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Resources,  April 27, 2009

An Educator's Journey Toward Multiple Intelligences

"I had been assigned four classes of rambunctious freshmen, and several of my most squirrelly students were football players. I hoped that demonstrating my interest in their gridiron pursuits might make them a bit easier to manage in the classroom.

My presence at their games unquestionably helped on the management front, but a second, unexpected benefit emerged as well. A couple of those freshmen -- kids in my class who struggled mightily with subject-verb agreement and the function of a thesis statement -- had clearly committed several dozen complex plays to memory. During one particularly impressive series of plays, I remember thinking, "These guys are really smart! I'm underestimating what they're capable of!" And over the course of my first year in the classroom, that same thought emerged several more times -- at the school musical, visiting the graphic design class, and even just watching a couple of students do their math homework during study hall. Without my realizing it, my relationship with multiple-intelligences (MI) theory had begun.

What has become a powerful force in the world of education all started in 1983, when Harvard University professor Howard Gardner began his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences with some simple but powerful questions: Are talented chess players, violinists, and athletes "intelligent" in their respective disciplines? Why are these and other abilities not accounted for on traditional IQ tests? Why is the term intelligence limited to such a narrow range of human endeavors?"

URL: http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-theory-teacher
Posted by wrivenburgh on April 27, 2009 | Resources
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