Thursday, 17 October 2013

From the horse's mouth: "Multiple Intelligences" are NOT "Learning Styles

Valarie Strauss' article in the Washington Post has Howard Gardner write emphatically that his theory of Multiple Intelligences (linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal - with later addition of naturalist), is NOT synonymous with the concept of Learning Styles.
It is clear that Gardner has suffered over this ("it's high time to relieve my pain and set the record straight").
He describes Multiple Intelligence (MI) Theory as being the result of research that led him to conclude "that each of us has a number of relatively independent mental faculties" (our MIs), rather like having "relatively autonomous computers" handling different information sets.
Gardner criticises the notion of Learning Styles as not being coherent and that there is no persuasive evidence that the learning style produces more effective outcomes.
He ends by drawing three primary lessons for educators:
  1. Individualise your teaching as much as possible.
  2. Pluralize your teaching  (teach in several ways - through stories, works of art, diagrams, role play).
  3. Drop the term "styles".

1 comment:

Judith Shorrocks said...

Maybe CIS has something to learn here when the 8th Edition mentions awareness of Learning Styles within Section B!!!!