Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner theorized that there are multiple intelligences, and that we all use one or two for the most effective learning. Our culture teaches, tests, reinforces and rewards primarily two kinds of intelligence: Verbal / Linguistic and Logical / Mathematical.

Gardner’s theory proposes that there are at least 8 kinds of intelligence that are equally important. They are “languages” that most people speak, and that cut through cultural, educational, and ability differences.

Learning Styles

A learning style is a student’s consistent way of responding to and using stimuli in the context of learning.

All learners use a blend of learning styles to receive information. However, one or more of these receiving styles is normally dominant. This dominant style defines the best way for a person to learn new information by filtering what is to be learned. This style may not always to be the same for some tasks. The learner may prefer one style of learning for one task, and a combination of others for another task.

As teachers, it benefits classroom learning to present information integrating all styles. When a learner is presented new information in their dominant learning style, they learn faster and retain information longer by accessing their brain’s particular wiring. Integrated teaching allows all learners, no matter what their preferred style, opportunity to become involved. It also allows a learner to be presented with the other methods of reinforcement.

The eight learning styles presented by Gardner include:

 

LINGUISTIC ~ WORD Smart

Examples: Author, Teacher, Poet, Comedian, Speaker, Debater, Lawyer, Politician

The LINGUISTIC learner relates to the MEANING of LANGUAGE & the ORDER of WORDS

Within this style there are 2 sub channels VERBAL (talkers) and AUDITORY (listeners)

VERBAL Learners benefit from:

  • HEARING & LISTENING, then SPEAKING
  • ORAL or SILENT READING
  • WORD play
  • JOURNALING
  • POETRY – creating, reading and memorizing
  • CREATIVE WRITING
  • SENSE of HUMOR
  • DISCUSSION and DEBATE
Auditory learners often: 

  • Talk to themselves.
  • Prefer to read out loud.
  • May have difficulty with reading and writing tasks.
  • Often do better talking to a student or a tape recorder, then re-listen to hear what was said.

To integrate this style into the learning environment:

  • Begin new material with a brief explanation of what is coming
  • Conclude with a summary of what has been covered
  • Provide student with opportunities to repeat, discuss, and/or debate
This is the old adage of “Tell them what they are going to learn, teach them, then tell them what they have learned.” 

Include auditory activities, such as:

  • Brainstorming
  • Buzz groups
  • Jeopardy
  • Verbalize Questions & Answers

VISUAL-SPATIAL ~ PICTURE Smart

VISUAL-SPATIAL:

Examples: Pilot, artist, athlete, photographer, navigator, architect, interior designer

Perceives the world accurately; tries to re-create or transform aspects of that world.

Visual-Spatial learners:

  • May have difficulty with written language
  • Use their IMAGINATION to “see” a problem, solution or the finished product
  • Seldom get lost in new surroundings

To integrate this style into the learning environment use:

  • Color markers to emphasize key points on flipcharts or white boards
  • Graphs, Charts, Illustrations, Diagrams, Blocks
  • Outlines, Handouts, Flip Charts, Mind Mapping
  • Videos, Pictures, Art Projects, Sculpture
  • Leave white space on worksheets or handouts for note taking
  • Invite questions to help them stay alert in auditory environments.
  • Have the learners envision the topic or have them act out the subject matter.
 

LOGICAL MATHEMATICAL ~ NUMBER/REASONING Smart

Examples: Mathmeticians such as Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawkings

Able to handle chains of reasoning and recognize patterns and orders, as in math and science.

 

 

 

To optimize learning, use activities that involve:

  • Patterns
  • Chains of Reasoning
  • Abstract Symbols
  • Formulas
  • Outlines
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Numeric Sequences
  • Calculation
  • Codes

KINESTHETIC ~ BODY Smart

Examples: Athlete, physical therapist, dancer, yoga instructor

Able to use the body skillfully and handle objects adroitly.

Kinesthetic learners do best while TOUCHING and with MOVEMENT.

2 sub channels –KINESTHETIC (movement) and TACTILE (touch)

Kinesthetic Learners:

  • Lose concentration if there is little or no external stimulation or movement.
  • Need to take notes or stand in back of classroom when listening to lecture.
  • When reading, need to get the big picture first by scanning the material, then focusing in on the details.
  • When taking notes, often will draw pictures, diagram or doodle to maintain auditory focus
  • Use color highlighters and take notes by drawing pictures, diagrams, or doodling.

TOUCH TO TEACH / MOVE TO REMEMBER

To integrate KINESTHETIC LEARNERS into the learning environment:

  • Use activities involving movement, gestures, sports, dancing
  • Integrate music during activities
  • Role play, drama, inventing, problem solving
  • Use color markers to emphasize key points on flipcharts or white boards
  • Give frequent stretch breaks, brain breaks
  • Give them something to do with their hands, such as small piece of fabric in pocket

TACTILE LEARNERS: TOUCH to TEACH

  • Learn through their senses, especially touch.
  • Number/letter manipulative include those with social meaning
  • Finger write spelling words on student’s arm or back, sand paper, skin, in the air, and form letters with body

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INTERPERSONAL ~ PEOPLE Smart

Examples: Teacher, Mental Health Professional, Extrovert, Clergy

 

 

Provide opportunities for:

  • Small Group Discussion
  • Collaboration
  • Social Relationships
  • Peer Mentoring or Conflict Resolution
  • Drama or Director

INTRAPERSONAL ~ SELF Smart

Examples: Introverts, Artists, Writers, Inventors

Intrapersonal learners are usually thoughtful learners, often requiring time to process information and their responses. Group learning and environmental noise is likely to distract and agitate them.

Use activities that require:

  • Thinking Strategies
  • Concentration Skills
  • Reasoning
  • Introspection / Independent learning
 

MUSICAL ~ MUSIC Smart

Examples: Composer, Musician, Dancer, Choreographer

Musical learners PITCH, RHYTHM, TONE

 

 

 

 

 

Use activities that involve

  • Audio
  • Music
  • Humming
  • Environmental Sounds
  • Percussion
  • Rhythmic Patterns

NATURALIST ~ NATURE Smart

Examples: Naturalist, Primatologist, Anthropologist, Environmentalist

Use activities to:

Due to the growing awareness of our earth’s environmental vulnerabilities, the appreciation for the Naturalist intelligence has prompted academic expansion and keen appreciation for their specialized abilities and sensitivities.

  • Bring outdoors into classrooms
  • Mapping
  • Observing Nature
  • Journaling Observations