Teachers have the power to make education more engaging for students by enriching the curriculum. According to Glatthorn et al. (2016), enrichment refers to “learning that goes beyond and extends the mastery curriculum” (p. 210). The educational program that has to be developed by the district does not usually exceed 80% of the instructional time (Glatthorn et al., 2016). Therefore, teachers can use the remaining hours to deepen students’ understanding of a particular subject or educate them about something that is not studied within the curriculum. When designing the way to enrich the curriculum, teachers may apply the theory of multiple intelligences and differentiated instruction to enhance learning outcomes and increase students’ engagement.
The theory of multiple intelligences was developed by Gardner, who argued that students learn by using eight bits of intelligence. They include verbal or linguistic, logical or mathematical, musical, spatial or visual, bodily or kinesthetic, naturalist, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligence (Magableh & Abdullah, 2020). Gardner’s theory suggests that this intelligence has different levels of development in individuals, and students mainly use their strongest intelligence when dealing with tasks. For enriching the curriculum, teachers may use the theory of multiple intelligences in combination with differentiated instruction to let students realize their potential by demonstrating their learning styles.
The content of the curriculum enrichment depends on the teacher’s choice. According to Glatthorn et al. (2016), it may be based on students’ or teachers’ special interests, new advances in the subject, current events, or the extension of the mastery program. Regarding differentiation strategies, common choices include tiered instruction, tiered assignments, and homogenous grouping (Magableh & Abdullah, 2020). Applying multiple intelligence theory to differentiated instruction means that students should be divided into groups and assigned tasks depending on their strongest intelligence. For example, students with body or kinesthetic intelligence could be asked to act out a skit, while those with a visual or spatial learning style could be required to make an illustration. Thus, the multiple intelligence theory and differentiated instruction may contribute to enriching the curriculum by appealing to students’ strengths and fostering a deeper understanding of the mastery educational program.
Glatthorn, A. A., Jailall, J. M., & Jailall, J. K. (2016). The principal as curriculum leader: Shaping what is taught and tested (4th ed.). Corwin Press.
Magableh, I. S. I., & Abdullah, A. (2020). On the effectiveness of differentiated instruction in the enhancement of Jordanian students’ overall achievement. International Journal of Instruction, 13(2), 533-548.