HOLISTIC EDUCATION & MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES
Pelita International School provides a nurturing environment where every child has the opportunity to explore and develop multiple intelligences, creating students who possess not only high IQ but high EQ emotional intelligence). In fact, interpersonal and intrapersonal IQ or EQ is specifically taught as a subject from Early Years to Key Stage 4. Our teachers plan and conduct classes that capture students’ interest so that learning is fun and experiential for every student as their 8 multiple intelligences are activated.
Academic and co-curricular activities are designed to provide students with the opportunity to experience and learn skills that are essential in the 21st century, namely:
- Confidence & self-esteem
- Responsibility & accountability
- Decision-making skills
- Self-management skills
- Communication & interpersonal skills
- Team work & leadership skills
UNDERSTANDING MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES
“It’s not how smart you are, it’s how you are smart” (Gardner, 1993) is how Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard University describes multiple intelligences, his theory which has revolutionalised the educational world over the past 30 years. Gardner strongly believes that intelligence is “a property of all human beings” i.e. “all of us possess these 8 or 9 intelligences” (Gardner, 2003)
According to Gardner (1999), intelligence is much more than IQ because a high IQ that does not result in useful action is not intelligence as “Intelligence is a biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture”. Therefore, Gardner’s definition of intelligence is much wider in scope than the traditional view of intelligence largely based on linguistics and logic which he terms ‘the intellectual strengths…of a law professor’ (Gardner, 2003). Instead, Gardner views human intelligence as having many dimensions and this is reflected in its name, ‘multiple intelligences’ and he is confident that “…the monopoly of those who believe in a single general intelligence has come to an end.” (Gardner,1999). Gardner has specifically stated that the list of intelligences is not exhaustive as he started with seven (Gardner, 1983) – linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, musical intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, visual-spatial intelligence, interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence – later adding naturalistic intelligence as an eighth intelligence. Existential intelligence is a possible ninth intelligence, and he is considering including spiritual intelligence (Gardner, 1998) (Gardner, 2003).
In Frames of Mind (Gardner, 1983), Gardner proposed a conceptual framework of seven intelligences, later revised to eight intelligences (Gardner, 1999), that can be used to identify any individual’s specific cohort of intelligences, thereby providing teachers with a tool to determine each student’s intelligences. By understanding a student’s abilities and weaknesses teachers can modify the delivery of the curriculum to meet each student’s needs thereby providing learner centred teaching and learning which enables all students to succeed using his or own special talent.
Teachers and educators, particularly primary and secondary teachers (Gardner, 2003) have embraced Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences that validates their everyday practice as they observe that human talents go way beyond the limitations of pen and paper. Not only do they educate students excelling in the traditional highly logic and language based intelligences in the time-honoured academic disciplines of language and literature, mathematics and sciences, teachers also instruct students gifted in expressive and performing arts, music, sport as well as occupational or vocational skills.
Gardner, H. (2003). Multiple intelligences after twenty years. Proceedings of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 21, 2003, http://pzweb.harvard.edu/pis/hg_mi_after_20_years.pdf
Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: Basic Books.
Gardner, H. (1998). Are there additional intelligences? The case for naturalist, spiritual, and existential intelligences. In J. Kane (Ed.), Education, information, and transformation (pp. 111-131). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill-Prentice Hall.
Gardner, H. (1995). Reflections on multiple intelligences. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(3), 200-208.
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. New York: Basic Books.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.
PERSONAL, HEALTH & SOCIAL EDUCATION (PHSE)
PHSE is a unique subject that teaches children and teens skills they need to function well at home, school and in society. PHSE focuses on creating awareness of two Multiple Intelligences, namely interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence which Daniel Goldman popularised as ‘emotional intelligence’ through his two bestsellers, Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence.
Through PHSE, Pelita students learn fundamental skills for living effective lives through knowledge and understanding of attitudes and skills that enable them to live healthy, safe and responsible lives. PHSE classes are interactive and experiential, focusing on five core skills:
- social awareness
- relationship skills
- responsible decision-making
What are the benefits of PHSE?
PHSE reduces negative behaviour and improves students’ positive behaviour:
- social-emotional skills
- attitudes about self and others
- social interactions
Research shows that PHSE also improves students’ academic performance and attitudes toward school.
PHSE skills are transferable skills that prepare students for successful adult lives as students become good communicators, co-operative team members and effective leaders. Students also learn how to set and achieve goals and how to be resilient when faced with challenges. They also become more active members of society who care about the world around them.