Howard Gardner Intelligence schema Helps Teaching Children with ADHD
Bradley is a 7th grade student who cannot sit still in class, he runs like a motor for most of the day. He attends a Newark, NJ public school, and his poor grades reflect his both his behavioral problems and difficulty in focusing. Try to get him to work on standard science classwork and he gets about one-quarter of the assignment done and then loses focus. He comes to class late and tries to find a way to leave early.
However, Bradley is highly visual and artistic. He excels in creating visual presentations. Rather than give him the assignment that the rest of the class is working on involving DNA, Bradley created a large visual presentation/poster of a fine color illustration of DNA , with an explanation of how DNA functions within the cell and in reproduction. He worked on the project without pausing during the entire 45-minute class period, completing the assignment with an A grade, and without complaint.
For Effective Teaching, teachers are encouraged in Newark to consider each student’s unique abilities and manner of learning. While some are bored to tears with a “normal” classroom structure, others excel when given small projects, such as mentioned above. This is especially true for children with ADHD. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences schema provides an excellent structure whereby students can be evaluated for their optimum manner of learning and expressing themselves.
Bradley fit snuggly into an ADHD symptoms profile, but with the right learning environment he excelled. Teachers can minimize the lack of focus that some students demonstrate by discerning their individual learning style and accentuating the positive. Given, this can be difficult to do when dealing with 21 other students in a classroom, but keeping in mind the special needs of individual students can make a difference.
Credits for Howard Gardner Intelligence schema Helps Teaching Children with ADHD:
Article by Newark, NJ public school science teacher John Samuels.
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Chart from RPA Frosh Seminar blog
Other AYCNP resources on Children with ADHD: