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Learning Styles

By makhya Feb 03, 2014 779 Words

Multiple Intelligence Theory of Learning

Makhya Curtis
INFT101/ Scholarly Writing

The developing brain has been a ground breaking field of study in the past decade. Advances in physiological research give insight into how the brain learns throughout the different developmental stages. Educators previously measured intellectual ability through a single factor called the “G” factor. In 1983 Howard Gardner proposed a theory of learning that involved multiple ways of learning called multiple intelligences (Booth & O’Brien, 2008). Through this method children retain more information as they can relate learning to things they know. The Multiple Intelligence Theory of learning is one of the most effective adult learning theories because it aids in the developmental learning process of children. Several contributions to the innovations in the current learning environment may be attributed to the Multiple Intelligence Theory. From a Christian perspective, multiple intelligence plays a role in how the world is presented to children, giving a more holistic approach to cultural and ethnic learning. It’s an accepted fact that the brain develops the most in the first three years of a child’s life. Because of differences in ethnicity, children develop within their own cultural context. Under Gardner’s theory of learning (Booth & O’Brien), the seven intelligences (which include bodily/kinesthetic, musical, verbal/linguistic, visual/spatial, mathematical/logical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist/environmental) account) account for the variations in culture and environment. These seven intelligences allow a child’s brain to develop under a wide range of disciplines at an early age. It is possible that several intelligences can operate together and complimentcomplement the other each other (Booth & O’Brien, 2008). Plasticity, or the brains ability to change in response to stimulation, is what allows the brain to change over time. Plasticity gives the child’s brain the ability to adapt, thus learning how to function in their environment. The seven intelligences in Gardner’s theory give aspects of the environment through which a child can learn and relate information in their own way (How the Brain Develops). The multiple intelligence theory lessens cultural barrios in a learning setting by allowing children to relate to similar experiences. The research that Booth and O’Brien conducted on children was ground breaking in the adult learning Traditional methods of teaching were being replaced with this more holistic approach. Over time and careful observation, tThey found that through multiple intelligences children were better able to communicate their thoughts and process information faster. This method of learning is more effective because it allows children who have not yet fully developed to express ideas and emotions more clearly (Booth& O’Brien, 2008). Personally, lLearning through multiple intelligence has helped me throughout my education. I have come to learnlearned that by relating information to real life experience’s I can better grasps concepts and ideas. I find this research very interesting as I am a studying early childhood development. As a student, I find it easier to learn different subjects in different ways. I am a visual learner, but I also incorporate kinesthetic learning methods. Diagrams, colorful notes and graphics are aids that I use to relate and interoperate information. Through pictures and visuals I can relate information to previous images and experiences in my life. As an educator, I have to incorporate different learning styles into the lesson so that each child can successfully grasp the concepts. Whether we realize it or not, multiple intelligences play a major role in how our brains develop and how we perceive the world around us. The introduction of the multiple intelligence theory changed the way educators and counselors try to reach students. Gardner explains that “each student is different…and there can never be a formula for reaching each individual child” (Booth &O’Brien, 2008, p.2). Since Gardner’s introduction of his theory, educators worldwide have been exploring different methods of teaching under the seven intelligences. Counselors have been more successful in reaching students in a multicultural setting when the different intelligences were implemented into the curriculum. Not only does this force students to think “outside the box”, it gives a more rounded approach to learning. From a Christian perspective, the multiple intelligence theory tightens the cultural gap between students. Now educators and couselors can better reach students with the Gospel of Christ. Student can receive this message as it relates to their life.

Booth, R., & O'Brien, P. J. (2008). An Holistic Approach for Counsellors: Embracing Multiple Intelligences.InternationalIntelligences. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 30(2), 79-92. "Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development." How the Brain Develops.N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2013.

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