04 October, 2008

Multiple Intelligences Theory in My Classroom

Many teachers have lot of doubts regarding the application of MI in Classrooms. Hope, the following write up will help in solving some of their doubts and give them confidence to apply MI theory in their day to day lessons.

How do I apply multiple intelligences (M.I.) theory in my classroom?
There are many different ways to apply multiple intelligences theory in the classroom. You probably employ a variety of intelligences already.
At all levels of education, teachers are transforming subject-specific lessons and curriculum units into meaningful M.I. experiences.
• History courses study period music and art.
• Science units incorporate visual, musical and kinesthetic experiences.
• Language arts classes reading Civil War literature visit re-enactments and build a topographical map.
As educators explore more effective methods of assessment, they frequently encourage their students to demonstrate understanding through M.I. activities.
• Elementary school students compose and perform songs about math concepts which satisfy the rubrics they and their teachers have developed.
• Middle school students create multimedia presentations combining animations, MIDI compositions, and writing to satisfy interdisciplinary unit requirements.
• High school students demonstrate mastery of self-formulated research questions through art, writing portfolios, and giving speeches before panels of local citizens.
While you look at the following, 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.


Verbal-Linguistic - Books, stories, poetry, speeches, author visits - Writing stories, scripts, poems, storytelling

Mathematical-Logical - Exercises, drills, problem solving - Counting, calculating, theorizing, demonstrating, programming computers

Musical - Tapes, CD's, concert going - Performing, singing, playing, composing

Visual-Spatial - Posters, art work, slides, charts, graphs, video tapes, laser disks, CD-ROMs and DVDs, museum visits - Drawing, painting, illustrating, graphic design, collage making, poster making, photography

Bodily-Kinesthetic - Movies, animations, exercises, physicalizing concepts, rhythm exercises - Dance recital, athletic performance or competition

Interpersonal - Teams, group work, specialist roles - Plays, debates, panels, group work

Intrapersonal - Reflection time, meditation exercises - Journals, memoirs, diaries, changing behaviors, habits, personal growth

Naturalist - Terrariums, aquariums, class pets, farm, botanical garden and zoo visits, nature walks, museum visits - Collecting, classifying, caring for animals at nature centers

Existential - Working on causes, charity work, astrology charts - Community service

The ultimate goal of M.I. theory -- to increase student understanding -- is something for which good teachers have long striven. Excellent educators have always addressed the needs of their variously intelligent students. In this sense the real values of M.I. theory are:
• To legitimize the powerful and wide-reaching curricula many teachers have always delivered.
• To systematize and broadcast the theory and methodology of an enriched curriculum.

Classroom activities frequently activate and utilize more than one of the multiple intelligences. Now consider how you would add to and interpret the items on the following list:
• Group discussion - Verbal-Linguistic; Interpersonal
• Journal writing - Intrapersonal; Verbal/Linguistic
• Choreography - Musical-Rhythmic; Verbal-Linguistic; Interpersonal
• Constructing timelines - Logical-Mathematical; Visual-Spatial
• Putting on a play - Musical-Rhythmic; Verbal/Linguistic; Interpersonal; Visual-Spatial
• Making a video - Logical-Mathematical, Musical-Rhythmic; Verbal/Linguistic; Interpersonal; Visual-Spatial
• Writing a report or essay - Verbal-Linguistic
• Making graphs - Logical-Mathematical; Visual-Spatial
• Designing posters - Verbal-Linguistic, Visual-Spatial
• Communicating with peers or experts online - Verbal-Linguistic; Interpersonal
• Hands-on experimentation - Kinesthetic; Logical/Mathematical
• Composing a song - Musical/Rhythmic; Verbal-Linguistic
• Building a model or 3-D displays - Kinesthetic; Logical-Mathematical

In this section of the M.I. Workshop (Exploration), you will have many opportunities to both analyze what you're already doing well, and to explore some new techniques that you can add to your repertoire.