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Dr. Ellen Weber: MITA (Multiple Intelligence Teaching Approach) at Chautauqua

How are you smart?

July 16-20, 2001 - Dr. Ellen Weber: MITA (Multiple Intelligence Teaching Approach) at Chautauqua

Dr. Ellen Weber challenged participants during a week long Special Studies Session at Chautauqua Institution to begin with a question: "How are you smart?" She differentiated between the question which schools usually ask: "How smart are you?" Throughout the week Weber taught and encouraged participants to make a dream of their own a reality by unleashing multiple ways about "How I am smart."

When the intense five-day interactive sessions concluded, Martina, a Peruvian* woman who speaks six languages commented: "It was such a spirit-loading experience, attending the MITA classes, and specially, the closure, during which all of us brought an icon, and spoke about each one. We were also asked to say how would we continue our lives after this course. I hope that we shall keep in touch, and help one another not to forget secrets for success learned through MITA. Hopefully, we can encourage each other to make a difference in our lives and communities."

Stuart, a top-level business executive, upon arriving home said, "We have already begun to change our house to give us reminders of all the [eight] ways we understand our world.

Martina and Stuart's words capture the essence of many participant responses. Other participants included UN representative, elementary and secondary teachers, a physical therapist, teachers-in-training and mothers. Weber challenged them to capture dreams as MITA builds on personal strengths and interests. She challenged participants to step out, take risks, and find fulfill new fulfillment.

Weber's practical model systematically integrates problem-based learning, inquiry based learning, constructivism and MI as life long learning tools. Participants in MITA communities find new meaning in everyday living through (1) questions posed; (2) objectives set; (3) checklists created; (4)tasks developed; and (5) changes reflected on.

The Chautauqua Writers' Center invited Weber to lecture on "From Multiple Intelligences to Writing Success," at their Friday luncheon. Over 40 participants shared together ways their naturalistic and musical intelligences might enhance writing breakthroughs. Weber adapted this lecture from recently developed MITA courses for writers who seek more success.

Robyn McMaster, Doctoral Student at SUNY Buffalo, assisted Weber during the interactive Special Studies MITA sessions. Robyn is currently conducting research on the MITA model in secondary English classrooms.

For more information about MITA check website at:

*Martina and Stuart's names and Martina's native land have been changed to assure anonymity.

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