Reflection Blog (300-500 words)
In what practical ways can a media-infused presentation like the one you created help foster the development of both the disciplined and synthesizing minds?
If we approach the idea of the “five minds” of Howard Gardner as fostering ways of thinking we recognize that teaching in this way is more than delivering information. It is more like the metaphor of giving the student the ability to fish rather than just giving him fish. Fostering a disciplined approach to learning gives students the ability to adapt their learning and moving forward continue to learn. In this way the disciplined and synthesizing minds needed for the future will develop the ability to adapt to the ever changing needs of a globalized, technological world.
Gardner, H. (2008) explains that the steps to create a disciplined mind include identifying what is truly important, being rigorous to master the topic, learn about the topic in different ways and creating “performances of understanding” which give the student the opportunity to show what they know under a variety of conditions.
The media-rich Prezi I have created shows the topic in different ways. The instructions ask the student to reflect and the videos teach new ideas but also allow the student to observe. The photos suggest action to the students so they have to create a new product from what they have learned. This learning center also gives multiple opportunities for various “performance of understanding”. Students write or say their reflections and observations about the actors and the animals. They are also required to apply and perform the actions and in the end will need to recreate the emotions that the animal and scene require. In this way different intelligences are stimulated fostering deeper understanding and discipline.
The synthesizing mind is developed by the practice of associating disparate concepts. This learning center asks the students to reflect on how movement in animals denotes emotional and psychological states based on the nature of that animal. The learner must then associate that knowledge with the understanding of human emotions as expressed through outward expressions of movement and facial expressions.
By analyzing and associating concepts in different situations and applying them to disparate contexts the activity fosters the synthesizing mind.
Gardner, H. (2008). 5 Minds for the Future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.