Transformative Learning Theory and Multiple Intelligences

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 20 October 2016

Transformative Learning Theory and Multiple Intelligences

This writer reflection paper is about transformative learning theory and multiple intelligences. Sunny Cooper (2004) stated that “the study of transformational learning emerged with the work of Jack Mezirow (1981, 1994, 1997). Transformational learning is defined as learning that induces more far-reaching change in the learner than other kinds of learning, especially learning experiences which shape the learner and produce a significant impact, or paradigm shift, which affects the learner’s subsequent experiences” (para. 2). Cooper and Wallace (2004) stated that “transformational learning was reviewed in four areas: (1) theories of transformational learning, (2) roles of participants in transformative programs, including students and instructors, (3) course content, environments and instructional activities as they relate to transformational learning, and (4) challenges for instructors who teach transformational material” (para. 1). According to Armstrong (2009), “the theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University.

It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These eight intelligences are: Linguistic, Logical Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal and Naturalist” (para. 1). According to Wallace, she described Transformative Learning Theory as a adult education based theory that suggests ways in which adults make meaning of their lives. It looks at “deep learning,” not just content or process learning, as critical as those both are for many kinds of learning, and examines what it takes for adults to move from a limited knowledge of knowing what they know without questioning (usually from their cultures, families, organizations and society). It looks at what mechanisms are required for adults to identify, assess and evaluate alternative sources of information, often sources that may looks at how adults can identify, assess and evaluate new information, and in some cases, reframe their world-view through the incorporation of new knowledge or information into their world-view or belief system.

According to Mezirow (1991), the roles of participants in transformative programs, including students and instructors. The educators must help learners become aware and critical of their own and others assumptions. Learners need practice in recognizing frames of reference and using their imaginations to redefine problems from a different perspective (p. 11). According to Mezirow (1991), course content, environments and instructional activities help the students relate to transformational learning. The key idea is to help the learners actively engage the concepts presented in the context of their own lives and collectively critically assess the justification of new knowledge. According to Columbia University, the challenges for instructors who teach transformational material is very important because transformational teaching goal is to create independent, self directed, self-motivated learners who are capable of critiquing and directing their own work, who are open to alternative viewpoints, and who have strongly developed higher order thinking skills (para 1).

During the fifth week in class, this writer made up a question asking “In order to practice and teach transformative learning the instructor must experience transformative learning” The answer is True. This writer found one college on the Wed Site that teach instructor transformational learning. (Teacher Center located at the Columbia University in the city of New York. According to Armstrong (2009), Gardner, described the eight multiple intelligences theory in detail below and they are: 1. Linguistic Intelligence: the capacity to use language to express what’s on your mind and to understand other people. Any kind of writer, orator, speaker, lawyer, or other person for whom language is an important stock in trade has great linguistic intelligence. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.

2. Logical/Mathematical Intelligence: the capacity to understand the underlying principles of some kind of causal system, the way a scientist or a logician does; or to manipulate numbers, quantities, and operations, the way a mathematician does. . In Howard Gardner’s words, it entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking. 3. Musical Rhythmic Intelligence: the capacity to think in music; to be able to hear patterns, recognize them, and perhaps manipulate them. People who have strong musical intelligence don’t just remember music easily, they can’t get it out of their minds, it’s so omnipresen. According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.

4. Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence: the capacity to use your whole body or parts of your body (your hands, your fingers, your arms) to solve a problem, make something, or put on some kind of production. The most evident examples are people in athletics or the performing arts, particularly dancing or acting. Howard Gardner sees mental and physical activity as related. 5. Spatial Intelligence: the ability to represent the spatial world internally in your mind — the way a sailor or airplane pilot navigates the large spatial world, or the way a chess player or sculptor represents a more circumscribed spatial world. Spatial intelligence can be used in the arts or in the sciences. 6. Naturalist Intelligence: the ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) and sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. 7. Intrapersonal Intelligence: having an understanding of yourself; knowing who you are, what you can do, what you want to do, how you react to things, which things to avoid, and which things to gravitate toward. We are drawn to people who have a good understanding of themselves.

They tend to know what they can and can’t do, and to know where to go if they need help. 8. Interpersonal Intelligence: the ability to understand other people. It’s an ability we all need, but is especially important for teachers, clinicians, salespersons, or politicians -anybody who deals with other people. During my teenage years, this writer assumed that people were born with special brains, special brains cells or special pysch power to out perform other people normal ability with in the eight multiple intelligences group. According to Gardner, he stated that it true that some people possesses all eight intelligences and can develop all eight to a reasonable level of competence. This writer knowledge from the class discussions and assigned reading on multiple intelligences had enhance my understanding why some people exciled more in one or all of the multiple intelligence group. This writer no longer feels insecure to other people with a higher intelligence then mine.

This writer multiple intelligence is the naturalist intelligence because I enjoy planting flowers in the garden and growing variety of vegetable in the garden. During the sixth week in class, this writer made up a question asking “Why did Dr. Howard Gardner introduce the multiple intelliences theory?” This writer answer was “Dr. Howard Gardner introduced the theory of multiple intelligences in his classic book, Frames of Mind in 1983. In this scholarly work Dr. Gardner provided extensive support for his proposition that there is more to intelligence than what shows up on an IQ score. Based on a unique definition of intelligence and eight criteria, he carefully describes how a broad array of evidence supports the powerful idea that the human mind possesses at least seven distinct forms of intelligence. In 1996 he added the eighth intelligence to the list, Naturalist, in recognition that the understanding of living things is not sufficiently covered by the original seven intelligences. this web site gives you more in-depth detail about Dr. Howard Gardner and his eight multiple intelligences theory.

According to Mezirow (1991) Transformative Learning Theory provides a structure and process through which to better understand adult growth and development. Early theorists including Jean Piaget and Maria Montessori, developed very thorough theories about childhood development and for years few scholars probed how adults learn and make meaning of their lives. Mezirow (1991) study on women returning to school as adults, discovered much of what we now know as Transformative Learning Theory, a theory that started with Mezirow and has been greatly enriched by many others. This writer is a transformative learning because I am a female adult over fifth years old and it is hard trying to re-train my brain to retain new information.

The instructors and other staff members at Spring Arbor University helped developed my “frame of reference” by motivating me to enhance my mind by learning new information. According to Jack Mezirow (1991) the “frame of reference is defined as “ Adults have acquired a coherent body of experience associations, concepts, values, feelings, conditioned response called frames of reference that define a person life world. Frames of reference are the structures of assumptions through which a person understand the experiences. A frame of reference encompasses cognitive, co-native, and emotional components, and is composed of two dimensions, habits of mind and a point of view” (p. 5).

Cooper, Sunny., (2004). Theories of Learning in Educational Psychology: Jack Mezirow
Transformational Theory. Retrieved December 14, 2012, Mezirow, Jack, (1991). Article called Transformative learning: Theory to practice (pp. 5-

11). Retrieved December 12, 2012 and Web Sit http://www.lifecircles-

Smith, Mark K. (2002, 2008). ‘Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences’, the

encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved December 14, 2012,

Wallace, Scott., (no year). Transformative learning Theory. Retrieved December 14,



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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 20 October 2016

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