Multiple Intelligences and Faith Formation: Some thoughts on Chapter 4:
This chapter suggests four viewpoints to consider when preparing to share the faith. The first is “to be open to the Spirit.” This presumes that we ask the Spirit in prayer to inspire and guide our efforts. Next, the author explains that too much detail could distract from the essence of the lesson.
The third item to consider invites us to become aware of the moral development stages of children. Page 43 describes this typical arc of concern and understanding to do the right thing. Hopefully, we all grow beyond the primitive motivating factor of “fear of punishment,” towards questioning rules in order to understand and make them our own. A story about Jane, a fourth grader, who developed a nuanced understanding of the worth of the prodigal son, exemplifies the maturing understanding of mercy and forgiveness, worth and context. Moving beyond the “black and white” stage of behavior is a life journey.
Next, using play and games to evangelize brings joy and life to the endeavor. This might be the way to “touch their hearts and move them to a greater understanding of God in their life.”
In summary, the most important factor is being open to the Spirit. If you are allowing yourself to be guided in this way, the other aspects will fall into place.
"Rules" from Ch 3 of Our Different Gifts: A Catechist's Guide to Using Multiple Intelligences in Faith FormationRead Now
Chapter 3: Making the Religious Education Classroom Friendly to Multiple Intelligences (pp 33-41)
Hopefully, you have had moments of great enthusiasm for sharing your precious faith with your child. If you haven’t, that can make your efforts to comply with the homework and curriculum very difficult. Just for now, act as if you think of this third unit about Jesus, as a great opportunity to help your child come to know “Jesus Christ,” as your and your child’s friend. So, how can the multiple intelligence idea help you share Jesus with your child?
The introduction to chapter 3 (pp 33-34) builds on your willingness and desire to pass the faith to your child. the seven rules that follow give some hints about how to utilize the intelligences in your efforts.
Rule 1: We’re busy. Talking about Jesus can be hard to fit in. “*** What is important is that you try to do something - something small, something large, but something.”***
Rule 2: Any good teacher prepares the lesson. Read the units and thoughtfully complete the parent pages (in your folder) before meeting with your child; let them resonate inside of you. Pray about how to talk about these things. ***“When we give the materials over to God, God never fails us!”***
Rule 3: Your child needs “insight time” to think about Jesus, miracles and their response to the lesson. Read the great story on pp35-36 about the mean grandma. Amazing! *** “The miracles don’t have to be fancy or to our liking.” ***
Rule 4: Take one risk per week. Some ideas? Pray on the way to school. Download a song that is sung a lot at Mass Talk about an effort to help the poor. Share something about your faith. Nice story about the author’s sister’s death and her response to it. pp 37-38 *** “Truthful conversation about faith is never easy” ***
Rule 5: Eliminate at least one worksheet per month: Maybe think of a clever way to teach the chapter, with a story of your own. *** “Whatever it is, it should show them that what you think and feel about God is important and needs to be shared.” *** (and so is what they think and feel.)
Rule 6: Think like your student: Nice story about “Pencils” on page 39. Be creative!
Rule 7: Enjoy the ride. *** “If we enjoy the ride we can laugh together, cry together, create together. We can see God as a joyful, loving God who is just waiting with surprises for us, surprises that will open our understanding of God a bit more each time. (Instead of a God waiting for us to goof up - that God isn’t who He is.)
Such a great ending to this chapter: The poem on page 40. read it to see this phrase in context and believe it - about you and your precious child: “I mean, you’re Really IT”
Finally, *** “When we take on opening our hearts and minds to using multiple intelligences … we open our hearts to really being IT for God.” ***
I liked this chapter. It helped my faith grow a bit more today.
Some thoughts on Chapter 2: Multiple Intelligences and Faith Formation
This chapter gives a history of intelligence testing and its drawbacks. The construct of Multiple Intelligences is introduced as a way for each of us to look past the SAT and STAR scores. We can look at our children and ourselves as the multi-faceted gifted persons we are.
The story on page 26 and 27 holds so much wisdom and is a good introduction to some deeper thought on the treatise of Paul to the Corinthians about the different kinds of spiritual gifts. Don’t miss these paragraphs as they can help any parent look past the foibles and difficulties in our children to the giftedness we may be missing.
I don’t know about you, but I would like my thoughts to hold the idea from Jewish tradition that is quoted in the last paragraph of page 30: “We are made in the image and likeness of God - in the image and likeness of God who is creator and gift. If children and adults hold this to be true, we need to develop our gifts to their fullest so that, like the Jewish tradition says, every time we walk down the street, we are preceded by hosts of angels who are saying, “Make way! Make way for the image of God!”
What ideas in chapter 2 rang true for you?