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Educating for a Sustainable Future - Resources

Box 5.1.2: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

In this context an intelligence is considered to have three properties:

1. a clear cut developmental path
2. be observable in isolated forms, e.g. prodi- gies
3. Iocalisation in the brain (Gardner, 1993).

Using this concept of intelligence, Gardner (1993) identifies a number of different intelligences. A modified version of Gardner's scheme is provided in Table 5.1.1

'In the field of environmental education, the term ecological understanding has been used for years, but it is also ecological feeling that we seek. If ecology is the study of an organism's relationship with its surroundings, then for us, a significant part of that relationship must include an affective dimension.'
(van Matre, 1990)

'The emotional literacy movement, though, turns the term affective education inside out instead of using affect to educate, it educates affect itself.'
(Goleman, 1996)

Salovey and Meyer (1990) subsume Gardner's personal intelligences in their definition of emotional intelligence; expanding these abilities into five main domains:

1. Knowing one's emotions.
2. Managing emotions.
3. Motivating oneself.
4. Recognizing emotions in others.
5. Handling relationships.

Gardner has also suggested that one way of providing for learners with multiple intelligences is to consider five different entry points to the teaching of a topic, Figure 5.1.1 By providing variety in the ways in which topics and lessons are presented to learners, teachers provide differentiated ways of addressing the multiple intelligences of their pupils. Recognising multiple intelligences is not just a recognition that there are strong motivational reasons for approaching a topic through an intelligence in which a pupil is strong. It also requires that subsequently those intelligences which may be less developed in individual pupils are addressed and strengthened.

Section 5.1
Resources Index