Topic 1: Assessment and Multiple Intelligences theory

There is no test on the market that can provide a survey to measure studentsu2019 multiple intelligences. Gardner (2006) challenges the classical short-answer examination stating that it is of little use and he is interested in asking people to do things and to observe their skill level in the task under construction. The single best tool for testing students` multiple intelligences, however, is probably one readily available to all of us: observation (Armstrong, 2009). The MI theoretical framework involves the need to focus on the observation of the learning process instead of merely evaluating the final products (Gardner, 2006; Moran et al., 2006).u00a0 u00a0

As mentioned above, MI theory suggests that instruction is based on active and authentic learning which engages studentsu2019 characteristics during the construction of learning and application of skills, so assessment procedures should be based on authentic measures in contextualized settings. Such assessment is opposed to traditional ways of assessment where the educator utilizes centralized techniques towards standardized testing as a sole indicator of student success. Such norm-referenced assessment practices provide limited information about studentsu2019 capacities as they are confronted with narrowly defined testing criteria and biased towards two intelligence domains: linguistic and logical/mathematical. This results in disheartening feelings for low-achievers which negatively influences their attitudes and experiences towards schooling resulting in decreasing happiness and satisfaction levels.

Gardner (2006) illustrates how intelligence fair tools take into consideration the different modes of thinking and performance according to each of the intelligences, and not only the linguistic and logical/mathematical ones. They are based on realistically valued activities as they are implemented in various intelligence domains which respect and distinguish different modes of thinking and performance and not only through standard testing measures and procedures. In other words, the scope of the intelligence fair testing procedure is not to measure, but to demonstrate the studentu2019s capacity about an intelligence domain or a combination of intelligences. A variety of activities and materials are exposed to students to enable them to discover and develop each of their intelligence domains. Such a multi-disciplinary method allows them to have a choice to be assessed in the areas they feel more secured and therefore experience the sense of achievement while increasing their motivational levels. In addition to this, such assessment techniques allow the educator to draw a more realistic and whole picture about the studentsu2019 development, based on u201cipsativeu201d (Armstrong, 2009, p.88) measures; according to the studentu2019s performance levels and not compared to the classroom performance. Such authentic learning and assessment methods replicate as closely as possible real-life situations students encounter outside schooling (Armstrong, 2009).