Multile Intelleginces and Learning Styles

In class today, we discussed Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles. According to the Multiple Intelligence indicator in So Each May Learn, I am a well rounded person who excels in both interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. This comes as no surprise since I have always been described as a people person and I am very comfortable with myself and others.

Silver describes Multiple Intelligences as the what of learning and the learning styles as the how of learning. If I am following what this is saying is multiple intelligences indicates the way our brain works like a more detailed IQ while learning styles indicates study techniques and how to process material. Using that description, I can see where knowing the learning styles of your students and helping them understand their learning styles is important. According to text, I am a sensing-feeling learner. This makes perfect sense especially when compared with the MI results. I wonder if such a correlation exists for most learners.

How do teachers use this information on learning styles? One option is to make sure that each topic is addressed in multiple manners to reach as many learning styles as possible. Another option is to give students choices of activities or assessment techniques so that they can choose one that meets their learning style. Should teachers force or encourage students to work in learning styles in which they are not strong or comfortable? While using intelligences besides the dominant one encourages growth and better proficient like a skill, there in no evidence that using an uncomfortable learning style benefits a student. This would argue that a teacher/school should present material that requires the student to engage in all of the various intelligences but that assessments and assignments should be offered as options so that the student can choose a learning style that is comfortable.

No class room teacher or public school is ever going to be capable of doing that. They may be able to address the different intelligences (although even that is getting lost in budget cuts and the deluge of information required to be presented) but most classroom teachers don't have the time or resources to allow students to choose their own assignments or assessment often let alone consistently.

As a homeschooler, I can. I can provide the interdisciplinary tie ins that engage the less used intelligences. I can provide field trips and presentation techniques that focus on different intelligences in alternation. And I can structure the assessments to my child's particular learning style


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