When the topic about intelligence is being brought up, we normally assume that it encompasses thinking, reasoning, and problem solving. However, there are many theorists that claimed intelligence to be more than the cognitive performance or domain of a person. Most of them mentioned that it also covers our analytical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, kinesthetic, creative and linguistic domains. Theories are a coherent group of tested general propositions that I could use as an educator to explain, understand and predict phenomena that could exist in my classroom or in my school community.
So after reading, I instantaneously pondered on my practice as a teacher and the intelligences my students might be possessing. Are my teaching practices and beliefs preventing or allowing every student in my class to realize their abilities and reach their fullest potential? Am I providing guided opportunities that are theory-based? As educators, one of the dangers of being uninformed of these theories is that we fall victims of our own assumptions and make grave mistakes that jeopardize our student’s potential success.
Francis Galton’s nature versus nurture is an endless debate on whether intelligence is determined by the environment or by human’s genes. Yet, in the 2014 survey of scientists many respondents said that the dichotomy of the two should be retired. In many fields of research, they have found that nature and nurture influence one another constantly. As an informed teacher, I may have no control over my students’ biological makeup but it’s my duty to find ways on how to deal with students that are with learning disabilities and are gifted. Oftentimes, these students in the end of the spectrum are the ones not receiving the support they need and are avoided by schools because of the added responsibility.
In addition, I know that it’s my job to provide a nurturing and safe learning environment for my students regardless of their situation. There are many underprivileged students and we sometimes become impatient because they can’t meet our expectation and grasp a concept easily. We have to be more understanding that being poor is not the children’s choice. We should always treat students fairly and equally no matter what.
Lastly, coming across learning vs. maturation, I was reminded by the developmentally delayed students, those who are socially, emotionally, speech, motor skills, and cognitive skills lacking and behind. How do we help these students? Is retaining them going to actually help them or make them worse? What intervention should be done? On the same note, how do we deal with students that were accelerated to a higher grade level and yet, socially and emotionally immature. Teachers should be able to recognize these conditions to know the best methods in helping them and to alert and advice parents on appropriate steps to take.
To sum up, this module is eye-opening for me and it raised many concerns that teachers like me will be and are dealing with constantly. This might be a strong proposition but I think we owe our students to be well-informed teachers, not only of great teaching practices, but of who our students really are.