Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What Works Best & MI Theory in Education



     One day, my elementary school teacher came to school all dressed up in a kimono with her hair in a bun. That day, we learned about Japan, and Haiku, a short form of poetry. Then, we created our own poems. We all sat on pillows on the floor, as my teacher cooked on a hot plate. We tried new kinds of food using elegant chopsticks. We also wrote some letters with brushes and black paint.


              It was a very memorable and fun learning day. Mrs. B. was my favorite teacher, and she used MI in her lessons.

                                                     What is MI? 

  • Making learning interesting for students (using his or her talents)
  • Principles of how students like to learn. 
  • Meant to stimulate students’ intellect 
  • Variety of teaching methods and experiences
  • Leads students to appropriate learning programs (based on his or her MI). (Armstrong, 2009). 
  • Developed by psychologist, Howard Gardner, The Nine Types of Intelligence include:
 1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”) 2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”) 3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart  4. Existential Intelligence  5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”) 6.  Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”) 7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart) 8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”) 9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)

                                            For fun, try this simple test.

      You will find your top three MI and the scores for your other five MI. Along with your scores, you will see examples of how you might like to learn. In my test, I have musical, self and social MI as my top three scores. 

      My findings suggest that I might enjoy learning in these (and other) ways, which in my case, happens to be true!

  • Background  music... to remember new concepts and in review
  • Using emotions when reading stories out loud   
  • Guided imagery tours 
  • Team learning and investigating 
                            But, this doesn't mean I shouldn't also use my other MI, too. 

                                                      Intelligence Identity
MI profiles can be shaped through what are called bottleneck and catalysts (Gardner, 2006). Student learning problems and successes might occur because of the kind of curriculum and assessments being used in the educational system.
                                                Bottleneck and Teacher Evaluations
A bottleneck takes place when one intelligence dominants all other intelligences. Then,  the students' fragile intelligence hinders the performance of the even greater intelligence of the learner (Gardner, 2006).  Bottleneck transpires when student’s evaluations are defined by a constant method that does not allow for any variety (Gardner, 2006). 
                                              Multiple Choice and Essay
  For example, teachers may use only multiple choice and essay questions for student evaluations when there are so many other kinds of assessments that can be used in addition to this kind of assessment.
Catalysts can set into motion further intelligences (Gardner, 2006).  Early exposures to music, drama, sports, ballet, museums, culture, historical places, presentations, concerts, poetry readings, comics, comedy, plays, scavenger hunts and other activities can be incentives to a learner. The effect on students can further spur other intelligences such as, music-rhythmic, verbal-linguistic, intrapersonal, logical-mathematical and kinesthetic. If a school system rarely throws catalyst exposures into the educational mix, students miss opportunities to connect with important experiences.
    Student Age Appropriate MI 
      MI activities are managed using cognitive taxonomy techniques. The main objective is for all students to acquire higher-order thinking and reasoning skills on their level (Lazear, 2004). 

  • Elementary students’ learning  focuses on understanding basic concepts. Learners can draw, manipulate objects, pretend and converse.  
  • Middle school students’ learning highlights applications of basic concepts and self-reflection.    Students might learn the scientific method, communicate in small cooperative groups and use apparatus, such as a microscope.  
  • High school students are empowered by extending thinking to include (a) empirical observation (b) emotional reactions, and (c)  imaginative explanations  (Lazear, 2003).

      Metacognition Value of MI
    When students are allowed to think about their own learning activities, students will fervently advance in skills (Armstrong, 2009).  Learners begin to integrate learning techniques that work for them. This in turn, broadens their understanding of  academic concepts.

   Multiple intelligence (MI) theory is not a new idea, and has been utilized by many visionaries and superior teachers. Most teachers seek to increase higher-order thinking and reasoning skills in their students. Yet,  students can progress even further with MI instructional experiences and what learning experiences work best for them.  

                      Armstrong, T. (2009). Multiple intelligences in the classroom, 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: 
                        Gardner, H. (2006). Multiple intelligences: New horizons. New York, NY: Basic Books. 
         Gardner, H. (n.d.). Overview of the multiple intelligences theory. Retrieved from http
 ://skyview.vansd.org/lschmidt/ Projects /The%20Nine%20Types%20of%20Intelligence
         Internet Support. (2016). Japanese name translation. Retrieved from http://www.japanese-name translation.com/
         Lazear, D. (2004). Higher order thinking the multiple intelligence way. Chicago, Il: ZephryPress,                             
         Lazear, D. (2003). Eight ways of teaching with multiple intelligences,4th ed. Glenville, Il:  LessonLab.   
                          Literacyworks. (n.a). Multiple intelligences for adult literacy and education. Retrieved from http://literacynet.org/mi/home.html

                                                                       Imagery supplied by Thinkstock.com

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