Centre Top TEFL

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

V.P. - Thailand said:
Multiple IntelligenceMultiple Intelligence had been around since the 1980's which was introduced by Howard Gardner. He proposes that we are not born with a blank slate (tabula rasa) but with innate multitude of intelligences. From his list of seven intelligences, he says that schools typically value linguistic intelligence and logical-mathematical intelligence. Musical intelligence, body-kinesthetic intelligence and spatial intelligence are usually associated with the arts while interpersonal and interpersonal intelligences are 'personal intelligences'. But these intelligences are not supposed to be taken separately. They are supposed to complement each other because they actually overlap with each other. Howard Gardner argues that students will be better served by a broader vision of education, wherein teachers use different methodologies, exercises and activities to reach all students, not just those who excel at linguistic and logical intelligence. He also emphasizes that the multi intelligence theory should not be used for teachers to label students but as a guide to meet students' needs. As a teacher, it is offered to us as another way of looking at our students --- another way of understanding them so that we could plan the best way for them to learn. It makes us look at our work and ask ourselves if we are doing everything we could for the students to learn. Understanding multiple intelligence offers us a broader perspective of how we teach our students. Seven intelligences, seven different ways to deliver a lesson. This means that we try to cater to the learning style of the students, use on their strengths instead of pushing them towards their weaknesses. There will be greater success of learning the concepts which will increase their confidence and the more confident they are, they will be more ready to try other ways and overcome their weaknesses. Many teachers already think that using multiple intelligence in the classroom is common sense ----- as teachers, we know that our students learn differently so why should we force them to learn in ways which will make them unsuccessful and frustrated? As teachers, we should be skilled enough to present a lesson in various ways using movements, role plays, music, art activities, cooperative learning, outdoor education, technology and multi media, games, etc. Lessons should not be confined to cater only the linguistic and logical-mathematic intelligences. It should provide opportunities to learn a concept from different angles. It is like the child's toy, a hallow ball with cutout slots where the child has to put the correct shape for the piece to go inside the ball. To adopt the use of multi intelligence is not that easy. It is a lot of hard work, dedication and support. Not many educators have embraced this theory but from the time of its introduction, its acceptance and practice is continuously increasing. In 2000, schools in America who adopted the theory of multiple intelligence were examined by Project Sumit (Schools Using Multiple Intelligence Theory) to determine their performance. Many schools reported that SAT scores were higher, parental participation increased and discipline problems declined --- all these attributed to the multiple intelligence theory. Project Sumit identified some markers that characterize these schools used to achieve success in their implementation. These are: 1. Culture - They believe that diverse learners can learn and achieve and that learning is fun and that teachers need to work hard. 2. Readiness - The school is knowledgeable on the different ways students learn. 3. Tool - That multiple intelligence is a tool to promote high quality student work. 4. Collaboration - The school work as a whole sharing and constructing means to achieve their goal. 5. Choice - Activities that are both valued by students and community are embedded with meaningful curriculum and assessment. 6. Arts - Using arts to develop the children's skills and understanding within and across disciplines. In a recent article from Time magazine about the educational practices of Finland which came out as the top school in the PISA (Program for International student Assessment) survey in 2009, it mentioned something about 'a different way of conceptualizing'. This was referred to Math by its teacher, Veli-Matti Harjula who believes that instead of the pen and paper, he uses 'outside math concept' which he borrowed from the Swedes. He rationalizes that the math concept goes straight to the brain. His 'outside math concept' involves the students measuring tree trunks or making shapes on the snow with sticks, pine cones and berries and describes these shapes using geometric terms. Because of the PISA survey results, educators from all over the world (including America where the multiple intelligence theory originated) are now going to Finland to learn what and how they are producing such world class result. One of the countries trying to adapt the Finnish method into its own school system is thailand where observers are not encouraged with the way it is working. In conclusion, I would say that the multiple intelligence theory is just like the other educational theories which should serve as tools for educators and to make it work, there are several factors you have to consider. As an educator, there is only one thing to consider: the student.