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learning, multiple intelligences, mental mapping, thinking big-pic
style vs. detail-oriented and chunking. Arm yourself with these
tools, and feel the learning zap into your mind!!
I.Accelerated Learning Comprehensively Defined
?Accelerated learning is a comprehensive approach to school change,
developed in 1986 at Stanford University. Accelerated learning aims to
create school success for all students by closing the achievement gap
between at-risk and mainstream children. The idea is to radically
change individual schools by redesigning and integrating curricular,
instructional, and organizational practices so that they provide
enrichment--not just remediation--for at-risk students.
The accelerated learning theory assumes that at-risk students have
"learning gaps in areas valued by schools and mainstream economic and
social institutions. The program also assumes that remedial approaches
fail to close these gaps because they don't build on the students'
strengths and they don't tap into the resources of teachers, parents,
and the community.?
II. Theoretical Grounding and Rationale
A. The model of learning draws on research in a wide range of
fields such as cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology,
human motivational theory and performance , psychology, learning
theory and school improvement and effectiveness research. Specifically
mentions Gardner's (1983) theory of multiple intelligences (discussed
later), Goleman's work on emotional intelligence and Jensen's writings
on brain-based learning as influential. (Source:
III. Basic Guiding Priciples:
Though the following principles are most commonly applied to the
framework for an accelerated school program, these are applicable
across the board, as well (Directly excerpted from
a. Unity of Purpose: Parents, teachers, students, and administrators
must agree on a common set of goals for the school. These goals become
the focal point of everyone's efforts, serving as a framework for all
curricular, instructional, and organizational initiatives.
b. Empowerment/Responsibility: Members of the school community can
make important educational decisions, take responsibility for
implementing them, and take responsibility for the outcomes. This
breaks the stalemate among administrators, teachers, parents, and
students: It stops them from blaming each other and factors beyond
their control for the students' poor educational outcomes.
c. Building on Strengths: This program identifies and uses all the
available learning resources in the school community, instead of
exaggerating weaknesses and ignoring strengths. For example, parents
can positively influence their children's education at home and help
teachers understand their children better. School administrators could
make a concerted effort to creatively work with parents, staff, and
students, rather than merely complying with them. Plus, teachers bring
valuable insights, intuition, teaching, and organizational skills to
the table. Furthermore, the strengths of at-risk students differ from
those associated with predominantly white, middle-class culture, and
often are overlooked. And finally, communities are ripe with assets,
including youth organizations, senior citizens, businesses, religious
IV. Gardner?s Theory of Seven Intelligences
A. Gardner revealed his theory in his ground-breaking book "Frames of
Mind" in which he outlined seven distinct intelligences:
1. Linguistic Intelligence: involves sensitivity to spoken and
written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to
use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes
the ability to effectively use language to express oneself
rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember
information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that
Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.
2. Logical-mathematical intelligence consists of the capacity to
analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and
investigate issues scientifically. In Howard Gardner's words, in
entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think
logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific
and mathematical thinking.
3. Musical intelligence involves skill in the performance,
composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the
capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms.
According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost
structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.
4. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails the potential of using
one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems. It is the
ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements. Howard
Gardner sees mental and physical activity as related.
5. Spatial intelligence involves the potential to recognize and
use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.
6. Interpersonal intelligence is concerned with the capacity to
understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. It
allows people to work effectively with others. Educators, salespeople,
religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a
well-developed interpersonal intelligence.
7. Intrapersonal intelligence entails the capacity to understand
oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations. In
Howard Gardner's view it involves having an effective working model of
ourselves, and to be able to use such information to regulate our
B. In Frames of Mind Howard Gardner treated the personal
intelligences 'as a piece'.
1. Because of their close association in most cultures, they are
often linked together.
2. However, he still argues that it makes sense to think of two
forms of personal intelligence.
3. Gardner claimed that the seven intelligences rarely operate independently.
4. They are used at the same time and tend to complement each
other as people develop skills or solve problems.
C. In essence Howard Gardner argues that he was making two essential
claims about multiple intelligences. That:
1. The theory is an account of human cognition in its fullness.
2. The intelligences provided 'a new definition of human nature,
cognitively speaking' (Gardner 1999: 44).
3. Human beings are organisms who possess a basic set of intelligences.
D. People have a unique blend of intelligences. Gardner argues that
the big challenge facing the deployment of human resources 'is how to
best take advantage of the uniqueness conferred on us as a species
exhibiting several intelligences' (ibid.: 45).
E. These intelligences, according to Howard Gardner, are amoral -
they can be put to constructive or destructive use.
V. Mind Mapping
1. Mind maps were developed in the late 60s by Tony Buzan as a
way of helping students make notes that used only key words and
images. They are much quicker to make, and because of their visual
quality much easier to remember and review. The non-linear nature of
mind maps makes it easy to link and cross-reference different elements
of the map. (source:
B. Mind Maps are very important techniques for improving the way you take notes:
1. By using Mind Maps you show the structure of the subject and
linkages between points, as well as the raw facts contained in normal
2. Mind Maps hold information in a format that your mind will find
easy to remember and quick to review.
C. Mind Maps abandon the list format of conventional note taking
They do this in favor of a two-dimensional structure:
1. A good Mind Map shows the 'shape' of the subject, the relative
importance of individual points and the way in which one fact relates
D. Mind Maps are also useful for:
? summarizing information
? consolidating information from different research sources
? thinking through complex problems, and
? presenting information that shows the overall structure of your subject
E. How Learning Is Improved:
1. Mind Maps are also very quick to review, as it is easy to
refresh information in your mind just by glancing at one.
2. Mind Maps can also be effective mnemonics.
a. Remembering the shape and structure of a Mind Map can provide
the cues necessary to remember the information within it.
b. They engage much more of the brain in the process of
assimilating and connecting facts than conventional notes.
VI. The Importance of both the ?Big Picture? and Details:
A. Based on information gained from new technologies and recent
research on the brain, we know that we use the entire brain when
1.In spite of this fact, learners seem to fall into one of two camps:
a. Some tend to be "right brained," showing a preference to
learn and process information simultaneously and focusing on the big
picture and relationships between ideas.
b. Others tend to be "left brained" and learn and process
information in a sequential, step-by-step fashion, while focusing on
B. You Must See Both to get the FULL PICTURE! But just as we need to
see with both of our eyes in order to capture all of the nuances of an
image, we need to gather information from both "big picture" and
"detail" perspectives in order to fully understand. Like a puzzle, you
don't get the "whole picture" until you have all the pieces.
1. If you tend to be a "big picture" learner, you should be aware
that you may miss important details when you read, take notes, and
study. You may "jump to conclusions" in your eagerness to look for
patterns and relationships.
2. In a similar way, if you tend to focus on details, you may not
recognize the relationships between ideas that are also critical to
full understanding. If you "can't see the forest for the trees," you
may find it difficult to understand where the information is heading.
C. Implications for Learning: The implication is that we should
strive for a balance between these two styles of learning. We should
seek ways to get information from the opposite "brain," by practicing
ways to get all the information we need and/or by working with others
who tend to be strong in the opposite style.
1. If you are "Left Brained" (detailed, step-by-step, linear):
?To get the big picture, develop a mental map of each course
and chapter of your text. This will help you to see where the
details fit in and to determine which details are most important.
?Write summaries (in your own words) for each topic covered in
your text and lectures.
?At the end of each chapter or unit, develop flash cards or
Cornell notes to identify the most important information on one side
and the details on the other side of the card.
? Use questions at all cognitive levels and visual organizers
to help yourself process information more deeply and to see the
relationships between important concepts.
? Use maps to help yourself identify the most important
information for reviewing and for test preparation.
? Use maps to help yourself organize your thinking before you
2. If you are "Right Brained" (big picture, simultaneous, holistic):
? Annotate text and take lecture notes, focusing on important
details by using Cornell notes. Number or bullet the details to draw
your attention to them.
?For each lecture you attend or chapter you read, develop flash
cards that identify the most important terms and concepts. Write main
ideas on one side and details on the other.
?Use questions at all cognitive levels to quiz yourself and to
be sure that you have considered the important details.
?Review flash cards or Cornell notes to prepare for tests and exams.
?Use maps to help with preliminary organization for writing
essays. Be sure that you include sufficient details to back up your
ideas. Use Cornell notes or other outlining techniques for organizing
?Survey the whole test before you start answering questions.
Develop a test-taking strategy to maximize your efforts. Be sure to
read all questions thoroughly and to provide sufficient detail in your
VII. Learning via Chunking
A. Chunking Defined: Chunking is a principle that applies to the
effective communication of information between human beings. It is
particularly useful in the domain of written communication.
B. Theoretical Grounding:
1.It was first put forward in the 1950s by a Harvard
psychologist named George A. Miller.
2.He published a landmark journal article entitled "The Magical
Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two".
3.Miller studied the short term memory.
a.For example, how many numbers people could be reliably
expected to remember a few minutes after having been told these
numbers only once. The answer was: "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or
4.Millers concept goes beyond numbers:
a.For example, most of us can remember about seven recently
learned chunks of similarly classified data. Keep this in mind when
you are presenting information to other people. (source: