All children are different; every child has distinct learning abilities and grasping aptitude. Indeed, it takes a diverse learning pedagogy style to help students acquire knowledge in the best possible manner. Hence, we must embrace different learning methodologies to exploit children's learning outcomes and enhance their mental abilities. For this reason, top educational institutions worldwide are stressing more about integrating interactive methods of learning into their traditional approaches for teaching young minds. As a result, the multiple intelligences theory has gained a lot of popularity and widespread acceptance by educational systems lately, thanks to the several benefits it promises to offer.
Let's talk in detail about this theory and how it can help nurture deeper learning.
What is the Multiple Intelligences Theory?
Howard Gardner hypothesized this theory of Multiple Intelligences in 1983. It fundamentally stated that there are nine different bits of intelligence in all children. All these intelligences must be nurtured and evolved in equal capacity.
Every child is unique and gifted in one or the other area of intelligence. Therefore, it should be considered while developing an effective teaching equation instead of just emphasizing linguistic or logical-mathematical regions, as it is done in the traditional education system.
Multiple Intelligences (As Per the Theory)
Gardner's theory claims that all humans have multiple intelligences. Moreover, these various bits of intelligence can be cultivated and fortified or overlooked and diluted. His research, starting in 1991, recognized seven bits of intelligence; over time, he came to believe that there are a total of nine bits of intelligence:
- Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence: Highly developed verbal skills or acuity to words' sounds, connotations, and beats.
- Mathematical-Logical Intelligence: It is the capacity to think logically and abstractly. Also, an enhanced ability to distinguish concepts of numerical patterns.
- Musical Intelligence: It refers to the capability to create and enjoy beats, pitch, rhythm, and tonality.
- Visual-Spatial Intelligence: The ability to remember or think in photos and pictures, to envision precisely and abstractly.
- Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: The capacity to handle your body's moves and control things well.
- Interpersonal Intelligence: The power to notice and react suitably to tempers, encouragements, and wishes/wants.
- Intrapersonal Intelligence: Being self-aware and in line with your inner emotions, values, views, and thought processes.
- Naturalist Intelligence: The capacity to identify and classify plants, creatures, and other natural entities.
- Existential Intelligence: The understanding and ability to deal with profound questions revolving around human presence, like the purpose of life, reason of our death, and how did humans get here?
As mentioned above, every person possesses some level of each bit of intelligence. However, some are more dominant than others and eventually influence how a person learns and interacts with the surroundings.
Employing Multiple Intelligences Theory in Classrooms
Teachers and tutors have reacted to Gardner's theory positively. Moreover, it has been adopted by a spectrum of scholars and is mainly used by teachers and authorities to solve schooling problems. Several schools across the globe have proposed to design the curricula as per the bits of intelligence and build classrooms, more so the entire schools to mirror Howard Gardner's interpretations.
All bits of intelligence are needed to live life well. Teachers, therefore, need to attend to all types of intelligence. However, they shouldn't just focus on the first two verbal-linguistic or mathematical-logical bits of intelligence that historically attracted a lot of emphases.
This theory of multiple intelligence can attract students to get back to learning. Employing the knowledge of multiple intelligences to introduce a concept provides each learner an opportunity to advance in education.
In addition, teaching according to a student's strengths facilitates better learning and a higher success rate. For using the theory of multiple intelligences in the classroom, educators need to be mindful of the diverse kinds of students they may have in their class, strengthen all types of intelligence in every learner, and enable an individual learning process.
The various steps involved in practicing this theory in real-life classrooms are:
- Analyze the multiple intelligences via experiences/exercises in a contemplative setup
- Uncover your and your students' various bits of intelligence
- Comprehend the effect of multiple intelligences in your teaching approach
- Determine skills and abilities that you need to develop
- Pick the most-suited modes for you to grow them
Multiple Learning Methodologies
A meaningful outcome of the multiple intelligences theory is the discovery of the eight different possible tracks to learning. For instance, if an educator is facing trouble in making a student understand a concept or topic in the more conventional, linguistic or analytical form of pedagogy, the theory of multiple intelligences proposes various other techniques to transfer knowledge effectively. They include:
- Expressions (linguistic intelligence)
- Digits or reasoning (logical-mathematical intelligence)
- Photographs (spatial intelligence)
- Music (musical intelligence)
- Self-awareness (intrapersonal intelligence)
- A bodily experience (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence)
- A social experience (interpersonal intelligence)
- A nature-oriented experience (naturalist intelligence)
To be clear, as an educator, you don't have to explain or teach everything in all these eight ways. However, merely knowing the options available can help you determine the particular teaching methods you should pick. Your choice should ideally depend on the aptitude and capabilities of your students and the available teaching aids.
The multiple intelligences theory is so intriguing because it widens our prospects of teaching approaches and learning techniques way beyond the traditional courses.
When educators are offered the liberty to sway away from the conventional, visually-based modes of teaching, they would have the chance to help more students learn more with a more significant impact. Teachers will find the students to be more productive, responsive, receptive, and involved in the learning process if they teach in line with their dominant learning bits of intelligence.
Since so many teachers and educators have willingly accepted this theory, it is almost time for institutions and education systems worldwide to recognize and embrace approaches like these to nurture deeper learning. Putting such unconventional teaching methods to use can help promote better learning and encourage students to study. It can also help bring out the best in the students.