Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences suggests that culture, language, and environment all influence how an individual's intelligence is expressed. In this guide, Evangeline Stefanakis provides concrete suggestions for translating Gardner's theory into curriculum and assessment practices in the context of urban classrooms. By combining the collection and analysis of student work in comprehensive portfolios, she offers a framework for teachers to improve the assessment of diverse individuals.
Stefanakis is especially well suited to the task of combining theory, philosophy, and practice on this topic. She has helped teachers, teacher educators, and school leaders understand both MI theory and how to use portfolios to personalize their teaching to better serve all students, including those who are bilingual and have disabilities. She worked with the Harvard Project Zero on the Massachusetts Schools Network on a three-year effort to implement schoolwide portfolio assessment in thirteen urban and rural schools. The contents of this book, which include principal and teacher stories from the Cambridgeport School, grew directly from this experience.
In eight concise chapters, Stefanakis takes teachers through proven strategies for creating personal student profiles and portfolios as "windows into learners' minds." Her book provides:
- a positive focus on children's assets-what they do know, rather than what they don't
- a guide on applying the theory of multiple intelligences to personalize learning
- short, practical, classroom-based content on implementing portfolios (Grades K-8)
- proven ways for teachers to expand their practices for reaching an even wider, more diverse, and challenging range of learners by differentiating instruction
- a companion dual-platform CD-ROM featuring a range of student portfolios and reproducible assessment forms.
Understanding what students bring to the learning environment and how to accommodate their needs has challenged educators for generations. Here is an important addition to the literature on multiple intelligences and on practices that recognize, honor, and embrace children's diversity.