Nine Measures of Intelligence
The theory of multiple intelligences, as devised by Howard Gardner, proposes that the traditional intelligence quotient (IQ) measure of intelligence does not illuminate the whole or even a significant part of the overall picture. According to Gardner, there are nine multiple intelligences, and each person has her own strengths and weaknesses:
Bodily kinesthetic intelligence
Gardner's theory has had a huge impact on education. Educators are moving toward a more holistic approach to intelligence and education. This kid-centered idea is an excellent starting point for teachers. However, teachers need to be clear on what are appropriate uses of this theory.
Effective Use of Multiple Intelligences
Teachers tend to focus their instruction on the first two types of intelligence: linguistic and logical-mathematical. However, many students are not strong in both or even one of these areas. As you design your lessons, you need to keep this in mind and adjust your plans to help all students achieve at their highest level.
Adjusting lesson plans does not mean that you need to meet all of the multiple intelligences in all lessons. It does mean that you should provide some variety in your instruction. When you are faced with a new unit, try to think of ways that you can add some interest-building activities that rely on the less-frequently used types of intelligence. For example, in a social studies class studying the 1960s, you could introduce some protest music for discussion to appeal to your students' musical intelligence.
Develop All Types of Intelligence
Many students are not strong in the linguistic form of intelligence. However, students will probably meet many teachers at all levels who will lecture to them and possibly provide them with notes written on an overhead or the board. You need to help students learn strategies for strengthening their linguistic intelligence.
Students need the confidence to succeed. Those who have problems with lectures and notes often lack confidence in their abilities. They do not try for fear of failing. Help build confidence by scaffolding notes and lectures for your students.
For younger students, simply reading books aloud while you check for comprehension can help build this skill. From middle school on, you can teach students how to take notes from oral lectures by providing them with your own notes in the beginning and eventually weaning them away from these with less and less information.
Further, teach students how to summarize information that they have read in order to better understand what is important. Developing students' multiple types of intelligence is the best way to prepare them for the future.