Instructional Strategies Meta-Reflection

Throughout this course the readings, lectures, and reflections have reviewed teaching techniques educators practice in the classroom. These strategies are grouped together in broader models, so teachers have the opportunity to learn and assess how to apply the instructional approaches. Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun (2015) categorize the four main models as: 1) the information-processing family; 2) the social family; 3) the personal family; and 4) the behavioral systems family.

Information-processing models are important because people strive to make sense of information by organizing their knowledge, applying critical thinking skills, and attempting to solve problems (Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun, 2015, p. 10). The scientific inquiry approach is a natural instructional strategy for me to include in my classroom.The_Scientific_Method_as_an_Ongoing_Process.svg This approach primarily focuses on science-related lessons, but I think it should be used in many different subjects. Advantages of this approach include that it allows students to experience hands-on practice and teachers are encouraged to seek “cross-cutting”concepts to identify content that is similar to other subjects (Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun, 2015, p. 72).The steps are also applicable for students when they try to solve problems outside of school. Additionally, I hope that the more practice students have using the scientific inquiry process will further benefit them in their future Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics endeavors.

Social model strategies promote a positive cooperative learning environment in which students interact during supportive learning activities (Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun, 2015, p. 12). Creating and consistently using a cooperative learning approach is very important to me when I begin teaching. The world has advanced to a global society and successful interactions requires the ability to work with people of different cultures, beliefs, and values. Cooperative learning activities should incorporate elements of positive interdependence so students can reflect on how everyone’s effort is significant and individual accountability so students recognize how their individual contribution impacted the group (Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, 2012, p. 37). Cooperative learning activities also keep students actively thinking and they learn how to communicate their understanding and knowledge with others.

The strategies discussed in personal and behavioral systems families are crucial as well, although I think of those approaches more often at an independent, personalized level for students. Information-processing and social models requires more planning at a broader classroom approach. I look forward to discovering more about these models, instructional techniques, and experiencing how students respond to certain strategies.

References:

Dean, C., Hubbell, E., Pitler, H., & Stone, Bj. (2012). Classroom Instruction that Works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Joyce, B., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of Teaching (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.

Multiple Intelligences Theory

In 1983 psychologist Howard Gardner introduced his theory of Multiple Intelligences. After spending years researching cognitive processing, Gardner concluded people have “different kinds of minds and therefore, learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways” (Edwards). Gardner initially specified seven types of intelligences: visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, and logical-mathematical. He has added naturalistic to the list and believes there might be a few other intelligences that could be included.

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Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence (Retrieved from http://www.connectionsacademy.com

If an educator believes in this theory, how can she or he plan enough activities so students receive a variety of lessons that support the basis of multiple intelligences? There is obviously not enough time in the school day or enough resources available for teachers to specifically target each one of these intelligences during every lesson. Instead, teachers should coordinate lesson plans to allow opportunities for students to use basic concepts of the different types of intelligences. Teachers can organize activities so students practice combinations of intelligences during one activity. For example, small group discussions activities focus on interpersonal intelligence, which supports learning through interaction, and an activity where students talk a lot, therefore supporting linguistic intelligence. Another idea is to combine visual-spatial and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences. Each student can represent a certain step in a procedure and move around the classroom to show what happens when the steps combine or are out of order. Music and intrapersonal can be combined. Part of a lesson could assign students to reflect on progress and achievement, an intrapersonal intelligence. The reflection directions might be instructing students to write their thoughts out as a song to support musical intelligence.

Gardner also advises teachers to individualize and pluralize lessons (Strauss, 2013). Each subject is an opportunity for teachers to incorporate an intelligence type into the lesson plan. I think Gardner’s multiple intelligences can be easily integrated into lessons with some planning. Teachers should be also cautious to balance out activities so all intelligence types are explored in the classroom. Students should have ample opportunities to practice applying Gardner’s intelligences because each one is an important part of a student’s learning and education.

Edwards, O. (Date unknown). An interview with Howard Gardner, father of multiple intelligences. Retrieved from https://bbweb03.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-1133734-dt-content-rid-2472073_1/courses/EDU6526_26357_201562/SIS%20Session%207%20Reading%20%28Gardner%29.pdf

Strauss, V. (2013). Howard Gardner: ‘multiple intelligences’ are not ‘learning styles.’ The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/16/howard-gardner-multiple-intelligences-are-not-learning-styles/