Monday, February 11, 2013

Using The Eight Intelligences With Your Child

Why do teachers incorporate Gardner's Eight Intelligences into lesson plans? Why should parents care about this learning theory? 

When teachers make lesson plans, one aspect they consider is how to incorporate ways that students learn. They do this with the Eight Intelligences, a very common educational theory. Knowing about this theory can help parents:

1. understand why teachers have their students do a variety of activities, and
2. notice ways to help their children learn.

Many "theories" can explain how children like to learn, this is just one.

Howard Gardner's Eight Intelligences is only one possible explanation of how students learn. Just like any other idea in education, teachers and administrators have different opinions about it.

This is a popular theory though, and many children (and adults) like to learn a learn a certain way. I like to read material, and I need to write it down if someone is going to speak to me. I know that about myself, and although I wish I was a person who could listen and remember, I am not. It helps that I know that when I need to remember information for a class, or go to the grocery store.

When working with your own children...

One aspect I love about children is they are not "set in stone." My children may lean toward a certain intelligence, but by working different ones, they may become stronger in a different area, or at least think of an idea in a new manner.

For instance when we read a longer story, I always try to do an enrichment activity. The kids and I are reading, but we also sing or dance out a part from the story, draw a scene, or research the science from the story.

Teachers will spread these intelligences across a unit or lesson, and parents naturally do a variety of activities with their kids too. People learn in different ways, and it benefits children to work their brains in new ways.

The different intelligences are below, and I attempt to label kids activities I put on this blog with intelligences I hit with my own kids, to show other parents how easy it is.

Logial- Mathematical
Naturalist
Verbal- Linguistic 
Spatial
Interpersonal
Intrapersonal
Bodily- Kinesthetic
Musical