The Cab Calloway Foundation started in 1995, following Cab Calloway’s death. The mission of the foundation began in 2001 to benefit the legacy of Cab, as well as educational programs, institutions, and communities. The members of the foundation believed that the path to lifelong learning begins with curiosity through the intelligences, individual gifts, and interests of the children.
The mission of the Cab Calloway Foundation is to include the different kinds of intelligence and literacy, in addition to language and math. But why is this important? How does this benefit the children? Today, you’ll find out how this is key to change trajectories and create future tracks to success for children.
The Cab Calloway Foundation: Why learning the multiple intelligence theory is important
In any classroom setting, from pre-school to college, the way each student learns is different. Each of them is gifted and challenged by their preferences and learning abilities. These abilities and preferences are called intelligences. At first, a listing of 7 types of intelligences was created, but later on, it was revised to a total of nine.
Howard Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences to show how humans learn differently from each other. As Gardner defined, the intelligences are spatial, logical-mathematical, body-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, musical, existential, and naturalistic. This theory doesn’t tell us that a person can only have one of the nine intelligences, but rather, one intelligence is stronger in some than the others.
Why is it important for students to learn multiple intelligence theory?
The Cab Calloway Foundation has proven that after-school and summer program models can help inspire and prepare children. They can also create tracks for other schools. The goal is to help students, teachers, schools, and communities provide opportunities for sustainability, cultural impact, and future innovation. Below are the reasons why focusing on the nine types of intelligence is important to help the children learn:
1. Assessing learning
By using different teaching techniques or strategies, the teachers can easily measure or assess student learning across the multiple intelligences. This assessment can be done through written or oral tests, a building task, original artwork by the children, or some other activity that will give the teacher an idea of how well the children learned the new concept.
For example, in a reading activity, the teacher can assess how well the children understood by giving them a written or oral test, focusing on the reading material. In this example, the children learn by reading the material, tapping into the linguistic intelligence. The assessment of an oral test where they verbally answer questions about the reading material draws on interpersonal intelligence.
The teacher can then measure how well the children have mastered the concept through the accuracy and completeness of the oral or written tests while the children tapped into different intelligences in learning and mastering the concept.
2. Keeping the learning environment fresh
It’s important to be repeatedly exposed to learning concepts. However, using the same teaching technique to teach concepts can cause children to tune out. There may be times when the worksheet is the best technique to provide practice to learn a concept, but relying on them every day for every lesson can cause the children to lose focus.
Mixing up your teaching techniques can keep children interested in the lesson. The teachers can keep the learning environment fresh by changing up the teaching techniques when teaching to the multiple intelligences. An activity to start the day can involve movements, which appeals to the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. This is a brief out-of-desk learning time for teachers to introduce the lesson for the day. Doing this is important so the children won’t be confused with free time or recess.
Whether this activity involves dancing, assembling something, or building with large blocks, this bodily-kinesthetic activity is a structured lesson that is not within the confines of the desk.
3. Managing the classroom
The multiple intelligence theory draws children back into learning. Children feel successful whenever they master a new concept. As for adults at work, failure to learn a new task can be viewed as an opportunity to do it again. But for children, the sense of failure might cause them to behave poorly and be apathetic. It may also cause them to stop paying attention, or worse, disrupt the class.
Using the different intelligences in teaching a new concept allows each of the learners to succeed at learning. Children with strength in interpersonal intelligence will excel at classroom discussions of what was read. Those with strength in linguistic intelligence will perform better with a written report rather than a reading assignment. Those who are dominant in visual-spatial intelligence will perform better with puzzles and drawings.
Ultimately, as the children feel successful in learning, the problem behaviors decrease. Teaching while also focusing on children’s strengths can help increase learning success.
4. Reinforcing concepts
As we know, repeated exposure to a concept can help reinforce children’s learning. A concept inside the classroom can be a piece of new knowledge, skill, or a combination of both. Children aren’t experts at the concept of driving the first time they get behind the steering wheel. However, they can start mastering the concept each time they practice the skill of driving. This is the same for learning inside the classroom.
Teachers build upon what they have learned yesterday, last week, or last year. So, repeating a lesson on a concept can help improve learning. The teachers can reinforce learning with various activities if they pull from the theory of multiple intelligences. For instance, children who are strong in the mathematical-logical intelligence would do better with the pencil-and-paper ask when adding simple fractions. Children who are inclined to the musical intelligence would understand how eighth notes and quarter notes add up to a complete measure in a rhythmic-clapping activity.
Using both of these activities can help reinforce the concept of adding fractions for all children with extra practice.
The Cab Calloway Foundation believes that innovation in education is the most effective and important way of changing the present and the future. The legacy of Cab supports innovation in education.
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