MI Changing Education
Because of the importance of this theory, many articles abound in journals that emphasized its role in the field of education. Between 1993 to 1996, articles explaining the theory and how it can be used have led teachers to change their strategies in teaching different subjects to help students understand their lessons. In a 1996 peer-reviewed journal entry entitled “Multiple Intelligences: Gardner’s Theory,” the author, Amy Brualdi, explained the theory in relation to its impact in the classroom.
According to the researcher, the educational system at that time focused too much on the mathematical and linguistic intelligences and that teachers should be able to tap the other intelligences for better student performance. She also implied that teachers must make their presentation of the lessons in different styles that would take into consideration as many of the intelligences as possible. She also broached the concept that with many students with different levels of the intelligences, learning styles will also be involved.
She said that the challenge for the educator is to adapt different but fun ways of teaching subject matter while understanding that each student is unique in his or her ability to learn. She urges educators to get the help from the students themselves by letting the pupils show their intelligences in different ways like making a musically intelligent child make a song about the subject. Another of these articles was made by Dr. Thomas Armstrong, Ph. D. (1994) which shows how the multiple intelligences or MI can be used as a good strategy to help pupils understand the concept of time.
In his writings, Armstrong gave a specific example of how he taught time to a class of 1st graders. He considered the traditional method of using cardboard clocks as boring and decided to create a story that engaged the students by tapping as many of the intelligences during the session. He began by telling them the story of a land with no time wherein its king and queen decided to ask the help of an Irish family named the O’Clocks who lived near Times City.
He continued by saying that each child of the family was aged between 1 to 12 and that each one goes to the top of the hill to shout a rhyme time twice a day. They rhyme goes like this: “My name’s One O’Clock, I tell time, Listen while I sing, My timely little chime! BONG! ” (p. 3) To use kinesthetics, the Armstrong made each child pretend to be one of the O’Clocks and shout the time in front of a plywood clock he made that had no hands. He also made a special clock dance to the tune of “Rock Around the Clock” that made the kids use their hands and feet to tell the time.
He ended the lesson by making the children write and draw their stories about time. Armstrong’s specific example shows how different intelligences can be used to teach a simple lesson to 1st graders but he believes that MI can also be adapted to academic lessons in high school such as in the subject of Chemistry. He proposed letting students puff air into their mouths and move it around to each side so that they will understand that volume is inversely proportional to pressure.
In literature, he suggests that educators let students do role playing to fully understand the novels and stories they are studying. In algebra and history, he says teachers can make the students share their own experiences to enliven discussions connected to their topics. He concludes his article by saying that very few lessons can really be taught using all of the intelligences but by trying to incorporate at least two, the teacher would have been more effective compared to using traditional methods.