The Secret Formula

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

With evolving teaching methodologies we’ve all become increasingly aware that traditional teaching methodologies leave much to be desired for in terms of reaching out to all the kids of the class. And the truly spirited teachers are looking for ways to include more interactive ways to involve the children in the process of teaching and ensure all of them learn in their own way. To help them in this endeavour we present to you the not so secret formula of doing exactly that – applying the theory of Multiple Intelligence to teaching.

You might already know about this or even be practicing it, and might just have rolled your eyes at the last line. But the truth is a new perspective can help us add value to our own so go on and give the rest of this article a read.

What is Multiple Intelligence and how can it be applied to teaching?

All of us are intelligent. No, that’s not a question, it is a statement of fact. All of us are intelligent, it is just that we are all intelligent in our own way. Traditional intelligence measurement methods only take into account the logical and mathematical abilities into account while calculating how intelligent a person is. While logical and mathematical abilities represent one portion of our intelligence, most of the people outside of education circles remain ignorant of the other intelligences we possess.

The Theory of Multiple Intelligence proposes that our collective intelligence is formed by a combination of 8 different intelligences

1. Visual spatial

2. Naturalistic

3. Linguistic

4. Bodily Kinaesthetic

5. Interpersonal

6. Intrapersonal

7. Logical and mathematical

8. Musical

[Know what your Intelligence type is, by watching the video below!]

Now before you get scared thinking how will I manage to incorporate all of these intelligences into lessons, what we need to understand is all of us possess all of the intelligences in us in varying degrees. So if you’re able to reach out and include a set of intelligences and vary it as you go along the curriculum weaving it into your teaching methodology your entire class would understand the concepts taught at a much better level. Here is an example to get you started off in the right direction.

Imagine a group of students have learnt about geometric shapes in math, how can we apply the theory of multiple Intelligences to help them understand this?

For students of both Visual spatial and Bodily Kinaesthetic intelligences to understand concepts better, set an assignment that helps them build something with their hands like making the shapes in clay or using cardboard. This will give them a visual cue to what they’ve learnt, emphasizing what they’ve learnt.

For students of Musical and Logical and mathematical intelligences, patterns and logic of figuring it out would appeal a lot, so have them measure the structures they’ve built, and show them how it corroborates with what has been taught. Ask them to repeat the exercise with the other shapes.

For the students of Linguistic, Intrapersonal and Interpersonal intelligence ask students to describe the structures with words to a fellow classmate without telling them the name of the structure, and have them guess it.

For those who have a high naturalistic intelligence, you could ask the students where in nature they’ve seen structures like this? Or if they believe these structures can only be manmade.

Now you might think this is a one off solution to include MI in teaching, but there is a lot of literature online on teaching methodologies that incorporate MI to help you customize something for your students. You can even open up the topic to the students and have them come up with solutions as to how to incorporate MI into explaining a concept. The possibilities are endless if you are willing to give it a go.

So are you up to implementing the secret formula to success for your class?

-Rashmi Ramesh

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