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Multiple Intelligence

What will students need to know in 25 years time?

Students in the 21st century need:

  • greatly enhanced communication skills, including listening, speaking and writing
  • higher-order thinking skills so as to be more critical, creative and active members of society
  • ability to access, research and organise information
  • basic living skills required to live and work co-operatively with others

In order to prepare our students for their future, it is necessary to re-think our traditional ways of viewing education, learning and achievement.

An approach to curriculum and assessment has been implemented that is based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1983), which suggests that we take a broader view of thinking processes and achievements as students engage the distinct abilities of a number of intelligences.

The decision to implement the theory of multiple intelligences at Holy Cross is a commitment to our educational philosophy. That is, to provide students with opportunities to develop the full range of their intellectual capacities to learn in the more traditional verbal/linguistic and logical/mathematical ways.

When Howard Gardner devised the theory of the multiple intelligences, he initially identified seven intelligences, but that has now increased to nine and perhaps there are still more to be identified. Many of us know people who have excelled in life and not because of the linguistic or mathematical skills they have, but because of other talents or intelligences they possess. Gardner, unlike school curriculums and standardised tests, recognises these individuals and their strengths, and through his theory endeavours to provide them educational experiences within the curriculum that will develop these intelligences further.

The intelligences are as follows:

Intelligence Attributes Likes to...
Verbal/Linguistic thinks in words and uses language creatively to express meaning read, write, speak, interpret information
Mathematical/ Logical natural ability as a problem solver reason, enjoy numbers, use timelines and graphs
Visual/Spatial perceives the world visually see patterns, recognise relationships, design, draw, map
Bodily/Kinaesthetic communicates using body participate in sport, games and using body to express images
Musical/Rhythmic perceives facts in a musical, creative way sing, listen to music, create rhythms, songs
Interpersonal sensitive to the feelings of others be with people, co-operate well, show care for others
Intrapersonal sensitive to the feelings of themselves reflect, follow own interests,
Naturalist sensitive to the natural world appreciate nature, sees patterns in living environments
Spiritual displays a keen interest in religion, has a deep personal faith and is in touch with their inner life reflect on what is happening in regard to their understandings of life and Gospel values


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