Multiple Intelligences and Student Achievement: Success Stories from Six Schools

Multiple Intelligences and Student Achievement: Success Stories from Six Schools

Multiple Intelligences and Student Achievement: Success Stories from Six Schools

Multiple Intelligences and Student Achievement: Success Stories from Six Schools

Synopsis

Finally, a book about multiple intelligences (MI) theory that answers the questions that all educational innovations must ultimately address: "What are the results on student achievement?" "How were those results achieved?" Multiple Intelligences and Student Achievement describes six schools that have used MI theory for five or more years. Through case studies of two elementary, two middle-level, and two high schools, Linda and Bruce Campbell illustrate why markedly different schools--large and small, rich and poor, inner-city and suburban--looked to MI when they wanted to boost student learning.

In schools with long-term MI programs, achievement gains are impressive; in fact, the disparity between white and minority students is reduced or eliminated. Students at all three levels outperform their district, county, and national peers in basic skills. Such gains are possible even though teachers do not teach to standardized and state assessment tests. Instead, they believe that all students have strengths, and, as a result, students come to believe in themselves as well. Moreover, teachers have discovered that instruction through multiple intelligences is so positive and engaging that students--all students--can't help but learn.

This book provides educators who are new to MI theory with solid achievement data and curricular formats to support, inform, and inspire their work. Those who have already worked with MI theory will find encouragement to continue and suggestions for refining their efforts.

Excerpt

Interest in Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and its application to education has been substantial since the publication of Frames of Mind in 1983 and Gardner's keynote address in early 1984, for a standingroom-only crowd at the Education Explosion Conference in Tarrytown, New York. More than a decade later, the attention focused on multiple intelligences (MI) remains unabated. Teachers, schools, and districts have embraced this model of intelligence as their guide amid much recent educational turmoil.

To date, however, the literature on MI theory in K-12 schools has been limited to how-to pedagogical applications or pilot classroom or school programs. Multiple Intelligences and Student Achievement: Success Stories from Six Schools is the first book to examine educational programs that have used MI for five or more years. It begins to answer questions that all educational innovations must ultimately address, such as, [How have MI programs affected student achievement?] and [Where and how were those results achieved?]

In search of answers to these questions, we contacted six public schools that claimed to have implemented MI programs for five or more years. The six schools—two elementary, two middle-level, and two high schools— serve a variety of student populations across the United States. Although each school's program is distinct, the programs resemble one another in two significant ways: MI provides a philosophic and curricular framework in each site, and the students have made significant academic achievement gains as measured by respected standardized tests, state assessment tests, and anecdotal comments from informed educators.

In writing the book, we wanted to understand the context and the processes of these MI-related successes. Chapter 1, [Why MI?], explores why a variety of teachers, grade levels, and disciplines have adopted Gardner's . . .

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