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Gardner's multiple intelligences: challenging unimodal ways of teaching

How to support creative confidence if we assume that people have multiple types of intelligence? How to find the ways to trigger it and create the environment to foster it?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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As I was reading Arjan's comment about ambiguity and the multiplicity of media, I made me think of Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences.

The psychologist Gardner developed in the late 1970's - early 1980's the theory of multiple intelligences which had a huge impact on education. This theory posits the existence of  eight intelligences - linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, musical intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, naturalistic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence (Gardner, 1999).  Individuals draw on these intelligences to solve problems. According to this theory, individuals do not have the same aptitudes in all forms of intelligence. Yet, Gardner claims that  "only two intelligences—linguistic and logical mathematical—have been valued and tested for in the modern educational school system. The assumption at the core of this system (an idea which is also at the core of Ken Robinson's criticism - mentioned in several inspirations - of our current educational system) is that everyone can learn the same materials in the same way. Gardner challenges this approach by suggesting that "a contrasting set of assumptions is more likely to be educationally effective. Students learn in ways that are identifiably distinctive." 
The key point beyond the multiplicity of intelligence is the recognition of different cognitive styles and preferences in order to be able to support all of them. It also implies being aware that creative confidence might be enacted and experienced differently.

If we have distinct forms of learning and of thinking, there are also different ways of being creative. How one can feel confident to be creative if she / he is in a context that does not support her / his mode of creative thinking?

How can we provide materials, experiences and environments that can support all types of intelligences?

 

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DeletedUser

Thanks Anne for your insights! My team and I have drawn inspiration from your post!

If you want you can check out our concept here :
http://www.openideo.com/open/creative-confidence/ideas/the-play-portal/

We are at the refinement stage and would love any kind of feedback! How do you suggest we make this concept more visual? So that kids know there are eight different intelligences and that they could draw on either one? We have thrown around the idea of a "badge" that kids could earn in the different highlighted areas. What do you think?

Please post on our wall so we can continue this conversation! Your contribution is really getting me thinking about how to support these different learning styles but also so that kids realize that they experience learning differently than others and that its AWESOME! Thanks for your contribution!

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