University of Minnesota
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center for writing

Minnesota Writing Project.Center for Writing's home page.

Catherine Bonaventura

© 2001

Action Research

Annotated Bibliography

Focus of Research: Incorporating Multiple Intelligences and Brain Research into the active classroom.

Why did I pick this topic?
Besides always having an interest in this topic, the main reason I chose this topic is because I don't want to short change my students. I believe that every student is capable of learning and deserves a safe and active environment. I want to make sure that I'm administering information fairly to the students. Also, I like many others tend to stick to the learning style/multiple intelligence that I'm comfortable with. However, I know that some students (although trained) aren't on the same track as I am. That reason alone is why I want to develop a curriculum that enhances students learning and growth both mentally and emotionally.

Secondary Sources:
Campbell, Bruce. The Multiple Intelligences Handbook: Lesson Plans and More. Washington: Campbell & Associates., Inc, 1994. ISBN 0-9-6420 37-0-7
This book is a great source for those wanting information, lesson plans and strategies for incorporating multiple intelligences into the classroom. I found the hands-on lesson plans to be very helpful in forming lessons that would reach each student multiple intelligence. Also, the book contains a great bibliography of resources on this subject. In addition, this book contains sections relating to the following: Preparing the MI Classroom, Preparing Your Students and Parents, Preparing for MI teaching, Assessment in the MI Classroom, Teaching MI lessons, Preparing Students for Self- Directed Learning and Teaching MI Curriculum Units. Although I've had some background on this subject I found the previous sections to be very helpful. Also, each section provided a hands-on approach to developing a MI classroom to successfully preparing students for self-directed learning.

Campbell, Linda, Bruce Campbell, and Dee Dickerson. Teaching and Learning Through Multiple Intelligences, Massachusetts: Allyn& Bacon, 1999. ISBN 0-205-29348-4
This book is the second edition to The Multiple Intelligences Handbook. The nice thing about this book is that it includes in depth definitions of the eight intelligences. Secondly, I found some great ideas and lesson plans from this book.

World Wide Web Site
Family Education. com/article/0,1120,5-638,00.html [link no longer works]
This is a great site for teachers, parents and students. The impressive aspect about this site is that it emphasis the importance in recognizing and validating each students' strengths and individual learning style. In addition, this site includes activities idea exchanges and school resources.

World Wide Web Site
Creatology: Brain Science for the 21st Century: Caroline L. Davies [link no longer works]
As quoted by Caroline Davies, “ This subject matter is not new. It has been given many names including: accelerated learning, quantum learning, neuro linguistic programming, super learning, mind mapping and others.”(1) The basis of “ Creatology,” is to include multiple intelligences, mind mapping, memory techniques, thinking techniques and learning styles into the classroom. What is Creatology? (As quoted off the web site)(1)

The basic questions:

  • How do I learn how to learn?
  • What is the nature of my thinking?
  • What are the best techniques for memorizing?
  • What are the best techniques for creative thinking?
  • How can I make plans and decisions more effectively?
  • What are the best techniques for thinking in general?
  • How can I solve day to day problems more efficiently?
  • How can I understand my teachers, take and make notes more effective.
  • How can I harness my brainpower to achieve my full potential?

This article discusses the current information and research done on brain research. Davies, touches on the different learning styles and how students can effectively improve their brainpower to improve their learning. She also touches on the importance of music in learning stating that, “Playing a musical instrument, singing and listening to a variety of music should be an integral part of daily learning.” ( 3)

Bringing Brain Research Into the Classroom: Ideas from ISD # 318 teachers who heard Dr. David Sousa
During my teaching experience at Grand Rapids High School teachers of district #318 to Òget in step with brain researchÓ implemented a plan. Information on what teachers could do for themselves, the students and for learning were distributed. In the handout tips such as the following were included:

  • Laugh more
  • Assure more
  • Create an environment conducive to learning, e.g. plants, lights, music, art.
  • View students through the lenses of different learning styles.
  • Engage in action research
  • Help students feel safe
  • Teach students the importance of water, good nutrition, sleep et cetr
  • Show students how to self-stimulate and take charge of their learning

(Taken from handout: Bringing Brain Research Into the Classroom)

I found that incorporating the above really did bring improvement into the classroom. However, my focus for this next year is to learn more about the circadian rhythms and learning styles of my students. Plan of Action: My goal for the following school year is to build a curriculum incorporating the multiple intelligences along with brain research into my classroom. I want to move beyond my comfort zone and build a curriculum honoring all learning styles and intelligences. I plan to use some methods found in Bruce Campbell's book along with suggestions from former and present colleagues.

Finally, in assessing the research, I plan to keep journal entries, video logs and any other tools I find helpful in assessing the climate changes and learning improvements of my students. My ultimate goal is to build a MI classroom where all students are given a chance to discover and grow their own learning styles as well as others.

Primary Sources:
District #318
Minnesota Writing Project participants
Individual research from the following sources:

Diamond, Marian & Hopson, Janet, Magic Trees of the Mind, 1999, Dutton.

Dozier, R. Jr., Fear Itself, 1998, St. Martin's Press.

Goleman, D, Emotional Intelligence, 1995, Bantam Books.

Jensen, Eric, Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 1998, ASCD.


Creative Writing

Windless Whispers (.pdf file)