Learning Styles and MI

Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligence’s
Throughout our lives, we are faced with many different learning experiences. Some of these experiences have made a better impact than others. We can attribute this to our learning style.
A person’s learning style is the method through which they gain information about their environment. Research is going on all over the world to help explain learning styles. As teachers, it is our
responsibility to learn about these different learning styles so that we can appeal to every type of learner in our classrooms. Howard Gardner has elaborated on the concept of learning style through what
he calls “multiple intelligence’s” (Gardner 3). Understanding these intelligence’s will help us to design our classrooms and curriculum in a way that will appeal to all of our students. We may even be able to
curb negative behavior by reaching students in a different way. If we implement activities that call upon the use of all these “intelligence’s” (Gardner 2) we will get the best out of all of our students
(Santrock 311). Their grades will improve and they will retain more information for a longer period of time. Learning styles can also help us to determine possible career paths so that we can help to steer
children in the right direction. Discovering our own learning styles can potentially maximize our own information processing and teaching techniques.
Howard Gardner is a professor at Harvard who has studied the idea of intelligence in a way that links research and personal experience (Traub 1). He began speaking about “multiple
intelligence’s” in 1983. Since then, he has won a MacArthur “genius” grant, he has written books which have been translated into twenty languages, and he gives about seventy-five speeches a year (Truab
1). His ideas have been backed and popularized by many groups seeking to reform the current educational system. The idea is that we know a child who scores well on tests is smart, but that doesn’t
mean a child who does not score well is not getting the information or is incapable of getting it (Traub1). Gardner’s goal is to turn what we normally think of as intelligence into a mere aspect of a much
wider range of aptitudes (Traub 1).
Most of us believe that doing well in school requires a certain amount of intelligence. School work usually focuses on only two avenues of intelligence. Traditional teaching focuses on
verbal and mathematical skills. A person who is weak in both of these will probably do poorly in school. Gardner suggests that their is eight different aptitudes or “intelligence’s” (Gardner 3). Each
individual has the “eight intelligence’s” in various amounts. Our strengths and weaknesses in the “intelligence’s” influence how we learn (Gardner 5). They may even affect how successful we are in life.
“Verbal- linguistic” is the first of Gardner’s proposed “intelligence’s” (Gardner). A linguistic learner thinks in words. This person uses language to express and understand meaning
(Gardner 24) Linguistic learners are sensitive to the meaning of words, their order, and their inflection (Gardner 24) This type of person uses writing to express themselves, often through poetry, stories,
and letters. “Verbal linguistic” (Gardner 24) learners are usually very skilled readers. Speaking is another strength that they possess. Oral communication is used often for persuasion and memorization
(Gardner 133). They are often eloquent speakers and have wonderfully developed auditory skills. This type of intelligence tends to pick up foreign languages with ease.
Identifying a “verbal linguistic” (Gardner 24) learner in your classroom is not difficult. Because of their talents at expressing themselves their class work will stand out. They tend to do well
at expressing themselves through writing. The will often speak their mind and can easily explain an event that happened through words, both speaking and writing.
Planning lessons that appeal to the “verbal linguistic” (Gardner 24) learner is very easy. The traditional curriculum appeals best to this kind of learner. They are very good at reading and
writing which is already the main method of teaching in most classrooms. Some activities that appeal to this kind of learner are storytelling, writing essays, joking, debating, story problems, and crossword
searches. These activities will allow the student to use words to learn material and express what they have learned through words.
The “visual spatial intelligence” has the ability to think in pictures (Gardner 65). They perceive the visual world accurately