Thursday, April 09, 2009

School Smart vs Intelligence??

For many years now many educators have being talking about the narrow band of intelligence that is valued in traditional school systems across the world. Gardner suggests that there are eight specific types of intelligences and that embedding an acknowledgment and valuing of these across the curriculum benefits all learners.
The following video, from Edutopia, provides an example of just how this can occur:

Notice how the learners' MI's are made explicit to them and that this stops the learners from feeling as if they are "dumb".

Making learning strengths and preferences explicit to students can also work with their learning/cognitive styles and their personality types. For older learners,
educators will find the following validated instruments useful:

Felder's Inventory of Learning styles

Jung Typology Test

The following image is the output of the Felder instrument for a particular student.

Educators who make student preferences explicit to their learners, and value these preferences, give all students to opportunity to understand just how they learn best and to develop strong learning strategies that will assist in learning where these preferences are not so well developed. To achieve this outcome, many educators and school systems will need to make some dramatic changes to the ways in which institutional-based learning occurs. At the heart of these changes will be the recognition of a truly student-centred approach and not just tokenistic attempts that hang on to existing traditional approaches.

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