How intelligent are you? Multiple Intelligences

How intelligent do you think you are?

There are many aspects to intelligence. Many people have problems at school because they are not taught using the method which best matches their main types of intelligence.

Most teachers will have pupils using “fidgets” in their classrooms. Reputedly helpful to people with ADHD, it seems many other students are using them as well. Could this partly due to the fact that  teachers are missing their particular forms of intelligence and the students become disengage?

In 1983, Dr Howard Gardner developed the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. He believes that every individual possesses multiple forms of intelligence. People who like music, play instruments or conduct orchestras have Musical intelligence. Those who are scientists and can conduct experiments to draw conclusions, and mathematicians, possess Logical/Mathematical intelligence.

The Intelligences

Poets, journalists and speech makers have Linguistic intelligence. Chess players, surgeons, pilots and sea captains have Spatial intelligence. People who move their whole bodies such as footballers and dancers have one type of Kinaesthetic intelligence. Those using their hands such as chess players, pianists and typists comprise the other kind of Kinaesthetic intelligence.

Intrapersonel intelligence is needed to understand yourself while Interpersonal skills allow people to work and play together in a successful way. Naturalistic intelligence allows individuals to make relevant choices and observations in the environment and in society.

Are there any more yet to be unveiled?

Perhaps there will be many more put forward over time. Gardner himself has proposed Existential intelligence which allows us to ask the big questions about the past, present and future, such as “what happens when you die?”He also believes there is a Teaching or pedagological intelligence and notes that young students can adapt a presentation according to the age of the audience – younger children or adults.

What does all this mean for our students?

Individual students possess different combinations of intelligences. For teachers, this means working really hard to break away from focusing on the Linguistic and Logical/Mathmatical intelligences which allow students to get into university. Should we be directing efforts at the other intelligences to a similar degree? This would only be possible if the whole idea of university futures were not championed so much by teachers and parents.