Eight Ways of Debriefing
Based upon the groundbreaking work of Howard Gardner, Thomas Armstrong, and many others, it is suggested that there are a variety of styles by which individuals come to grasp information, and in fact, learn. At present, eight styles or talents have been identified, and these include: Logical Mathematical, Bodily Kinesthetic, Visual Spatial, Linguistic, Musical, Interpersonal - Knowledge of Others, Intrapersonal - Knowledge of Self and Natural Environmental. While outside the arena of multiple intelligences, some additional styles or talents have also been proposed, and include such topics as emotional intelligence, humor, mechanical aptitude and religious influences and spirituality.
Multiple intelligence theory provides a template for creating processing activities that incorporate each intelligence. The book by Thomas Armstrong, listed below, is highly recommended as a guide for this process.
Begin by borrowing the book listed below from your local library, or buying it at your local bookstore. It is worth the price, and more. Read it cover to cover, and then start reviewing your debriefing techniques, and grouping them into the eight categories of multiple intelligences. You can also find a wide variety of multiple intelligence readings on the internet, in educational books, and by visiting the Harvard University Project Zero multiple intelligence website at: www.pzweb.harvard.edu
Review your present collection of processing techniques to see if you have focused on only a portion of the multiple intelligence methods available. Then identify additional techniques for completing your portfolio of activities, in each of the various forms of intelligence. The table below provides examples from each of the eight multiple intelligences.
Intelligence or Talent and Debriefing Technique
Logical-Mathematical: Analysis of group’s performance, charting, visual graphical representations, numerically quantifying the performance of the team, investigating the ‘why did this happen’ line of logic, cause and effect discussions.
Bodily-Kinesthetic: Movement during reviewing (Wonderful Circle), contact with other members of the group during activities and processing, holding or manipulating objects in the hands while conversing (tactile stimulation)(The Body Part Debrief), skits or active role-playing.
Visual-Spatial: Visualizing multiple solutions, drawing as a form of expression, painting, visual arts, clay formations, sand pictures, using participants in tableau or stop action explanation of the activity, graphically describing the results of the activity, picture debriefs (Chiji cards).
Linguistic: Talking, listening, dialog, conversation in large and small groups, creative writing and journaling (Team Resume), alphabet games (Alphabet Blocks), word puzzles (seek and find), foreign language words and skills, poetry, haiku, limericks, rap, prose.
Musical: Using rhythm, timing, sounds of nature, creating songs, musical skits, lyrics, melodies, performance art, sound effects.
Interpersonal - Knowledge of Others: Understanding, empathy, coaching, partner watching, observing the group, working together while paired or connected, active listening, group norms, group contract.
Intrapersonal - Knowledge of Self: Self analysis, relating, journaling, self reflection, understanding your own motivation and actions, goal setting.
Natural-Environmental: Connection to the outdoor setting, exploring nature and the environment, using natural objects in reflection (stones, water, leaves), the five basic aristotlean elements of earth, fire, wind, water and ether.
Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 2000, Thomas Armstrong, ASCD Alexandria, Virginia USA ISBN 0-87120-376-6 This is an excellent ‘template’ for designing your own curriculum with multiple possibilities for reviewing and learning in different ways.
A Teachable Moment, A Facilitators Guide to Activities for Processing, Debriefing, Reviewing, and Reflection. Cain, Cummings, and Stanchfield. This book has over 130 different processing and debriefing techniques.
7 Kinds of Smart, Thomas Armstrong. This goes into greater detail about each learning style, referred to as ‘smarts’.