Considerations of Intelligence Theory in the ESL Classroom

By Published On: April 7th, 2016

Several teachers know some thing about the Several Intelligence Theory suggested by Howard Gardner in his novel “Frames of Brain”, released in 1983, and afterwards created by his group at Harvard College through Project Zero. However it’s not always obvious as to how this concept might be utilized within the classroom as an additional language to enhance the understanding of English.

In one of his newer novels, The Unschooled Mind, Gardner provides the foundation of his concept as follows:

“I have put forth the theory that all human beings are able to utilize no less than seven other methods of understanding – ways that I have labeled the 7 human intelligences. Based on this evaluation, we’re all in a position to understand the world through language, logical-mathematical evaluation, spatial representation, musical considering, the use of your body to resolve problems or to create points, an knowing of other persons, and an understanding of ourselves. Where people differ is in the effectiveness of these intelligences — the alleged account of intelligences — and within the ways such intelligences are invoked and joined to handle different jobs, solve varied issues, and advancement in several domains.”

Teachers in our ESL Las Vegas classes (and most other schools as well, I believe) are conscious that each classroom is filled with pupils who are distinctive from one another in several different ways. Each student comes from the diverse social, economic and cultural heritage, each one has different regions of interest, varying methods of expressing themselves, various weaknesses and strengths, and now the instructor will be requested to be conscious that each student also has their very own personal intelligence profile. Clearly all these variables can change the pupil’s learning method, but how should the instructor face such variety in the classroom?

The ‘traditional’ classroom (be it at an English school in Florida or elsewhere) tends to handle students as a homogeneous team, with the instructor presenting the same workouts to all students at the same time, and anticipating the same replies to be created within comparable time limitations. Pupils are required to absorb the information offered by the instructor with a strong focus on using language and logical-mathematical investigation. Most educational knowledge is offered for understanding by way of an incredibly small (or restricting) methodology and the acquisition of this knowledge is assessed by means of rote tests, whereby the finest marks are assigned to pupils who exhibit the best skill for memorization. As Gardner states on the same page of the novel quoted above:

“… some acknowledgement that individuals do learn, symbolize and use information in numerous techniques is essential to my argument (…) these variations challenge an academic process that assumes that everybody can learn the same substances in the same manner (…) I assert that the conflicting set of assumptions is more prone to be educationally successful. Pupils learn in ways that are completely unique. The wide spectrum of pupils — and probably the entire culture — would be served better if various paths of styding could be offered in a number of methods and understanding could be evaluated via a variety of means.”

Teachers are conscious of the variety within their classrooms. They understand it is essential so as to get more effective in the teaching-learning process to understand something about their pupils, but it isn’t always obvious in what way this knowledge could be gotten and what sort of understanding could be most applicable. I’d like to suggest that Gardner’s MI Theory might be utilized as a preliminary action to be able to research the variety which exists in every classroom, to learn more about pupils’ strengths and weaknesses as associated with the training process. Interesting food for thought, no?

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