Term Paper: Multiple Intelligences

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Multiple Intelligences

First Grade Language Acquisition and Classroom Practices

In terms of human intelligence there exists more than simply one dimension of intelligence such as linguistic, mathematical, spatial, rhythmic, spatial and kinesthetic intelligences

The purpose of this work is to define Multiple Intelligence in terms of practice in the classroom and what teachers are doing in terms of practice that could impact Language Acquisition (i.e. reading, spelling, grammar and phonics) for first graders.

Throughout the history of education there have been many theories in learning stated with many of them being at least in part correct. However the theory of multiple intelligences is one that unfortunately was not acknowledge for many generations and this one factor has had the power and indeed has changed the face of education once finally acknowledged. The student who is creatively gifted was often in the past considered to be developmentally disabled due to scores on grades when in fact that same student was only bored in class and required more information to hold their attention than another student less bright yet making better grades in school.

The greatest factor in developing the varying intelligences that exist is the environment of the child before beginning school. For instance was the child's attendance mostly to hockey games or did the child's parents take the child to musical performances, or book-readings? Was the child read to on a regular basis? Does the child have an older sibling that has offered doorways to learning in their interactions with the child? All of this is vitally important in the child's development both in content and in scope.

Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is based on the critical factor of acknowledgement of multiple intelligences in the first-grade classroom and the fact that without this being acknowledged the students in the first-grade classroom may be mis-labeled and get off on their educational journey on the wrong foot thereby affecting them permanently in terms of their development.

Hypothesis and Research questions

The hypothesis of this work is: "Failure to acknowledge multiple intelligences in the first-grade classroom in terms of practice results in an astronomical disservice to students and a failure in the educational system to deliver quality education to students. The questions that this research will ask are:

What that which is considered to be "best practice" focused toward in the first-grade classroom in terms of delivering learning to the many or multiple intelligences represented by the students in the first-grade classroom?

What techniques are best in relation to delivery of learning in the different subjects of study?

What is the teacher's role in the multiple intelligences classroom?

Howard Gardner (1999) Harvard Professor states that there are four factors in educational reform within the theoretical base of multiple intelligences which are (1) Assessment (2) Curriculum (3) Teacher Education, and (4) Community Participation.

Limitations of the Study

The limitations of this proposal of research are the time allotted and the limitations of primarily having researched online.

Definitions and Terms

Linguistic intelligence - involves spoken and written language abilities.

Logical-mathematical intelligence - consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically.

Musical intelligence involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems.

Spatial intelligence involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.

Interpersonal intelligence is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people.

Intrapersonal intelligence entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations

Literature Review

In the classroom, specifically the first grade classroom. Ellen Weber course director of the Faculty of education and York University and Educational lecturer at the University of Toronto and has taught for 25 years. Weber (1999) notes four basic necessary changes in applying the theory of multiple intelligences. Those four are:

The Multiple Intelligence Theory "proposes that people use at least seven (7) relatively autonomous intellectual capacities; a concept must be adopted to alter the way we view high school curriculum." (Weber, 1999)

It is necessary that a high school curriculum be one that is flexible since there are many different ways in which students learn. (Weber, 1999)

Assessment must become broader and more performance-based and less dependent on memorization and short paper and pencil tests. (Weber, 1999)

Instructional units must shift further from a teacher centered and disconnected curriculum toward a more integrated or thematic approach which builds on the individual students prior knowledge in each subject that is taught as well as capitalizing on the variations in configurations of abilities which participants demonstrated. (Weber, 1999)

Weber (1999) states that she has learned to "initiate a change in small increments geographically, technologically and conceptually." Further stated by Weber (1999) is that the "respect for human dignity" is important as well as "drawing on the experience and knowledge of each one in the group. Weber promotes collaboration and sharing in the learning process and quiet wisely states that "the process of lasting change is a spiritual one, not merely an intellectual one." Leslie Owen Wilson (1998) states that the Multiple Intelligence Theory assists teachers in easily creating more personalized and diversified instructional experiences, assists teachers in helping students become empowered by extending and promoting cognitive bridging techniques based on seven intelligences and through fostering deep metacognitive understanding and by advancing suggestions for a broad array of diversified study-skill techniques. (Wilson, 1998)

Gaining an understanding in multiple intelligences assists students in gaining self-understanding as well as gaining an understanding of others personally, interpersonally, professionally and culturally. Another consideration is that the assignation of intelligence is different from one culture to another. For example while one culture holds that linguistic intelligence is more vital another culture may hold that logical or spatial intelligence is superior.

Integration of learning styles is a challenge in the classroom and requires that the teacher assist the students in finding each his or her own identity through their own unique assets and strengths toward successful learning. (Silver, et al., 2000) Campbell (1881) writes that, "In recent years, new definition of intelligence have gained acceptance and have dramatically enhanced the appraisal of human competencies." Campbell further relates that according to "Howard Gardner of Harvard University in his book, "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences" suggests that there are at least seven human intelligences, two of which, verbal/linguistic intelligence and logical/mathematical intelligence have dominated the traditional pedagogy of western societies." (Campbell, 1991) However, according to Campbell (1991) "the five non-traditional intelligences, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal, have generally been overlooked in education." The implementation methods and procedures that are possible are stated by Campbell (1991) and specific examples are stated. For example:

In the Personal Work Center (Intrapersonal Intelligence) students explore the present area of study through research, reflection, or individual projects [and]...In the Reading Center (Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence), students read, write and learn in many traditional modes. They analyze and organize information." Some results noted by Campbell (1991) were that student development of increased "responsibility, self-direction and independence over the course of the year; reduction in discipline problems, development and application of new skills, improvement in "cooperative learning skills"; and improved academic achievement.

Summary

Margaret Mead once stated that:

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place." (Margaret Mead)

The acknowledgement of and planning for multiple intelligences in the classroom practice will ensure that each and every student receives a quality and optimum educational beginning. It is vitally important that teachers and schools integrate the theory of multiple intelligences into… [END OF PREVIEW]

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