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Multiple Intelligences, Multiple Joys: Gardner’s Insights in Action

by | Sep 13, 2023

Today, we’re diving into a treasure trove of intelligence with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Get ready to embrace the idea that intelligence isn’t just a one-size-fits-all affair; it’s a symphony of diverse abilities. Join us as we explore how Gardner’s theory isn’t just a classroom concept; it’s a celebration of every unique mind on your SEN register.


Unveiling Gardner’s Rainbow of Intelligences


Imagine a classroom buzzing with activity, each student engaged in a different task. One is painting a masterpiece, another is tinkering with a gadget, and yet another is composing a poem that could make Shakespeare proud. What do they have in common? They’re all showcasing different types of intelligence, as theorised by Howard Gardner.


Gardner believed that intelligence isn’t a singular entity; it’s a dazzling array of abilities. From logical-mathematical and linguistic to musical and bodily-kinaesthetic, the intelligence rainbow is vast and vibrant. But how does this play out in the special education realm?


SENCO Symphony: Nurturing Multiple Intelligences


Imagine a student who struggles with traditional academic tasks but shines when it comes to creating art. In this scenario, Gardner’s theory becomes your conductor’s baton. By recognising and celebrating their artistic intelligence, you’re nurturing a sense of achievement that can spill over into other areas of their learning journey.


Consider a student with a knack for solving puzzles but struggles with social interactions. Gardner’s theory isn’t just about academic abilities; it’s about embracing the emotional and interpersonal intelligences, too. By creating opportunities for collaborative problem-solving, you’re not just teaching; you’re fostering growth in areas that might have been overshadowed.


Key Takeaway:


Gardner’s theory isn’t just about acknowledging diversity; it’s about celebrating it. As you guide your students through their learning journeys, remember that intelligence comes in many forms. Recognize, celebrate, and cultivate the diverse intelligences that make each student shine. Whether they’re crafting a story, creating a masterpiece, or solving a puzzle, they’re contributing to the magnificent mosaic of human potential. So, let the multiple intelligences symphony play on, celebrating every note and every student.

I am very aware that this is often conflated with learning styles.  Learning styles have been largely debunked but there is no argument that we all have personal learning preferences and learning strengths.

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