What Are Multiple Intelligences?
Eight different types of intelligences were identified in 1983 by Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard University. They are as follows: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.
- The linguistic learner is “word smart," meaning that they are verbal learners.
- The logical-mathematical learner is one who learns through numbers and reasoning. He/She is mathematically-inclined.
- The spatial learner is a visual one, the type that learns through visualization and pictures.
- Bodily-kinesthetic pertains to those who learn through movement.
- Musical learners are closely related to logical-mathematical learners and learn through music.
- Interpersonal learners relate to people and need socialization while learning.
- The intrapersonal learner is often self-taught and very self-aware. They think deep within themselves.
- And, last but certainly not least, the naturalist is very aware of nature and learns through/from it.
Most people are a mixture of the various types but may lean more toward one or two intelligences. For instance, I score equally as linguistic and intrapersonal, but I also show strength as interpersonal and musical. Therefore, I may favor linguistic and intrapersonal, but I am capable of learning the way interpersonal and musical people do. Many students will have a similar experience when taking a multiple intelligence test. Please bear in mind that a variety of tests are available.
Assessing the learning styles of students at the beginning of the year can provide valued information to educators. Sometime during the first week of school, I give my each of my students a multiple intelligence test. We then score the tests and discuss what each learning style means and needs in order to learn. Doing so not only helps me, but also it helps the students. They take ownership of their own learning by providing me with ideas that might aid in their understanding of the content being taught. Many students actually do not realize the vast variety of ways information can be taught.
Stay tuned for ideas on teaching to students’ strengths. In helping the students to understand how they learn, I am able to pull from resources to ensure I am providing the optimal opportunity for each and every one of my students to learn.