Multiple intelligences and poem

This week, some of my students are looking at Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and they are looking at Gardner’s theory in relation to their own learning and also how the theory might be applied in education at all levels. Gardner identifies 8 intelligences to do with how good we are at using words, numbers and pictures, at listening to music and relating to other people and to nature. So, a huge variety of intelligences and covering many aspects of our lives. I think that one of the best ways we can use multiple intelligence theory in practice, is to get our students (of different ages) to think about how they learn and what they think they might be good at and then to ask them to consider how they might improve some aspects of their learning. So if I think that my logical-mathematical intelligence isn’t as good as it might be, what might make it better?

I picked up Answering Back , a book of poems edited by Carol Ann Duffy, again yesterday and came across the poem Ithikaby C P Cavafy. The poem contains the lines – ‘Hope your road is a long one./May there be many summer mornings when, with what pleasure, what joy,/you enter harbours you’re seeing for the first time’. The poem is really about travelling somewhere – in this case Ithika – and enjoying the journey as opposed to the destination. So the message is don’t rush to where you’re trying to get to, just in case you miss something along the way. Easier said than done, of course.

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