Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 27, No 6
January 13, 2019
I hope that your 2019 has begun in a positive MI way. I hope that you are working to find ways for your kids to use all of their intelligences in learning. Regardless of your day job (or whether you even have a day job), I also hope that you are using the intelligences that give you flow.
And, of course, I must ask if you are venturing out of your comfort zone, and using an intelligence or two with which you are not terribly competent or comfortable. That’s not easy, I know, but we don’t grow nearly as much from our successes as when we are frustrated or fail.
Likewise, with students, we should create MI pathways for them to learn using their strongest intelligences, i.e., a book report could be done spatially, with music, or by a dance. Who could argue with that approach? But there’s another way that educators can use MI to help kids grow, and that is to develop their grit – by intentionally creating frustration. This may seem a bit counter-intuitive, but it’s a good example of being led by what is good for our students.
Grit is an important success skill, and we have a responsibility to teach and develop it in our students just as we do the 3R’s. (The following section has an article on this.) A way to help students develop grit – particularly those “high-flyers” who seem to succeed at just about everything – is to have them solve problems using an intelligence with which they are uncomfortable. That’s not easy and they will want to reject doing so; no one likes to fail! But the reality is that everyone, each of us, hits the fall at some point, so we need to teach kids to respond to frustration and failure by stepping back, taking a deep breath, and charging forward again. What better place for this to happen than a school in which kids are cared for and supported? MI can be a powerful tool here, too.
What do you think? Reactions are welcome!