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Unit planning that responds to multiple intelligences and learning styles

For some time educators have recognized that students rely on different strengths when learning. Some students may draw on their ability to process visual information, while others may rely on what they hear. Still others may learn best when they are physically engaged in a task. Teachers who recognize that students have different learning styles find ways to teach content in a variety of ways.

The phrase learning styles is sometimes used synonymously with multiple intelligences, a term coined by Howard Gardner in 1983 when he put forward his theory that human intelligence can be described in many ways. Currently, Gardner argues that there are eight identifiable intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, visual-spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, natural and kinesthetic.

Three strategies lead you through a process of learning about multiple intelligences and learning styles and how they relate to learning opportunities for individuals in your class. They also help you examine your unit plan ideas and think about ways to extend them to incorporate a range of intelligences and learning styles.

Strategy #1: Learning about multiple intelligences and learning styles

Strategy #2: Identifying your students' multiple intelligences and learning styles

Strategy #3: Extending unit plans to respond to multiple intelligences and learning styles