Integrating MI into Teaching and Learning

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of Education at Harvard University. This theory suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. As Gardner said, the intelligences are languages that all people speak and are influenced. These intelligences are also tools for learning, problem solving, and creating throughout life. In this paper, I intentionally don’t list those eight intelligences because we all knew what they are in the previous lesson, didn’t we?


Hence, I would like to show how the best those eight multiple intelligences when they are integrated into teaching, activities and assessment, even establishing student’ learning with all their diversities. Anyway, teachers are really encouraged to be critical and creative in designing teaching and learning. Then teachers’ creativity can be expressed through all those intelligences.

What kinds of intelligences do teachers perceive in their students? Which intelligences do teachers feel are the most highly developed in students’ learning in general? To answer such those questions, activities based on multiple intelligences can firstly be applied as the pre-activities or strategy in a class to measure what kind of students’ learning styles and interests. After that teachers can evaluate and develop the activities and assessments which are appropriate for students’ learning styles. By using multiple intelligences framework and still referring to curriculum or syllabus, however, teachers can create a unique teaching to achieve students’ learning goals.

To make this framework more practical, for some examples, I would like to show you a little ways of teaching and learning using multiple intelligences.

Play with Language

Play with Language is best for grades of elementary school or it is applied most for kindergarten.  Encouraging children to learn language especially English which are not their native language is challenging. Therefore teachers can let students learn outside the classroom such as in the garden, make them play with the language by making up rhymes, singing songs, telling stories, and etc. in the classroom.  Additionally, students draw or color pictures of songs, they can also act out the songs. The main overall purpose, however, is that singing, drawing, coloring, telling story and acting together is fun and they stimulates the child’s sense of humor. I think these ways are able to help children play with the target language in humorous and fun environment.


In the cooperative activity students will make room or class for shared experiences and interactive communications because they are an invaluable source of language who create an atmosphere of involvement and togetherness.Learning in pair or group encourages cooperation. Students with their own peers can collaboratively work. They can draw a poster, make a presentation, compose rhymes, play games (word, card games, etc), and act out drama together. In addition, learning language through interaction and communication is best for all grades.

As can be seen above, one activity is still not complete yet to cover all eight intelligences. However, combining one activity with others can be chosen to create the unique one.



6 thoughts on “Integrating MI into Teaching and Learning

  1. actually our intelligence is not stuck. it can be developed and improved. So, by those activity which combine some MI, the teacher can help students develope their MI. Isn’t it, Diyah?

  2. absolutely yes, endang.
    Just share my embarrassed experience but its very meaningful. I firstly had known about the terminology “multiple intelligence” since I got orientation in the beginning I become collage students. How lack my knowledge is, but it supporst me to learn more.
    then combining those M.I, of course we need creativity and skill. So, once more, lets learn more!!!

    • based on my own filosopy, I think yes, they are influence naturally and nurturally. Why? the first, we are born from my parents, of course, little or not some skill or intelligence they have also we have. The second, nurturally, we can reach those also from our environment then that become our behaviour. That’s my own explanation.
      If you want to know more and detail, you can read the source. Keep your spirit up!! 🙂

  3. hi diyah,
    i like your idea about the activity named cooperation.. will you use this kind of activity when you become a teacher in the future?what are difficulties that you think you may face if you use this activity in a classroom? 🙂

  4. of course yeah, pane.
    Those activity will be one of my strategy in teaching in the future. that really make an interactive learning, especially learning about speaking skill, and I have proved that.

    Perhaps, the challenge may I face is about monitoring and controlling them. However, that’s still my duty as facilitator. 🙂
    any idea??

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