at their centers, eventually rotating through all nine ones during the unit because time is not enough to tour all corners in one unit.
What kinds of learning activities take place at each corner?
All students learn one week's unit in nine ways. They build models, dance, make collaborative decisions, create songs, solve deductive reasoning problems, read, write, and illustrate all in one school day. Some more specific examples of activities at each corner follow:
In the Personal Work corner (Intrapersonal Intelligence), students explore the present area of study through research, reflection, or individual projects.
In the Working Together Corner (Interpersonal Intelligence), they develop cooperative learning skills as they solve problems, answer questions, create learning games, brainstorm ideas and discuss that day's topic collaboratively.
In the Music Corner (Musical Intelligence), students compose and sing songs about the subject matter, make their own instruments, and learn in rhythmical ways.
In the Art Corner (Spatial Intelligence), they explore a subject area using diverse art media, puzzles, charts, and pictures.
In the Building Corner (Kinesthetic Intelligence), they build models; dramatize events, and dance, all in ways that relate to the content of that day's subject matter.
In the Reading Corner (Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence), students read, write, and learn in many traditional modes. They analyze and organize information in written form. They Communicating with peers or experts online & Group discussion.
In the Math & Science Corner (Logical/ Mathematical Intelligence), they work with math games, manipulative, mathematical concepts, science experiments, deductive reasoning, and problem solving.
Following their work at the corners, few minutes are set aside for groups and individual students to share their work from the corners. Much of the remainder of the time is spent with students working on independent projects, either individually or in small groups where they apply the diverse skills developed at the corners. The daily work at the nine corners profoundly influences their ability to make informative, entertaining, multimodal presentations of their studies. Additionally, it is common for parents to comment on how much more expressive their children have become at home.
Using technology through MI application is a remarkable idea. The Internet can provide a wealth of resources that allow students to experience information presented in a myriad of formats: slide shows, interactive animation, simulation, sounds, charts, video, and text.
Computer technology provides a medium for M.I. expression
In a school with available computer technology, a single student can
Research a thesis, and catalogue and organize his or her information using the internet-connected computer in the library media center.
Scan drawings; take digital photographs in art class.
Write an essay or story on a computer in the writing lab.
Compose a tune in music.
Combine them all and add animation in a computer lab.
Give a speech and multimedia presentation in social studies.
A teacher should think of:
Other events, artifacts, content and activities you might incorporate into the subject matter you teach.
A variety of appropriate ways students in your classroom might demonstrate understanding.
What are some simple ways to get started?
Most importantly, start small . . . no matter how grandly you're planning. Minor adjustments to your curriculum make a big difference in students' motivation and understanding.
Here are six strategies for applying M.I. theory to your class:
Add an interdisciplinary element to a favorite unit.
For example, think of how you might liven up a math lesson by inviting students to write song lyrics, invent dances, or write stories that help them recall important math facts or procedures. Emphasize the core curriculum, but invite student expression in areas previously considered outside the scope of that content. As you'll see later in this section, setting up "learning stations" is another way to add fresh dimensions to lessons and units.1
Collaborate with other teachers in your school or district.
Try a team-teaching approach with a colleague who is also interested in M.I.: a partner to help you figure things out. By brainstorming the possible links between your teaching, you may discover M.I ways to teach the same or complementary subject matter. For example, instead of lecturing to students about grammatical rules followed by a short answer quiz, a language arts teacher may collaborate with a physical education teacher and invent a game where students are verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc., and teams can only be made of complete sentences. 2
Offer students a variety of presentation options for projects.
In addition to writing reports, let students "show what they know" by giving oral presentations accompanied by visual aids they create to organize the information and remove the pressure to know everything by heart. Other presentation options include role-playing exercises, plays, debates, murals, Web publishing, and multimedia computer presentations.
Apply M.I. thinking to group projects.
To help students develop "interpersonal intelligence," use cooperative learning techniques. In the case of M.I. work, after ascertaining some of your students' multiple intelligence strengths, you may wish to organize cooperative learning groups so that there is an interesting distribution in each group. Students with strong interpersonal skills often make wonderful theatrical directors, while those with a strong visual intelligence love painting imaginative sets. Have your resident naturalist and interpersonalist collaborate to organize your nature walk.
Involve the community, parents, family, and guest speakers. 5
Compose a panel of education-friendly local citizens to review your students' M.I. demonstrations of understanding.
Bring an outside expert into the class to enhance lessons. For example, when teaching about geometry, invite the contractor who is building a house down the street to discuss how he uses geometry in construction.
Motivate students through field trips to local businesses (e.g. newspaper offices, restaurants, theater companies, museums, radio and TV stations, music studios, book stores, and dairy farms) to see how material studied in class can apply to the outside world.
Find an on-line collaborator in the Concept to Classroom Discussion Boards.
M.I. works well on the Internet. You might find a teacher in another state or country who is interested in sharing Web sites and e-mail with you. If you are an experienced M.I. practitioner, consider mentoring someone who is just getting his or her feet wet. 6