When it comes to being a teacher working with children who may have one or multiple disabilities, it can be beneficial to be aware of different types of intelligences that are out there as well as being aware of the specific disability in question. With the idea that some disabilities despite having the same label and vary tremendously from one person to the next such as someone who is labeled to be "deaf", you could have major differences such as one deaf child who may still be able to hear quite well with auditory devices while another child who is also labeled deaf may not be able to hear anything at all. To make changes to the way we teach solely on the labels placed on these kids in regards to the disability they have is a foolhardy decision and could result continued struggles. Being a good teacher in general means that you have several resources at your fingertips to help you make proper adjustments to your teaching methods.
One of these appropriate resources to keep in mind is the idea of Multiple Intelligences which was developed by Howard Gardner in 1991. The theory of Multiple Intelligences has 7 different types of intelligences listed and each one of them taps into the common natural abilities that a child may possess despite any potential disabilities they may be facing. The beauty of the idea behind these multiple intelligences is the idea that it still allows for the student to learn the same materials as their peers do but what changes is just the way that they might learn it. By adopting this theory, it provides the idea of how to take the same subject but modify how the information or the assignment is relayed. The modifications made depends entirely on what their strongest intelligence is.
The 7 Intelligences
These students approach their problems with the idea of the physical space around them in mind which would mean that they prefer to draw and would benefit from the use of pictures, models, charts, photographs, videos or anything of the visual nature that takes up actual physical space.
These students love to use their body to learn so they would most likely react well to learning things if they can use their body to do so. Instances of this would include being able to touch things and create things with their hands or maybe even role playing and acting out a skit. These students like to keep moving.
These students rely on their ears and this aspect could be manipulated in several ways to benefit the student. One instance would be providing a song to help them memorize information or maybe having music playing in the background while they're studying for a test.
Students who are considered to be interpersonal are also known as very outgoing students who love to interact with other people and they do better when they get to interact with others. ?Providing these students with the opportunity to participate in group projects or giving them projects where they would have to interview others, these students would thrive.
Intrapersonal students are naturally opposites from Interpersonal students in the sense that they are shy and they'd rather work alone on projects and basically be left alone. Providing these students ample opportunities to explore themselves and explore their mind and express themselves in whatever way they choose such as journal writing or reading books would be the best approach.
These students rely on their words whether it may be them reading it or writing it or learning new words. Whatever the case may be, they simply love words.
The final intelligence is the logical mathematical intelligence which is self explanatory in the sense that these students love math and the concepts associated with math such as puzzles that they need to figure out, things that have a pattern established within that they need to decode and use their reasoning skills.
Obviously if you were to have a deaf child, you may automatically think that the musical intelligence must be excluded immediately and that actually isn't the case at all. Things related to the musical intelligence don't always need to be things that you can hear. Deaf students can feel things and they're actually quite sensitive to vibrations so maybe when trying to teach them how to write a haiku poem which has 5 moras for the first and last line and 7 moras for the middle line. Providing a beat with the poem can help the child keep up with the rhythm of the poem and they can use it on their own when they're writing their own poems. Each intelligence must be broken down and used in a creative way so that it can be applied to different students.