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“LOGIC...Important Yet Undermined Element in Our Curriculum”... Multiple Intelligence and Broadening Possibilities...

This piece might not be coming out as I planned it on May 8th, 2015. I am dealing with a loss of a very close colleague of mine due to her “winning” over ovarian cancer along with two more issues that are personal in my life. I am not giving an excuse; rather, I am trying to accept that “life happens”, and when “life happens”, more often than not, all we can do is to accept and move on ( and I am biting my tongue while writing the sentence). I am trying to move on, slower than usual, as this particular colleague of mine is my second loss due to the same kind of cancer in less than one year. These are important people in my life, the people who have encouraged me and told me that “my thought” matters. This piece is dedicated to good and tough voices, good and tough friends. 

Embracing logic means a thorough and an educated observation that accompanies the thinking and the looking for the many possibilities, rather than the conforming and the compartmentalizing-- at least, in my line of professional calling. Multiple Intelligence by Howard Gardner is one of the few educational theories that will open up possibilities to the more acceptance of different intelligence and learning styles that our students bring to the educational system. What I have been seeing, more often that I would like to, is the easy labeling and the unnecessary evaluation that might cause harm to a student’s self- confidence and the misunderstanding of what a student, as a whole-child, could offer to herself or himself. I am not saying that there are not students who need extra helps or I am not saying that learning disabilities do not exist. I am saying that we need to be extra careful before we decide to label a student or to judge a student; and more importantly, we are all aware that each decision that parents and educators makes is important for a student’s development, both cognitive and emotional. Hence, I believe it is important to share the knowledge that are pertinent to assist the making of a better decision for a student/ a child. 

Howard Gardner came up with the theory of Multiple Intelligences as his response to the prominent early childhood educational theorist, Jean Piaget, who viewed that all human thoughts are striving towards the scientific thinking, therefore the conception of intelligence, in Piaget’s opinion, is basically only for the development of linguistic and logical skills. Wanting to be noticed, Gardner could not just say that human beings do possess other skills other than just logical and linguistic, so he came up with a notion of “Multiple Intelligences.” Gardner used the word Multiple as a way to stress that these intelligences are truly “different” from each other; he also could not emphasize enough that all of us do possess more than one kind of intelligences, however there is always “one intelligence” that is more apparent in each one of us.

There are seven different Multiple Intelligences:

Musical Intelligence

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Linguistic Intelligence

Spatial Intelligence

Interpersonal Intelligence

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Those intelligences, judging by its name, are pretty much self-explanatory. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be an example of musical intelligence; Alvin Ailey or Twyla Tharp will be an example of bodily-kinesthetic intelligence; Barbara McClintock will be an example for logical-mathematical intelligence; Virginia Woolf will be an example of intrapersonal and linguistic intelligence; navigators ought to be excellent in spatial intelligence, and entrepreneurs ought to be good in the interpersonal as well as intrapersonal intelligence. 

What is your child’s intelligence?

Answering this question, we would want to consider if hereditary plays a role, and in my opinion, intelligence is both natured and nurtured. Intelligence, both emotional and cognitive, do not come only from the outside environment; the first building of intelligence comes from the inside family, the parents, the first and most important environment every child is in, and it happens from very early on a child’s development. That is why some experts believe that listening to the classical music from early age builds a child’s intelligence, or, reading aloud during pregnancy is important for a child’s intelligence. Are those true? I have to say, ‘Absolutely’; however, I also want to stress that the key is NOT about when a parent starts or what a parent does, rather it is on HOW it is done and its CONSISTENCY. The most important ingredient of intelligence is not in the conception of the intelligence, rather it is in the maintenance of the intelligence. And, as everything else in life, a little bit of luck might be important; for example, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence might require a little luck in muscular agility or flexibility. 

So, these are the steps that could be helpful to identify your child’s intelligence:

  1. It is important for a parent to analyze and understand what the child is good and not good at.
  2. Then, a parent needs to listen and observe the child. Important questions: what kind of activity does my child feel comfortable doing? Any similarities between those activities? Or, where does my child feel at ease? What kind of activity does the place or the situation bring to the table?
  3. Then, a parent needs to direct the “voices and observation” by putting your child in the right hands of the experts or the right places that offer the stimuli. If your child likes music and (or) a particular kind of instrument, then lessons with an expert will be good. 
  4. As your child is developing, a change might happen in his or her interests; yet, there is, more often than not,  a “vague similarity” that exist to assist a parent to identify the kind of intelligence that the child is occupying. For example, your child is interested in listening to music, and then, he of she might be interested in piano lesson. After a couple of months, the interest diminishes, and now, your child wants to sing but does not want to continue with the piano lesson, and then a couple more months, your child wants a drama class. Does anything change? Not at all; music, piano, singing, drama--all of them are in the same lining with the musical intelligence. It is your child’s cognitive development and emotional development that cause the change; the emotional development could include the uncertainty that the musical piece maybe getting more complicated and now, it requires both hands to play, and it causes a little uncertainty-- as things get harder, a child might show resistance in his/her learning persistence. I am not saying that there is not any possibility a complete change happens; however, when it does, it is important for parents to identify any kind of either extreme changes in a child’s life or a somewhat important “factor” that might be a cause for the change to happen. 

Why do we need to make an effort identifying a child’s type of intelligence?

The answer is simple and obvious: it is to give the best experience to the child’s learning experience. The understanding of a certain type of intelligence will guide us to better assist the child as how to teach a certain subject, why the child learns better in certain things or in certain ways, what we can do to help the child to learn better; in other words, we are assisting the main character of the learning process ( the child) who does not occupy enough life’s experience in his or her own to connect the dots between the self and the learning materials, the learning process, and life in general. By doing so, we are avoiding the judgment, rather we are building an educated and a thorough assistance that is meaningful for the child. 

Poems...one kind of interpersonal, intrapersonal, and linguistic intelligence...

As I promise, I am sharing the poem that is beautifully written by a passionate educator, a long time residence of Pavonia Newport, Mr. Wilfredo Hines.

GLORIOUS IMPERFECTION

“Not perfect, no I am not, just a mom...but, I am the mother of the most perfect child in the world. Your smile, the way you hug me in the morning, all the kisses and tales by you told upon returning from school, the spool of twine, the thing so dare when you and the happily at play...PRECIOUS! 

Indeed, perfect I am not, but my love for you: sublime and vast, you my child, the encompassing meaning of my essence. THANKS, THANKS FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, THIS CHANCE BY YOU GIVEN TO ME, YOUR MOTHER BE, DESPITE BEEN PERFECT NOT.” 

This was my lesson plan on Friday to one of my intermediate class: to write an acrostic poem, using the word SPRING, and the theme is “the time with MOM.” I encouraged my students to think boldly, freely, imperfectly, and truthfully, as that is what poem and language is all about...

This is my poem that I wrote as a sample for my students:

Sun rises, Silly beat

Play dolls, Pants loose

Run fast, Ride bus

In mind, In heart

Naughty me, Naughty You

Great Mom, Great You

Those are words about my Mom and I that make sense to me, my childhood and my bonding with my Mom...it might not make sense for others, however, it does to me and that is what matters. 

I encourage you to “see” your child and be in “ your child’s shoes”, and start saying, “It might not make sense to me or to others, but it matters to my child and I am here to accept my child, to ask my child nurturing his/her potentials, and that’s the only thing matters.” 

Next BLOG....more logic activities for your family to enjoy...

P.S.

If you happen to come to the Open House today, and could not see me, my many and deep apologies. I thought I had put the sentence “RSVP is Required”, but I apparently did not do so on some of the Open House announcements. I am going to have an Open House on May 16th, at 3:30-5:00pm, and it is on the same location, 101 Hudson St, suite 2100, and “RSVP is Required.” Please accept my gratitude if you had made the time today. Hopefully, you could make it on either May the 16th or June, the 6th. Thank you and I appreciate your understanding. 

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