Multiple Intelligences, Learning for Understanding, and Creative Assessment: Some Pieces to the Puzzle of Learning
by Rene Diaz-Lefebvre - 2004
Too many of our brightest and most capable students are sometimes caught in a system that places too much emphasis on linguistic, word smart intelligence or mathematical, number smart intelligence. Students at all levels of academic readiness—from developmental to honors—are affected by the rigidity of this way of thinking. Focusing solely on these types of learning strategies has in some cases encouraged rote memory teaching strategies that may foster little or no connection to material, low motivation, and poor performance. Memorization-regurgitation is the name of the game for many students; not much value is placed on learning or remembering the material, let alone understanding it. The Multiple Intelligences/Learning for Understanding (MI/LfU) initiative at Glendale Community College is one approach to learning and creative assessment a dedicated group of faculty, administrators, and students have been involved in for the past 9 years. Incorporating MI theory across the curriculum, provided students with a variety of creative, imaginative learning options. Students became miniexperts and cofacilitators of learning as they gave “performances of understanding” of the academic content studied. Assessment for understanding was completed using a creative grading/diagnostic rubric. Reflective student and faculty evaluation provided invaluable insight into the learning and teaching process. Providing a forum for the exchange and dialogue of ideas, innovations, perceptions, and pedagogies is essential in the transformation of education and crucial in the dynamics and evolution of change.
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