Howard Gardner’s theory offers a broader look at types of intelligence, which may be beneficial for developing the child’s strengths. Consequently, teachers could capitalize on the strongest bits of intelligence of individual children, thus enhancing their learning experience. At the same time, such capitalization does not imply that instructions should be geared solely toward the strongest intelligence type (Kali & Cavanaugh, 2019). Therefore, if I were creating an overall curriculum for an elementary or middle school, I would use Gardner’s theory to engage as many bits of intelligence as possible. The eventual goal would be to ensure the best understanding of the topics by all students, regardless of their intelligence type.
A particular proclivity towards mathematics in fifth grade implies that a child has powerful logical-mathematical intelligence. Given this knowledge, Gardner would suggest gearing learning instructions in overall education towards a child’s strength (Kali & Cavanaugh, 2019). For example, history could be taught to this child as a series of logical connections and causal ties. A similar approach could be used in literature or foreign languages, where an emphasis could be made on the internal logic of the book’s plot or grammatical structures. However, Gardner would also warn against stuffing a child into a single intelligence type — logical aspects in the instructions would be prevalent but not exclusive.
Gardner’s theory would find its best application in a classroom where various types of abilities and intelligence are present. Such diversity would create extra possibilities for engaging as many intelligence types as possible, which was strongly advised by Gardner (Kali & Cavanaugh, 2019). Children in a classroom with different intelligence types would be able to share their perspectives and enrich each other’s understanding of the topics. Therefore, Gardner would encourage a program in which students help teach other students since such a program would result in mutual engagement of various intelligence types.
Kali, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2019). Human development: A life-span view (8th ed.). Cengage.