Intelligence is often considered how well you score in tests or what your grades are in school. In the 1900s French psychologist Alfred Binet tried to come up with some kind of measure that would predict the success or failure of children in the primary grades of schools. The result was the forerunner of the standard IQ test we use today. This gave us a dimension of mental ability by which we could compare everyone. In the 1980s Harvard University psychologist, Howard Gardner had a pluralistic view of the mind, and recognized the many discrete facets of cognition. Gardner defines intelligences as the ability to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings. (Gardner) He acknowledged that people have different cognitive strengths as well as different cognitive styles.
The first is cognitive. Out of this came Gardner's "theory of multiple intelligences." (Gardner).
When a child learns to play the piano, he is learning several skills. The training he receives in learning the piano skills, it helps enhance his mathematical skills, and vise versa. The standard IQ test measures, traditionally, how intelligent a person is based on Math and English. All other areas that a person may excel in or have natural ability in, are not taken into consideration.
We need to remember that each individual is unique and each one has one’s own set of talents, gifts, and abilities.
Gardner, in his theory of multiple intelligences, has identified eight intelligences. These areas in a culture, are valued as having the ability to solve a problem or create a product in a particular way. The intelligences are like talents and gifts and many combinations of the eight are possible.
Gardners' eight intelligences are:
In Suncity School, we have tried to create a world of Multiple Intelligences. It is our endeavour to place equal stress on individuals and their different gifts of intelligences. We have tried to incorporate all the eight intelligences in different laboratories and have tried to provide eight different potential pathways to learning. The Logical Bab, the Innovative/Art &Craft Lab, the Linguistic Lab, Lyrical/Gayan and Nritya Lab and the Spa Block cover the mathematical and logical intelligence, spatial intelligence, verbal-linguistic intelligence, musical intelligence and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence respectively.The rest of the intelligences feature in the unique, first of its kind in the world “Multiple intelligences lab”.
- Linguistic intelligence ("word smart"):
- Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")
- Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")
- Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")
- Musical intelligence ("music smart")
- Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
- Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")
- Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")
As one enters the lab, one sees various aspects of naturalistic intelligence. The journey begins with the pre-historic times - The Jurassic Period and Thereafter’as life evolved on earth. This is followed by the extinction of dinosaurs and emergence of prehistoric man in the Stone Age. We try to provide enough theoretical backup to students with regard to the information obtained from fossils and various forms of remains of living beings, their dwellings etc. As one proceeds further and understands the progress, one moves on to civilization. With this comes the discovery of fire and the wheel and how social behaviour emerged and evolved with these discoveries. The labs also highlight how the prehistoric men and nature were interdependent and how we still are interdependent on each other and how we must maintain the equilibrium between man and nature.
We then move onto the Medieval Period and emergence of art and culture in a big way. The Ajanta and Ellora caves and the Buddhist monasteries help in highlighting further growth of civilization with the emergence of art in the form of frescoes .It was the first indicator of true beginning of civilization which is then endorsed further through settlements which sprout due to the growing of crops which is the mainstay for civilization.
The next lab is for the development of the interpersonal and intra-personal intelligence.
As one enters this room, one comes across the village life and the first settlement of the homosapiens due to the growing of crops which put a stop to their nomadic life. It depicts the real village life and exposes students to various facets of rural culture. Students are exposed to the rustic ways of living, the food they grow, the life they lead and the emergence of the panchayat system and thus the emergence of a ruler, a king, a monarch.
Thereon, one catches a glimpse of the concrete city life. The difference between the city and village life on the bases of availability of resources and technologies, becomes clear to the students. They learn about interdependence of village and city life. Through this MI lab, we are also able to deal with the students’interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences by making them do role plays, that is by impersonating, or sharing with them knowledge about morals, ethics, sanskars (for example, if a villager visits us in a city; how s/he is to be treated and what may be learnt from them and what they may learn from us). We have also laid out a miniature of the road system in order to empower students with road sense and civic sense.
As we move on to our next and last segment, we come across a different world all together. Here, one learns partially the aspects of spatial intelligence. We have depicted the moon’s surface and shown how the sky looks when it’s seen from the moon and we leave children in their own world of imagination about space and various facts related to space and life in space.
We are trying to use multiple intelligences in the class room situations too in the form of project making, story telling, dramatization, vocabulary building, monthly educational trips and much more.
Teachers try to identify the uniqueness possessed by every child by exposing him/her to various aspects of intelligence and by letting them explore their own pathways to their kind of learning.
By exposing children to various ways of learning, by sensitizing them to the world around and the world beyond the classroom, we are teaching them to apply learning through real life situations also called TRANSVERSAL education and thus helping them to explore their own style of learning and exposing them on to a whole new world of discovery.
There is an Einstein, Shakespeare, Gandhi, Mother Teresa in each one of us. The right situation and learning can open up the right aspects of the child’s personality and make him a true “MI child” or ‘ Multiple intelligences child’.
The school has a copyright of the Multiple Intelligence learning centre (Laboratory). The first of its kind in a school in the World of education around the globe.
It has been featured in the ‘Guide to Excellence’ by Cambridge University, UK in 2012 as one of the 100 best practices in schools, colleges and Universities in the world.