The Fast and the Furious

Not every intended school day is greeted with glee by LM. Trying to motivate her to get into the day usually means ‘tricking’ her into learning. Today was one of those days.

Instead of the intended content I suggested that we grab our list of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence cards, draw out one at a time and set the time for ten minutes. I said we could do whatever she wanted that related to the randomly selected intelligence. I imagined that we would move around the house doing something new for each card. But no… LM became completely immersed in one activity and at the end of every ten minutes she would beg for another ten on the same theme!

When I was lecturing in educational psychology I introduced the concept of Multiple Intelligences as expanding our classrooms and making sure they are more inclusive. Their validity continues to be debated, but I love using them as a guide to ensure that our content is expansive and our skill development is varied. Those intelligences currently advocated by Gardner are: logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, musical, bodily-kinaesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, naturalistic and existential.

We built towers, we role-played critters, we discussed motivation, we created infrastructure, we worked on aesthetics, we discussed the eco-system and society and we contemplated the value of celebration. We were in what Mihály Csíkszentmihályi called ‘the flow’. Hours passed.

What started out as a tough sell, ended with us joyfully singing a song about ares-nosed, mayoral penguin looking for a wife.


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