Today we had a quest speaker from UCL to talk about multiple intelligences. As usual we were glad to see him in our classroom. Multiple intelligence was a new thing I learnt from our PDP teacher. When I studied at the institute I read something about it, but I didn’t pay so much attention to it, because it was not emphasized so much to use it with my future students. Actually, if I wasn’t introduced to it by Kristina and Josh, I wouldn’t come to it myself. Now I am glad to know more about MI than my teachers at the institute and at school as well.

I learned many new things from Josh’s(our guest) talk, but the most interesting info for me was implication of multiple intelligences to practice. It is good if you have an idea of students’ intelligences, it is better to put what you know into practice. A few days before Josh gave us URL to define our MI and 21 page reading to get deeper understanding of MI basics. In addition, we had him to speak in front of us and ask our questions. In what Josh gave us to read I read MI theory, IQ and eight intelligences, but today we found out one more intelligence, that is called existential – existence intelligence. In the beginning of his presentation Josh pointed out to three intelligences out of nine, that can be tested at school: verbal, logical and numerical reasoning. As a matter of fact, Gardner, a scientist, who investigated intelligences so much says that there are eight and a half intelligences.

During our conversation, I noticed that we called intelligences ‘skills’, ‘interests’, and even ‘abilities’. However, Josh explained that the word ‘ability’ cannot replace “intelligence’, because we have capabilities IN intelligences.
Further, Josh assured us that we shouldn’t take our results in MI test seriously and definitive for as Gardner said “No definite intelligence profile exist. And there is no need for them.”

Once you know the intelligences your students possess you can easily use the results to organize your lesson plans. It helps to find appropriate activity for your students. And one more thing that Josh told us about is that your lowest score in a definite intelligence. If you are weak in musical intelligences, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t study music. MI test is only a tool that helps to define your intelligences.
Once you give MI test to the students, you can find out their weaknesses and strengths. And here is an interesting moment: what do teachers usually do? If they know that students are good at Maths, they give them more and more mathematical tasks to further develop their ability. However, once you have your student’s intelligences in your hands, you should focus your attention on their weaknesses. That is what Westerners do with their students. They focus on weaknesses to turn them into strengths. It is a very good approach to cope with weak points of the students. In this way a teacher is capable of balancing their multiple intelligences.

Concerning the implication of MI to practice, every teacher should know that MI can be used in any context. MI cannot be used in isolation from each other.
That is what I got from Josh’s one hour speech. His speech is very understandable and his language is clear. He is young and lively, and he has a good sense of humor. His body language is very “sociable”, what he did and didn’t say he showed it with gestures. After Josh’s talk, I think we found out answer how to use it in the classroom. For me I am for trying it with NIS students and try to put into practice as soon as possible.

Later my PDP teacher wroteI noticed that you were doing very well in the end with the fill in the gap exercise. Wow! What a memory! Maybe that is an intelligence that should be added. Just kidding!” “Maybe, that we should tell about it to Josh. Let’s call it drilling memory intelligence. smileThen Aina and me possess this new type of intelligence well. ” I responded. So if in future scientists add a new intelligence ( memory drilling), simply keep mind a person, who first suggested this idea. 😉

It is interesting that many Western teachers pay a great attention to Multiple Intelligences. It is rather unusual phenomenon in comparison with Kazakh teachers. I don’t wonder even if there are teachers, who know nothing about these intelligences. I am sure that those, who know, do not take it seriously. After visiting Birmingham Grid for Learning and passing their MI test, I found out following intelligences in myself. My highest score is Intrapersonal, and it means that I am 100% myself smart. Next comes my visual/spatial intelligence, it equals to 25 out of 25. It is, definitely, like me, because sometimes I try to remember a thing or story drawing a picture in my head. It helps me a lot to remember necessary things I don’t want to forget. If I plan to do something, I imagine these tasks in a form of pictures. Sometimes, my one day actions form the whole museum of pictures.

The same happens with numbers: trying to remember one’s mobile phone number or service code numbers, I associate them with something I know well. For instance, I used this technique to remember 622047. I transferred it to the following sentence “Zhulduz is in bus #47”. (Recoding works like this: Zhulduz is my student, who lives in Room 622 and bus#47 is the bus that dorm students use most of all.) That’s why my logical intelligence stands before my interpersonal abilities, which are followed my kinesthetic and linguistic intelligences. The MI test proved again that I am not musical at all, and it is true. I can listen to music and that is only thing I can do with it. The results of MI test satisfied my curiosity about my multiple intelligences and I find them reliable to use in the classroom. It is ok to use it with our students, but it will be more interesting if a teacher tries to define her students’ MI by simple observation in a span of several weeks and later to compare own results with MI results. It is my point, however, I trust, but I always check it.

If you want to define the intelligences you possess follow the link
http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks3/ict/multiple_int/questions/choose_lang.cfm

MI test is interesting even for us, adults, and that was the main reason for me to read MI Basics thoroughly. Reading the theory, we meet MI and IQ terms several times. As I have noticed these two terms compete with each other trying to prove importance of only one.
It becomes obvious from “MI theory challenges the notion of IQ in at least three significant ways. MI maintains that: (1) several intelligences are at work, not just one; (2) intelligence is expressed in our performances, products, and ideas, not through a test score; and (3) how the intelligences are expressed is culturally defined.”

MI test is a tool to define our MI, IQ is a tool to measure our MI.
We use different intelligences at a time. Concerning potential isolation, I think that it is impossible to isolate our intelligences from each other, they work well, when they work together. The problem of autism is very essential in MI. Yes, it is true, sometimes we see a boy, who is good at Maths, etc., but he is not so talkative at all. I define it as a process, where some intelligences are actively working, while others keep remaining passive and even come to die. What I like most about MI theory I read is explanation of all eight intelligences we possess. If you take MI test, and define your MI, you can read more about it (them) in the theory. You will ,definitely, get deeper understanding of your abilities after reading MI Basics.