The Methodology For Making a Theory Understood
—Having Learned from Howard Gardner’s
Multiple Approaches to Understanding
Dept. of Educational Management, SE, BNUZ He Wenchao
I. Presenting the Theory with the Theory Being Applied
Recently I’ve read up an article named Multiple Approaches to Understanding that our Professor Francis Yu recommended, the author of which was Howard E. Gardner, a Hobbs Professor of Education and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at
The article has given me a series of thoroughly profound concepts on his theory on the approach to understanding through multiple intelligences. But what I’d like to underscore in this essay is not only his theory itself, but also the structure of the article and the methodology of making the theory be understood by readers.
As known to all the reads of the article, he took various measures to explain and review the approaches to understanding. And can you get understood on what he said with the assumption that you have no linguistic obstacle in the article? I tend to give positive respondence to this and, consider that while presenting his theory, he was applying his theory!
Simply speaking, we can discover that the structure of the article is true of the three vantage points of multiple intelligences that he mentioned. That is, he appreciated the theory by providing an embodiment of it, which didn’t yet look obvious unless you’ve analyzed the whole article with the theory after having read up it.
II. Entry Points
Firstly he gave us two famous and influential topics—theory of evolution and Holocaust—and demonstrated them worth understanding. Through such two topics, he grabbed readers’ focus and inspired them with interest, which has left profound impact in the readers and they might tend to accept the examples using the two topics in the following text.
Then he claimed the right goads of education, which in fact were the real goals of understanding he thought.
This is one of the six discrete entry points that he brought forward: Narrational Entry Point.
I appreciate his examples of the two topics through out the whole article very much. Because so far as I know, his theory isn’t based on obvious evident or experiment and is far away from Positivism, he has to provide considerable examples. It is skillful and smart to select various and proper aspects of the same topic for examples needed to help understand, which may give readers third dimension of the entire article.
Assuming that he haven’t had put forward the two topics and defined the theory, it would scare away the readers or make lots of misconception due to readers’ different prior knowledge and experience.
III. Telling Analogies to Advancing the Process
As he mentioned in the article, an entry point perspective places students directly in the center of a disciplinary topic, arousing their interests and securing cognitive commitment for further exploration. Then the teacher (or the student) is challenged to come up with instructive analogies, drawn from material that is already understood, and that can convey important aspects of the less familiar topic.
In the case of the article, before discuss his favorite approach to understanding, he has to provide correlative concepts to help readers comprehend “understanding” first. So he shared his ideas on the performance of understanding. It doesn’t mean that it just gave readers some background knowledge, but also the conclusion: “you’ll never understand the theory unless you apply it”, which serviced for the later development on some level.
To discuss understanding more deeply, then he talked about the obstacles of understanding. This is the last but most significant materials leading to the discussion of multiple approaches to understanding. Why? Because the core aim of the article is to solve problem and provide new idea to illumine readers, the author has to claim that how challenging the situation we are facing. The more challenging it is, the more focusable the following text is!
IV. Approaching To the Surprising Real Core
After addressing the three approaches,
Now I realize that there is a lengthy way before the real points of view that the author want to say. However, this is not useless according to
What’s lightening in this part of the article? That is you can find the core in the core!
I think most of readers, including me, would consider his addressing the three vantage points of multiple and the generalizing are the final. To our surprise, he injected more distingue idea and significance to the essay!
After having read up the last session, you’ll find the author’s real and final aim of the essay is not to provide a more efficient way to help people learn, but to desire readers to think about the value of education in modern society. He claimed that education must ultimately justify itself in terms of enhancing human understanding and must teach our children to understand the world so that they will be positioned to make it a better place.
Yes, we want much understanding through efficient approaches. But what’s the purpose of understanding? If the goal is not clear or even evil, the more efficient the approach is, the more wrongly human go!
So I believe most readers would be impacted by
I believe that many college students have heard of that some psychological teachers are teaching the theory of “Pygmalion Effect” while always blaming their students. In fact, not so many people can really apply what they have said or even taught! But I recommend the article and its author Gardner to be their model—presenting the theory with the theory being applied
On the other hand, as college students, we should never just see and learn one aspect of various materials, but forwardly discover the inner heaven and try to grab and understand the preciousness in it!
I think I’ve learned and understood a lot from