From 27 to 29 September 2013, Rise and Shine Expo, an informative expo to raise happy and healthy children was held in Singapore. There were more than 100 seminars, workshops and trial classes and a very interesting one that got many parents and educators excited was the workshop ‘8 ways of teaching: how to teach practically anything using multiple intelligences’ by Dr Thomas Armstrong.
Dr Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development, and an award-winning author and speaker. He has authored 15 books that have been translated to 26 languages, including In Their Own Way and Neurodiversity in the Classroom. Dr Armstrong has lectured in over 20 countries and featured in many prominent newspapers, magazine and TV and radio programs.
Dr Thomas’ Multiple Intelligence workshop at Rise and Shine Expo
The workshop was held at a cosy room on the 3rd floor of Suntec Convention Centre during the Rise and Shine expo, on a Saturday afternoon. Many parents with children (from infants to above 5 year old) attended and I also met a few educators interested in helping children learn more than the ‘reading/writing’ way. The audience was turned into participants during Dr Thomas’ talk as he used the 8 ways to illustrate Boyle’s Law. Refer to this link for Dr Thomas’ blog post on his Rise and Shine experience.
Basics of Multiple Intelligences
The theory of multiple intelligences was first developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. He took a broader interpretation of intelligence other than just linguistic and logic/mathematical intelligence that still remain as the main focus in schools today. A society requires more than word smart and number smart people, for instance, professions such as designers, artists, musicians, dancers play an important role. The concern of a narrow definition of intelligence is that children who are actually intelligent in other ways become labelled as “learning disabled”. Furthermore, teaching the same concept in different ways allow not word or number inclined children to learn the concepts and also reinforces learning for children who are.
The 8 Multiple Intelligences
Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”) – This intelligence refers to being good with words, and children who are word smart may love reading books, telling stories, good at spellings and taking tests and good at writing. Parents can help these word smart children by bringing spoken/written words into learning.
Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”) – This means being good at numbers and logic/reasoning. Children who have more of this intelligence are typically good in science, mental calculation, patterns and taking number-related tests. Parents can help number smart children by thinking of ways to use numbers or patterns into learning.
Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”) – This means being good with pictures and images. Children who have more of spatial intelligence are usually creative, loves arts, doodles, legos and video games. Parents can help these children by using visual aids, colour, art and metaphors.
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”) – This refers to being good with the body and hands, such as children who are hands-on, loves to act, moves, sculpts and athletic. Learning for these children can be aided by involving the whole body and hands-on experiences.
Musical intelligence (“music smart”) – This refers to being good with tone, rhythm and timbre and such children are often good in instruments, singing, rhythm and remembering music. Parents can help these music smart kids learn better by including music and rhythm into the learning experience.
Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”) – This intelligence deals with being good at social interactions and these people smart children are natural leaders, street smart, good at mediating or persuasion. Learning for these children can be aided in peer to peer sharing, co-operative learning or large group simulation.
Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”/ personal reflection) – This refers to being good at knowing oneself and these children are independent learners, confident, good at setting goals for themselves and reflecting. These self smart kids learn well when they are given choices or from forming associations with their personal experience.
Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”) This intelligence is for children who learn best using nature, who loves animals, have a green thumb or loves outdoors. Bringing learning for these children to nature or relating to nature can help their understanding of concepts.
For parents who want to assess which areas their children (or themselves!) are the strongest in, see this slideshare by Dr Thomas for the multiple intelligence inventory listing.
Next week, we will learn from Dr Thomas Armstrong how to identify which multiple intelligences are most prominent in our child! Thank you to Dr Thomas for reviewing the above write-up to ensure that I’ve captured the multiple intelligences accurately.