Do you ever wonder why some students catch on to a topic quicker than others?
The reason is something called Multiple Intelligence, developed by Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University. This means that every individual is intelligent in their own way. Dr. Gardner has identified that there are as many as 9 different intelligences or 9 different ways students learn new information.
Let’s take a quick look:
Some students may learn best through verbal presentations or reading. Other students are going to learn quicker by engaging hands-on learning. While some are very logical or mathematical in their thought process. They are the ones that will often ask you the “why” and “how” questions.
There are also visual learners that learn best by watching a visual aid such as demonstrations or videos. Some students may learn best through music. You know the students that are always singing and are the first one to ask for the radio to be turned on.
Then there is the interpersonal student that is shy and reserved and learn best through self-discovery and independent projects. Just opposite of the interpersonal intelligence is intrapersonal intelligence. This is your student that likes to talk and work in groups and interactions.
And lastly, we have students that are “nature wise”, meaning they relate to anything that naturally occurs in nature.
Basically, everyone in your classroom has their own unique learning style. So, the question becomes, what do we do with this information? As educators, we must learn to incorporate a variety of teaching methods into our classroom so that we engage everyone in our class.
Over the next several months, I will visit each of the 9 intelligences as defined by Dr. Gardner and discuss what you can do to reach each student.
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.