Papers & Workshops



  Raising Children's self Esteem Through Innovative Educational Programs: Using Gardner's Theory of "Multiple Intelligences" in an Integrated Curriculum


Russell Higgs and Claire Higgs

Warrenbayne Primary School, Victoria, Australia

In our small rural school (34 children), where one of us is the teaching Principal and the other the Assistant Teacher, we run an integrated "Unit of Work" type of program, in a multi-age setting (K ­ 6). All of the 8 Key Learning Areas are included as much as possible in these units of work that the children participate in. These Units are based on Gardner's Theory that we all possess 7 Intelligences, and all of us have varying degrees of those intelligences. Therefore a child may not excel in "The 3 R's" but may have abilities in any of the other areas. If this situation arises the child, instead of feeling a failure can find success in another area of the school curriculum. The "Multiple Intelligences" are: Word, Logic & maths, Space and Vision, Body, Music, People & Self, Naturalist (with a chance that Existentialism may be one!) Coupled with a great series of resource books entitled "7 Ways At Once" we conduct our programs accordingly. We also work with the children to create units of work in which they feel ownership/ We find they then are much more conscientious and enthusiastic about their school work. When we introduced this type of program the children and the parents at the school were informed and educated about Gardner's Theory. Now they are quite emersed in the method, and we find that some children who, forever, have struggled in the basics or "3 R's" were now finding success in a myriad of other activities found in the units. The gifted or more capable children also have plenty interest in them, so we seem to have no real "gaps" in our learning groups. At the Conference we propose that we would run a workshop in which we would do the following:
- Introduce the theory of "Multiple Intelligences"
- Provide Questionnaires whereby participants assess themselves in the Multiple Intelligences
- Conduct applicable child based activities with the group (i.e., units of work to take away)
  Presentation Format: 90 min workshop

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000