Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Linehan, Uschi
European Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
”Threshold concepts” and “Multiple Intelligences” in teaching German literature
University College Cork
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
When beginning to teach any subject, it is important to always start off simply so that the students are able to follow the class and enjoy the subject. I found this possible to do in my teaching by frequently mentioning the threshold concepts of my course, which, are the fundamental building blocks that enable a holistic understanding of a subject. Also, I will be examining the implementation of Howard Gardner's theory of “Multiple Intelligences” in my tutorial class which was an attempt to facilitate as many students as possible because: “they possess different kinds of minds, with different strengths, interests, and modes of processing information. [...] For if the teacher is able to use different pedagogical approaches, there exists the possibility of teaching more students in more effective ways”.1 Thus, my aim was to engage the students in the topics we covered in the tutorial class by identifying the six entry points that Howard Gardner stated in his article entitled: “Multiple Approaches to Understanding”, which are namely: 1. The Narrative entry point 2. The Quantitative/numerical entry point 3. The Foundational/existential entry point 4. The Aesthetic entry point 5. The Hands-on entry point 6. The Social entry point My presentation will be showing how I have implemented these concepts (i.e. threshold concepts and multiple intelligences) in my own teaching practice, which involved teaching a first-year German literature small tutorial class and consisted of reading a post-war German drama play called “Draußen vor der Tür” by Wolfgang Borchert. By trying to cater to the best of my ability for all the student's different needs and intelligences, I was motivating them and making them interested in the German literature by making the tutorial class stimulating and fun, which led to my students participating more often in class.