People have one brain, but seven intelligences. In their attempts to teach children, schools typically touch on only a handful of these intelligences. But not in Sandy Campbell's prekindergarten classroom at the Center for the Young Child.
"Miss Sandy," as her pupils call her, has set up her classroom on Edward Avenue with a half-dozen activity centers that draw on all of the children's intelligences.
Many children, for example, play a lot with blocks. That works with kinesthetic, or body intelligence, which is commonly found in athletes and actors.
A handful of others, meanwhile, are off in the dramatic play area, which uses intrapersonal intelligence, common to self-assured people as divergent as poets and efficiency experts.
"Instead of fighting what they are naturally, you need to work with it," Miss Campbell said.
The theme this month is butterflies. The class was set up to give the four- and five-year-olds a number of ways of learning the topic.
Children learn by playing games, watching live larvae and rehearsing for a play based on the well-known children's book "The Hungry Caterpillar."
It looks like play, but all the activities are geared toward drawing on an intelligence. The music the children dance to appeals to musical intelligence, common among musicians and entertainers. Books they read draw on verbal/linguistic intelligence, often displayed by writers and attorneys.
All the intelligences are touched:
Logical/mathematical, found in scientists and philosophers, who can solve problems and comprehend a long line of reasoning.
Visual/spatial, often displayed by engineers and sculptors, who have the ability to create complex mental images.
Intrapersonal, common to teachers and counselors, who are good at dealing with people.
"If you're going to help children learn, you have to know what they do well," Miss Campbell said. "You can address their weaknesses through their strengths."