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How The Centers In Early Childhood Centers Develop Multiple Intelligences In Children

In teaching a parenting workshop this week the parents  really appreciated learning how the classrooms in early childhood centers were not only set up to teach children skills, but also develop talents and intelligences within the children themselves. I explained the correlation between the types of learners, visual,  auditory and kinesthetic and how children are smart in different ways not just cognitively and how all the ways that children are smart should be recognized and appreciated.

Howard Gardner developed a theory of “Multiple Intelligences”. It is not a matter of if your child is smart it is just a matter of seeing how they are smart. There are 9 ways in which children are smart they are:

1. Verbal/Linguistic(Word Smart)

2.Visual/Spatial(Picture Smart)

3. Musical

4. Kinesthetic(Body Smart)

5.Logical/Mathematical(Logic Smart)

6. Interpersonal(People Smart)

7. Intrapersonal(Self Smart)

8. Naturalistic(Love Nature)

9. Existential( Explore interests in the meaning of life)

The centers that are in a childcare center are but are not limited to 1) Art Area 2)Dramatic Play( think dress up and pretending to be a fireman or woman, doctor etc,)There also may be puppets  3. Block Area 4. Sand or Water Table    5. Music Area   6. Toys and Games or Puzzles  7. Library or Book Area. There can be many more but these are just some examples. In addition to learning cognitively like letters, numbers, shapes and colors children also learn through play and their imaginations and also through imitating adults.

Early childhood educators try to make sure that children spend time in each of the areas both of their choosing and as instructed by the teacher or educator. In both allowing the child to choose which center they will spend time in as well as encouraging them to try other centers, they help children to strengthen where they are smart and talented already as well as develop in areas that they might not have chosen and could use more development.

For example Ryan is a natural athlete he is very well coordinated and can run, balance on one leg with ease  and loves climbing and playing outdoors. His talent or intelligence would be “Kinesthetic ” or “Body Smart”. His teacher notices that he hardly ever likes to go to the book or game area where he can play with puzzles and small building toys so that he can develop more in the logical and mathematical area of his cognitive development, as well as developing better reading skills.

If Ryan’s teacher notices that not only is he good with his body but that he also likes to learn with his body and is a hands on learner or kinesthetic learner, she can make sure to provide many opportunities for him to learn in this way. Since this is an area where he is naturally talented, he will learn the information easier and faster. His teacher is using his strong points to strengthen and develop the parts of him that need more development and work.

This is a great approach to teaching children. This approach builds confidence and success and this helps to build self esteem and confidence. After many successes Ryan’s teacher will introduce him to more challenges to continue to build his confidence, challenge him and allow him to learn to deal with things not coming so easily. This is something that children get to learn early, just like they learned that when they first started walking they fell down until they were able to without falling so much.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of what is happening in your child’s classroom and that play is the child’s work and an excellent tool to teach children as well as help them learn. Please share what has worked for you whether it’s in the classroom  or at home. I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment in the “Leave a Reply section below.

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