Archive for February 21, 2011

Insights about Multiple Intelligences in KZ (Part II)

More insights from my students after listening to a guest lecturer talk about something that is close to my heart.  I remember having a student in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan while I was teaching at the very first year of AUCA.  His name was Stas and he was NOT a very good student, but he WAS a very good classical piano player.  Once I found out that he had other strengths in other intelligences, I had grace towards Stas.  The same could be said of some of my slouchy footballers, who weren’t good students in my classroom but they were stars on the soccer field.  As a teacher, I like multiple intelligences because it embraces the students as a whole person and not just testing them on their reading, writing and math scores.  Here are three more insights from my adult learner students about Josh’s talk:

Student #4 – Okay, so we had Josh to talk to us and I actually made a long and thorough and good comment on it, but Moodle decided it was wrong and even did not do me favor to save a draft!
He talked a lot. And he talked long. Much information was given, but still I think he tried to express two main opinions about MI.
First, I took intelligences wrong. For example, If it says you are musical intelligent it doesn’t necessarily you have to like music. And if you like music very much it doesn’t mean you are musical smart.
Second, multiple intelligence is not learning style. If you have 5 minutes test and you have totally different result from what you expected, well it yet is not the end of world and you are not sentenced to live along only with your good intelligences. I like what he said: “Multiple intelligence is the beginning of learning, not the end.
From his words I was impressed when he said “This is not what we are doing at schools. This is not what we do in general. Even at UCL at NU. We do not work on students’ strengths, but on weaknesses.” Indeed, I also accentuate ss’ weak sides and I am much worried about that and work much on that rather than strengths. So I think this is a part of discussion I have to get back as I want to be a perfect teacher.
As for Josh’s talk. I had a bad headache afterward, because I was trying hard to follow him. I felt myself as a student at a very difficult lecture as he was talking about something I am not really good at. But anyway, I think he did great job with MI. Thing I liked most is his smile. He was smiling and this was special. His smile was “a process, rather than an event.”
As for using the MI at my teaching, I think the books he left could be of great help to me [hint ] in shaping something out.


Student #5 I was convinced one more time that I’m a very privileged student to have such a wonderful teacher who invites ex-pat guests as often as it is possible. And we learn a lot from these speakers. Today we had one UCL teacher speaking on Multiple Intelligences. The time went so fast, I really liked the class. While listening to him I realized that I had an unclear, or let me say incorrect idea about this conception. A few days ago I wrote about the results of my MI (Multiple Intelligence) test and made an incorrect decision. As far as I learned today a man can’t be perfect in every intelligence, or judge like: “If I can move my body quickly or very often I should have high scores in Bodily/Kinesthetic intelligence”. Or “If I can’t sing or play musical instruments I’m not musical”. That’s not right. Intelligence is not a skill or ability. And I should advise the teachers not to confuse the intelligences with learning style. Learning style is passive, as our guest said, and the intelligence – active. What I liked the most is that the teachers should pay attention on the strength of the students and work on in it, but not at the weaknesses, as we do. The weakness of a student must be improved using his strength. That’s the point of MI! That’s the answer of many of my questions. And I think our new skill, like Nazarbayev Intellectual School, are relying on this theory. The students there do a lot of project works, design some things like bridges, machines. And the teachers there really appreciate the interest of a student and try to improve. At least some teachers that I know act like this. And this makes me happy. Wew! So many ideas! So many interesting things that I can use while teaching! I really grateful to my teacher. No one is lucky in the world as I am and my group mates are!


Student #6 – I got to know that there are several intelligences. I tried to pass the IQ test on line, but it was so nervous (because of timing) and so long (perhaps it checked my patience J ) But I did not remember my result, only that it was not high or low. But when I answered the Multiple Intelligence test I did not notice how much time it took. It was quick and easy to answer. But I was not sure which variant was better and suitable for me. They could be differently interpreted. I tried to answer honestly and I agree with the result. I have known my strengths and weaknesses. It did not surprise me strongly. I wanted to read more practical ideas how to use these results and how to improve some intelligences (if I really need it). I suppose that such test can be very useful for senior students to choose what profession is better to choose. Because there is a list of occupations which are more suitable.

Josh’s talk was really interesting and important for us, teachers. The most I like was a thought that we should not panic or worry if we had a low score in any intelligence. It can be considered as a normal phenomenon. We are people, NOT robots.

Before using this MI info with my own students, I must make them have this test. But I am not sure that they can do it by themselves. And so it is great to have a little interview and do the test together with a child explaining every question at the beginning. After four month’s teaching I can say about my students with the help of trial-and-error technique. I wasted time to get to know them better. This test should be conducted while entering school. Sometimes I communicate with students’ curators to know more information about them. It is more effective to teach if you know whoa re your students, what they like doing, what they prefer doing in spare time


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