Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Multiple Intelligences and Me

Today at UWA we had a symposium on Multiple Intelligences that included our visiting Fulbright scholar, Dr. Don Van Chau, Dr. Richard Fowler, Dr. Andrea Minear, and Dr. Penny Wallin.  I found the research that Dr. Don (as he prefers to be called) shared to be especially enlightening with how motivating addressing intelligences beyond verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical was even for university students.  I was intrigued that the teachers in the EFL classrooms at his university in Vietnam simply incorporated MI strategies into their courses rather than having each student take an MI Inventory.  I also was interested in his definition of collaboration which to me was really collective, whole group work rather than cooperation and working together that I think of when I think of collaboration.  (I also thought it was interesting that all of his percentages added up to 100%; I know that it is not important, but mine never added up that neatly so I noticed.) I was also introduced to another name besides Howard Gardner in the MI field which was Thomas Armstrong.

Dr. Don and the other panelists also discussed the idea of tapping into what students enjoy doing in order to get them to learn information for class. I have used Multiple Intelligences theory in classes before, but I have not considered using it in my Technology and Education classes until now.  I think I will give an online MI survey to my undergraduate class tomorrow and post the results in a comment.  In my undergraduate class, I will also try to offer more choices of technology activities to assess the attainment of objectives.  And in my graduate classes, I will do the same with the online survey but have them share ways they could use MI activities in their classrooms. I hope that these changes will create more conversation about learning and teaching in my classes.

Here is a list of technology and Multiple Intelligence activities that the symposium brought to my mind:

IntelligenceActivityWeb Site
Verbal-LinguisticDigital StorytellingStoryBird
Math-LogicCreating Timelines and ChartsGoogle Docs Spreadsheets
SpatialDrawingMake Beliefs Comix
Bodily-KinestheticWii GamesWii
MusicalMath Rap VideosFlocabulary Math Rap
InterpersonalCreating "FaceBook" like Pages for Book CharactersMy Fake Wall
IntrapersonalBloggingKidblog, Edublogs, or Blogger
NaturalistViewing nature around the world via webcams and Virtual Field Trips Webcams and Virtual Field Trips

I would like to say that after reading through the Fulbright Lecturers List in the fall I chose Dr. Don Van Chau as my first choice because of his research topic of Multiple Intelligence Theory.  I am very pleased that UWA invited him to speak on campus this year; I truly enjoyed his talk and have been inspired to integrate Multiple Intelligence Theory into my technology courses.


Dr. Penny Wallin said...

How exciting to be a part of the MIT panel today! I learned from Mr. Don, Dr. Fowler, and Dr. Minear as we shared ideas and experiences using the many ways we prefer to interact with our world. It was gratifying to realize that discussions such as the one this morning at UWA are probing the essential questions of... How do we learn? How am I smart? How can I demonstrate what I know and understand?

Bravo to the UWA College of Education for offering this symposium.
Wishing you well,
Dr. Penny Wallin

Anonymous said...

Having taught MI at another university and now here at UWA, I have seen the benefits of introducing this concept to preservice teachers. I always required my Intro to Special Education students to take the MI test and then discuss this in class. I have had student teachers and first year interns have their pupils both mild and moderate and severe, take the MI test (reading to those who could not) and then design the individual student's program based on the MI information. The teachers could see an increase in motivation and interest in their pupils after analyzing their responses and using that infromation to drive pupil outcomes. I continue to model the MI theory in my methods classes so that differentiated instruction can be the rule of thumb not the exception. One perk that my preservice teachers have always noticed is how the MI theory impacts classroom discipline. The positive nature of the theory and the implementation of differentiated instruction goes hand in hand with positive classroom support plans. I will continue to used the MI theory and would hope others would investigate MI to see the real advantages of modeling this for our preservice teachers.

Dr. Adele Moriarty

Dianne Richardson said...

I, too, have used MIT and think that it is a wonderful tool. It was especially helpful when I taught 8th and 9th grade Language Arts classes. I had such a wide range of intelligences but I also had only 15 students at a time so that I could apply the method. I used a placement survey and they all enjoyed learning about themselves. It also fostered self-reflection rather than random choices such as happen with multiple choice tests. Learning preferences are also a target of interest for me. My students in one 9th grade class preferred to eat while studying and performed at much higher levels after having a Snickers bar. They all tested out of Title One LA at the end of the year. I thought about the whole right/left brain thing and how some people have whole brain involvement while applying MIT. There are so many directions that this can take you and so many ways to connect it to other newly discovered brain-based research.

Dianne Richardson