As teachers, we all rush to ‘transact the curriculum & the syllabuses and most often forget that every single child is special & unique. They learn otherwise, think out of the box and this does not only require a teacher to be patient but also to be as calm as a sea. The teacher needs to show passion and vigour in achieving these goals set and contribute to our nation by shaping the lives & minds of our young generation. When I speak regarding learning differently… what is the first concept that comes to your mind?
Differentiation in our classrooms…
All of us as teachers believe & know that no two children think and learn the identical way! We have witnessed that; at times each of us must present information in a different manner to reach some of our students. Differentiation isn’t as hard as you might think. I recently read regarding an animated video published by Education Week that explained; “differentiating instruction is regarding getting to know your students.” Gardner’s Theory of Compound Intelligence makes this process easier as it is only based on experiments or experience. It helps educators by giving a conceptual structure and wide range of tools that will provide each one of us to meet the requirements of the different types of students being in every classroom. Not only focused on the needs of each student but Gardner’s theory also supports us to plan learning engagements that include multi-sensorial learning.
Talking about intelligence…
Immediately the idea of IQ comes to our mind. All humans have a preconceived notion that everyone’s natural intellectual potential and capacity is challenging to change. Over the years, the mind of intelligence has unfolded & one such creation is the theory of Multiple Intelligences set forward by Howard Gardner, a psychologist from the University of Harvard. This theory is separate from the traditional ways of intelligence. Gardner says, “To capture the full range of abilities including talents that people possess, he theorizes that people do not become just an intellectual capacity however have nine kinds of intelligence.”
To share a few… musical, interpersonal, and linguistic bits of intelligence & as suggested a possible addition according to him, the ninth is identified as “existentialist intelligence.”
At times I feel “All kids pose big questions—but simply a small subset listens to answers & pursue them further.” Our role as empowering teachers is to help them to research, make connections with their learning, thus strengthening their conceptual knowledge. All students would be at a distinct stage of learning! As a guide, it becomes necessary for us to understand the level of learning that is required for a class to make it more comfortable to our plan success criteria. Every time an event of a new learning experience is provided to the student, you must begin at the base of Bloom’s Taxonomy pyramid i.e. the ‘Remembering’ step & build a solid foundation before climbing up to the following level to reach the peak i.e. the ‘Creating’ step where they can Imagine, Plan, Design, thus increasing their reasoning skills.
As teachers of an empowering nation, let us collectively feed-forward to create bargains for tomorrow by giving the students in our classroom a platform to start, learn, develop resilience, & yet have fun!