Although educators understand that writing is one key to academic success, many teachers feel overwhelmed by the wide range of writing abilities in their classrooms. Teachers are inundated with packaged programs, conference workshops, and textbook publishers' viewpoints on sound writing instruction. Understanding learning theories can aid educators in selecting materials for classroom use and meeting the needs of a variety of learners. Multiple intelligences, constructivism, and social learning theory all have important instructional implications for the language arts classroom.
The multiple intelligences theory provides a holistic perspective of human intelligence.
This theory of human intelligence, developed by psychologist Howard Gardner, suggests there are at least seven ways that people have of perceiving and understanding the world. Gardner labels each of these ways a distinct "intelligence"--in other words, a set of skills allowing individuals to find and resolve genuine problems they face (Funderstanding, 2001, Ã¯Â¿Â½.
Using this view, teachers can tailor learning activities to meet a variety of student learning styles.
Creating instructional opportunities that utilize multiple intelligences allows teachers to maximize student learning by providing activities that meet specific intelligences. While students may be predisposed to certain intelligences, through practice and development, they can improve in the remaining intelligences.
Traditional classrooms rely on direct instruction primarily through a lecture. This format favors students who are verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical. Gardner posits that there are at least seven human intelligences, including verbal-linguistic and logical mathematical which are traditionally used in the classroom (Campbell, 1991, Ã¯Â¿Â½.Gardner's theory implies that if teachers work to include activities that appeal to all intelligences student achievement increases. Campbell suggests that "if we can develop ways to teach and learn by engaging all seven intelligences, we will increase the possibilities for student success" (Ã¯Â¿Â½.Using the multiple intelligence theory and Spivey's (1993) writing strategies, language arts teachers in...