Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fartificial Intelligence

Expectations for teachers are interesting. It is assumed that we are to reach each and every student. They’re there to be taught, so teach them already, right? In fact, to make things easier, researchers have even invested an enormous amount of resources and effort to define multiple learning styles that we can, in turn, use them to get the most out of kids. With all of the workshops this district has on this subject, it is quite clear my bosses insist I take advantage of these learning styles when shaping these young minds. Plug in the right multiple intelligence and go. It’s that easy.

I have to admit, identifying which style a student is suited for is not my strength as a teacher. Take this one kid, for example. I’m having a hard time putting my finger on his learning style. Maybe you guys could help.

One with a bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is a natural with movement and physiology. They learn better when muscular movement is involved. This kid farts non-stop. Is that the muscular movement they are talking about?

Would he be a visual-spatial learner? Those kids go on to be artists and this guy always leaving drawings behind. They usually involve him farting on something. This last one he drew was farting on a raccoon. I didn’t understand it. It was probably a political cartoon because I don’t get political cartoons.

A musical learner? At times it sounds like he keeps a tuba in his pants.

Interpersonal intelligence involves interacting with others. We might be on to something here. If the kid isn’t do the classics like pull my finger, then he’s asking students, “Guess what?” When the other students says, “What?” he then farts and says, “That’s what.”

Now, intrapersonal intelligence is more for the introspective student. These types of learners go on to be philosophers, theologians and writers. And I must say that I catch this kid with a look on his face that can be described as “reflective.” Unfortunately, it happens right before he rips one.

Making farting noises when he has no, ahem, “gas” left in the tank couldn’t indicate a verbal-linguistic intelligence; could it? No. That’s stretching things a bit. And if that’s stretching things then so is labeling the kid as logical-mathematical just because he tries to predict if his next eruption will be a “double” or a “triple”.

There’s always that naturalistic intelligence where the student has a heightened sensitivity to nature. Hey, I’m all for getting this kid into some fresh air.

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