Which type are you?
Read about it then take the test.
Many of us are familiar with three general categories in which people learn: visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners.
Beyond these three general categories, many theories of and approaches toward human potential have been developed. Among them is the theory of multiple intelligences, developed by Howard Gardner, Ph.D., Professor of Education at Harvard University. Gardner’s early work in psychology and later in human cognition and human potential led to the development of the initial six intelligences. Today there are nine intelligences and the possibility of others may eventually expand the list.
These intelligences (or competencies) relate to a person’s unique aptitude set of capabilities and ways they might prefer to demonstrate intellectual abilities.
People have different strengths and intelligences. For example, students who are “interviewed” as a means to gain access to a course may be mislabeled as being less than desirable because of inappropriate assessment (poorly written interview questions, bias toward a perceived “perfect student,” and other narrow criteria).
“In life, we need people who collectively are good at different things. A well-balanced world, and well-balanced organizations and teams, are necessarily comprised of people who possess different mixtures of intelligences. This gives that group a fuller collective capacity than a group of identical able specialists”
Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory can be used for curriculum development, planning instruction, selection of course activities, and related assessment strategies. Instruction which is designed to help students develop their strengths can also trigger their confidence to develop areas in which they are not as strong. Students’ multiple learning preferences can be addressed when instruction includes a range of meaningful and appropriate methods, activities, and assessments.
In summary, integrate educational theories, teaching strategies, and other pedagogic tools in meaningful and useful ways to better address the needs of students. Gardner himself asserts that educators should not follow one specific theory or educational innovation when designing instruction but instead employ customized goals and values appropriate to their teaching and student needs. Addressing the multiple intelligences and potential of students can help instructors personalize their instruction and methods of assessment.
The Nine Types of Intelligence
By Howard Gardner
1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.
2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)
Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.
4. Existential Intelligence (Spirit Smart)
Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.
5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”)
Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.
6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)
Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.
7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.
8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)
Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. These young adults may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.
9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)
Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.
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From: Overview of the Multiple Intelligences Theory, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and Thomas Armstrong.com and Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Northern Illinois University, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center.
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