Multiple Intelligence versus Learning Styles – excerpt

“The concept of style designates a general approach that an individual can apply equally to every conceivable content. In contrast, an intelligence is a capacity, with its component processes, that is geared to a specific content in the world (such as musical sounds or spatial patterns)”.

There is no clear evidence yet, according to Gardner, that a person highly developed in spatial intelligence, for example, will show that capacity in every aspect of his or her life (e.g., washing the car spatially, reflecting on ideas spatially, socializing spatially, etc.).

Armstrong, Thomas. Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom (3rd Edition).
Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2009. p 17.

Learning Styles – Definition

“the way in which people begin to concentrate on, process, internalize, and retain new and difficult information’’  (Dunn & Dunn, 1993, p. 2)


Dunn, R., & Dunn, K. (1993). Teaching secondary students through their individual learning styles: Practical approaches for grades 7– 12. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Backwards Planning (design)

Effective elearning evolves from a well thought out series of instructional strategies and visual design. A simple framework for thinking about effective instructional strategies is backwards planning. It is a simple process that is sometimes called backwards design.

The process helps an instructor to place the basic element of a course, the lessons, into the context of the big ideas, the “how am I doing types of assessment“, and the culminating assessment of learning. In other words, before designing any of the  lessons, the instructor gives thought to the type of assessment as learning as well as the culminating assessment of learning.

A thoughtful application of backwards planning or  backwards design can make the content come alive. It involves 3 stages.

  1. Identify the desired results of the course – why is the course being taught? what should the learner remember 3 years from now?
  2. Determine acceptable evidence of learning – how will you assess the learner’s understanding of the big ideas?
  3. Plan the learning activities – now you can start to think about the specific instructional strategies
Backwards design will help you make sure that the big ideas drive and are the focus of each  learning activity and assessment.

Disconnected Employees

It’s a normal part of life to occasionally feel uncomfortable, resentful, or even disconnected from people in the workplace. Most of us find non-violent ways to cope with those times. Yet, its best to assume that anyone can choose to use violence.

Is it possible to know which employee is sufficiently disconnected to the point where they could hurt themselves or others?  Probably not. However there are specific behaviors that serve as clues:

  1. social withdrawal
  2. intolerance and prejudice in either actions or writing
  3. bullying others
  4. chronically being picked on
  5. threats of violence
  6. drug and alcohol abuse
While the above list in and of itself is not a perfect gauge, supervisors can best serve the interest and safety of all by listening for the intentions and threats an employee may often communicate to their peers.


Howard Gardner’s – Multiple Intelligence Model


In order to determine which primary grade school students were at risk for failure, in 1904, the minister of public instruction in Paris requested psychologist Alfred Binet develop a test.

Alfred and some of his colleagues developed an intelligence test. The results of Alfred’s test became known the IQ score. About 80 years later, psychologist Howard Gardner suggested that because each person’s brain is wired differently, the objective standard of an IQ score was too narrow a measure.

Today, there is general agreement that human potential is multifaceted. Howard Gardner’s robust lens for understanding human potential is widely accepted.  Gardner identified 9 possible intelligences or learning profiles as follows:

  1. verbal/linguistic – reading and writing reports
  2. logical/mathematical – the ability to handle maths, organize and sequence
  3. bodily/kinaestheitc – motor skills; the ability to handle equipment
  4. visual/spatial – the use of patters, color, shading to create a productive workplace or market goods
  5. musical/rhythmic (auditory) – ability to attend to tone, volume when dealing with people, machines, or the environment
  6. interpersonal – the ability to understand the needs of others and of self and respond appropriately
  7. intrapersonal – having insight into one’s own feelings, goals, ethics
  8. naturalist – ability to relate to and profit from the natural environment
  9. philosophical ethical – ability to align aims and objectives with team mates and the larger organization

According to Garner:

  1. everyone has all of the 9 intelligences
  2. most of us can bring each intelligence to an adequate level of functioning
  3. there is a complex interaction between the intelligences – for example cooking a meal requires at least four (linguistic, logical-mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal)
  4. there are many ways of expressing an intelligence -for example, linguistic intelligence can be expressed in reading or telling a story
In practical terms, organizations can profit from Gardner’s model by applying it to:
  1. job descriptions
  2. reduce interview time by refining the criteria for matching staff with roles
  3. create better balanced teams
  4. supporting staff productivity
  5. exert more effective leadership