An Overview of child development in relation to multiple intelligence theory.
When assessing a child’s knowledge in a specific subject one could apply Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence. The basis of Gardner’s concept is that assessments such as IQ tests measure a broad range of abilities such as memory and problem solving, but fail to correlate with one another or at least are weakly connected. For example, just because one person is skilled in math does not mean that he or she is more intelligent than a child who learns math with more difficulty. Within this theory, one can view the child who is struggling with Math as perhaps learning through the wrong approach. Gardner’s argument is based on three assumptions:
1) A person may best learn through a different approach,
2) A person may excel in a field outside of the field which they struggle within
3) A person may even be looking at and understand a concept or educational process at a fundamentally deeper level. This understanding might appear to be slowness but this appearance can hide the intelligence which could make the person potentially more skilled than the person who seems to be naturally skilled at a particular process (Waterhouse, 2006).
From these points, a child can be assessed in math in accordance with his or her natural skills. For instance, a child who is active and moves a great deal may be a kinesthetic learner and this will mean a different approach to a child who is naturally inclined to logical-mathematical functions. Gardner builds a theory that defines intelligence as being divided into eight separate areas of skill and understanding. Through these areas of skill, children can be assessed. The following represents some of the areas of skill and what a teacher or parent would want to look for:
• Linguistic- asses child based on a grasp of language
• Musical- does the child have a natural inclination to instruments or music
• Logical-Mathematical- is the child naturally inclined to math
• Bodily-Kinesthetic- is the child inclined to activity and movement
• Interpersonal- is the child highly sociable and does he or she seem to learn better in large social settings (Waterhouse, 2006).
By recognizing these traits, the child can have activities designed for learning which match his or her areas of intellect.
Waterhouse, L. (2006). Multiple Intelligences, the Mozart Effect, and Emotional Intelligence: A critical review. Educational Psychologist, 41(4), Fall 2006, pp. 207–225.