According to Howard Garder, 2003, we as human beings have “a set of relatively autonomous intelligences”. Due to our differences in upbringing through social-economic, cultural, and through the influences of other extrinsic factors, we have developed our individualized profile of intellectual strengths and weaknesses. If everyone has a different intellectual profile then instructors need to consider this when developing an educational system.
This week’s reading has reinforced my belief of the differences in learning styles that each individual processes. Gardner proposes, in an article by the Instructional Design website on Multiple Intelligences, that there are seven primary forms of intelligences. These are; Linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, intrapersonal (e.g., insight, metacognition) and interpersonal (e.g., social skills).
Although everyone has a particular learning style that they are comfortable with, not all subjects are adaptable to a particular learning style. David Glenn, 2017, presented an example where two classrooms studied a complex molecular structure. In one classroom, the students learned through a hands-on approach (kinesthetic) and in the other classroom, the students learned through reading texts. Even though the students that did not enjoy the hands-on approach, they fared better than their counterparts that used only text material. The students using the kinesthetic approach were still scoring higher after the first week.
Developing instructional design material that can incorporate the various teaching styles needed to touch the multiple intelligences without the use of technology is difficult. The teaching techniques is usually limited to one style or at most two. However, with the use of technology, various senses can be touched upon and if designed properly the student can choose the learning style that he or she would like to interact with and which he or she feels comfortable.
As an example, I developed a math program that utilizes the scaffold instruction methodology which is a tool used to progress the student up a math ladder. The objectives being to advance the student incrementally by having him successively master each rung. Each step brings new knowledge and challenges based on previous concepts learned. Since each prior step is the foundation for the next step, previous material is being constantly reviewed. This program covers a plethora of topics from place values through scientific notation, time, fractions, geometry, graphs, basic algebra, statistics and trigonometry. Each level finishes with word problems incorporating the topics learned at that level. Word problems teach the student to accept a challenge and to persevere and use both logic and creativity to solve the problem. The program is designed so that no two problems are ever alike.
Some of the ways that this program helps students using multiple intelligences: The program presents topics for Logical-mathematical intelligence in a linearly fashion showing the utilization of strict procedures to solve a problem. Linguistic intelligence is also relevant because of the need for communication and the program requires plenty of reading and listening. There are videos ingraining concepts through musical rhythms and songs. Students with a strong spatial bent will latch on to the graphical animations or videos presented. Kinesthetic intelligence is touched upon with the interaction in working with the computer.
The following video clip presents the Math Scaffold program and shows how it uses various teaching styles to help reach the multiple intelligences of the student. Note: I made this video rather quickly so the audio may need to be adjusted a few times during the presentation.