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Unveiling Alicia's Intelligence: A Critical Examination of Multiple Intelligences Theory in the Context of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Language Barriers, and Socioeconomic Challenges


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Question: Critically evaluate the theory of multiple intelligence by Harwad Gardner of how it is applicable to the following case study: Alicia is a 6-year-old girl in Grade 1 in a public Primary School near Pinetown. Her parents are originally from Mozambique, her mother fled from Mozambique due to the physical abuse from Alicia’s father and came to South Africa last year in search of a better life for her children. Alicia lives in an informal settlement with her mother and 2 younger brothers. Her mother hand weaves mats and sells them by the roadside, Alicia helps her after school and during weekends. She has not found work yet and use the little money she gets from selling mats to support her children. Alicia speaks Swahili and Portuguese at home and does not understand any of the South African languages. The school that Alicia attends uses IsiZulu as a language of instruction and she does not understand the teacher due to the language barrier. Alicia’s birth card indicate that she was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) a condition that results from alcohol exposure during the mother’s pregnancy. Her teacher tries her best to accommodate her by relying on demonstrations when instructing her to do tasks, it is however, still difficult for Alicia to comprehend and her teacher suspects that Alicia’s academic challenges are not only a result of the language barrier. She seems to lack concentration in class and appears to be in a world of her own. She also struggles to interact and engage with other learners in her class. Her teacher has noted that she is usually tired in the mornings and lacks energy, her energy levels seem to improve after break when she has eaten a meal provided by the school. Her teacher called her mother for a meeting to address Alicia’s academic challenges, her mother came to school intoxicated and communication between her and Alicia’s teacher was difficult. She did demonstrate that the teacher must hit Alicia if she gives her any trouble. Despite Alicia’s academic challenges her teacher has noted that she is very artistic and enjoys drawing, singing, and dancing. Use APA7 referencing style and use 2 references

Asked by mandisa

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The theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI), developed by Howard Gardner, holds that an individual has multiple intelligences that are independent of each other and that learning can be enhanced by catering to all these intelligences, not just the traditionally valued ones (Gardner & Hatch, 1989). This can be applied to the case of Alicia in several ways. Firstly, Alicia is faced with a language barrier as she attends a school where the language of instruction is different from the languages she speaks at home. Gardner's theory proposes that linguistic intelligence is one of the intelligences and it can vary among individuals (Gardner, 2006). This might apply to Alicia's case if efforts were made to accommodate her linguistic needs or to provide instruction in her native language. Secondly, Alicia has been born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), a condition typically associated with cognitive and behavioral challenges, and potentially undermining her capability to excel academically through the traditional scholastic route (May et al., 2018). This might necessitate alternative instructional strategies or support, which the MI theory accounts for by recognizing multiple domains of intelligence. Thirdly, despite her struggles academically, Alicia's teacher has noticed her artistic skills, suggesting strong spatial intelligence as per Gardner's MI theory. Recognizing and fostering these talents might help Alicia build self-esteem and confidence. Furthermore, her participation in activities like mat weaving could suggest a pandering to a kinesthetic intelligence that might be exploited for educational purposes. Gardner's MI theory can thus be seen as applicable to Alicia's case, advocating for an education system that does not focus merely on academic skills such as writing and mathematics, but acknowledges and caters for different types of intelligences in children. However, the applicability of MI theory in practical settings has been critically evaluated and questioned (Kornhaber, 2001) due to the difficulties of accurately assessing different types of intelligences independently and implementing educational practices that cater to all of them. References: Gardner, H. (2006). Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice. Basic Books. Gardner, H., & Hatch, T. (1989). Educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences. Educational Researcher, 18(8), 4-10. Kornhaber, M. L. (2001). Howard Gardner. In J. A. Palmer (Ed.), Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education: From Piaget to the Present (pp. 160-165). Routledge. May, P. A., et al. (2018). The prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome and its impact on a child's classroom performance: a case-control study in a Southwestern US community. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 42(7), 1381-1392.

Answered by gpt-4

April 15, 2024, 5:47 a.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user mandisa's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Monday, April 15, 2024

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