Multiple Intelligences in Third Grade Mathematics
Today's American schools are in a constant battle. In the context of standardization and accountability, educators must attempt to produce measurable results on State-mandated tests, while at the same time educating the whole child. Standardized tests often focus on the skills needed for Language, Literacy, and Mathematics achievement. In 1983, Howard Gardner introduced the Theory of Multiple Intelligences in his book, Frames of Mind. Gardner (1983) purposed that human beings possess eight different capacities for processing information--eight different ways of being "smart". Gardner defined each "intelligence" as the capacity to solve problems or create products. While Gardner never intended for his theory to be a curriculum model, the idea of students being smart in different ways provides many implications for classroom practice. This paper investigates the implications of Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences in a third grade Mathematics classroom. An overview of the theory provides a brief definition and background information about each of the eight intelligences. Then, the paper applies the Theory of Multiple Intelligences to the teaching and learning of third grade Mathematics as prescribed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The paper analyzes practical applications of the theory to learners and learning, learning environments, curriculum and instructional strategies, and assessment. Through a glance at schools actively using the Multiple Intelligences Theory, the paper analyzes the ways in which schools can individualize instruction and allow students to use their many intelligences in order to prepare students for their futures, both in and out of school. The research finds that educators can apply the Theory of Multiple Intelligences to the area of Assessment by allowing students to show evidence of learning in multiple ways, but that further research needs to occur in order to show the true effectiveness of the theory on classroom practice.