PEDAGOGY & MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES

Within the sphere of complex thinking, in the audiovisual culture, we must embrace Howard Gardner’s concept of “multiple intelligences.” The traditional IQ test is no longer a valid medium of measurement of a student’s intelligence. This idea is especially paramount in an audiovisual culture whereby movies, video games, and Internet graphics transmit ideologies and paradigms to people of various backgrounds and personal histories. As Gardner astutely has theorized, there are indeed different categories of intelligence: linguistic, logical, spatial, kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences. Theoretically speaking, we are all amalgams of the mentioned categories, hence the term multiple intelligence. How does this fit into pedagogy? In this type of pedagogical paradigm each student has strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others. Consider a film studies class. For example, a student with strength in spatial intelligence and weakness in linguistic intelligence would easily understand the concept of mise-en-scene—the French term that means “placement in the scene” (a cinematic technique for placement of visual objects in a scene to create a desired meaning). On the other hand, the same student would have a hard time with understanding the latent meaning within a complex dialogue in a film. In a learner-centered environment where there is a dialogical exchange between the teacher and student, the teacher can recognize this condition and help the student by further explicating the “meaning” of the words in the film dialogue. Operating under the assumptions of complex thought, learning must be done in dialogical fashion. For example, when a student responds to a question by the teacher about a particular dialogue in film by saying he or she does not understand the meaning of that dialogue, the teacher can create a dialogue with the student by repeating the same dialogue (from the film) with the student and step by step, word by word, explain the meaning of the words and their connection to the premise of the film. Furthermore, this dialogical process crystallizes the holographic aspect of cinema. That is, the whole (i.e., film) is included in the part (i.e., the dialogue in question), which is included in the whole. If the learner who is at the center of learning process participates directly then chances of that learning becoming transformative are increased.