Integrating learning styles and multiple intelligences is necessary step in planning, and implementing effective instruction. Understanding how a teacher teaches, and a student learns is advantageous in a balanced literacy program.
The four learning styles as introduced by Carl Jung are mastery (sensing thinking), interpersonal (sensing feeling), understanding (intuitive thinking), and self-expressive (intuitive thinking). Students who learn in a mastery style prefer to know what to do, how to do it, and when it is due (Laureate Education, 2001). Interpersonal learners strive on making personal connections with learning, are humanists, and prefer collaboration. All of their learning is based on themselves and others. The understanding learners rely on critical thinking, and proving their ideas. Finally, self-expressive are described greatly by their label; these students want to express themselves, and engage in creative and imaginative learning (Silver, 2000).
Knowing the learning styles is the first step in implementing effective and efficient instruction. Teachers must first identify students’ learning styles, and build on their dominant style. However, students should never be confined to one style. If confinement continues, a dependency will occur (Laureate Education, 2001).
Students obviously learn in different ways. They also are intelligent in different ways. Logical-mathematical students learn systematically. Verbal-linguistic students prefer the use of language. Interpersonal students work well with others. Intrapersonal students rely mostly on themselves. The musical intelligence is good musically and rhythmically. Naturalists prefer to learn about nature. Spatial intelligence refers to the ability to recognize spatial features, and students are usually very good at drawing. Finally, students can be intelligent in regards to bodily kinesthetic abilities (Silver, 2000).
Knowing that students can be intelligent in many different ways enables the teacher to better understand the evidence of learning in their students. In addition to this, the eight intelligences can be integrated, or overlapped, with Jung’s four learning styles (Laureate Education, 2001). With successful integration, and accurate diagnoses of learning styles and intelligences, all students will learn. Each learner can reach high expectations, based on standards and objectives.
Laureate Education (Executive Producer). (2001). Learning differences: Effective teaching with learning styles and multiple intelligences [Educational video]. Los Angeles: Author.
Silver, H. F., Strong, R. W., & Perini, M. J. (2000). So each may learn: Integrating learning styles and multiple intelligences. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.