Multiple Intelligences: A Unique Program Aimed At Students’ Strengths

Anyone visiting a classroom at New City School will most likely find groups of students working together—solving a complex problem, acting out an historical event, building models of a new insect species, or maybe even using percussion instruments to represent individual components of the digestive system.

The school follows the principles of Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI): that there are eight intelligences that need to be nurtured and developed in children: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, naturalist, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. While students learn to read, write, and calculate traditionally, they’re also offered a wide range of other activities and resources — including the world’s first MI library. The unique program capitalizes on students’ strengths, encouraging them to use what they’ve learned in new and different situations.

The offerings are meaningful, rich, and fun. For some students, singing, painting, and drawing assignments help them reflect on an experience or cement the concepts they need to understand a project. Others create skits to help them role-play problem-solving strategies, remember vocabulary words, and enhance reading comprehension. Theater performances, games, music, and movement activities incorporate multiple intelligences for all students; and year-long themes at each grade level help to frame the curriculum and instruction. Ultimately, MI helps the school meet students’ needs and move them along the learning continuum so they reach their full learning potential.

Does your school do something similar?

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