Individual children have diverse, unique learning-style profiles. It essential for all teachers to recognise and acknowledge student's learning styles for a helpful approach to their education. Teachers of excellence must understand that information is looked, and perceived in different ways; if we were to narrow ourselves to one way of thinking, we would be essentially blind to those who have unique learning styles.
Moreover, it is critical for educators to help children develop their own learning style profiles; however, effective teachers should never categorize a student into one category, as a child should be encouraged to work in other modes. The spectrum of learning styles is extraordinary, thus students need opportunities to expand their developing profiles.
Hanson and Dewing (1990) conducted a study which revealed that most at-risk students are unsuccessful not because they lack innate learning ability, but because their learning style is largely ignored in the classroom. In a different study conducted by Dunn, Griggs, and Beasley (1995) and Carbo (1992), revealed that student achievement improves markedly when teachers address their student's learning styles.
Teachers of excellence need to practice and incorporate a variety of learning-style models in their classroom. Such learning-style models include:
Howard Gardner's Multi intelligence learning style method (1983)
Gardner evolutionised the way we think about intelligence, as his method explores the notion that intelligence is not limited to measurable IQ testing, but rather an 'expanded parameter of intelligent behaviour to include a diversity of human abilities' Silver, Strong, Perini (2000). IQ testing primarily measures human mathematical, verbal and spatial intelligence, however, Gardner claimed that there are 8 distinct categories:
~ Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence: related to language; the written and spoken word. Students learn best by communicating, listening, reading, and writing.
~ Logical-Mathematical Intelligence: related to reasoning, numbers, abstractions, and patterns. Students learn best by categorizing, classifying, sequencing, and establishing cause-and-effect relationships.
~ Spatial Intelligence: high capacity for perceiving, creating, and re-creating pictures and images. Students learn best by visualizing, dreaming, using the minds eye, and working with pictures.
~ Musical Intelligence: related to sounds and auditory patterns, to rhythm, beat and tempo. Students learn best by listening, inventing tunes, playing musical instruments, and are sensitive to the rhythms of every day noise.
~ Bodily-Kinaesthetic Intelligence: related to the physical self and manipulation of one's own body. Students learn best by moving, interacting with space and processing knowledge through bodily sensations.
~ Interpersonal Intelligence: related to relationships with others and various means of communication. Students learn best by joining groups, solving problems, sharing, comparing, and relating.
~ Intrapersonal Intelligence: related to self reflection and self-awareness. Students learn best by working alone, individualised projects, and self-paced instruction.
~ Naturalist Intelligence: related to observation and awareness of the natural world, and highly attuned to the natural world of plants an animals. Students learn best by working outdoors, and relate classroom ideas and activities to the natural world.
- (8 intelligences source: Silver, H.F. Strong, R.W. Perini, M. J. (2000) So each may learn; integrating learning styles and multiple intelligences. (pp. 11) United States of America. ASCD Publications)
Teachers of excellence aim implicate Gardner's intelligence model in their lessons. Thus, students are able to develop their intelligences, whilst working on their weakest intelligences as well. It is essential for students to process information through their strongest intelligence; as they attempt and master activities. This is also a 'scaffolding' technique (Dixon-Krauss, 1996), accomplishing challenging tasks in collaboration with adults. All learning styles should be supported and incorporated into children's learning, thus aiming to assist children in reaching their full potential.
- 'Animal School' A beautiful mini-movie about a school of animals who have different unique learning styles. A truly inspirational, thought-provoking, and sweet video.
- What is the Multiple intelligence theory? A brief interview with Howard Garner himself, about the theory of multiple intelligences, changing the human perception of intelligence.
- 6 Year old Piano Prodigy A brilliant child composes her own music and wows audiences at the White House. Playing the piano since 3 years old, Emily has acquired the musical intelligence at a very young age...