Yesterday afternoon we did a sequence of eight one minute activities - each was connected to one of the intelligences from Gardner's theory . We covered all but one - existential. We knew nothing about it - so here is a little about what it is and some ideas on what kind of activities would suit learners with a strong existential intelligence.
If we're to trust Wikipedia, existential intelligence is "Ability to contemplate phenomena or questions beyond sensory data, such as the infinite and infinitesimal.". Or to give it an example - One of my eight-year-old students has a crush on a girl. One day she refused to sit with him, because he had hit her, pulled her hair, hid her pencil case or whatever boys do when they like someone. He sat on the floor next to my desk, crying and screaming: "If she doesn't love me, I do not exist!!!!" "But what do you mean?? I can see you.", I poked him lightly, "..and even touch you." "Yes, but I am nothing." Strong words, aren't they? So young and he's questioning his existence. I'd say that's his existential intelligence speaking. Another example would be students, teachers and professors of philosophy, who spend years and years tackling questions, such as:
What is around me? Can I trust my senses, if they get so easily cheated?
Are there really ghosts?
What does it mean to die?
Where does the wind rush when it blows?
Why are some people evil? Is being evil a thing of character or just a phase?
Is there life on other planets?
Is it OK to say whatever I want to? Where does my right of speech end?
That's it. Now I know why I studied philosophy and why I felt so good surrounded by my class-mates. :)
Could you come up with any activities for existential learners?
All my love,