The theory was a huge departure from the more traditional "banking method" of education in which the teacher simply "deposits" knowledge into the learner's mind and the learner must "receive, memorize and repeat." Instead, Gardner broke open the idea that a disengaged learner might learn better by using a different form of intelligence, defined as a "biophysical potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture." This defied the previous consensus on the existence of a single, general intelligence or "g factor" that could be easily tested. Some learners are highly introspective while others learn through social dynamics.On the contrary, Gardner's theory posits that each of us has at least one dominant intelligence that informs how we learn. Some learners are especially attuned to the natural world whereas others are deeply receptive to the spiritual world.
Lead researcher Lois Hetland and her team identified eight "Studio Habits of Mind" that can be applied to learning across the curriculum at any age with any kind of learner.
From learning to use tools and materials to engage with complex philosophical questions, these habits release learners from the fear of failure and focus instead on the pleasures of learning.
Arts integration took off as an approach to teaching and learning because it taps artistic processes not only as subjects in and of themselves but also as tools for processing knowledge in other subject areas.
For example, a verbal, social learner lights up when they learn about conflict in stories through activities like theater.
Schools in the United States, as a reflection of society at large, often place imbalanced value on linguistic or logical-mathematical intelligence, and learners with intelligence in other modalities risk getting lost, undervalued, or ignored.
Learning trends like experiential learning, or ‘learning by doing’ attempts to counter and correct this bias by creating the conditions to tap as many intelligence as possible in the production of new knowledge.Multiple intelligences served as a call to action to "differentiate" learning experiences in order to accommodate the multiple modalities in any given learning context.By modifying the content, process, and expectations for a final product, teachers and educators can reach learners who otherwise present as reluctant or incapable.A student may dread learning vocabulary through test-taking but lighten up when asked to dance, paint, sing, plant, or build.The theory invites a great deal of creativity in teaching and learning and over the last 35 years, arts educators, in particular, have used the theory to develop arts-integrated curricula that acknowledge the power of artistic processes to produce and share knowledge across core subject areas.Students who read and write well are still smart, but they are joined by other students who have different talents.Through MI, schools and classrooms become settings in which a variety of skills and abilities can be used to learn and solve problems.Perhaps the beginning of the modern search for ways to measure intelligence was the creation of the I. Thus, the first standardized intelligence test was born.Later, other researchers developed the technique of administering a series of questions to children and recording which items could be answered correctly by almost all youngsters, which by most, which by few, and which by none.Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein is a poet, writer, and educator from Chicago, IL (USA) who currently splits her time in East Africa.Her essays on arts, culture, and education appear in Teaching Artist Journal, Art in the Public Interest, Teachers & Writers Magazine, Teaching Tolerance, The Equity Collective, Aramco World, Selamta, The Forward, among others.