When studying Education, much discussion is devoted to the multiple intelligences. It's all rooted in the work of Howard Gardner, who put together a theory that showed the world that there are more ways that a person could be "smart" than simply having a high IQ score on a test. As a teacher, this is something that I beleive is a very important focus, since many students may be struggling against misconceptions that they are not intelligent, due to their experiences with standardized testing and complacent educators.
Out of the nine intelligences, or "smarts" as Laurel Schmidt refers to them in her book "Classroom Confidential," my lofty goal would be to find a way to incorporate each intelligence into my instruction and classroom environment. It is an unrealistic expectation, I believe, to plan that every single lesson perfectly connects and promotes the specific intelligence of every single student. But the journey to effectively incorporate them into your classroom begins with knowing your students. It has been my experience that though most people have what I would call a "top" intelligence (the one that they are most strong in), many have a couple that are also helpful expressions for them.
I hope to provide the chance for each student to have a role or chance to exhibit their strength in their intelligence at least once a grading period. I think a helpful way to do this, is when creating projects, homework, or assessment, make sure that a variety of intelligences are included for a student to choose to give evidence of their learning. The focus on including all of the intelligences is incredibly important, because it ensures that each student feels seen, heard, and encouraged, all of which are vital to learning and success in the classroom.
When the correct amount of focus is put into the multiple intelligences, it means that your classroom buzzes with activity and creativity. In the first chapter, Schmidt begins to describe something she calls "full brain learning." It is the learning that takes place when the mind is fully engaged and the multiple intelligences are stimulated.
Imagination, creativity and passion for learning are the things that I crave in my classroom, and they are the tools that must exist for full brain learning to take place. To encourage this type of learning, I plan to incorporate the arts into my instruction whenever possible. The arts can appeal to different intelligences as well, whether it means performing a skit for the verbal/linguistic and interpersonal students, creating a tableau for the kinesthetically strengthened, or painting a mural for those gifted intrapersonally. This promotes the connection between the brain and the activity in the hand, therefore promoting full brain learning.
This chapter of "Classroom Confidential" is brimming with good information and tips about using projects, information about specific intelligences, or things that teachers need to do to nurture their students and create the best possible environment for learning. My goal is to take advantage of this resource through out my teaching and continuously holding myself accountable to fostering all intelligences in my classroom and using full brain learning.