"Three Positive Ways to Apply Multiple Intelligences Theory in Schools"
by Barbara Pearson
ArtLinks, October/November 1998
(An summary of Howard Gardner's principle ideas)
1. Cultivate important life skills
Schools should cultivate those skills and capacities that are valued in the
community and the broader society. Some of these desired roles are likely to
highlight specific intelligences, including ones that have traditionally been
given short shrift in the schools. For example, success in the workplace,
which requires team problem solving skills, depends on the development of the
2. Approach a subject in a variety of ways
Attempting to cover too much material results in superficial understanding.
Gardner believes it makes more sense to spend a significant amount of time on
key concepts and essential questions and ideas, and approach them in a
variety of ways. This is where the arts play a significant role, as they
give teachers and students many rich languages through which to express what
they know. Teaching using the arts and MI theory results in a number of
desirable outcomes. More children will be reached, and they will be able to
display their understanding--and their problem areas--in ways that are
comfortable for them and accessible to others.
3. Individualize teaching and learning
Multiple Intelligences theory endorses a group of propositions many teachers
have always believed: we are not all the same; we do not have the same kinds
of minds; and education works most effectively if these differences are taken
into account rather than denied or ignored. Any uniform educational approach
is likely to serve only a minority of children.