through the lens of
Many educators have experienced the challenge of not being able to reach some students until presenting the information in a completely different way or providing new options for student learning.
Some students struggled with writing until the teacher provided them with an option for an input of illustration. Some students could not retain vocabulary until they sang it in a rhythm or song.
What is Differentiation?
Carol Ann Tomlinson, world renowned educator with her expertise in differentiated instruction, describes differentiation as providing different avenues for students to acquire content, to process and make sense of ideas, and to develop products so that each student can learn effectively.
What are Multiple Intelligences?
Howard Gardner, a Harvard developmental psychologist, in his book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence, explains the different intelligences people have in different areas that allow them to learn in a way that suits them best.
In differentiated classrooms teachers are able to identify and describe the differences among their students and apply that knowledge to their instruction. These differences, or learning profiles as Tomlinson describes, can be associated with Gardner's multiple intelligences.
We have utilized Gardner’s multiple intelligences as a guiding lens for differentiating instruction in the context of the Biblical topic of Nazir (Numbers 6: 1-8) in a middle school class. Instruction should be informed as much as possible by detailed knowledge about students' specific strengths, needs, and areas for growth (Tomlinson, 2014). The differentiated instructional tools address the unique learning styles and intelligences that can be applied across many other subjects and grade levels that may include text and vocabulary , making connections and assessments.
Students range in one or more of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and it is therefore critical that teachers differentiate their lessons to meet the needs and learning styles of their students. Our unit of study, "Differentiated Instruction through the lens of Multiple Intelligences," recognizes this need and allows for each student to work toward the same high standards in ways suited particularly to them. Our personal past experiences in conjunction with hope and anticipation for future students is to help shape successful and confident learners.