Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Use ALL Your Smarts:Multiple Intelligences for Diverse Library Learners. This interesting site is by Katherine Holmes. In additon to an introduction, she has different intelligences noted with an emphasis on the attributes of each and how they can be applied to learning.

From the site:

As libraries move toward a fuller concept of library instruction through information literacy, we need a better understanding of how people learn and show what they know. When we teach library skills and processes in computer labs, I worry that we will leave the students behind in the rush to technology. We feel the urgency to cover all the databases, teach all the special features, open the world of information to our students.

At the same time, students are eager to dive into that monitor, wiggle that mouse, and search the Internet. They're eager to get the research DONE (Veldof & Beavers, 2001, p. 9). In fact, if students are to learn complex concepts, understand them fully, and apply them effectively in their library research, they must experience learning on a deeper level (Gardner, 1991).

In order to learn effectively, students need a wide range of experiences that respond to different learning styles. Most of the learning style literature is pretty abstract--convergent versus divergent thinkers, left-brain vs. right-brain. I always need to decode these concepts to use them effectively. Some learning style concepts tempt us to oversimpify the issues, such as "I'm a visual learner" or "He's a kinesthetic learner"-- without recognizing the complexitiy of all human beings. I've found the theory of Multiple Intelligences to provide a more concrete image of how people learn--easy to understand and apply with college and university students.

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