Multiple intelligence

At the Montessorischool Oegstgeest public school we work with themes that are connected to the ‘Orientation on yourself and the world’. Subjects like history, geography, biology are taught with the theory of multiple intelligence in mind. This theory was introduced in 1983 by Howard Gardner, an American psychologist working at Harvard.

There are at least eight types of intelligence modalities that Dr. Gardner has distinguished. These are:

  • Verbal/Linguistic
  • Logical/Mathematical
  • Visual/Spatial
  • Musical/Rhythmic
  • Bodily/Kinesthetic
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal
  • Naturalistic

This theory provides a broader approach on intelligence. It exceeds the limits of traditional IQ tests that focus on linguistic and logical-mathematical abilities. He stresses that every individual possesses a unique blend of all the intelligences and each individual processes information in their own unique way. Every individual excels in at least one or more types of intelligence. According to Gardner, MI makes students feel more engaged and competent and as a result they are more inclined to work in a constructive way. This theory fits very well within the Montessori approach on education which is the basis of our school. Both Dr. Howard Gardner as well as Maria Montessori share a holistic view on children.

In the classroom we have ‘Orientation on you and the world’ themes divided by group level. The students work with each theme for a few weeks. Classical lessons make for the introduction of the specific theme and then the students complete assignments to broaden their understanding of the subject. The students use MI cards for this exercise. Each exercise makes use of a different type of intelligence. This allows every student to work on an exercise in which he or she excels. Continual evaluation in the class stimulates the students to work on all of the exercises in the theme. The whole process is evaluated to give all the students opportunity to share what they have accomplished and what they have learned. For the students who need a greater challenge there are ‘Kangoeroe’-cards with exercises available. For more information regarding the ‘Kangoeroe’-cards please read our webpage about Highly Gifted students.