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Teach English in Yanquan Zhen - Chenzhou Shi
Summative Task MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE As a teacher, I have noticed that students have not only different tempers, but also different learning styles and way of perception. When I hear about 9 intelligences I was really surprised because I assumed that there are only those students who prefer more physical activity, visual learners and those who like to hear things. No, it turns out that this field has been widely studied by Howard Garner, a professor and an author of many books on neuropsychology and brain functioning. H. Gardner devised a Multiple Intelligence theory presuming that there are separate human capacities, ranging from musical intelligence to the intelligence involved in self-understanding. When you first meet your students, of course, you cannot know what intelligence each one of them has. As a teacher you conduct your lesson the way you have prepared it. However, once you notice in students that they prefer more music, visuals, physical activity etc., you can respond to this need. In fact, H. Gardner suggests that everyone possesses nine different forms of intelligence to varying degree. This disproves my previous statement and means that our students should not be labelled with a particular learning style or intelligence, since everyone has all 9 of them. I find this revolutionary in the realm of teaching languages. H. Gardner also adds that “in many ways, multiple intelligences seem a particular gift of childhood”, however, “as individuals get older, our intelligences simply become internalized” (p. 82). Let us unfold each one of 9 intelligences: 1. Musical Intelligence • Understands their ‘world’ through traits that music requires, such as rhythms, patterns, compositions, and so on. • Generally good at picking up instrument skills. • Easily recognizes musical patterns and tones, especially when sounds are off-key. • Sensitive to sound, and responds emotionally to music. 2. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence • Generally good at sports or dancing, and skills that require dexterity, or the body in some way. • Enjoys creating things with their hands, and physically touching objects. 3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence • Demonstrates problem-solving skills, especially in mathematics. • Curious about how things work. 4. Linguistic Intelligence • Has a strong acumen for reading, writing and telling stories. • Gives good explanations and can articulate well through vocabulary. 5. Spatial Intelligence • Able to recall visual details. • Skilled at visual recognition, such as by completing puzzles easily or recognizing graphical patterns. • Enjoys creating and engaging with visual arts. 6. Interpresonal Intelligence • Able to empathize with others. • Able to recognize the moods and inner feelings of those around them. • Enjoys helping others with problem-solving, or by being a good listener and understander of what they’re experiencing. • Develops healthy relationships, and enjoys people. 7. Intrapersonal Intelligence • Shows independence and individuality in their work and personal life. • Can express how they are feeling, and are generally aware of what is going on inside them, emotionally and psychologically (considering that some life situations can create inner ‘confusions’ for many people). 8. Naturalistic Intelligence • Enjoys learning about plants and animals. • Enjoys playing in water or with pets and bugs, and generally enjoys all things outdoors. • Passionate about nature conservation efforts. 9. Existential Intelligence or “the intelligence of big questions” • Questions subjects such as the meaning of human life and our existence. • Leads a spiritual life, or one that is inquisitive about the ‘unseen.’ A person may show signs in a few of these above-mentioned intelligences, however, this doesn’t mean they can’t become strong in all of them. H. Gardner believes that these multiple human faculties are to a significant extent dependent of one another (22, 1). To develop them it is important to give our students multiple ways to access content, along with multiple ways to demonstrate knowledge and skills. When H. Garnder was asked how to get to know your student’s intelligences during the first weeks of school, he replied with two suggestions: firstly, take them on outings to a children’s museum or to some other sort of setting that provides a rich experience; secondly, give a short questionnaire about their strengths to the students and their parents (p.84). Knowing your students strengths and interests can help the teacher in modelling a successful learning path for the student to develop ones multiple intelligences. We are all so different and that is a beauty of all our mankind. Reference: Gardner, H. (2006) Multiple Intelligences. New Horizons. New York: Basic Books