Using Multiple Intelligences in Testing and Assessment
Page 1 of 2
Although Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (MI) is over a decade old, teachers are still trying to find the best way to use this theory to assess students with different styles of learning and varied academic strengths. Multiple Intelligences shape the way students understand, process, and use information.
Gardner groups student capabilities into eight broad categories (each
student's unique learning style is a combination of these intelligences):
- Logical/mathematical (uses numbers effectively)
- Visual/spatial (is artistically or spatially perceptive)
- Bodily/kinesthetic (excels at tasks that require physical movement)
- Musical (perceives and/or expresses musical forms and patterns)
- Linguistic (uses words effectively)
- Interpersonal (responds well to others)
- Intrapersonal (is reflective and inner-directed)
- Naturalist (makes distinctions in the natural world)
Since no single approach to teaching and assessment can possibly work best
for every student, teachers face a challenge. What's the best way to match assessments
to students' learning styles?
Assessing Multiple Intelligences
Of course, assessment should reflect the diversity of intelligences and learning styles in your classroom. For example, students who are good at spatial learning might not display the full range of their knowledge on an essay test. In fact, traditional testing methods are inherently biased in favor of students with strong linguistic and mathematical skills. Advocates of MI theory suggest that teachers supplement their traditional assessment methods with assessment strategies that evaluate student progress in an inclusive, meaningful way.
So, how can you use the theory of multiple intelligences to assess student
achievement in your classroom? The MI approach to testing is closely related
to authentic assessment. This approach enables students to demonstrate the
depth of their understanding, connect their classwork to real-life experiences,
and apply their knowledge to new situations.
MI theorists offer the following tips:
- Emphasize ongoing assessment and progress. Continue to ask if and how
students have improved their skills.
- Introduce assessment to your students as a regular part of classroom
life. Make assessment a part of the learning process, not a stressful, intimidating
- Try to use instruments, tools, and procedures that embrace some, if
not all, of the multiple intelligences.
- Use a wide range of assessment tools to measure students' skills and
- Give lots of feedback!
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Children's Book Week (5/13-19), Biographers Day (5/16), and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.