This week is the last week of school for me, before the Winter break (I know they couldn’t have scheduled that later…), and I took a closer look at the learning objectives I set for this week.
Ever since I came across the theory of multiple intelligences (MI) by Howard Gardner, I have been fascinated by this “pluralistic view of mind, recognising many different and discrete facets of cognition, acknowledging that people have different cognitive strengths and contrasting cognitive styles” (Gardner, 2006, p.5). This approach enables teachers to see and recognise their students’ abilities. Willisamson et al. (2020) mention that “Not all forms of learning can be quantified and ana- lyzed. And this means, potentially, that not all forms of teaching and learning will ‘count’ in terms of how teachers and students are measured and assessed.” (p.357/358). By applying Gardners’ MI to your teaching, you could argue that it almost counteracts this limitation because you, as an educator, determine right at the outset what and how a learning objective will be assessed. A holistic approach can support your students learning immensely.
For this week, I analysed the learning objectives I set for my lessons, according to Gardners MI:
I simply used paper straws for my visualisation, with every straw representing a learning goal in the matching colour and tile crosses as connectors.
I guess you could say that these tile crosses also connect the various intelligences and, therefore, this week’s objectives. It is quite interesting to me that although I predominantly teach languages, I managed to include picture smart and people smart within these lessons. In my view, it is so important to take multiple approaches to learning: I can observe how diverse the learning and skills of my students are. Broader learning objects, which take these differences into account, support and challenge my students.
However, I could not identify bodily-kinesthetic and naturalistic intelligence within the learning outcomes for this week. This is definitely something to keep in mind when planning future modules.
If you want to read further into this subject I highly recommend Gardners book, you can find it in the reference list below: Chapter 1: “In a Nutshell”, gives you an excellent overview.
Gardner, H., 2006. Multiple intelligences new horizons Completely rev. and updated, New York: BasicBooks.
Williamson, B. Bayne, S. Shay, S. 2020. The datafication of teaching in Higher Education: critical issues and perspectives. Teaching in Higher Education. 25(4), pp. 351-365.