Second in a series of courses that comprise the PRIME Teacher Training Program. Here we look at the Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles and how it impacts facilitating learning for
Second in a series of courses that comprise the PRIME Teacher Training Program. Here we look at the Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles and how it impacts facilitating learning for ALL students.
Pragmatics Predictability Performance Perception
Resources Recognition Realia Resolve
Imagination Investigation Inclusion Insight
Mystery Motivation Media
Energy Enthusiasm Extension Engagement
C O M M U N I C AT I O N I N E N G L I S H
A Modern Approach to Facilitating the Acquisition of English as a Foreign Language
Facilitating Diversity in Learning
Part 2 of the PRIME Teacher Training Program
FACILITATING DIVERSITY .................................................................................................................4
HOW WE LEARN..............................................................................................................................4
IT'S NOT HOW SMART YOU ARE - IT'S HOW YOU ARE SMART!..........................................................6
THE NINE TYPES OF INTELLIGENCE...................................................................................................7
GARDNER’S EIGHT CRITERIA FOR IDENTIFYING INTELLIGENCE..........................................................8
LEARNING STYLES AND YOUR STUDENTS.........................................................................................9
WHAT ARE “MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES”?.......................................................................................12
NEW AND EMERGING THEORIES OF INTELLIGENCE.........................................................................14
THE THEORY OF MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES.....................................................................................17
VARIATIONS OF THINKING STYLES.................................................................................................22
MATCHING TEACHING STYLES WITH LEARNING STYLES IN EAST ASIAN CONTEXTS..........................24
HELPING STUDENTS IDENTIFY LEARNING STYLES............................................................................31
INFORMATION AND QUESTIONNAIRES FOR
ASSESSING LEARNING STYLES AND PREFERENCES...........................................................................33
MAKE LEARNING FUN THROUGH MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES...........................................................44
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION ...................................................................................................50
EIGHT SMARTS IN DESIGNING ELT MATERIALS ..............................................................................52
CLEAR RUBRICS MOVE STUDENTS BEYOND APATHY TO UNDERSTANDING ....................................57
ASSESSMENTS THAT RECOGNIZE AND ENHANCE DIVERSITY ..........................................................59
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING...................................................................................62
“CATCH A HUMAN STAR AND . . .” ................................................................................................66
MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES RESOURCES...........................................................................................69
Articles are the property of the authors and copyright owners. Permission is granted for reproduction.
Please site the authors and source if reproducing.
Making Learning Fun through Multiple Intelligences (MI)
by William M. Tweedie
Part 1 - Introduction to MI Theory
A. What are learning styles?
B. What are thinking styles?
C. What are Multiple Intelligences?
D. What is the relationship between the two concepts?
E. What are your intelligence strengths?
a. Survey of your strengths.
b. Does it affect your teaching style?
c. Circle of Knowledge Activity
i. What are the Nine Intelligences?
ii. What are three characteristics of learners using each?
Part 2 - Theory into Practice
A. MI and Motivation
B. The seven levels of engagement
C. Helping students identify their learning styles – a first step to engaging the
psychological and emotional ‘selves’ of students
D. Making Learning Fun through MI
a. An example activity for MI group building – It’s in the Bag
Part 3 - Lesson Plans
A. Sample MI Lesson Plan
a. Developing a Lesson Plan Group Activity
b. The case for rubrics
Part 4 - Summary and Conclusion
A. Characteristics of effective teaching – a model based on the Teaching Behaviors
Inventory created by Harry Murray at the University of Western Ontario.
B. How enthusiastic are YOU?
“Go with your cousin Courage and his sister Success will not be far behind.”
How We Learn
By ALISON GOPNIK
New York Times: Published: January 16, 2005
o here's the big question: if children who don't even go to school learn so easily, why do children who
go to school seem to have such a hard time? Why can children solve problems that challenge
computers but stumble on a third-grade reading test?
When we talk about learning, we really mean two quite different things, the process of discovery and
of mastering what one discovers. All children are naturally driven to create an accurate picture of the
world and, with the help of adults to use that picture to make predictions, formulate explanations,
imagine alternatives and design plans. Call it ''guided discovery.''
If this kind of learning is what we have in mind then one answer to the big question is that schools
don't teach the same way children learn. As in the gear-and-switch experiments, children seem to
learn best when they can explore the world and interact with expert adults. For example, Barbara
Rogoff, professor of psychology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, studied children growing
up in poor Guatemalan Indian villages. The youngsters gradually mastered complex skills like
preparing tortillas from scratch, beginning with the 2-year-old mimicking the flattening of dough to the
10-year-old entrusted with the entire task. They learned by watching adults, trying themselves and
receiving detailed corrective feedback about their efforts. Mothers did a careful analysis of what the
child was capable of before encouraging the next step.
This may sound like a touchy-feely progressive prescription. But a good example of such teaching in
our culture is the stern but beloved baseball coach. How many school teachers are as good at essay
writing, science or mathematics as the average coach is at baseball? And even when teachers are
expert, how many children ever get to watch them work through writing an essay or designing a
scientific experiment or solving an unfamiliar math problem?
Imagine if baseball were taught the way science is taught in most inner-city schools. Schoolchildren
would get lectures about the history of the World Series. High school students would occasionally
reproduce famous plays of the past. Nobody would get in the game themselves until graduate school.
But there is another side to the question.
In guided discovery -- figuring out how the world works or unravelling the structure of making tortillas
-- children learn to solve new problems. But what is expected in school, at least in part, involves a
very different process: call it ''routinized learning.'' Something already learned is made to be second
nature, so as to perform a skill effortlessly and quickly.
The two modes of learning seem to involve different underlying mechanisms and even different brain
regions, and the ability to do them develops at different stages. Babies are as good at discovery as
the smartest adult -- or better. But routinized learning evolves later. There may even be brain changes
that help. There are also tradeoffs: Children seem to learn new things more easily than adults. But
especially through the school-age years, knowledge becomes more and more engrained and
automatic. For that reason, it also becomes harder to change. In a sense, routinized learning is less
about getting smarter than getting stupider: it's about perfecting mindless procedures. This frees
attention and thought for new discoveries.
The activities that promote mastery may be different from the activities that promote discovery. What
makes knowledge automatic is what gets you to Carnegie Hall -- practice, practice, practice. In some
settings, like the Guatemalan village, this happens naturally: make tortillas every day and you'll get
good at it. In our culture, children rich and poor grow highly skilled at video games they play for hours.
But in school we need to acquire unnatural skills like reading and writing. These are meaningless in
themselves. There is no intrinsic discovery in learning artificial mapping between visual symbols and
sounds, and in the natural environment no one would ever think of looking for that sort of mapping. On
the other hand, mastering these skills is absolutely necessary, allowing us to exercise our abilities for
discovery in a wider world.
The problem for many children in elementary school may not be that they're not smart enough but that
they're not stupid enough. They haven't yet been able to make reading and writing transparent and
automatic. This is particularly true for children who don't have natural opportunities to practice these
skills, learning in chaotic and impoverished schools and leading chaotic and impoverished lives.
But routinized learning is not an end in itself. A good coach may well make his players throw the ball
to first base 50 times or swing again and again in the batting cage. That will help, but by itself it won't
make a strong player. The game itself -- reacting to different pitches, strategizing about base running
-- requires thought, flexibility and inventiveness.
Children would never tolerate baseball if all they did was practice. No coach would evaluate a child,
and no society would evaluate a coach, based on performance in the batting cage. What makes for
learning is the right balance of both learning processes, allowing children to retain their native
brilliance as they grow up.
Alison Gopnik is co-author of ''The Scientist in the Crib'' and professor of psychology at the University
of California at Berkeley.
It's Not How Smart You Are - It's How You Are Smart!
Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences
What parent can not see gleaming rays of genius in their child? And yet, how many children come to
school and demonstrate their own unique genius? There was a time when it might have been a joke
to suggest "Every parent thinks their kid's a genius." But research on human intelligence is suggesting
that the joke may be on educators! There is a constant flow of new information on how the human
brain operates, how it differs in function between genders, how emotions impact on intellectual acuity,
even on how genetics and environment each impact our children’s' cognitive abilities.
While each area of study has its merits, Howard Gardner of Harvard University has identified different
KINDS of intelligence we possess. This has particularly strong ramifications in the classroom,
because if we can identify children's different strengths among these intelligences, we can
accommodate different children more successfully according to their orientation to learning.
Thus far Gardner has identified nine intelligences. He speculates that there may be many more yet to
be identified. Time will tell. These are the paths to children's learning teachers can address in their
classrooms right now.
Teachers are now working on assimilating this knowledge into their strategies for helping children
learn. While it is too early to tell all the ramifications for this research, it is clear that the day is past
where educators teach the text book and it is the dawn of educators teaching each child according to
their orientation to the world.
By Walter McKenzie
copyright 1999 Walter McKenzie
The Nine Types of Intelligence
• VISUAL/SPATIAL - children who learn best visually and organizing things spatially. They
like to see what you are talking about in order to understand. They enjoy charts, graphs,
maps, tables, illustrations, art, puzzles, costumes - anything eye catching.
• VERBAL/LINGUISTIC - children who demonstrate strength in the language arts: speaking,
writing, reading, and listening. These students have always been successful in traditional
classrooms because their intelligence lends itself to traditional teaching.
• MATHEMATICAL/LOGICAL - children who display an aptitude for numbers, reasoning
and problem solving. This is the other half of the children who typically do well in traditional
classrooms where teaching is logically sequenced and students are asked to conform.
• BODILY/KINESTHETIC - children who experience learning best through activity: games,
movement, hands-on tasks, building. These children were often labeled "overly active" in
traditional classrooms where they were told to sit and be still!
• MUSICAL/RHYTHMIC - children who learn well through songs, patterns, rhythms,
instruments and musical expression. It is easy to overlook children with this intelligence in
• INTRAPERSONAL - children who are especially in touch with their own feelings, values
and ideas. They may tend to be more reserved, but they are actually quite intuitive about
what they learn and how it relates to them.
• INTERPERSONAL - children who are noticeably people oriented and outgoing, and do
their learning cooperatively in groups or with a partner. These children may have typically
been identified as "talkative" or " too concerned about being social" in a traditional setting.
• NATURALIST - children who love the outdoors, animals, field trips. More than this, though,
these students love to pick up on subtle differences in meanings. The traditional classroom
has not been accommodating to these children.
• EXISTENTIALIST - children who learn in the context of where humankind stands in the "big
picture" of existence. They ask "Why are we here?" and "What is our role in the world?" This
intelligence is seen in the discipline of philosophy.
By Walter McKenzie
copyright 1999 Walter McKenzie
Gardner’s Eight Criteria for Identifying Intelligence
1. Isolation of Brain Function - as medicine studies isolated brain functions through
cases of brain injury and degenerative disease; we are able to identify actual physiological
locations for specific brain functions. A true intelligence will have its function identified in a
specific location in the human brain.
2. Prodigies, Idiot Savants and Exceptional Individuals - human record of
genius, such as, Mozart being able to perform on the piano at the age of four and Dustin
Hoffman's "Rainman" character being able to calculate dates accurately down to the day of
the week indicate that there are specific human abilities which can demonstrate themselves to
high degrees in unique cases. Highly developed examples of a true intelligence are rare
3. Set of Core Operations - there is an identifiable set of procedures and practices which
is unique to each of the true intelligences.
4. Developmental History with an Expert End Performance - as clinical
psychologists continue to study the developmental stages of human growth and learning, a
clear pattern of developmental history of the human mind is being documented. A true
intelligence has an identifiable set of stages of growth with a Mastery Level which exists as an
end state in human development. We can see examples of people who have reached the
Mastery level in each of the intelligences.
5. Evolutionary History - as cultural anthropologists continue to study the history of
human evolution, there is adequate evidence that our species has developed intelligence over
time through human experience. A true intelligence can have its development traced through
the evolution of Homosapiens.
6. Supported Psychological Tasks - clinical psychologists can identify sets of tasks for
different domains of human behaviour. A true intelligence can be identified by specific tasks
which can be carried out, observed and measured.
7. Supported Psychometric Tasks - the use of psychometric instruments to measure
intelligence (such as I.Q. tests) have traditionally been used to measure only specific types of
ability. However, these tests can be designed and used to identify and quantify true unique
intelligences. The Multiple Intelligence theory does not reject psychometric testing for specific
8. Encoded into a Symbol System - humans have developed many kinds of symbol
systems over time for varied disciplines. A true intelligence has its own set of images it uses
which are unique to it and are important in completing its identified set of tasks.
Remember, everyone has ALL the intelligences. The intelligences are not mutually
exclusive - they act in consort. MI Theory was not developed to exclude individuals, but to
allow all people to contribute to society through there own strengths!
Learning Styles and Your Students
Summary by William M. Tweedie, adapted from a variety of sources
If you've ever watched a group of students interact, you've probably noticed that different students like
to do different things. Why is this? Many educators and student psychologists believe that each
student has a particular learning style that affects how he or she most effectively interacts with the
world to learn and grow. Knowing the learning styles of your students can help you choose activities
that will help your students learn and grow most effectively.
The study of Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences (Frames of Mind - Gardner, 1983) is still
developing and there are different interpretations of the two concepts and the relationship between
them. For now, it is important to simply recognize that not everybody learns or acquires a second
language through a single method or set of techniques. The following summary presents ideas
accepted by most educators.
Learning Styles: What They Are
Simply put, a learning style is the preferred way a person acquires knowledge. It is not what a person
learns, but how a person learns. A student’s learning style is a reflection of the development of his
intelligences at any given moment. Eight different intelligences have been identified through the work
of Howard Gardner. Although we are capable of using them all, it seems most of us rely on only one
or two. As a result, we develop our own particular approach to learning (and in many cases to
teaching) based on our favoured learning style(s). Educators and psychologists commonly define the
eight different learning styles as follows:
Verbal - Linguistic - Linguistic learners relate to language in both its written and spoken form. They
learn best through poetry, storytelling, grammar, abstract reasoning, metaphors, similes, etc.
Logical - Mathematical - Logical-mathematical learners focus on different types of reasoning and
logic. They like to make observations, draw conclusions, make judgments, and formulate hypotheses.
Visual - Spatial - Spatial learners like to deal with visualization and imagery. Students with this
learning style learn well through painting, drawing, sculpturing, designing, etc.
Intrapersonal - Intrapersonal learners focus on situations that require them to reflect upon
themselves. They like higher-order thinking and reasoning, self-reflection, spirituality, and the
awareness and expression of feelings.
Interpersonal - Interpersonal learners engage in verbal and nonverbal communication with others.
They learn best when working in groups cooperatively, reacting to others' moods and feelings, and
understanding the perspective of others.
Bodily - Kinaesthetic - Bodily Kinaesthetic learners like physical movement. They learn well when
involved in physical exercise and in forms of expression like dance, mime, drama, or role-playing.
Musical - Rhythmical - Musical learners have the capacity to recognize rhythm and tone patterns,
and sensitivity to sounds from the human voice and musical instruments. They like to interact with
Naturalist/Environmental - A relatively new category of style, the outdoor learner is inspired to learn
in natural surroundings. Their curiosity is aroused by the earth’s physical characteristics and beauty.
Verbal - Linguistic - Linguistic learners relate to language in both its written and spoken form. They
learn best through poetry, storytelling, grammar, abstract reasoning, metaphors, similes, etc.
Learning Styles: How to Use Them
Understanding that your students’ have individual learning styles can help you support what they do in
the classroom. By providing activities that suit their learning styles, you provide optimum opportunities
for them to learn.
For example, you might want to teach mathematical concepts in ways best suited to your students’
learning styles. If a student is a more musical learner, singing number songs might be useful.
Linguistic learners might best learn mathematical concepts from stories in which numbers figure
prominently. Interpersonal learners might benefit from more social activities such as cooking from a
recipe. Once you recognize (ideally, through formal analysis as well as informal observation) a variety
of the learning styles in your students, provide activities that will reinforce them. In doing so, it will be
important to show how things related to their careers are evident in all sorts of different activities,
including music, art, and literature. In that way you can ensure that your students’ interests are tapped
and still focus on important educational points.
Learning Styles: Things to Think About
As you start to think about your students’ learning styles, you might want to keep these points in mind:
Your students may have several different learning styles that work best for each of them. Although a
particular learning style may be dominant in any individual or group of students, it is still important that
you provide a variety of activities. In that way, you will continue to develop their other intelligences and
aspects of personalities.
Learning styles can be used both to teach and reinforce concepts. Try using one approach to teach
your students a concept, and then use a different one to reinforce it. For example, you might want to
use a linguistic approach, such as a story, to teach the vocabulary or idea of some aspect of their
career studies or other interests, and then have your students draw a picture that reflects the concept
Regardless of your students’ ages and ability levels, your course content and objectives, or the focus
of an individual lesson, it is important to keep in mind the fact that everyone of us has a different style
or combination of styles that best facilitates learning anything.
As language is such a vital personal tool linked directly with our emotional and psychological selves,
having the awareness of and doing your best to accommodate your students’ learning styles is
perhaps more important for you as language learning facilitators than for ‘teachers’ of other subjects.
What These Learners Like to Do, Are Good At, What Works For Them
The Linguistic Learner likes to: read, write and tell stories; is good at: memorizing names, places,
dates and trivia; learns best by: saying, hearing and seeing words.
Logical/Mathematical Learner likes to: do experiments, figure things out, work with numbers, ask
questions and explore patterns and relationships; is good at: math, reasoning, logic and problem
solving; learns best by: categorizing, classifying and working with abstract patterns/relationships.
Spatial Learner likes to: draw, build, design and create things, daydream, look at pictures/slides,
watch movies and play with machines; is good at: imagining things, sensing changes, mazes/puzzles
and reading maps, charts; learns best by: visualizing, dreaming, using the mind's eye and working
Musical Learner likes to: sing, hum tunes, listen to music, play an instrument and respond to music;
is good at: picking up sounds, remembering melodies, noticing pitches/rhythms and keeping time;
learns best by: rhythm, melody and music.
Bodily/Kinaesthetic Learner likes to: move around, touch and talk and use body language; is good
at: physical activities (sports/dance/acting) and crafts; learns best by: touching, moving, interacting
with space and processing knowledge through bodily sensations.
Naturalistic Learner likes to: be outside, with animals, geography, and whether; interacting with the
surroundings; is good at: categorizing, organizing a living area, planning a trip, preservation, and
conservation; learns best by: studying natural phenomenon, in a natural setting, learning about how
Interpersonal Learner likes to: have lots of friends, talk to people and join groups; is good at:
understanding people, leading others, organizing, communicating, manipulating and mediating
conflicts; learns best by: sharing, comparing, relating, cooperating and interviewing.
Intrapersonal Learner likes to: work alone and pursue own interests; is good at: understanding self,
focusing inward on feelings/dreams, following instincts, pursuing interests/goals and being original;
learns best by: working alone, individualized projects, self-paced instruction and having own space.
SPACE TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR LEARNING STYLE:
Draw, Write, Calculate, Scribble, Make music, Consider the space, Talk about this space
with friends, Plan your next vacation!
What are “Multiple Intelligences”?
By William M. Tweedie, adapted from a variety of sources
Multiple Intelligences are eight different intellectual abilities and sets of skills.
What are these intellectual abilities and skills?
The ability to perceive the visual: These learners tend to think in pictures and need to
create vivid mental images to retain information. They enjoy looking at maps, charts, pictures,
videos, and movies.
Their skills include:
puzzle building, reading, writing, understanding charts and graphs, a good sense of direction,
sketching, painting, creating visual metaphors and analogies (perhaps through the visual
arts), manipulating images, constructing, fixing, designing practical objects, interpreting visual
Possible Career Paths: Navigators, sculptors, visual artists, inventors, architects, interior
designers, mechanics, engineers
The ability to use words and language: These learners have highly developed auditory
skills and are generally elegant speakers. They think in words rather than pictures.
Their skills include:
listening, speaking, writing, story telling, explaining, teaching, using humour, understanding
the syntax and meaning of words, remembering information, convincing someone of their
point of view, analyzing language usage.
Possible Career Paths: Poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, translator
The ability to use reason, logic and numbers: These learners think conceptually in logical
and numerical patterns making connections between pieces of information. Always curious
about the world around them, these learners ask lots of questions and like to do experiments.
Their skills include:
problem solving, classifying and categorizing information, working with abstract concepts to
figure out the relationship of each to the other, handling long chains of reason to make local
progressions, doing controlled experiments, questioning and wondering about natural events,
performing complex mathematical calculations, working with geometric shapes
Possible Career Paths: Scientists, engineers, computer programmers, researchers,
The ability to control body movements and handle objects skilfully: These learners
express themselves through movement. They have a good sense of balance and eye-hand
co-ordination. (E.g. ball play, balancing beams). Through interacting with the space around
them, they are able to remember and process information.
Their skills include:
Dancing, physical co-ordination, sports, hands on experimentation, using body language,
crafts, acting, miming, using their hands to create or build, expressing emotions through the
Possible Career Paths: Athletes, physical education teachers, dancers, actors, firefighters,
The ability to produce and/or appreciate music: These musically inclined learners think in
sounds, rhythms and patterns. They immediately respond to music either appreciating or
criticizing what they hear. Many of these learners are extremely sensitive to environmental
sounds (e.g. crickets, bells, dripping taps).
Their skills include:
Singing, whistling, playing musical instruments, recognizing tonal patterns, composing music,
remembering melodies, understanding the structure and rhythm of music
Possible Career Paths: Musician, disc jockey, singer, composer
The ability to relate to and understand others: These learners try to see things from other
people's point of view in order to understand how they think and feel. They often have an
uncanny ability to sense feelings, intentions and motivations. They are great organizers,
although they sometimes resort to manipulation. Generally they try to maintain peace in group
settings and encourage co-operation. They use both verbal (e.g. speaking) and non-verbal
language (e.g. eye contact, body language) to open communication channels with others.
Their skills include:
seeing things from other perspectives (dual-perspective), listening, using empathy,
understanding other people's moods and feelings, counselling, co-operating with groups,
noticing people's moods, motivations and intentions, communicating both verbally and non-
verbally, building trust, peaceful conflict resolution, establishing positive relations with other
Possible Career Paths: Counsellor, salesperson, politician, business person
The ability to self-reflect and be aware of one's inner state of being: These learners try to
understand their inner feelings, dreams, relationships with others, and strengths and
Their Skills include:
Recognizing their own strengths and weaknesses, reflecting and analyzing themselves,
awareness of their inner feelings, desires and dreams, evaluating their thinking patterns,
reasoning with themselves, understanding their role in relationship to others
Possible Career Paths: Researchers, theorists, philosophers
The ability to appreciate and learn from the environment and nature: These learners
have the ability to understand and appreciate the physical properties and wonders of the
Their Skills include:
Geography - categorizing animals, plants, rocks, etc. They understand and organize for
conservation and preservation. They are usually very aware of the relationships between
people and the environment.
Possible Career Paths: Forest rangers, meteorologists, conservationists, biologists,
New and Emerging Theories of Intelligence
Originally prepared by: Kristin Garrigan and Jonathan Plucker (fall 2001) Revised
Indiana State University: www.indiana.edu
You cannot pick up a magazine today without seeing an article regarding intelligence or
intelligences. The study of intelligence has proved to be a continuously evolving, dynamic field, with
the breadth of the field expanding rapidly over the past 25 - 30 years. Many individuals, such as
Gardner, Naglieri, and Goleman, argue that our view of human intelligence is far too narrow, leading
the way to an expanded view of what intelligence is and what constitutes an intelligence. Several of
the new and emerging intelligences are noted in the following sections.
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
In the early 1980s, Howard Gardner opened the window to multiple intelligences (MI). Prof.
Gardner claimed that MI theory illuminates the fact that humans exist in a multitude of contexts and
that these contexts both call for and nourish different arrays and assemblies of intelligence. Many
psychologists have expounded on this notion and today the number of quantifiable intelligences
extends beyond that of Gardner's initial seven multiple intelligences.
Robert J. Sternberg has devoted much of his career to the study of various conceptions of human
intelligence. Starting with his Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence (Sternberg, 1985), he has
expanded on his view of human ability and success. Successful intelligence is defined as that set of
mental abilities used to achieve one's goals in life, given a socio-cultural context, through adaptation
to, selection of, and shaping of environments. Successful intelligence involves three aspects that are
interrelated but largely distinct: analytical, creative, and practical thinking (Sternberg, 1998). Practical
Intelligence is the ability to size up a situation well, to be able to determine how to achieve goals, to
display awareness to the world around you, and to display interest in the world at large (Sternberg,
1990; Sternberg et al., 2000; Wagner, 2000). Prof. Sternberg is working on several projects that
examine the interrelation of his various conceptions of ability in applied settings.
Moral Intelligence is the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Broadly conceived, moral
intelligence represents the ability to make sound decisions that benefit not only yourself, but others
around you (Coles, 1997; Hass, 1998).
Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand other people: what motivates them, how they
work, how to work cooperatively with them. Successful salespeople, politicians, teachers, clinicians,
and religious leaders are all likely to be individuals with high degrees of interpersonal intelligence. At
the same time, social intelligence probably draws on specific internal (Gardner would say
intrapersonal) abilities. For example, in a recent study of incompetence, Kruger and Dunning (1999)
found that incompetent people assessed themselves as being highly competent. This lack of ability to
self-assess may be due to a combination of internal (poor metacognition) and external factors (poor
ability to compare oneself to others). Social intelligence appears to be receiving the most attention in
the management and organizational psychology literatures (e.g., Hough, 2001; Riggio, Murphy, &
Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, "is a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to
monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to
guide one's thinking and actions" (Mayer & Salovey, 1993, p. 433). According to Goleman (1995),
"Emotional intelligence, the skills that help people harmonize, should become increasingly valued as a
workplace asset in the years to come." (p. 160). EL may subsume Gardner's inter- and intrapersonal
intelligences, and involves abilities that may be categorized into five domains (Salovey & Mayer,
• Self-awareness: Observing yourself and recognizing a feeling as it happens.
• Managing emotions: Handling feelings so that they are appropriate; realizing what is behind a
feeling; finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger, and sadness.
• Motivating oneself: Channelling emotions in the service of a goal; emotional self control;
delaying gratification and stifling impulses.
• Empathy: Sensitivity to others' feelings and concerns and taking their perspective;
appreciating the differences in how people feel about things.
• Handling relationships: Managing emotions in others; social competence and social skills.
Additional perspectives on EI are available in Bar-On and Parker (2000).
In this Hot Topic, we attempted to provide a brief overview of the major categories of new and
emerging conceptions of intelligences. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and we refer interested
readers to the recent special issue of the journal, Roeper Review (April 2001), which addressed these
and other new conceptions.
Bar-On, R., & Parker, J. D. A. (Eds.) (2000). The handbook of emotional intelligence: Theory,
development, assessment, and application at home, school, and in the workplace. San Francisco:
Coles, R. (1997). The moral intelligence of children: How to raise a moral child. New York:
Dweck, C. S., Chiu, C., & Hong, Y. (1995). Implicit theories and their role in judgments and reactions:
A world from two perspectives. Psychological Inquiry, 6, 267-285.
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences. New York: BasicBooks.
Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
Hass, A. (1998). Doing the right thing: Cultivating your moral intelligence. New York: Hardcover.
Hough, L. M. (2001). I/Owes its advances to personality. In B. W. Roberts & R. Hogan (Eds.),
Personality psychology in the workplace. Decade of behaviour (pp. 19-44). Washington, DC:
American Psychological Association.
Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (1999). Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one's
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Prepared by Kristin Garrigan and Jonathan Plucker.
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Originally prepared by: Kristin Garrigan and Jonathan Plucker (fall 2001) Revised
Indiana State University: www.indiana.edu
Development of MI Theory
After years of research, Howard Gardner proposed a new theory and definition of intelligence in his
1983 book entitled Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The basic question he
sought to answer was: Is intelligence a single thing or various independent intellectual faculties?
Gardner is Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He
also holds an adjunct faculty post in psychology at Harvard and in neurology at Boston University
School of Medicine. He is best known for his work in the area of Multiple Intelligences, which has
been a career-long pursuit to understand and describe the construct of intelligence (Gardner, 1999a;
Project Zero Website, 2000).
Gardner describes his work with two distinct populations as the inspiration for his theory of Multiple
Intelligences. Early in his career, he began studying stroke victims suffering from aphasia at the
Boston University Aphasia Research Center and working with children at Harvard's Project Zero, a
laboratory designed to study the cognitive development of children and its associated educational
implications (Gardner, 1999a). In Intelligence Reframed, Gardner states,
Both of the populations I was working with were clueing me into the same message: that the human
mind is better thought of as a series of relatively separate faculties, with only loose and unpredictable
relations with one another, than as a single, all-purpose machine that performs steadily at a certain
horsepower, independent of content and context. (p.32)
Gardner concluded from his work with these two populations that strength in one area of performance
did not reliably predict comparable strength in another area. With this intuitive conclusion in mind,
Gardner set about studying intelligence in a systematic, multi-disciplinary, and scientific manner,
drawing from psychology, biology, neurology, sociology, anthropology, and the arts and humanities.
This resulted in the emergence of his Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI Theory) as presented in
Frames of Mind (1983). Since the publication of that work, Gardner and others have continued to
research the theory and its implications for education in general, curriculum development, teaching,
and assessment. For the purposes of this Hot Topic, the focus will be on a description of the theory,
major criticisms, and the implications for assessment.
Definition of MI Theory
According to Gardner (1999a), intelligence is much more than IQ because a high IQ in the
absence of productivity does not equate to intelligence. In his definition, "Intelligence is a bio-
psychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve
problems or create products that are of value in a culture" (p.34). Consequently, instead of
intelligence being a single entity described psychometrically with an IQ score, Gardner's definition
views it as many things. He endeavoured to define intelligence in a much broader way than
psychometricians. Gardner established several criteria to achieve this goal (1983; 1999a). In
identifying capabilities to be considered for one of the "multiple intelligences" the construct under
consideration had to meet several criteria rather than resting on the results of a narrow psychometric
To qualify as ”intelligence" the particular capacity under study was considered from multiple
perspectives consisting of eight specific criteria drawn from the biological sciences, logical analysis,
developmental psychology, experimental psychology, and psychometrics. The criteria to consider
"candidate intelligences" (Gardner, 1999a, p. 36) are:
1) the potential for brain isolation by brain damage,
2) its place in evolutionary history,
3) the presence of core operations,
4) susceptibility to encoding,
5) a distinct developmental progression,
6) the existence of idiot-savants, prodigies and other exceptional people,
7) support from experimental psychology, and
8) support from psychometric findings (Gardner, 1999a).
To illustrate the specifics of these criteria, a brief description and example of each is provided.
The potential for brain isolation by brain damage means that one "candidate intelligence" (Gardner
1999a, p.36) can be dissociated from others. This criterion came from Gardner's work in
neuropsychology. For example, stroke patients who are left with some forms of "intelligence" intact
despite damage to other cognitive abilities such as speech. From an evolutionary perspective, the
candidate intelligence has to have played a role in the development of our species and its ability to
cope with the environment. In this case, Gardner (1999a) uses inference to conclude that spatial
abilities were critical to the survival of our species. Early hominids had to be able to navigate diverse
terrains using spatial abilities. The pressure of the environment then resulted in selection for this
ability. Both of these criteria emerged from the biological sciences.
From the perspective of logical analysis, an intelligence must have an identifiable core set of
operations. Acknowledging the fact that specific intelligences operate in the context of the
environment, Gardner (1999a) argues that it is crucial to specify the capacities that are central to the
intelligence under consideration. For example, linguistic intelligence consists of core operations such
as recognition and discrimination of phonemes, command of syntax and acquisition of word
meanings. In the area of musical intelligence, the core operations are pitch, rhythm, timbre, and
harmony. Another criterion related to logical analysis states that an intelligence must be susceptible to
encoding in a symbol system. According to Gardner, (1999a) symbol systems are developed versus
occurring naturally, and their purpose is to accurately and systematically convey information that is
culturally meaningful. Some examples of encoding include written and spoken language,
mathematical systems, logical equations, maps, charts and drawings.
Gardner (1999a) established two criteria from developmental psychology. The first is the presence of
a developmental trajectory for the particular ability toward an expert end-state. In other words,
individuals do not necessarily exhibit their "intelligence" in its raw state. Rather, they prepare to use
their intelligence by passing through a developmental process. Thus, people who want to be
mathematicians or physicists, spend years studying and honing their logical/mathematical abilities in a
distinctive and socially relevant way. The second criteria borrowed from the discipline of
developmental psychology, is the existence of idiot-savants, prodigies and exceptional people.
Gardner (1999a) refers to these as accidents of nature that allow researchers to observe the nature of
a particular intelligence in great contrast to other average or impaired abilities. One example of this
type of highlighted intelligence is the autistic person who excels at numerical calculations or musical
Finally, Gardner (1999a) draws his last two criteria from traditional psychology and psychometrics to
determine if candidate intelligence makes it onto the list of specific abilities he calls Multiple
Intelligences. There must be support from experimental psychology that indicates the extent to which
two operations are related or different. Observing subjects who are asked to carry out two activities
simultaneously can help determine if those activities rely on the same mental capacities or different
ones. For example, a person engaged in working a crossword puzzle is unlikely to be able to carry on
a conversation effectively, because both tasks demand the attention of linguistic intelligence, which
creates interference. Whereas, the absence of this sort of competition allows a person to be able to
walk and converse at the same time suggesting that two different intelligences are engaged. In spite
of the fact that Gardner proposed his theory in opposition to psychometrics, he recognizes the
importance of acknowledging psychometric data (1999a).
Gardner (1983; 1999a) defined seven intelligences using the preceding eight criteria. Logical-
mathematical intelligence is the ability to detect patterns, think logically, reason deductively and carry
out mathematical operations. Linguistic intelligence involves the mastery of spoken and written
language to express oneself or remember things. These first two forms of intelligence are typically the
abilities that contribute to strong performance in traditional school environments and to producing high
scores on most IQ measures or tests of achievement. Spatial intelligence involves the potential for
recognizing and manipulating the patterns of both wide spaces such as those negotiated by pilots or
navigators, and confined spaces such as those encountered by sculptors, architects or championship
chess players. Musical intelligence consists of the capacity to recognize and compose musical
pitches, tones, rhythms, and patterns and to use them for performance or composition. Bodily-
Kinaesthetic intelligence involves the use of parts of the body or the whole body to solve problems or
create products. Athletes, dancers, surgeons and craftspeople are likely to have highly developed
capacity in this area. The last two intelligences are the personal intelligences: interpersonal and
intrapersonal. Interpersonal intelligence indicates a person's ability to recognize the intentions,
feelings and motivations of others. People who possess and develop this quality are likely to work well
with others and may choose fields like sales, teaching, counselling or politics in order to use them.
Intrapersonal intelligence is described as the ability to understand oneself and use that information to
regulate one's own life. According to Gardner each of these seven "intelligences" has a specific set of
abilities that can be observed and measured (1999a, 1983). More recently, Gardner (1998) has
nominated three additional candidate intelligences: Naturalist, Spiritual and Existential intelligence and
evaluated them in the context of the eight criteria he established in his research and outlined earlier in
this paper. He defines a naturalist as a person "who demonstrates expertise in recognition and
classification of the numerous species - the flora and fauna - of her or his environment." (1998, p.
115). Gardner is comfortable with declaring that a Naturalist intelligence meets the criteria he set
forth, however he is less sure about how to define and incorporate Spiritual and Existential
"…the monopoly of those who believe in a single general intelligence has come to an end." (Gardner,
Criticism of MI Theory
When reviewing criticism of Multiple Intelligences theory, addressing the historically ever-present
question of whether intelligence is one thing or many things is unavoidable. The fundamental criticism
of MI theory is the belief by scholars that each of the seven multiple intelligences is in fact a cognitive
style rather than a stand-alone construct (Morgan, 1996). Morgan, (1996) refers to Gardner's
approach of describing the nature of each intelligence with terms such as abilities, sensitivities, skills
and abilities as evidence of the fact that the "theory" is really a matter of semantics rather than new
thinking on multiple constructs of intelligence and resembles earlier work by factor theorists of
intelligence like L.L. Thurstone who argued that a single factor (g) cannot explain the complexity of
human intellectual activity. According to Morgan (1996), identifying these various abilities and
developing a theory that supports the many factors of intelligence has been a significant contribution
to the field. Furthermore, he believes that MI theory has proven beneficial to schools and teachers
and it may help explain why students do not perform well on standardized tests but it in Morgan's
opinion it does not warrant the complete rejection of g.
Gardner (1995) admittedly avoided addressing criticism of his theory for nearly a decade after the
publication of Frames of Mind. However, in a 1995 article that appeared in Phi Delta Kappan he
responds to several "myths" about the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. These myths provide a
summary of the major commentary on and criticism of Gardner's theory. The first myth is that if there
are seven intelligences we must be able to measure them with seven specific tests. Gardner is vocal
about his disdain for a singularly psychometric approach to measuring intelligence based on paper
and pencil tests. Secondly, he responds to the belief that an intelligence is the same as a domain or a
discipline. Gardner reiterates his definition of an intelligence and distinguishes it from a domain which
he describes as a culturally relevant, organized set of activities characterized by a symbol system and
a set of operations. For example, dance performance is a domain that relies on the use of bodily-
kinaesthetic and musical intelligence (Gardner, 1995).
Other criticisms include the notion that MI theory is not empirical, is incompatible with inheritability,
and environmental influences, and broadens the construct of intelligence so widely as to render it
meaningless. Gardner (1995) staunchly defends the empiricism of the theory by referring to the
numerous laboratory and field data that contributed to its development and the ongoing re-
conceptualization of the theory based on new scientific data. Regarding the claim that Multiple
Intelligences theory cannot accommodate g, Gardner argues that g has a scientific place in
intelligence theory but that he is interested in understanding intellectual processes that are not
explained by g. In response to the criticism that MI theory is incompatible with genetic or
environmental accounts of the nature of intelligence, Gardner states that his theory is most concerned
with the interaction between genetics and the environment in understanding intelligence. Finally, the
notion that MI theory has expanded the definition of intelligence beyond utility produces a strong
reaction from Gardner. He argues passionately that the narrow definition of intelligence as equal to
scholastic performance is simply too constrictive. In his view, MI theory is about the intellectual and
cognitive aspects of the human mind. Gardner is careful to point out that MI theory is not a theory of
personality, morality, motivation, or any other psychological construct (1995, 1999a, 1999b).
Implications for Assessment
The two most widely used standardized tests of intelligence are the Wechsler scales and the
Stanford-Binet. Both instruments are psychometrically sound, but Gardner believes that these tests
measure only linguistic and logical/mathematical intelligences, with a narrow focus within content in
those domains. According to Gardner, the current psychometric approach for measuring intelligence
is not sufficient. In his view, assessment must cast a wider net to measure human cognitive abilities
more accurately. Gardner (1993) proposes several improvements for the development of intelligence
measures. Before enumerating those improvements, it is important to understand how Gardner
defines assessment. In his view, the purpose of assessment should be to obtain information about the
skills and potentials of individuals, and provide useful feedback to the individuals and the community
at large. Furthermore, Gardner (1993) draws a distinction between testing and assessment.
Assessment elicits information about an individual's abilities in the context of actual performance
rather than by proxy using formal instruments in a de-contextualized setting.
Gardner argues for making assessment a natural part of the learning environment. Assessment is
then built into the learning situation much like the constant assessment of skills that occurs in
apprenticeship or the self-assessment that occurs in experts who have internalized a standard of
performance based on the earlier guidance of teachers. The ecological validity of assessment is also
at issue according to Gardner (1993). Predictive validity of traditional intelligence tests may be
psychometrically sound, but its usefulness beyond predicting school performance is questionable.
Therefore, prediction could be improved if assessments more closely approximated real working
conditions. Instruments for measuring intelligence should also be "intelligence-fair" (1993, p.176).
Consequently, we need to reduce the bias toward measuring intelligence through
logical/mathematical and linguistic abilities and move toward looking more directly at a specific
intelligence in operation (e.g., assessing for spatial intelligence by having an individual navigate his or
her way around unfamiliar territory). Gardner acknowledges that this approach to assessment may be
difficult to implement.
Gardner (1993) emphasizes two additional points about assessment that are critical. The first is that
the assessment of intelligence should encompass multiple measures. Relying on a single IQ score
from a WISC-III (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) without substantiating the findings through
other data sources does the individual examinee a disservice and produces insufficient information for
those who provide interventions. Secondly, all assessments and resulting interventions must be
sensitive to individual differences and developmental levels. Finally, Gardner is in favour of
assessment for the primary purpose of helping students rather than classifying or ranking them.
While these views about assessment are intuitively sensible, Sternberg (1991) argues that the
naturalistic approach is a "psychometric nightmare" (p. 266). Quantifying performance on these sorts
of assessments is difficult, objectivity is questionable, and cultural bias is still a problem. Hard data is
the scientific "gold standard" and psychometric soundness is a prerequisite. Therefore, Sternberg
(1991) hesitates endorsing this approach to assessment on the basis that we would simply be
replacing one flawed system of measurement with an approach that is equally problematic. Recent
research on MI Theory-based assessments provides evidence in support of Sternberg's concern
about psychometric quality (e.g., Plucker, Callahan, & Tomchin, 1996).
Future Research Directions
The future research agenda for MI Theory and intelligence is likely to encompass a multidisciplinary
approach. While intelligence is usually researched through the lens of psychology, future discoveries
are likely to come from the cross-pollination of ideas in neuroscience, cellular biology, genetics, and
anthropology to name a few (1999a). Gardner (1999a) also favours gathering ethnographic data and
cross-cultural information to see intelligence in action and in context. The use of information
processing techniques and computer simulations is another relevant approach for gaining new insight
into human intellectual capacities. At this point in history, the study of intelligence has moved well
beyond the realm of psychometrics. As Gardner (1999a) writes, "The theory of multiple intelligences
has helped break the psychometricians’ century long stranglehold on the subject of intelligence." (p.
Gardner, H. (1999a). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York:
Gardner, H. (1999b, February). Who owns intelligence? Atlantic Monthly, 67-76.
Gardner, H. (1998). Are there additional intelligences? The case for naturalist, spiritual, and existential
intelligences In J. Kane (Ed.), Education, information, and transformation (pp. 111-131) Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Merrill-Prentice Hall.
Gardner, H. (1995). Reflections on multiple intelligences Phi Delta Kappan, 77(3), 200-208.
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. New York: Basic Books.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.
Morgan, H. (1996). An analysis of Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences Roeper Review 18,
Plucker, J., Callahan, C. M., & Tomchin, E. M. (1996) Wherefore art thou, multiple intelligences?
Alternative assessments for identifying talent in ethnically diverse and economically disadvantaged
students Gifted Child Quarterly, 40, 81-92
Sternberg, R. J. (1991). Death, taxes and bad intelligence tests Intelligence, 15, 257-269
http://www.pz.harvard.edu/PIs/HG.htm (2000). Biographical data on Howard Gardner Principle
Investigators, Project Zero Website.
http://www.nea.org/neatoday/9903/meet.html (1999). NEA Today Online, Meet Howard Gardner: All
kinds of smarts.
Prepared and submitted for the intelligence website by Lynn Gilman, M.S.
Variations of Thinking Styles
(Excerpts from Sternberg, 1997)
The following are brief excerpts from the book "Thinking Styles" by Robert J. Sternberg. Readers are
encouraged to read the book for detailed coverage of thinking styles, and of the "Theory of Mental
PRINCIPLES OF THINKING STYLES
Styles are preferences in the use of abilities, not abilities themselves.
A match between styles and abilities creates synergy that is more than the sum of its parts.
Life choices need to fit styles as well as abilities.
People have profiles (or patterns) of styles, not just a single style.
Styles are variable across tasks and situations.
People differ in the strength of their preferences.
People differ in there stylistic flexibility.
Styles are socialized.
Styles can vary across the life span.
Styles are measurable.
Styles are teachable.
Styles valued at one time may not be valued at another.
Styles valued in one place may not be valued in another.
Styles, on average, are not good or bad -- it's a question of fit.
We confuse stylistic fit with levels of ability.
FUNCTIONS OF THINKING STYLES
Legislative people like to do things their own way. They like creating, formulating, and having things.
In general, they tend to be people who like to make their own rules.
Legislative people enjoy doing things the way they do them. They prefer problems that are not
restructured for them, but rather that they can structure for themselves.
Legislative people also prefer creative and constructive planning-based activities, such as writing
papers, design projects, and creating new business or educational systems.
People with the executive style are implementers: they like to do, and generally prefer to be giving
guidance as to what to do or how to do what needs to be done. Executive people also like to enforce
rules and laws (their own or others').
Executive people prefer problems that are given to them or structured for them and like to do and take
pride in the doers - in getting things done. Executive people tend to gravitate toward occupations that
are quite different from those to which legislative people are attracted.
Executive people will tend to the valued by organizations that want people to do things in a way that
appears to a set of rules or guidelines.
People with a judicial style like to evaluate rules and procedures and to judge things. Judicial people
also prefer problems in which they can analyze and evaluate things and ideas. They like to judge both
structure and content.
Legislative and judicial people can work well together in a team. For example, selection procedures
tend to be largely judicial, and are well suited to people who like to evaluate. The legislative person
may well not be ideal to read the applications and judge them, for lack of interest in dealing with the
job the way it should the done.
FORMS OF THINKING STYLES
People who are predominantly monarchic style tend to be motivated by a single goal or need at a
time. Monarchic people also tend to be single-minded and driven by whatever they are single-minded
about. They have a tendency to see things in terms of their issues.
Monarchic people often attempt to solve problems, full speed ahead, damn the obstacles. They can
be too decisive.
People with a hierarchic style tend to be motivated by a hierarchy of goals, with the recognition that
not all of the goals can be fulfilled equally well and that some goals are more important than others.
They thus tend to be priority setters who allocate carefully. They tend to be systematic and organized
in their solutions to problems and in their decision making.
In oligarchy, several individuals share power. Individuals with the oligarchic style tend to be motivated
by several, often competitive goals of equal perceived importance. They have trouble deciding which
goals to give priority to. The result is that they may have trouble allocating resources.
People with an anarchic style tend to be motivated by a wide assortment of needs and goals that are
often difficult for others, as well as for themselves, to sort out. They tend to be not so much
asystematic as antisystematic.
LEVELS, SCOPE, AND LEANINGS OF THINKING STYLES
Global Style-Local Style
Global people prefer to deal with relatively larger and often abstract issues. They tend to focus on the
forest, sometimes at the expense of the trees. Their constant challenge is to stay grounded and not to
get lost on cloud nine.
Local people prefer to deal with details, sometimes minute ones, and often ones surrounding concrete
issues. They tend to focus on the trees, sometimes at the expense of the forest. Their constant
challenge is to see the whole forest, and not just its individual elements.
Internal Style-External Style
People with an internal style tend to be motivated, task-oriented, sometimes aloof, and socially less
sensitive than other people. At times they also lack interpersonal awareness, if only because they do
not focus on it.
People with an external style, in contrast, tend to be more extroverted, people-oriented, outgoing,
socially more sensitive, and interpersonally more aware.
Liberal Style-Conservative Style
Individuals with a liberal style like to go beyond existing rules and procedures and seek to maximize
change. They also seek or are at least comfortable with ambiguous situations, and prefer some
degree of unfamiliarity in life and work.
Individuals with a conservative style like to adhere to existing rules and procedures, minimize change,
avoid ambiguous situations where possible, and prefer familiarity in life and work.
Matching Teaching Styles with Learning Styles in East Asian
The Internet TESL Journal Vol. VII, No. 7, July 200
Foreign Languages College, Jiangxi Normal University (Nanchang, China)
Examples of Mismatches between Teaching and Learning Styles
Liu Hong, a third-year English major in Jiangxi Normal University, China, was in David's office again.
After failing David's oral English course the previous year, Liu Hong had reenrolled, hoping to pass it
Unfortunately, things were not looking promising so far, and she was frustrated. When David asked
why she was so unhappy in his class, she said: “I am an introverted, analytic and reflective student. I
don't know how to cope with your extroverted, global and impulsive teaching style?"
Jenny, an American teacher from California, sat in Dean's office again, feeling perplexed by the
students' negative responses to her kinaesthetic and global styles of teaching. Despite Jenny's
persistent efforts to convince the students of the advantages of her teaching styles, she was told by
her Vietnamese colleagues that her attempts were in opposition to the prevalent teaching styles in
Vietnam. Jenny had specialized in applied linguistics for a long time and was well trained in the
TESOL area in U.S.A. But all of a sudden, it seemed that all her teaching competence and experience
had become useless in such a country where she had never been before.
Analyzing the Examples
The above statements are representative of serious mismatches between the learning styles of
students and the teaching style of the instructor. In a class where such a mismatch occurs, the
students tend to be bored and inattentive, do poorly on tests, get discouraged about the course, and
may conclude that they are not good at the subjects of the course and give up (Oxford et al, 1991).
Instructors, confronted by low test grades, may become overtly critical of their students or begin to
question their own competence as teachers, as exemplified by the Jenny's case above.
To reduce teacher-student style conflicts, some researchers in the area of learning styles advocate
teaching and learning styles be matched (e.g. Griggs & Dunn, 1984; Smith & Renzulli, 1984; Charkins
et al, 1985), especially in foreign language instruction (e.g. Oxford et al, 1991; Wallace & Oxford,
1992). Kumaravadivelu (1991:98) states that: "... the narrower the gap is between teacher intention
and learner interpretation, the greater are the chances of achieving desired learning outcomes". There
are many indications (e.g. Van Lier, 1996; Breen, 1998) that bridging the gap between teachers' and
learners' perceptions plays an important role in enabling students to maximize their classroom
Purpose of this Article
This article describes ways to make this matching feasible in real-life classroom teaching in East
Asian and comparable contexts. The assumption underlying the approach taken here is that the way
we teach should be adapted to the way learners from a particular community learn. But before
exploring how the teaching styles and learning styles can be matched, let us first examine traditional
East Asian students' learning style preferences in dealing with language learning tasks.
Traditional East Asian Learning Styles
Traditionally, the teaching of EFL in most East Asian countries is dominated by a teacher-centered,
book-centered, grammar-translation method and an emphasis on rote memory (Liu & Littlewood,
1997). These traditional language teaching approaches have resulted in a number of typical learning
styles in East Asian countries, with introverted learning being one of them. In East Asia, most students
see knowledge as something to be transmitted by the teacher rather than discovered by the learners.
They, therefore, find it normal to engage in modes of learning which are teacher-centered and in
which they receive knowledge rather than interpret it. According to Harshbarger el al (1986),
Japanese and Korean students are often quiet, shy and reticent in language classrooms. They dislike
public touch and overt displays of opinions or emotions, indicating a reserve that is the hallmark of
introverts. Chinese students likewise name "listening to teacher "as their most frequent activity in
senior school English classes (Liu & Littlewood, 1997). All these claims are confirmed by a study
conducted by Sato (1982), in which she compared the participation of Asian students in the classroom
interaction with that of non-Asian students. Sato found that the Asians took significant fewer speaking
turns than did their non-Asian classmates (36.5% as opposed to 63.5%).
The teacher-centered classroom teaching in East Asia also leads to a closure-oriented style for most
East Asian students. These closure-oriented students dislike ambiguity, uncertainty or fuzziness. To
avoid these, they will sometimes jump to hasty conclusions about grammar rules or reading themes.
Many Asian students, according to Sue and Kirk (1972), are less autonomous, more dependent on
authority figures and more obedient and conforming to rules and deadlines. Harshbarger at al (1986)
Korean students insist that the teacher be the authority and are disturbed if this does not happen.
Japanese students often want rapid and constant correction from the teacher and do not feel
comfortable with multiple correct answers. That is why Asian students are reluctant to "stand out" by
expressing their views or raising questions, particularly if this might be perceived as expressing public
disagreement (Song, 1995).
Perhaps the most popular East Asian learning styles originated from the traditional book-centered and
grammar-translation method are analytic and field-independent. In most of reading classes, for
instance, the students read new words aloud, imitating the teacher. The teacher explains the entire
text sentence by sentence, analyzing many of the more difficult grammar structures, rhetoric, and
style for the students, who listen, take notes, and answer questions. Oxford & Burry-Stock (1995)
states that the Chinese, along with the Japanese, are often detail-and precision-oriented, showing
some features of the analytic and field-independent styles. They have no trouble picking out
significant detail from a welter of background items and prefer language learning strategies that
involve dissecting and logically analyzing the given material, searching for contrasts, and finding
Another characteristically East Asian learning style is visual learning. In an investigation of sensory
learning preferences, Reid (1987) found that Korean, Chinese and Japanese students are all visual
learners, with Korean students ranking the strongest. They like to read and obtain a great deal of
visual stimulation. For them, lectures, conversations, and oral directions without any visual backup are
very confusing and can be anxiety-producing. It is obvious that such visual learning style stems from a
traditional classroom teaching in East Asia, where most teachers emphasize learning through reading
and tend to pour a great deal of information on the blackboard. Students, on the other hand, sit in
rows facing the blackboard and the teacher. Any production of the target language by students is in
choral reading or in closely controlled teacher-students interaction (Song, 1995). Thus, the perceptual
channels are strongly visual (text and blackboard), with most auditory input closely tied to the written.
Closely related to visual, concrete-sequential, analytic and field-independent styles are the thinking-
oriented and reflective styles. According to Nelson (1995), Asian students are in general more overtly
thinking-oriented than feeling oriented. They typically base judgement on logic and analysis rather
than on feelings of others, the emotional climate and interpersonal values. Compared with American
students, Japanese students, like most Asians, show greater reflection (Condon, 1984), as shown by
the concern for precision and for not taking quick risk in conversation (Oxford et al, 1992). Quite
typical is "the Japanese student who wants time to arrive at the correct answer and is uncomfortable
when making guess" (Nelson, 1995:16). The Chinese students have also been identified to posses
the same type of thinking orientation by Anderson (1993).
The final East Asian preferred learning style is concrete-sequential. Students with such a learning
style are likely to follow the teacher's guidelines to the letter, to be focused on the present, and
demand full information. They prefer language learning materials and techniques that involve
combinations of sound, movement, sight, and touch and that can be applied in a concrete, sequential,
linear manner. Oxford & Burry-Stock (1995) discovered that Chinese and Japanese are concrete-
sequential learners, who use a variety of strategies such as memorization, planning, analysis,
sequenced repetition, detailed outlines and lists, structured review and a search for perfection. Many
Korean students also like following rules (Harshbarger et al, 1986), and this might be a sign of a
It is worth noting that the generalizations made above about learning styles in East Asia do not apply
to every representative of all East Asian countries; many individual exceptions of course exist.
Nevertheless, these seemingly stereotypical descriptions do have a basis in scientific observation.
Worthley (1987) noted that while diversity with any culture is the norm, research shows that
individuals within a culture tend to have a common pattern of learning and perception when members
of their culture are compared to members of another culture.
Matching Teaching Styles with Learning Styles
From the descriptions and scientifically observed data reviewed above, it is legitimate to conclude that
there exist identifiable learning styles for most East Asian students. We can assume, therefore, that
any native English speaker engaged in teaching English to East Asian students is likely to confront a
teaching-learning style conflict. This is illustrated by the two examples cited at the very beginning of
this paper and further confirmed by Reid's (1987) and Melton's (1990) studies. Such style differences
between students and teachers consistently and negatively affect student grades (Wallace and
Oxford, 1992). It is when students' learning styles are matched with appropriate approaches in
teaching that their motivation, performances, and achievements will increase and be enhanced
In what follows, I give examples of how teacher's teaching style can be matched with students'
learning style in East Asian settings. I obtained these ideas from several sources, including
descriptions in books and published articles; responses to a recent questionnaire I sent to selected
overseas students from Japan, Korea and China in Australia; and my own teaching experience in
China. The approaches are classified in the following categories:
1. Diagnosing learning styles and developing self-aware EFL learners
2. Altering the teaching style to create teacher-student style matching
3. Encouraging changes in students' behaviour and fostering guided style-stretching
4. Providing activities with different groupings
Diagnosing Learning Styles and Developing Self-aware EFL Learners
Effective matching between teaching styles and learning styles can only be achieved when teachers
are, first of all, aware of their learners' needs, capacities, potentials and learning style preferences in
meeting these needs. To this end, teachers may use assessment instruments such as the Myers-
Briggs Type Indications Survey (Myers and McCaulley, 1985), the Keirsey Temperament Sorter
(Keirsey & Bates, 1984) and the Classroom Work Style Survey (Kinsella, 1996). These instruments
are sensitive to the kinds of style differences that are affected by culture. Although this kind of
assessment is not comprehensive, it does indicate students' preferences and provide constructive
feedback about advantages and disadvantages of various styles.
Before a survey is administered, the teacher should give a mini-lecture, trying to:
establish interest: what learning styles are
define general terms: for example, survey, questionnaire, perceptual, tally
discuss how learning styles are determined and used by students and teachers
explain how to tally results of surveys
persuade students of the benefits of identifying their learning styles
Following the lecture, the teacher can ask students to work in pairs to share notes from the mini-
lecture. By doing this, they can expect to further clarify the concept of survey taking and have a more
specific idea of what learning styles are. While the pair-work is in process, the teacher should be
prepared to answer any questions that may arise. Then, students are ready to complete the
questionnaire. If students have questions or need assistance, the teacher can have a mini conference
with them individually. Finally, students can start summarizing their individual style results in the
The next step is for the teacher to organize a whole-class discussion of the style assessment results.
The teacher can write the major learning styles on the blackboard and ask the students to write their
names under their major styles in a list. Then, in a full-class discussion, everybody is aware that the
class is indeed a mixture of styles and full of similarities and differences in learning style preferences.
This discussion helps eliminate some of the potential of a teacher-student "style war" if the teacher
talks about his or her own style during this time. I have found students are intensely interested in
talking about their own style and the styles of their peers and teachers. When such style discussions
are constructive, students' initial interest in self-awareness is rewarded and deepened.
Furthermore, based on these style assessment results, the teacher can build classroom community
by asking students to find several other students whose major learning style matches their own, and
sit in a group with those students. They follow instructions (written on the blackboard or on a
transparency) to share their summarized results and analyze those results. This discussion often
starts slowly, but it becomes increasingly animated as students discover similarities and differences.
In addition, teachers can use the survey results to identify style patterns among various groups of
students in their classes, which they should consider when designing learning tasks.
There are, however, dangers if learning assessment, diagnosis, and prescription are misused. We
can, at least, list three shortcomings of existing self-assessment instruments:
1. the instruments are exclusive. (i.e. they focus on certain variables);
2. the students may not self-report accurately; and
3. the students have adapted for so long that they may report on adapted preferences.
In order to ensure a reliability of such learning style instruments, Doyle and Rutherford (1984) call for
taking into account the nature of the learning tasks, the relationship between teacher and student, and
other situational variables. Further, Reid (1987:102) warns: "Both teachers and students involved in
identifying and using information on learning styles should proceed with caution and be aware that no
single diagnostic instrument can solve all learning problems"
For all of these reasons, I recommend using diaries as a supplemental tool. By reflecting the
processes that go on inside the writers' minds, they open up fields that are normally not accessible to
researchers, and are thus able to provide an important complement to other research tools. Before
students start keeping diaries, they should be issued with a set of guidelines about how to keep their
diaries and what to look out for. Each student is asked to keep a journal of their reactions to the
course, their teachers, their fellow students and any other factors which they consider are having an
effort on their learning. Students are told to describe only those events which they think are of interest.
Also to be included in the diary are the problems students have found in their encounter with the
foreign language, and what they plan to do about it. The language in which these records have to be
kept is not necessarily specified, but it is better for them to use the target language.
The diaries are collected in at regular intervals, photocopied and then returned immediately to the
diarists. The students are assured that the material in their diaries will be treated in full confidentiality.
For the analysis of these diaries, Bailey (1990) recommends a five-stage procedure, in which the
researcher first edits the diary and then looks for recurring patterns and significant events.
Altering the Teaching Style to Create Teacher-Student Style Matching
In all academic classrooms, no matter what the subject matter, there will be students with multiple
learning styles and students with a variety of major, minor and negative learning styles. An effective
means of accommodating these learning styles is for teachers to change their own styles and
strategies and provide a variety of activities to meet the needs of different learning styles. Then all
students will have at least some activities that appeal to them based on their learning styles, and they
are more likely to be successful in these activities. Hinkelman and Pysock (1992), for example, have
demonstrated the effectiveness of a multimedia methodology for vocabulary building with Japanese
students. This approach is effective in tapping a variety of learning modalities. By consciously
accommodating a range of learning styles in the classroom in this way, it is possible to encourage
most students to become successful language learners.
In addition, EFL teachers in East Asia should consider culturally related style differences as they plan
how to teach. Following is a list of activities for East Asian learners that could be tried for each style:
Visual learning style preference
1. Read resources for new information.
2. Use handouts with activities.
3. Keep journals of class activities to reinforce vocabulary or new information.
4. Watch an action skit. Write narrative of events.
5. Take notes on a lecture. Outline the notes to reinforce ideas and compare with others.
Analytic learning style preference
1. Judge whether a sentence is meaningful. If the sentence is not meaningful, the student
changes it so that it makes sense.
2. Give students a list of related vocabulary words (such as a list of foods, animals, gifts, etc.)
and ask them to rank these words according to their personal preferences.
3. Give students questions to which two or three alternative answers are provided. Students'
task is to choose one of the alternatives in answering each question.
4. Ask students to express their opinions as to agree or disagree with a given statement. If they
disagree, they reword the statement so that it represents their own ideas.
The prospect of altering language instruction to somehow accommodate different learning styles
might seem forbidding to teachers. This reaction is understandable. Teaching styles are made up of
methods and approaches with which teachers feel most comfortable; if they try to change to
completely different approaches, they would be forced to work entirely with unfamiliar, awkward, and
uncomfortable methods. Fortunately, teachers who wish to address a wide variety of learning styles
need not make drastic changes in their instructional approach. Regular use of some the instructional
techniques given below should suffice to cover some specified learning style categories in most East
Make liberal use of visuals. Use photographs, drawings, sketches, and cartoons to illustrate and
reinforce the meanings of vocabulary words.
Show films, videotapes, and live dramatizations to illustrate lessons in text.
Assign some repetitive drill exercises to provide practice in basic vocabulary and grammar, but
don't overdo it.
Do not fill every minute of class time lecturing and writing on the blackboard. Provide intervals for
students to think about what they have been told; assign brief writing exercises.
Provide explicit instruction in syntax and semantics to facilitate formal language learning and
develop skill in written communication and interpretation.
Encouraging Changes in Students' Behaviour and Fostering Guided Style-stretching
For example, an important aspect of instructional style for many Korean students might involve
weaning them from rote repetition, slowly guiding them into real communication in authentic language
situation. An effective instructional style for dealing with many Chinese students might include paying
attention to the individual, creating a structured but somewhat informal classroom atmosphere to ease
students out of their formality, introducing topics slowly, avoiding embarrassment, and being
The following are examples of teaching activities that guide East Asian students to alter their learning
behaviours, stretch their learning styles and enable them to improve their language performance.
Groups of four or five learners are given cards, each with a word on it. Each person describes his
word in the foreign language to the others in the group without actually using it. When all students
have described their word successfully, the students take the first letter of each and see what new
word the letters spell out. (Puzzle parts might also depict objects in a room; in this case, when all
the words have been guessed, the group decides which room of the house has been described.)
Class members are placed in pairs or in larger groups. Each student has a blank piece of paper.
He listens to his partner or the group leader who has a picture to describe (the teacher can
provide the picture or students can choose their own). As his partner describes the picture, the
student tries to draw a rough duplicate according to the description he hears.
Providing Activities with Different Groupings
In a class made up of students with various learning styles and strategies, it is always helpful for the
teacher to divide the students into groups by learning styles and give them activities based on their
learning styles. This should appeal to them because they will enjoy them and be successful. For
example, the group made up of the extroverted may need the chance to express some ideas orally in
the presence of one or many class members. On the other hand, the group made up of the introverted
may need some encouragement to share ideas aloud and may want the safety of jotting down a few
notes first and perhaps sharing with one other person before being invited or expected to participate
in a group discussion.
In addition to trying style-alike groups for greatest efficiency, the teacher can also use style-varied
groups for generating greatest flexibility of styles and behaviours. Teachers should avoid grouping
introverts with each other all the time. It is often helpful to include open students and closure-oriented
students in the same group; the former will make learning livelier and more fun, while the latter will
ensure that the task is done on time and in good order. But before students are divided into groups,
they should be aware of the divisions and understand what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Wu (1983) concludes that Chinese students usually respond well to activities when they realize what
the purposes behind them are.
Finally, no matter how students are to be grouped, teachers should make a conscious effort to include
various learning styles in daily lesson plan. One simple way to do this is to code the lesson plans so
that a quick look at the completed plan shows if different learning styles have been included. Putting
"A" or "V" beside activities that denote whether they are primarily appealing to the analytic learner or
the visual learner will serve as a reminder that there is a need for mixture of both kinds of activities.
Meanwhile, simply designating various parts of the lesson plan with letters (I for individual, P for pair,
SG for small group, LG for large group) and other symbols reminds the teacher to pay attention to
learning styles. The coding is not meant to be extra work for the teacher or to make classes seem
artificial or not spontaneous. If the coding system is used on a regular basis, it becomes very natural
to think in terms of being inclusive, or providing the setting and the activities by which all learners can
find some portion of the class that particularly appeals to them.
In this article I have discussed the significance of matching teaching and learning styles in East Asian
countries and provided some empirical evidence to indicate that East Asian students exhibit distinctive
learning style characteristics. To understand and respect individual's diverse learning styles, I suggest
that teachers employ instruments to identify students' learning styles and provide instructional
alternatives to address their differences, and that teachers plan lessons to match students' learning
styles while at the same time encouraging students to diversify their learning style preferences. By
doing this we can assist our students in becoming more effective language learners.
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Helping Students Identify Learning Styles
Adapted from the ldrc.com web site by William M. Tweedie
The first step in teaching students to become aware of how they think is to understand how
you as a teacher think.
Completing a Multiple Intelligence survey (there are many available on the Internet for free) is a
beginning in helping teachers understand their own learning style(s). With this knowledge you are
better equipped to teach students about theirs.
The process of thinking and learning needs to be made an explicit part of classroom activities.
Any learning activity provides the potential for process awareness. It is helpful to take a few minutes
from a lesson for a discussion of the strategies students are using. You might ask students to gather
in groups to discuss how they would approach a particular problem, say for example, a writing project.
It gives students a chance to see how others are thinking, within the actual activity. They can then go
back to work with a new set of insights that they can test and apply.
As students become aware of the strategies they use to learn, you can help them assess their own
learning styles. If the environment is one of support, and students are not threatened with judgement
or criticism, their own curiosity can be a powerful motivator. If, for example, a student has trouble
remembering spoken instructions but can follow written directions, it can be an exciting revelation to
discover that the visual system works better for some tasks than does the auditory system. With this
information, you can help a student develop strategies which use the stronger systems and help
strengthen the weaker ones. If a learner doesn't comprehend spoken instruction well but knows he
easily understands those that are written, he can ask the teacher to write them out on the board.
Helping students identify their learning styles gives them tools that can be used in many
subjects in school and beyond.
Studying becomes more than a way of passing a class; it becomes an opportunity to develop thinking
In teaching to whole classrooms, it is helpful for teachers to introduce information so it can be
processed by the three ways (i.e. hearing, seeing, and doing). For example, if the task is to learn how
to write a book report, the teacher can first explain the process, followed by a written description of the
process or an example of a completed book report, followed by actually setting up a plan for
producing a book report. This provides a student with an initial auditory summary of the instructions,
followed by the same thing in written form and an example, a visual summary of the instruction and a
visual summary of the layout, followed by hands on preparation of an outline which makes use of both
visual and kinaesthetic modes of learning.
Multimodal teaching can become an automatic process for teachers if they have an awareness
of learning styles and differences that exist between students.
Likewise, it is important for a teacher to understand the developmental difference in learning styles,
for example a very young child may rely heavily on tactile/kinaesthetic processes for learning about
objects; an infant may pick up a toy, look at it, touch it, move it around, taste it, and shake it, all of
which go together to create that child's understanding of the object.
A teenager may use a similar set of strategies to learn about an object. Take, for example, learning
how to use a VCR. A VCR is much more complicated than the infant's toy and requires many more
skills to learn how to use it. The teenager may choose to read the owners manual, may just start
playing with the buttons to see what happens, or may ask an experienced user to explain or show
how to operate it. In the case of the teenager, the strategies used will depend on the learning style
preferred and the ability to read and understand or listen and understand (verbal), the ability to
remember sequences of button pressing (kinaesthetic), and the ability to remember seeing a
sequence of button presses through a demonstration by an experienced user (visual). It is likely that
all modes will be used but likely in varying degrees depending on learning style preference.
In children with learning disabilities one mode may be eliminated altogether. If the learner has
difficulty reading or comprehending spoken language, for example, learning to operate a VCR may
rely totally on kinaesthetic or visual modes of learning.
In such a case, a teacher, or parent demonstrates first, followed by hands on practice for the learner,
thus making use of the stronger ways of learning, visual and kinaesthetic modes. The teacher may
then demonstrate the use of the owner’s manual by looking for particular operations that are not
familiar, using it as a backup means of learning.
The bottom line is if the learner understands which way of learning works best, frustration can be
avoided by making use of stronger ways first followed by backup learning through weaker ways. You,
as a teacher, will experience more of the satisfaction of all your students’ successes.
The next article in this book of resources provides you with additional information, other ways of
looking at learning preferences and styles, and more formal, practical ways of assessing them in your
Information and Questionnaires for
Assessing Learning Styles and Preferences
Part One - Learning Preferences
Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic (Motor)
A summary of these learning preferences with some implications for teaching and learning is provided
below. Samples of three different questionnaires that can be used to help students determine their
learning preference are also included.
Visual Auditory Kinaesthetic
The visual learner needs to see, The auditory learner The tactile-kinaesthetic learner needs to do,
observe, record and write. needs to talk and to touch, be physically involved.
See information: Listen and respond Needs structured, hands-on activity, such as
to information. building a replica of the Houses of Parliament,
• Diagram or using a salting process to feel the corrosion
• Chart of metals.
See meaning: Dialogue and Needs to be involved with "doing" activities,
discuss. such as acting out an event.
• Through imagined
• Interpretive illustration
See content: Hear lecture and Needs to touch what is being considered, such
debate. as holding and examining a model, visiting a
• Reading factory, or making a product.
• Through written description
See possibilities: Talk out ideas, Needs to immerse in the trial and error of
interests, problems, experimentation, such as designing and
• Through written possibilities. making a new product.
brainstorming, such as
webbing, mind mapping.
Questionnaire 1 BARSCH LEARNING STYLE REFERENCE FORM
Developed by Ray Barsch
The series of questions on the next three pages is designed to determine your relative learning style (visual,
auditory, or tactile). No style of learning is better than another. However, each style makes its own demands on
the environment of the learner. What does a tutor perceive to be the learning style of his student? How can he
help that student learn, given that particular style? Place a check on the appropriate line after each statement.
Then score, following the directions after the questionnaire.
Often Sometimes Seldom
1 Can remember more about a subject through listening than reading. ____ ____ ____
2 Follow written directions better than oral directions. ____ ____ ____
3 Like to write things down or take notes for visual review. ____ ____ ____
4 Bear down extremely hard with pen or pencil when writing. ____ ____ ____
5 Require explanations of diagrams, graphs, or visual directions. ____ ____ ____
6 Enjoy working with tools. ____ ____ ____
7 Am skilful and enjoy developing and making graphs and charts. ____ ____ ____
8 Can tell if sounds match when presented with pairs of sounds. ____ ____ ____
9 Remember best by writing things down several times. ____ ____ ____
10 Can understand and follow directions using maps. ____ ____ ____
11 Do better at academic subjects by listening to lectures and tapes. ____ ____ ____
12 Play with coins and keys in pockets. ____ ____ ____
13 Learn to spell better by repeating the letters out loud than by writing
the word on paper. ____ ____ ____
14 Can better understand a news article by reading about it in the paper
than by listening to the radio. ____ ____ ____
15 Chew gum, smoke, or snack during studies. ____ ____ ____
16 Feel the best way to remember is to picture it in my head. ____ ____ ____
17 Learn spelling by "finger spelling" the words. ____ ____ ____
18 Would rather listen to a good lecture or speech than read about the
same material in a textbook. ____ ____ ____
19 Am good at working and solving jigsaw puzzles and mazes. ____ ____ ____
20 Grip objects in my hands during learning period. ____ ____ ____
21 Prefer listening to the news on the radio rather than reading about it
in a newspaper. ____ ____ ____
22 Obtain information on an interesting subject by reading relevant
materials. ____ ____ ____
23 Feel very comfortable touching others, hugging, handshaking, etc. ____ ____ ____
24 Follow oral directions better than written ones. ____ ____ ____
VISUAL AUDITORY TACTILE
No. Pts. No. Pts. No. Pts.
2 _____ 1 _____ 4 _____
3 _____ 5 _____ 6 _____
7 _____ 8 _____ 9 _____
10 _____ 11 _____ 12 _____
14 _____ 13 _____ 15 _____
16 _____ 18 _____ 17 _____
19 _____ 21 _____ 20 _____
22 _____ 24 _____ 23 _____
__________ __________ __________
VPS = APS = TPS =
VPS = Visual Preference Score
APS = Auditory Preference Score
TPS = Tactile Preference Score
HELPING STUDENTS IDENTIFY THEIR LEARNING PREFERENCE
(Visual, Auditory or Motor)
The questionnaire can be done in a small group or individually with the instructor reading the questions
and the student selecting the answer that best suits him or her.
The instructor should discuss the results with the student using the following questions:
1. Under which column did you check the most answers?
2. What kind of learning preference does it appear you have?
3. What learning or teaching methods do you think would best suit your preference?
4. What learning or teaching methods might not suit your preference as well?
(Instructors may need to offer suggestions like lectures, films, reading aloud, etc. for questions 3 and
Given below are a number of incomplete sentences and three ways of completing each sentence. In
each case, select the way which most frequently represents your personal preference. In each case,
make only ONE choice.
A B C
1 When you keep up with read the newspaper listen to the radio Quickly read the paper
current events do you: thoroughly? and/or watch TV and/or spend a few
news? minutes watching TV
2 When you dress, are a neat dresser? a sensible dresser? a comfortable dresser?
3 When you are reading like descriptive scenes; enjoy dialogue and prefer action stories and
novels, do you: stop to imagine the scene; conversation; "hear" are not a keen novel
take little notice of the characters talk? reader?
4 When you spell, do try to see the word? use the phonetic write the word down to
you: approach? find if it "feels" right?
5 When you are angry, clam up, seethe, give let others know quickly storm off, clench your
do you: others the "silent" and express it in an fists, grit your teeth or
treatment? outburst? grasp something tightly?
6 When you are free and watch TV, go to the listen to records or the do something physical
have spare time, would cinema or theatre, read? radio, go to a concert (sport, DIY)?
you rather: or play an instrument?
7 When you forget forget names but forget faces but remember best what
something, do you: remember faces? remember names? you did?
8 When you have to prefer face-to-face use the telephone? talk it out during another
conduct business with meeting or writing letters? activity (walking or
another person, do you: having a meal)?
9 When you enjoy the like paintings? like music? like dancing?
arts, do you:
10 When you are talking, talk sparingly, but dislike enjoy listening but are gesture a lot and use
do you: listening for too long? impatient to talk? expressive movements?
11 When you are at a come prepared with enjoy discussing want to be somewhere
meeting, do you: notes? issues and hearing else and spend the time
other points of view? doodling?
12 When you are with facial expressions? voice quality? general body tone?
others, might they
interpret your emotions
13 When you visualize, do see vivid detailed think in sounds? have few images that
you: pictures? involve movement?
14 When you are distracted by untidiness or distracted by sounds or distracted by
concentrating, are you: movement? noises? movement?
15 When you are praised, like written comments? like oral comments? like a physical action
do you: such as a pat on the
back or a hug?
16 When you need to temporarily isolate the reason with the child use "acceptable" forms
discipline a child, do child from the others? and discuss the of corporal punishment
you think the best situation? (a smack)?
approach is to:
17 When you try to primarily look at their listen to their tone of watch their body
interpret someone's facial expression? voice? movements?
mood, do you:
18 When you are inactive,look around, doodle, talk to yourself or other fidget?
do you: watch something? people?
19 When you are learning,like to see like verbal instructions, prefer direct involvement
do you: demonstrations, talks and lectures? (activities, role-playing)?
diagrams, slides, posters?
20 When you go on a new, get the route from a book talk to someone to get get out maps, etc. and
long journey, do you: (AA/RAC guide)? the information? make a plan?
TOTAL: _____________ _____________ _____________
LEARNING CHANNELS INVENTORY
Place the number 1, 2, or 3 on the line after each statement that best indicates your preference.
(Please use: 3 - Often; 2 - Sometimes; 1 - Seldom)
1 I can remember something best if I say it aloud. _____
2 I prefer to follow written instructions rather than oral ones. _____
3 When studying, I like to chew gum, snack and/or play with something. _____
4 I remember things best when I see them written out. _____
5 I prefer to learn through simulations, games, and/or role playing. _____
6 I enjoy learning by having someone explain things to me. _____
7 I learn best from pictures, diagrams and charts _____
8 I enjoy working with my hands. _____
9 I enjoy reading, and I read quickly. _____
10 I prefer to listen to the news on the radio rather than read it in the newspaper. _____
11 I enjoy being near others. (I enjoy hugs, handshakes and touches.) _____
12 I listen to the radio, tapes and recordings. _____
13 When asked to spell a word, I simply see the word in my mind's eye. _____
14 When learning new material, I find myself sketching, drawing and doodling. _____
15 When I read silently, I say every word to myself. _____
In order to get an indication of your learning, preference, please add the numbers together for the
Visual Preference Score: 2 ___, 4 ___, 7 ___, 9 ___, 13 ___ = _______
Auditory Preference Score: 2 ___, 4 ___, 7 ___, 9 ___, 13 ___ = _______
K/T (Kinaesthetic/Tactual) Score: 2 ___, 4 ___, 7 ___, 9 ___, 13 ___ = ______
The highest score indicates that my learning preference is ____________________.
Now that I know which is my dominant learning style, I can learn better by:
This inventory was developed by Max Coderre, publisher of Teaching Today Magazine in Edmonton,
Alberta, and is designed to help you better understand your own unique learning styles.
Part Two - Learning Styles
It is important to recognize that different researchers have different ways of defining learning styles
and thus often use different terms to refer to the Ways people prefer to perceive and process
Three different descriptions of learning styles are included here. The first one has a specific
questionnaire that will assist the instructor in matching a learner's style with one of the described
The second description provides general information about four learning styles. A specific
questionnaire has not been developed to match these styles.
The third description relates more specifically to Aboriginal learning styles.
General questionnaires have been provided to help the instructor match learners with a learning style.
The Gregory definitions of learning styles have not been included because instructors may have
difficulty obtaining his questionnaires.
Learning Styles - Summary I
Physically Centred Learner
1. Learns by watching, learns by doing.
2. The learner does not need a lot of verbal instruction.
3. Needs enough time to practice and complete the activity.
4. The content of the activity must be practical and useful to the learner's life.
5. Learns well in cooperation with others.
1. Learns by listening to others.
2. Learns by talking about the activity with other learners.
3. Learns by relating the activity to his/her personal life.
4. Learns in a relaxed atmosphere.
5. Can divide attention amongst many different activities when learning something new.
6. Learns in a creative atmosphere.
7. Often does not know what he/she knows until he/she says it out loud to others.
Mentally Centred Learner
1. Focuses on the idea or theory of the activity.
2. Learns what he/she values.
3. Learns independently.
4. Enjoys talking about ideas with others.
5. Concentrates deeply on one thing and cannot divide attention to listen or watch other things at
the same time.
Learning Styles Assessment Questionnaire
The following pages provide an assessment tool for you to better understand your learning styles. If
you understand your learning style, it will better help you understand your teaching style.
Go through the questions, marking the answers that best reflect your learning. When you have
completed your assessment, go back over the questions and answers to see if you can find a pattern
or dominant learning style. Look at the answer key only after you have attempted to determine your
learning style on your own.
1. How do you usually learn best?
• _____ from working on my own and taking my own time.
• _____ from an instructor's lecture.
• _____ from an instructor who works personally with me.
• _____ from working in a small group of people I feel comfortable with.
• _____ from seeing practical application.
• _____ from following written directions.
• _____ from a small group of people with an instructor available to answer questions.
2. What most helps your learning? (Check as many as you want; rank in order of importance.)
• _____ having my own routine.
• _____ talking with others while learning.
• _____ being able to take my time.
• _____ having fun while learning.
• _____ being able to practice what I am learning.
• _____ getting support and encouragement from instructors/people at home.
3. Think of three things you have enjoyed learning: they can be anything and don't have to be related
to school. What are they and why did you enjoy them? How did you learn them?
4. What occurs to you first when you are learning something?
• _____ remembering something you did once that was similar.
• _____ thinking up a picture of how something ought to be.
• _____ getting as much information as you can about the topic.
5. What is the easiest part or stage of learning for you?
• _____ beginning something.
• _____ working on the details and practicing.
• _____ completing something.
6. What is the most difficult part of learning for you?
• _____ beginning something.
• _____ working on the details and practicing.
• _____ completing something.
7. In putting something together, I:
• _____ read instructions first, and then look at the pieces.
• _____ look at the pieces, then read the instructions.
• _____ look at the instructions but make up my own way of putting the pieces together.
• _____ try to put pieces together first, then if it doesn't work, look at the instructions.
8. In what order do the following skills come in your learning process? (Rank 1-2-3)
• _____ thinking
• _____ assessing
• _____ doing
9. How do you best learn mechanical or technical things?
• _____ tinkering
• _____ having someone explain it to me
• _____ reading instructions
• _____ watching someone work, then doing it myself
10. When is it important to you to be able to talk about what you are doing?
11. How do you best learn ideas and theories?
• _____ talking about them
• _____ working on applying them
• _____ reading about them
12. How do you know when you have really learned something? (Check one)
• _____ I feel comfortable doing it again.
• _____ I show or tell my family and friends what I can do.
• _____ other: __________________________________
P = physically centred (concrete) M = mentally centred (abstract) E/R = emotional/relational
Learning Styles - Summary II
Four Major Learning Styles:
ONE: Imaginative Learner
• perceives information concretely.
• processes information by thinking about it.
• likes to listen and share information to learn.
• believes in his/her own experiences and integrates experience with their selves.
• needs to be personally involved.
• sees all sides.
• has trouble making decisions.
• struggles to connect content with reality.
• seeks harmony.
TWO: Analytic Learner
• perceives information abstractly.
• processes information by thinking about it.
• needs to know what experts think.
• values sequential thinking.
• needs details.
• is thorough and industrious.
• loves ideas, enjoys ideas more than people.
• is highly skilled verbally.
• loves traditional classrooms.
• integrates their observations into what they already know.
THREE: Common Sense Learner
• perceives information abstractly.
• processes by doing.
• is a problem solver.
• is skills oriented.
• likes to experiment and tinker with things.
• needs to know how things work.
• wants to work on real problems.
• wants to apply learning to real purposes.
FOUR: Dynamic Learner
• perceives information concretely.
• processes information by doing.
• learns by trial and error.
• likes change.
• excels where flexibility is needed.
• is a risk-taker.
• is not sequential.
• pursues interests in diverse ways.
Adapted from the work of David Colb.
Aboriginal Learning Styles - Summary III
• tends to understand best when overall concept is presented first.
• learns best when overview or introduction is emphasized.
• needs meaningful context.
• sees relationships easily.
• benefits from whole language approach.
• learns best from images, both concrete and abstract (symbols, diagrams, simile, metaphor).
• codes information using images.
• has difficulty verbalizing own images but can make them and use them for learning.
• learns best with support from materials that can be seen, touched, heard (photographs).
• "hands-on" approach is effective.
• needs examples.
Watch - Then Do: (also Think - Then Do or Listen - Then Do)
• needs time to think answer through.
Taken from the work of Arthur J. More, University of British Columbia.
Identifying Learning Styles:
A Closed-Ended Questionnaire
When a group tutor introduces a new word or idea, do you like to:
• _____ hear it many times
• _____ see it written down
• _____ use the word or idea
• _____ do something with it
How do you like your mistakes to be corrected?
• _____ figure it out myself
• _____ have the group tutor correct all my mistakes
• _____ have the group tutor correct only my big mistakes
• _____ have other group members correct me
What activities do you like to do most in class?
• _____ songs
• _____ playing games
• _____ doing exercises from workbooks
• _____ discussions, debates, presentations
• _____ writing: stories, sentences, poems
• _____ reading: stories, newspaper articles
• _____ listening to cassettes
• _____ watching videos
How do you like to work?
• _____ alone
• _____ alone with my tutor
• _____ with one other person
• _____ in a small group
• _____ with the whole group
How much does it bother you to make mistakes when you're learning?
• _____ a lot
• _____ some
• _____ a bit
• _____ not at all
How do you like to learn something new?
• _____ memorizing
• _____ repeating out loud
• _____ practicing over and over
• _____ learn by rules
• _____ watch others doing it
• _____ ask or get help from someone
• _____ use the skill outside the class
IDENTIFYING LEANING STYLES:
• Think of a recent learning experience that was good. What made it a good experience?
• Think of a recent learning experience that was bad. What made it a bad experience?
• How do you learn best?
• What makes it difficult to learn something new?
• What kinds of activities do you like to do most? Give examples.
• What kinds of activities don't you like to do?
• How is the way you learn different from others?
How can you identify the learning style of others?
• Talk with the individual learner. Ask the person his or her ways of doing things and
• Observe what methods and approaches motivate the individual learner.
• Use learning styles inventories.
• Observe body language, (i.e. use of gestures often indicates a tactile, experiential learner).
• Listen to the words the individual uses, (i.e. "I think/feel/believe.").
General questionnaires taken from Learning Together by Barbara Fretz and Marianne Paul.
Make Learning Fun through Multiple Intelligences
From Mary Webber’s MITA website
To improve listening skills.... give them something worth listening to!
Good teachers know that if students can enjoy learning, new information is acquired more easily, and
students retain more of what they have learned.. It has long been practice in elementary classes to
use rhyming, rhythm, songs and actions to teach letter sounds and to just have children gain an
enjoyment of language. Books for the young are full of rich visual images that incorporate art with
words. This type of teaching can be extended to older students who also enjoy movement and music,
visuals social interaction.
Mary Bigler, a long time teacher and entertaining conference presenter, engages her audience the
same way that she engages her classroom: with music, visuals, rich language experience that
touches the emotions and group participation in movement and rhythm. Mary has been doing this for
many years because it is effective teaching. It engages everyone, in spite of differences in ability and
style. She used multiple intelligences naturally, long before the formal theory was ever developed.
With Mary’s permission, here are a few ideas for teaching language concepts through musical and
This song can be used to introduce initial consonants, and is only one example of how such an
activity can reinforce sounds for children.
Start by standing up, singing the song ‘My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean", to the familiar tune. When
the first "B" word is heard, sit down. When the next "B" word is heard, stand up again, for the next, sit
down again, and continue in this fashion for each "B" word in the song. It really gets active. It is totally
engaging, and there is no trouble remembering what the sound is for the letter "B"!
My Bonny lies over the ocean, Bring back, bring back
My Bonny lies over the sea, Oh bring back my Bonny to me, to me,
My Bonny lies over the ocean, Bring back, bring back,
So bring back my Bonny to me. Oh bring back my Bonny to me.
Parts of Speech Song
Another song that kids will enjoy learning that can help them to remember that usually
uninteresting material - parts of speech. It is sung to the tune of "Do Re Mi" from "The Sound
Go, a verb, an action word
Noun, a person, place or thing,
Me, a pronoun for my name,
Prepositions phrases bring,
Adjectives can all describe,
Adverbs tell how where and when,
And and but connect the tribe,
Of words we sing again. Oh Oh Oh..
Go and come and walk and run,
Town and country, land and air,
Big and small or short and tall,
Now and then and here and there,
In and out and by and for,
You and I and everyone,
And and but and either, or,
The parts of speech are fun!
An extension activity could be to have the students create a second verse that parallels the
first in providing examples of the parts of speech in the same order as the first verse.
Add actions to make it even more powerful for remembering.
Pronouns - to teach pronouns, take any well known song and start singing it with the class.
Every time there is a pronoun in the song, substitute a "hum" for the pronoun. One that works
well for this activity is:
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Let me call you sweetheart,
I’m in love with you.
Let me hear you whisper
That you love me too.
Keep the love light shining
In your eyes so blue.
Let me call you sweetheart,
I’m in love with you.
A more contemporary popular may be chosen, but this is a good one near Valentine’s Day!
Not every lesson can or should include all of the intelligence areas, but used creatively, more
than one way can be found to teach most subject material.
There are many students, at all grade levels, who find it very difficult to get started putting
words on paper, and to recall for tests and exams material that has been previously learned.
For these students, whether identified with learning disabilities or not, graphic organizers are
essential. There are hundreds of examples of graphic organizers available in books, and
there are many good web sites with such organizational tools free to download.
The advantage of using graphic organizers is that they incorporate the visual/spatial into the
language area. The "semantic map” or "word web" is probably the most common form of
graphic organizer for generating thoughts before beginning a writing assignment. These can
take numerous forms. The most important part of these devices is in what is done with the
information after the "brainstorm" has taken place.
For students who have trouble sequencing, placing numbers beside the thoughts can be
helpful. For those who still have trouble arranging the thoughts in a logical way, place a few
words to represent each thought on a separate piece of paper. Arrange them into possibilities
and orally state the material in sequence. When it makes the most sense, place a number for
each thought, and then proceed to the rough draft of writing.
After the main brainstorming has been done, another way to organize thoughts is to connect
main ideas to supporting details. The top of the pyramid is the topic. Next is an explanation of
the main idea. Under that is supporting ideas or further explanation in details - three or four,
followed underneath by examples. Do you get it from the description? In all likelihood, a visual
will make it more understandable!
Using Pictures Instead Of, or Along With Words
A powerful way to do a chapter summary for a novel study or a summary of a short story is to
place the title in the centre of a blank page, then going in a circle around the centre, sequence
the main events through sketches of who, what, why, where, when. This is most effective if
done with a group so that there is consensus of recall. Hearing it again and contributing to the
group reinforces the learning while using the interpersonal intelligence. The pictures can be
done by one group volunteer, or each person can do their own as they create a visual /spatial
chart of the story. Words can be added as desired, especially any new vocabulary. A
reflection journal following this activity will not only further reinforce the content, but will make
use of the intrapersonal intelligence. Some students will need further guidance in how to write
about feelings through sentence starters such as: I thought it was interesting when.…
There are two different approaches to using the theory of Multiple Intelligences in lesson
planning. One is to provide opportunities for students to use the intelligence area in which
they are most comfortable. For students with learning disabilities, whose comfort level in the
verbal -linguistic area is usually very low, this can be an opportunity to exercise problem
solving and express learning in a way which can be very beneficial to improving the often
damaged self-esteem. If a student can make up a rap song or draw an illustration or create a
collage that illustrates the concept being taught, then why not? The other approach is to
construct lessons that include, as much as possible, the use of each intelligence area in order
to promote growth and comfort.
There are four stages of development as an intelligence emerges. The first encounter or
awareness stage is at the first exposure. If a child hears language, is read to frequently and
has many others around her to stimulate language that intelligence will probably be well
developed at an early age. This does not mean, however, that a person cannot later in life
gain an appreciation for literature and language.
Using one of the intelligences, or the employment stage, comes with opportunities available
and positive feedback from attempts. Farm children begin to take care of animals at an early
age, for example, by working with their parents as chores are performed.
The next stage is formal education, or basic training in solving problems and making
products. This may be culturally specific, depending upon the values of the culture. If students
are required to memorize a great deal of material without a deep understanding of how to use
the knowledge, it will soon be disregarded.
As intelligence develops fully, it is embraced. An apprentice becomes a master at his craft.
Designing and higher order thinking become the expression of the intelligence.
In each stage, a person experiences different emotions. At first, discomfort is natural, as is
frustration. With further practice, the skill becomes more easily employed. Once ready for
education, a person can use the skills learned, make connections, and exercise judgement. In
the final stage there is comfort and ease. Teachers need to use their knowledge of student
comfort levels when deciding on teaching methodology.
Carolyn Chapman in her book If the Shoe Fits describes it this way:
"It is especially important that students encountering an intelligence in the early stage
experience a classroom that facilitates the development of the various intelligences. Such a
classroom is rich with posters, bulletin boards, learning centres, activities, and lessons that
promote the development. It does not mean that every room encourages every intelligence all
the time. Some teachers use different intelligences to create a monthly theme. Others target
one intelligence for the year in each subject. In the upper grades, the discipline, (English,
trigonometry) already targets the focus intelligence. In these cases, teachers select one or
two supporting intelligences for consistent use in the semester or the year."
In order to be effective, teachers need to be able to analyse their own comfort levels when
making decisions about which intelligence areas to include when lesson planning. This is
even more reason to discover, reflect upon, and expand one's own multiple intelligences. In
the next section there will be a sample lesson, and a lesson plan for participants to use in
developing lessons. Please share your creations with the others who have joined our
The following lesson plan can be used either to have all students do all activities, or it can be
set up to have cooperative groups each take one or two sections. Time considerations may
determine which way it is used. Sometimes one or two intelligence areas may be targeted for
a particular lesson. It is important to know the students well and to establish good cooperative
learning practices when doing group work. Groups should be as heterogeneous as possible,
so that each person has an opportunity to use intelligence strengths and to develop further
Multiple Intelligences: SAMPLE LESSON PLAN
Unit: Developing Communication Skills
Lesson Title: Classified Advertising
1. Familiar with classified ads as they appear in print media
2. Can identify characteristics of effective advertising
Review/ recap: Review the 5 W's and how newspapers use advertising.
Activities: All students will be expected to complete all activities with a group.
1. Look at the classified ads in two different 1. In group, create a "frozen tableau" that
newspapers. represents the product/service being sold in an
2. Compare and describe similarities and
differences in the approach to specific topics.
3. Write a paragraph.
4. Present findings to class.
Find an unusual or intriguing ad and create an Brainstorm the various ads and their purpose;
artistic expression that compliments it (collage, analyse the techniques & devises used to
drawing, mime) attract the reader's attention and compile a
mind map to share with class.
Write, sing, a rap or "jingle" for the product or Each person selects one ad s/he likes, and one
service in the ad. s/he dislikes.
Reflect on why the ads were chosen and write a
journal page on it.
1. Research advertising rates in the newspaper 1. Choose three different products advertised
and determine the cost of several ads. and determine the possible impact on the
environment if everyone started to use it.
2. Present findings in a graph
2. Present in the form of a picture, graph, or
Materials/resources: Newspapers, scissors, chart paper, markers, tape recorder
Assessment: Project check list, rubric, self evaluation. Examples to be provided in
Assessment section of this workshop)
Follow-up: Television advertising
The topic of assessment and evaluation could easily fill an entire course by itself. Any
educator who truly wants to be effective must have an understanding of:
♦ what is to be taught (the expected outcomes)
♦ how it is to be taught (instructional methods)
♦ how it will be evaluated (assessment methods)
In a nutshell, it is like the old saying:
"How will you know when you get there if you don't know where you're going?"
We cannot delve into the theories and academic deliberations of assessment and evaluation
within these pages. There are several excellent books on the topic, some of which are listed
in the resources section. What we will examine is a brief overview of definitions, some
suggestions for ways to assess when using the multiple intelligences, and sharing of
Some terms may mean different things to different people. To clarify:
Assessment is the process of gathering evidence of what a student can do.
Evaluation is the process of interpreting the evidence and making judgements based on it.
Grading is assigning a mark based on the interpretation.
It is perhaps unfortunate that we are forced to assign specific grades that are supposed to
indicate to students and parents where they stand. It is usually a measure of where they fit
relative to others, and has little bearing on how they have changed in their own learning. We
are not all the same. Grades can have deep emotional affects, either positive or negative.
Students usually have a reasonable idea of where they stand, so the teacher's grade must be
fair, accurate, and based upon accurate assessment of student performance. The student
should never be surprised by the grade.
How do we keep our evaluation fair and balanced?
It is just as important to use a variety of methods to assess students, as it is to teach in a
variety of ways. Formative evaluation to determine what students have to do to achieve
thoughtful outcomes is necessary to improve instruction and should not be used to grade
students. For example, a teacher may collect a number of writing assignments and determine
that certain aspects of writing are to be emphasised in the coming lessons, such as improved
sentence structure, using adjectives, or proper punctuation. The students need to know what
the expectations are. They can be taught in a variety of ways. (Sentence structure can be
taught in a kinaesthetic activity, where each student physically becomes a word in a
sentence. They can be moved around to form clauses and to be combined with conjunctions -
it's fun!) After a variety of activities are used to teach the concepts, the students may develop,
with the teacher, a rubric that establishes the criteria and the indicators for the degree to
which the criteria has been met.
Self evaluation can be a powerful motivator for students. They usually think this is the
teacher's job, but in reality, the teacher doesn't determine the marks - the student does.
Having a student discuss the work and point out the positive, how it could have been better,
feelings regarding the work, can motivate greater involvement, thus higher achievement in
further efforts. One fast way to accomplish this is through a P.M.I. chart. (See below)
Plus + Minus – Interesting ?
Other assessment tools:
Portfolios: An organized collection of a student's work to monitor the growth in knowledge,
skills and attitudes in a specific area. It can include not only writing, but videotape, audio
selections, art work, checklists and more. The student may select and reflect upon certain
pieces to determine progress.
Targets: A bull’s-eye with an indicator as to how close a student has come to reaching the
target outcome can be a good visual way to illustrate the learning and to see what still needs
to be accomplished.
Checklists: Checklists can be made up to help the teacher and student monitor progress.
They can also be used in conjunction with rubrics, to establish a weekly or monthly
evaluation, as there is an overview and a more accurate reflection of progress. (We all have
our good and bad days!).On the next page there is a sample rubric, followed by a blank rubric
form which can be used to make up your own.
Eight Smarts in Designing ELT Materials
“Each student is unique and all in individual ways offer valuable contributions to human
(Campbell, L., Campbell B. & Dickinson, D.1996)
ESL/EFL teachers very often observe a lot of individual differences among students in terms
of their learning. There are some students who can use visual aids or pictures successfully in
their learning. There are some who are gifted in writing poems or stories. Some are good at
sequencing. Some students find it easy to work with peers, cooperate in activities and
understand others' feelings. Others are good at identifying their own strengths, weaknesses,
feelings and moods. Some students are really successful in using their body and movement
while some others can create melody or rhythm easily. And there are also some students who
can do classifications very well. So as teachers how can we plan our lessons and design our
materials to address to these different groups of students who have developed different
intelligences? Fortunately, there are various strategies and materials teachers can make use
of to improve the quantity and quality of learning in their classes. However, teachers should
continuously be asking themselves what they know about their students and how they can
appeal to individual needs and ways of learning.
Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory has shed light on many areas in ELT.
According to this theory, people possess varying amounts of eight intelligences, and combine
and use them in highly personal ways. Taking this into consideration, teachers should plan
their lessons in such a way that students can activate their intelligences and learn in their own
most efficient way. One of the most significant components of lesson planning is materials
design. Materials are important in the sense that they should provide a clear and coherent
structure which guides both the teacher and the learner through a variety of activities to
increase the chances of learning. They should also provide opportunities for learners to use
their thinking capacities and should appeal to their way of learning. Therefore, it is important
for a teacher to look for some ways of integrating Multiple Intelligences into her/his materials.
This article presents some tips for EFL/ESL teachers about how to explore the 'Eight Smarts'
Naturalist/Interpersonal and Intrapersonal) when designing suitable and effective materials.
Initially, the characteristics of the eight intelligences are presented. Secondly, the crucial
points that need to be taken into consideration in materials design are discussed. Finally, a
checklist is provided for teachers who would like to integrate multiple intelligences into their
II. EIGHT INTELLIGENCES
Gardner defines intelligence as:
• the ability to solve problems that one encounters in real life.
• the ability to generate new problems to solve
• the ability to make something or offer a service that is valued within one's culture.
(Campbell, L., Campbell B. & Dickinson, D.1996)
Gardner's eight intelligences are described in Campbell, Campbell & Dickinson (1996, pg. 16)
Verbal-linguistic intelligence consists of the ability to think in words and to use language to
express and appreciate complex meanings. This intelligence is best exhibited by poets,
journalists, lawyers, speakers, etc.
Logical-mathematical intelligence makes it possible to calculate, quantify, consider
propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complex mathematical operations. Scientists,
engineers, mathematicians, etc demonstrate strong logical-mathematical intelligence.
Visual-spatial intelligence enables one to perceive external & internal imagery, to recreate,
transform, or modify images, to navigate oneself and objects through space, and to produce
or decode graphic information. Sailors, painters, architects, etc are some examples who have
this type of intelligence.
Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence enables one to manipulate objects and fine-tune physical
skills. Dancers, athletes, etc have this type of intelligence.
Musical intelligence is evident in individuals who possess a sensitivity to pitch, melody,
rhythm, and tone. Those demonstrating this intelligence include composers, conductors,
Interpersonal intelligence is the capacity to understand and interact effectively with others.
It is evident in successful teachers, social workers, actors, or politicians.
Intrapersonal intelligence refers to the ability to construct an accurate perception of oneself
and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one's life. Some individuals with strong
intrapersonal intelligence specialize as theologians, psychologists, and philosophers.
Dr. Gardner added the Naturalist intelligence to his list in 1996. This intelligence has to do
with recognizing and classifying plants, minerals, and animals. People who possess this type
of intelligence are good at observing, understanding and organizing patterns in the natural
environment. Hunters, farmers or biologists can be given as examples of people who develop
III. MATERIALS DESIGN
Materials design is an on-going process and requires a great deal of effort, time and training.
While designing materials, teachers should consider whether
• the aims of the material are clear to the learners
• the material is relevant to the needs/interests/ level of the learners
• the material meets the course objectives
• the topic/content of the material is interesting for the learners
• the learners can relate to the topic through their own experiences, interests and
• the material includes sufficient number of activities
• there is a variety of activities in the material
• the activities in the material provide enough practice to develop certain skills
• the activities encourage personal involvement of the learners in the learning process
• there is a logical progression between the activities
• it is easy for the students to follow the material
• the texts, exercises and visuals are clearly presented
• the layout of the material is easy to follow
• the layout is attractive and appealing
• the material is at the right level of difficulty
Teachers should always be aware of the fact that piloting plays quite a significant role in the
production of quality materials. Feedback about materials should be received continuously
from the learners and other colleagues and materials should be improved in the light of this
Another main point that should be kept in mind is that it would be quite beneficial and practical
for the teachers to use some kind of checklist or set of criteria when designing materials.
IV. CHECKLIST FOR MI INTEGRATED MATERIALS
After introducing the characteristics of the eight intelligences and discussing the crucial points
in materials design, it would be a good idea to share the chart on the next page which
includes the eight intelligences and some questions designed according to their main
characteristics. It would be helpful for teachers to use this as a checklist to see how they can
integrate the intelligences into their materials.
LOGICAL- • What kinds of critical thinking or problem-solving activities can I
MATHEMATICAL integrate into my material?
• Would it be possible to put some puzzles, charts, mind maps
into the material? How?
VISUAL-SPATIAL • What kind of visual aids (pictures, OHTs, word flashcards,
etc.), visualisation and colour can I use?
• Where can I locate these visuals on my material?
MUSICAL • What kind of music, songs, environmental sounds, and
rhythmical patterns can I use?
• At what stage of the material can music/songs or poetry be
VERBAL-LINGUISTIC • What kind of stories, poems, short plays, word games,
lectures, etc can I use?
• How can I include note-taking and presentation skills in my
BODILY- • What kind of role-play cards, puzzle cards can I prepare?
• What kind of hands-on materials can I prepare?
NATURALIST • What kind of category charts and diagrams can I use?
• How can I encourage students to describe or observe the
environment and relate it to the subject in my material?
INTERPERSONAL • What kind of pair work/ group work activities can I integrate
into my material?
• What kind of peer sharing or co-operative learning materials
can I use?
INTRAPERSONAL • What kind of activities can I cover in my material which would
evoke personal feelings or values?
• Would it be possible to put a journal component in my
Teachers have to help learners use the combination of their intelligences to be successful in
school and in life. They should support them to use their intelligences in the most efficient
way. There is not only one way to learn how to read or how to write. It would not be wise to
say that everything should be taught in eight ways. Equally, it would be meaningless to say
that all intelligences can be covered in one specific piece of material. That is not the point of
the Multiple Intelligences Theory. The theory should be applied gradually.
In conclusion, it can be said that teachers have to be extraordinarily imaginative, creative and
persistent in helping students understand things better and make learning meaningful. The
teacher's role is to encourage learners to use their minds well, and this can be achieved by
careful planning and effective materials design.
Clear Rubrics Move Students beyond Apathy to
By Ellen Weber, Founder of MITA - The Multiple Intelligences Teaching Approach
Most students are naturally motivated to express knowledge about their worlds. But how can
we motivate those few who show lack of interest in class. Clear rubrics, I have found, carry a
student from indifference to delightful understanding of any topic. Whether solving a complex
problem, or constructing real world products, rubrics show students exactly what is expected,
and take guess work out of assignments. Apathy often results from not knowing expectations,
so frustrated students simply give up.
When the hare scolded Alice for not saying exactly what she meant, she, like some faculty,
protested: "I do. At least – at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know." Like
some students the Hatter saw mixed messages and felt confused.
"Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "Why, you might just as well say that, "I see what I
eat is the same as I eat what I see." (Lewis Carroll, in Alice in Wonderland).
According to Schmoker (1996), rubrics provide three benefits:
⋆ First, they provide good performance by clearly defining that performance and
showing that such work is achievable.
⋆ Second, they provide better feedback than the current system by requiring more
precision and clarity about criteria for evaluating student work.
⋆ Third, they bring a welcome end to the disheartening experience we have all
had: handing in an assignment without really knowing how the teacher will
evaluate it and with no idea whether the teacher will think it excellent or shoddy.
Motivated students reach forward to solve world problems and backward to tap into wells of
past knowledge and experiences. Or, as a brain specialist might say, they activate
intelligences or specific domains in their brains. Rubrics provide precise benchmarks for
diverse assignments which propel students toward a clear destination.
When we create a rubric or indicator with students we offer them tools for success by
highlighting grade expectations. Rubrics identify specific criteria expected, show where each
benchmark is met and indicate specifically how to improve personal performances. Clear
rubrics provide practical checklists which motivate students to move sequentially through an
With rubrics students check off areas of strength, such as:
⋆ identifies relevant and meaningful problem
⋆ creates effective responses or possibilities
⋆ applies specific ideas from the text or research to solve the problem
⋆ contributes data from current interview with one or more people
⋆ displays adaptations for accommodating one's individual abilities
⋆ suggests excellent recommendations for future consideration of the problem
⋆ illustrates communication skills in presenting several perspectives of the
Rubrics dispel indifference by simply creating pride and excitement. They guide students not
only toward quality assignments, but also show how they can achieve quality rewards. You
could say that to give students a rubric is to provide them a map and ensure an eventful trip to
treasures ahead. While apathy and adventure tend to kill one another off in wars against
indifference, rubrics ensure that adventure will win.
Schmoker, M. (1996). Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement, Alexandria, VA:
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Rubric for the Assessment of Student Presentations
STUDENT NAME(S): TITLE/TOPIC:
CRITERIA INDICATORS (observable characteristics describing the levels of performance)
LEVEL 1 LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 LEVEL 4
Knowledge K student(s) do • student(s) have • solid understanding of •considerable depth
not have a clear a basic the topic of knowledge is
grasp of the understanding of • knowledge is thorough apparent
topic the topic and relatively detailed •student(s) have
• student(s) • student(s) have additional material
cannot relate attempted to apply beyond that
information knowledge to the real required for the
presented to the world assignment
information to the
real world is
Interest I student(s) • some interest • student(s) presenting •interest of
presenting was evident by topic were clearly presenter(s) was
displayed little presenter(s) interested in what they very high
interest in the were doing
topic • class interest •the audience
was not • presenter(s) held couldn’t help but be
maintained class interest caught by the
throughout enthusiasm of the
Coverage and O confusion • information was • major points were •presentation was
Organization reigned during rather vague covered clear and covered
the presentation • audience was • organization was such all major points
somewhat that the •presentation was
confused information/ideas uncluttered with
• some major presented remained extraneous or
points were somewhat unclear to misleading
covered but the the audience information
main thrust was •presentation was
not clear well organized and
Use of Visual A visual aids • visual aids were • visual aids were used
Aids were not used •visual aids were
used and could be seen
used with a high
• visual aids were and read by all
degree of impact
hand done but
not very neat or • visual aids were
very clear •colour was used on
the visual aids to
reinforce the main
• colour was not
Rubric for Students Working in Cooperative Groups
LEARNING OUTCOME: Students will exhibit interpersonal skills and perform a variety of
roles in group situations.
CRITERIA INDICATORS (observable characteristics describing the levels of performance)
LEVEL 1 LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 LEVEL 4
(Limited) (Adequate) (Proficient) (Exceptional)
Group Roles G rarely works g communicates a a communicates a a actively helps
towards group commitment to the commitment to the identify group
goals group goals but group goals and goals and works
requires assistance effectively carries out diligently to meet
to carry out assigned roles them
Interpersonal S rarely o participates in o participates in o actively
Skills participates in group interaction group interaction promotes
group interaction with prompting without prompting effective group
g requires w at least on expresses ideas and interaction i
constant occasion expresses opinions in a way that i s always
prompting and/or ideas and opinions is sensitive to the sensitive to the
expresses ideas without considering feelings and feelings and
in a way that is the feelings of knowledge base of knowledge base
insensitive to the knowledge base of others of others
feelings or others
Roles R rarely performs t makes an t effectively performs o effectively
more than one attempt to perform two or more different performs multiple
role more than one role roles within a group roles within the
r performs the but requires r changes roles group
same role in the direction within the group from g changes roles
group most of the d tends to perform one activity to another from one activity
time the same role in the to another
group a lot of the t volunteers to
time help others once
completing role in
Assessments that Recognize and Enhance Diversity
Just as MITA helps faculty engage students’ brains actively, MITA assessment tasks ensure
that students tap their diverse backgrounds to understand and apply complex facts. MITA
provides assessment tasks that engage diverse students in their own learning in meaningful
After posing a good question, setting objectives and identifying specific criteria expected
through rubrics, students choose an assessment task to explore lesson topics.
Phase four of MITA provides assessment tasks that:
a) match related learning approaches
b) cover content
c) enable students to develop their interests and abilities
d) involve authentic events
e) solve real world problems;
f) create meaningful challenges to students and
g) motivate students to explore and probe related knowledge.
MITA assessments ensure multiple approaches to any destination by creating choices along
converging highways. These tasks might include mock TV interviews, created software
programs, experiments, designing learning centers, performing original lyrics, creating a
business proposal, presenting ideas to parent groups, or photographing natural patterns and
comparisons. The main goal for students is to express their ideas and understandings
through various ways of knowing any topic.
Students and faculty, through multiple assessment possibilities, become learning partners.
The handbook, Student Assessment that Works: A Practical Approach, (Allyn & Bacon, 1999)
lists many specific examples of student tasks that will springboard your own ideas and act as
segues into your own possibilities. For instance, you may wish to consult page 91 for ideas
about assignments for a unit portfolio, page 152 for a chart that helps students identify what
they already know about your topic, or page 119 for ideas to create learning contracts.
When specific standards for all work are decided ahead, students can select diverse
approaches to explore lesson topics. They can better achieve your established benchmarks.
Assessment tasks as simple the vehicles to transport students from the known to the
unknown and then on to journeys of discovery. If we choose the theme, "Inuit in the Canadian
Arctic," and the unit question, "How do Arctic peoples and homelands resemble ours?"
assessment tasks might include the following:
LINGUISTIC DEMONSTRATION –
Create a story
Write a research paper
Interview an expert
Interpret a chapter of text
Write a poem
Design a book of comparisons
LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL DEMONSTRATION -
Graph climate and temperature changes
Design a web site using scientific principles, laws and theorem
Interview a scientist
Outline a chapter of text
Create a business proposal for an Arctic enterprise
Create hidden messages
Use values to find solutions
SPATIAL DEMONSTRATION -
Create a mock-up
Design a building to survive permafrost
Build 3-D objects
Create posters to illustrate two sides of an issue
Display bulletin boards
Create a software program
BODILY-KINESTHETIC DEMONSTRATION -
Choreograph a dance
Create a tableau
Build MITA learning centers
Travel to museums
Design outdoor learning site
Produce a play
Use body language
Recreate Arctic games and sports
MUSICAL DEMONSTRATION -
Create a melody
Integrate music and learning
Demonstrate musical vibrations
Interpret Arctic life through music
Write a song
Create an Arctic music video
Prepare musical backgrounds
Perform solos, duets or trios
INTERPERSONAL DEMONSTRATION -
Create a shared story
Team teach a concept
Collaborate with a teacher
Describe Arctic characters
Illustrate ethical choices of leaders
Create an Arctic marketing scheme
Proofread a peer’s essay
INTRAPERSONAL DEMONSTRATION -
Create a journal from perspective of an Inuit your age
Write personal reflections on an Arctic issue
Illustrate your personal ethics on a controversial topic
Write personal stories
Design personal portfolio of Arctic projects
Illustrate personal goal-setting strategies
Create an Inuit scrapbook
Publish a personal book
NATURALISTIC DEMONSTRATION -
Compare and contrast Arctic environment to your own
Demonstrate research about natural Arctic problems
Complete experiments from nature
Communicate with Arctic environmental specialists over internet
Illustrate Arctic natural phenomena
Sort and categorize information from geographic sites
Write a naturalistic response to a common climactic problem
Compare Arctic hunting patterns today with the past
Similar tasks can be adapted to your lesson topics to ensure that students draw from multiple
domains to express knowledge. You will note that learning and assessment tasks are at times
similar, or even the same in some cases.
Your students will also come up with excellent ideas for tasks, which could become segues to
excellent discussion about their work, their cultures and their background experiences. The
1999 text, Student Assessment that Works: A Practical Approach, Allyn & Bacon, provides
many examples of learning contracts which guide student choices for relevant assessment
tasks built to encourage and enhance diversity.
Characteristics of Effective Teaching
By Peter Saunders, PhD
Twelve distinctive behaviours comprise an inventory of qualities found in effective teachers.
This list is based on one developed by Harry Murray at the University of Western Ontario.
Specific sub behaviours, for each inventory’s behaviour, are defined.
1. Enthusiasm – use of non-verbal behaviour to solicit student attention and interest
2. Clarity – method used to explain or clarify concepts and principles.
3. Interaction – techniques used to foster student’s class participation.
4. Organization – ways of organizing or structuring subject matter.
5. Pacing – rate of information presented, efficient use of time.
6. Disclosure – explicitness concerning course requirements and grading criteria.
7. Speech – characteristics of voice relevant to classroom teaching.
8. Rapport – quality of interpersonal relations between teacher and students.
9. Relevance – bridges made between course content, processes and the world.
10. Learning Centered – focuses squarely on student learning and mastery.
11. Flexibility – openness to change; diverse ways of looking at, approaching material.
12. Leadership – models civil behaviour, intellectual rigor and respect for diversity.
1. ENTHUSIASM: use of non-verbal behaviour to solicit student attention and interest
• Speaks in a dramatic or expressive way.
• Moves about while lecturing or presenting.
• Gestures with hands or arms, yet avoids distracting mannerisms.
• Maintains eye contact with students.
• Walks up aisles beside students.
• Avoids reading lecture verbatim from prepared notes or text.
• Smiles while teaching.
2. CLARITY: method used to explain or clarify concepts and principles
• Gives several examples of each concept.
• Uses concrete everyday examples to explain concepts and principles.
• Defines new or unfamiliar terms.
• Repeats difficult ideas several times.
• Stresses most important points by pausing, speaking slowly, raising voice, etc.
• Uses graphs or diagrams to facilitate explanation.
• Points out practical applications of concepts.
• Answers students’ questions thoroughly.
• Suggests ways of memorizing complicated ideas.
• Writes key terms on blackboard or overhead screen.
• Explains subject matter in familiar colloquial language.
3. INTERACTION: techniques used to foster students’ class participation
• Encourages students’ questions and comments during class.
• Avoids direct criticism of students when they make errors.
• Praises students for good ideas.
• Asks questions of individual students.
• Asks questions of class as a whole.
• Incorporates students’ ideas into presentation.
• Presents challenging, thought-provoking ideas.
• Uses a variety of media and activities in class.
• Asks rhetorical questions.
• Listens and responds to students’ contributions and learning.
4. ORGANIZATION: ways of organizing or structuring subject matter
• Uses headings and subheadings to organize presentation.
• Puts outline on blackboard or overhead screen.
• Clearly indicates transition from one topic to the next.
• Gives preliminary overview at beginning of class.
• Explains how each topic fits into the course as a whole.
• Begins class with a review of topics covered last time.
• Periodically summarizes points previously made.
5. PACING: rate of information presentation, efficient use of time
• Digresses rarely from major theme.
• Covers the important material in class sessions.
• Asks and confirms if students understand before proceeding to next topic.
• Sticks to the point in answering students’ questions.
6. DISCLOSURE: explicitness concerning course requirements and grading criteria
• Advises students on how to prepare for tests or exams.
• Provides sample exam questions.
• Tells students exactly what is expected of them on tests, essays or assignments.
• States objectives of each meeting.
• Reminds students of test dates or assignment deadlines.
• States objectives of course as a whole.
7. SPEECH: characteristics of voice relevant to classroom teaching
• Speaks at appropriate volume.
• Speaks clearly.
• Speaks at appropriate pace.
• Leaves pauses in speech silent and avoids "um" or "ah".
8. RAPPORT: quality of interpersonal relations between teacher and students
• Addresses individual students by name (to the extent possible in larger classes).
• Announces availability for consultation outside of class.
• Offers to help students with problems.
• Shows tolerance of other points of view.
• Talks with students before or after class.
• Acknowledges diversity in learners and their culture.
9. RELEVANCE: bridges made between course content, processes and the world
• Provides broad (holistic) context for specific learning concepts and skills.
• Integrates materials (examples, cases, simulations) from "real world".
• Bridges specific learning concepts and skills to learners’ experiences.
• Provides learners with access to external sources and experts to validate learning.
• Provides opportunities for learners to apply learning to external world.
• Provides opportunities for learners to bring external learning into the curriculum.
10. LEARNER CENTERED: focuses squarely on student learning and mastery
• Focuses on learning outcomes and growth, not content taught.
• Pre/during/post assessments used to ensure learning.
• Instructor elicits student discovery and construction of knowledge.
• Learners have some control over learning process.
• Active, collaborative, and cooperative learning favoured over passive learning.
• Instructors are primarily designers and coaches.
• Instructors and learners work in teams where appropriate.
• Learners are empowered to take over their own learning.
• Motivates learners by supporting their self-efficacy – ability to succeed.
11. FLEXIBILITY: openness to change and diverse ways of looking at, approaching material
• Teaching appeals to different learning styles.
• Awareness of inter-subjective construction of knowledge.
• Appreciation of multiple perspectives and intellectual curiosity.
• Willingness to "give" responsibility of learning to learners where appropriate.
12. LEADERSHIP: models civil behaviour, intellectual rigor and respect for Diversity
• Models and requires a learner’s behaviour that supports teaching and learning.
• Models intellectual engagement with ideas, concepts and materials.
• Provides intellectual challenge for all levels of learner abilities.
• Demonstrates respect for diversity and requires similar respect in classroom.
You can determine just how enthusiastic you are in class by using these eight enthusiasm
behaviours. The most effective method would be to videotape one or two lessons and rate
yourself. A word of caution: Don't rely too heavily on the results of only one observation.
Repeated observations will enable you and your observer to evaluate the level of enthusiasm.
Try changing your low-enthusiasm performance to high by practicing behaviours listed in the
"High" category below. In general, a score of 8 to 20 indicates dull or unenthusiastic
performance; 21 to 42 indicates a moderate level of enthusiasm; and 43 to 56 a very high
level of enthusiasm.
DEGREE OF PERFORMANCE
BEHAVIORS LOW (1) (2) MEDIUM (3) (4) (5) HIGH (6) (7)
VOCAL DELIVERY Monotone, minimum Pleasant variations of Great and sudden changes
inflections, little pitch, volume, and from rapid, excited speech
variation in speech, speed; good to a whisper; varied tone
poor articulation articulation and pitch
EYES Looked dull or bored; Appeared interested; Characterized as dancing,
seldom opened eyes occasionally lighting snapping, shining, lighting
wide or raised up, shining, opening up frequently, opening
eyebrows; avoids eye wide wide, eyebrows raised,
contact; often maintains eye contact while
maintains blank stare avoiding staring
GESTURES Seldom moved arms Often pointed, Quick and demonstrative
out toward person or occasional sweeping movements of body, head,
object; never used motion using body, arms, hands, and face
sweeping movements; head, arms, hands,
kept arms at side or and face; maintained
folded rigid steady pace
BODY MOVEMENT Seldom moved from Moved freely, slowly, Large body movements,
one spot or from sitting and steadily swung around, walked
to standing position, rapidly, changed pace;
sometimes would unpredictable and
"pace" nervously energetic, natural body
FACIAL Appeared deadpan, or Looked pleased; Showed many expressions,
EXPRESSIONS frowned; little smiling, happy or sad if broad smile; quick, sudden
lips closed, few situation called for changes in expression
WORD SELECTION Mostly nouns, few Some descriptors or Highly descriptive, many
descriptors or adjectives or repetition adjectives, great variety
adjectives; simple or of the same ones
ACCEPTANCE OF Little indication of Accepted ideas and Quick to accept, praise,
IDEAS AND acceptance or feelings, praised or encourage, or clarify; many
FEELINGS encouragement; may clarified; some variations in response;
ignore students' variations in response, vigorous nodding of head
feelings or ideas but frequently repeated when agreeing
OVERALL ENERGY Lethargic; appeared Appeared energetic Exuberant; high degree of
inactive, dull, or and demonstrative energy and vitality; highly
sluggish sometimes, but mostly demonstrative
maintained an even
“Catch a Human Star and . . .”
Reprinted from Ellen Weber’s Column in the Wellsville Daily Reporter (February 28, 2000)
Did you know a human brain packs ten trillion cells, the number of stars in the Galaxy? Two
hundred cell types also equal numbers of different star clusters in our universe. To put our
brain’s power-pack to work, we first have to sense the wonder of star-lit vision. Apparently
we’ve seen only 130 star clusters. I wonder how many brain cells we see or enjoy in a day.
We know that cell power decides what we wear, how we move, and who we confide in.
Chemicals called neurotransmitters also jumpstart learning. Just as stars heat, illumine and
energize skies, cells boost learning. I find it hard to imagine a three-pound brain with cells
equal to stars that blaze the Galaxy. Think of it. A teacher’s words, “Not working to capacity,”
might in reality mean fewer stars fired for you in a peer’s less focused moments. An eighth
grade teacher called Einstein, “bonehead”, when he failed to move among wider, more distant
star clusters with peers.
Human intelligence is as complex today as it was for Greeks to explain stellar action centuries
ago. But an era of brain breakthroughs is blazing fresh trails for learning opportunities. On
July 17th, 1990 George Bush said, “We enhance public awareness of the benefits to be
derived from brain research.” If you catch even one unique star, you could ignite passion for
new interests, spark an old friendship, or map out new adventures. A few simple questions
will help you to unleash hidden stars within your intellectual universe. Impetus for learning
almost anything new sparks if we pump brainpower to jettison us there.
Hidden in what you persist at, do well, enjoy, or look forward to, lay amazing God-given gifts
that open new possibilities for action. Your tiniest ability or interest could pave pathways
toward new vision. We actually have much more brainpower than once thought. Intelligence
as a fixed entity that can be measured in an IQ score, has given way to intelligence that
grows when challenged. With use, brain cells actually reproduce cells called dendrites. Good
news is that dendrite growth continues well into our golden years.
Unique talents arise from within everyday dreams that add meaning and beauty to our
worlds. Your visions may not equal rocket science in von Braun’s insights for the V-2, or the
Wright brother’s genius for powered flight. But when we use our brains, we create a launching
pad for original ideas and discoveries. We don’t need the mind-bending vision of Einstein’s
“curved space” to project an arc of originality.
Your brain may never produce daVinci’s art on chapel ceilings, or Donatelli’s David in
chiselled stones. But your own original ideas can soar to new songs, inventions, poetry or
scientific projects. You may never write 10,000 words a day as Enid Blyton wrote children’s
books in England, but your communication ideas might build a business, or custom-make
schedules for family fun. Whatever you create, think of your gifts as worthwhile and seize the
brain power to galvanize them. You can do this by identifying four personal tendencies in an
inventory to unleash personal abilities.
Interest Inventory to Identify Personal Gifts
Activities at which You Persist:
1). When you find a free moment you ____________________________.
2). One activity you repeat often is ________________________.
3). Even when time is short you enjoy _____________________________.
Activities You Do Especially Well:
1). If asked to____________________ you feel confident to do well with little help.
2). Others say you can ____________________________________.
3). You are pleased with results when you __________________________.
Activities You Enjoy:
1). If seeking adventure you ____________________________________.
2). You enjoy _____________________________________ with others.
3). When you relax you like to _____________________________.
Activities you look forward to:
1). If you had material resources you would _________________________.
2). Whenever you find time you _________________________________.
3). After a busy day you like to ___________________________________.
When we follow dreams, or chase lofty visions we discover amazing solutions for everyday
problems. And when we combine personal talents with wishes chased, we beam shining
solutions and arc new heights. The opposite is also true. When we ignore dreams, or shut
down gifts, human brain cells dim and vision fails.
Imagine your unique dreams and special gifts waltzing together today the way millions of
stars dance beneath spherical halos in the Galaxy. You might create music like Bob
Dylan, solve computer problems like Bill Gates, share wisdom like Judge Judy, or simply
master a new way to fund college tuition. In so imagining, we have just taken the first step
toward unleashing talents that hitch our wagons to rising new stars.
Multiple Intelligences Resources
SCBE Multiple Intelligence Homepage
An excellent site to Learn about MI for students and teachers.
Multiple Intelligence Resource
A checklist for Teachers Regarding Lesson Balance.
This site explains how children would exhibit the different types of multiple intelligence.
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Contains an explanation about each of the 7 types of intelligence.
San Jose Elem. School
Visit the site of Florida's first multiple intelligence's school. Through the use of the multiple
intelligences approach defined by Dr. Howard Gardner (Bodily-Kinaesthetic, Intrapersonal,
Interpersonal, Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Musical, and Spatial) an integrated approach
to instruction through thematic units is being utilized. How they are smart continues to be our
top priority. Various types special classes are featured.
With Howard Gardner as the director, Project Zero's mission is "to understand and enhance
learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts and other disciplines for individuals and
This site has links to other multiple intelligences pages, plus abstracts of books and articles
on the subject by Thomas Hoerr, Robin Fogarty, Carolyn Chapman, Jean Smerechansky-
Metzger, Thomas Armstrong, David Lazear, and others.
New City School
The New City School in St. Louis, Missouri, is online. Tom Hoerr, author of "Frog Ballets and
Musical Fractions"(p. 43), is the director of this MI school.
The following are only a sample of the publications available on multiple intelligences. The
opinions expressed are personal. Feedback and additional resources would be appreciated.
Allen, J., B.Mitchell, C.Rollo, B.Tarbuck. (1995) Patterns: An Integrated Cross Curricular
Unit Using the Seven Multiple Intelligences. Durham Board of Education, Whitby, ON.
*This is an outstanding resource for the classroom teacher in the intermediate grades (7-9),
and great for students with special needs. It comes with computer discs, so handouts may be
modified. Cross-curricular, with a native studies theme
Armstrong, Thomas. (1987) In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your
Child's Personal Learning Style. Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc.
* An interesting book for parents and good explanation of the theory
Armstrong, Thomas. Multiple Intelligences In the Classroom.(1994) A.S.C.D. Alexandria,
* This is a great little guide to using the theory in the classroom and explaining it to kids.
Armstrong, Thomas. (1993) 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Many
Intelligences. Plume Books.
* A guide for parents and teachers as to what their intelligence strengths may be, how to use
and improve individual strengths and underdeveloped areas. Good for parents.
Bromley, Karen, DeVitis, Linda & Medlo, Marcia.(1999) 50 Graphic organizers for Reading,
Writing & More. Scholastic: NY.
*Wonderful resources: ready to use reproducible templates and easy strategies to support
Campbell, Linda, Bruce Campbell, and Dee Dickenson.(1992) Teaching and Learning
Through Multiple Intelligences. Seattle, Washington: New Horizons for Learning, Seattle,
*Good ideas throughout.
Chapman, Carolyn, (1993) If the Shoe Fits...How to Develop Multiple Intelligences in the
classroom. IRI/Skylight Publishing, Illinois.
*One of the best resources for understanding each intelligence, including cultural references.
Lots of classroom suggestions.
Chapman, Carolyn, (1994) Multiple Assessments for Multiple Intelligences. IRI/Skylight
*Companion to above. Delves into the often murky waters of assessment.
Fogarty, Robin. (1991) The Mindful School: How to Integrate the Curricula IRI/Skylight
*This author is also a well known workshop leader who uses integrated curricula along with
Fogarty, Robin (1994) The Mindful School: How to Teach for Metacognitive Reflection.
IRI/Skylight Publishing, Illinois.
Gardner, Howard.(1983) Frames of Mind. Basic Books, New York
* The basis for the whole thing!
Gardner, Howard.(1993) Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice. Basic Books, New
*The further development of the implications for education.
Haggerty, Brian (1995) Nurturing Intelligences: A guide to Multiple Intelligences Theory
and Teaching. Innovative Learning Publications, Addison Wesley, Menlo Park, CA.
*A great overview of how to use the theory in the classroom with examples, checklists and
Kagan, Spencer & Kagan, Miguel (199x) The Complete MI Book. Kagan Publishing &
Professional Development, US & Canada(800-933-2667) *Read more about Kagan MI
products at the Kagan Site
Lazear, David. (1991) Seven Ways of Knowing. IRI/Skylight Publishing, Illinois.
* Very good guide for the teacher, including personal logs. Best for secondary level.
Lazear, David. (1991) Seven Ways of Teaching. IRI/Skylight Publishing, Illinois.
*Companion to above, with many fine examples.
Marks-Tarlow, Terry. (1996) Creativity Inside Out: Learning Through Multiple
Intelligences. Innovative Learning Publications, Addison Wesley, Menlo Park, CA.
*A lively, interesting and practical celebration of differences, extracting creativity using all the
Rhodes Offutt, Dr. Elizabeth. (1997) An Elementary Teacher's Guide to Multiple
Intelligences Good Apple, Torrence, CA.
*Chock full of great practical suggestions for elementary grades.
“Traditional universities and high schools tend to neglect active student involvement.
Research evidence shows that students understand deeply when they investigate authentic
problems, rather than simply recite back isolated facts on standardized tests. When students
enjoy a climate where they think critically and creatively and where they relate classroom
instruction to tasks and experiences they encounter outside of school, they prepare for
meaningful contributions to humanity. “MITA: The Multiple Intelligences Teaching Approach