Multiple Intelligences: Finding the Best Approach to Your Child’s Learning
Learning style is a term referring to different ways that we learn, process, and retain information. And all children have unique learning styles.
They learn through meaningful hands-on experiences – such as touching, moving, and doing – and they also learn through seeing and hearing. Students gains strong benefits when you – a parent, a teacher, or a learning coach – can recognize their own strengths and preferences that tell you something about their preferred learning style.
We all know that a one-size-fits-all approach to education cannot boost students’ development effectively, but even invariably leave some learners behind. However, due to the misunderstanding of the theory of multiple intelligences, learning styles are interchangeably used and applied in ways that can limit student potential. Whilst multiple intelligences theory is a powerful way to think about learning and teaching, it is also essential to understand the research that supports it.
What is Multiple Intelligences (MI)?
In 1983, Howard Gardner - a psychologist and professor of neuroscience at Harvard University – proposed the term in his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. He defined “intelligence” not as an IQ (intelligence quotient), but rather, as the skills which enable anybody to gain new knowledge and solve problems. In other word, MI theory posits that each of us has intelligences, to some degree or another. Some of them are simply more developed than the others.dominant areas of intelligence.
Modalities of Multiple Intelligences
What Intelligences does your kid possess? Here are the descriptions of Gardner’s nine Multiple Intelligences, along with tips that help you stretch your child’s strengths:
1. Linguistic Intelligence
The child with high verbal-linguistic intelligence displays a facility with words and languages. He has an extensive vocabulary and is good at reading and writing, (sometimes telling stories, rhymes and puns), communicating his thought and memorizing words along with dates.
Tip: Encourage your child to discuss books that he has read with you. Also, get him involved in playing word or board games, preparing speeches or enrolling in drama classes.
2. Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence
A child with body smart excels in more than one sport, enjoys physical activities, likes to touch objects. He can tap or move when required to sit still, or mimic other’s body movements or gestures. He can also have excellent fine-motor coordination.
Tip: Encourage your child to participate in school and extracurricular sports and teams. Enroll the child in dance class. If he does have fine-motor ability, teach him to create origami, build paper airplanes, or try knitting.
3. Interpersonal Intelligence
Those with high interpersonal intelligence can be characterized by their sensitivity to others' feelings, temperaments, moods, and motivations, as well as their ability to cooperate as a part of a group. If your child possesses this intelligence, he communicates effectively and empathizes easily with others, therefore is a natural leader. He also enjoys discussion and debate.
Tip: Encourage the child join collaborative activities with friends both inside and outside of school, help her learn to negotiate and share, encourage dramatic activities, provide him with multi-cultural books and experiences.
4. Existential Intelligence
An individual with philosophically smart often enjoys thinking and questions the way things are. Your child shows his curiosity about life and sometimes an interest or a philosophical awareness that seems beyond his years.
Tip: The child may ask over and over again, but be patient with his questioning. Read books together that help explore these topics and discuss them at an age-appropriate level.
5. Logical-reasoning Intelligence
This area has to do with logic, numbers, abstractions, reasoning, and critical thinking. Your child may love numbers and math, show curious about how things work, enjoy strategy games like chess, logic puzzles, or brain teasers. He may also like computers and experiments, and be interest in natural history museum.
Tip: Provide the child with games such as chess, checkers, or backgammon, expose him to solve various kind of puzzles, encourage him to ask questions and figure out things.
6. Musical Intelligence
Your kid has ability to remember melodies easily and even tell you when music is off-key. He possesses a pleasant singing voice, speaks or moves in a rhythmical way, expresses aptitude with music and musical instruments, and shows sensitivity to surrounding noises.
Tip: Get him study folk dancing from other countries or play an instrument, encourage him to write songs and join school bands or choirs.
7. Spatial Intelligence
This area deals with the ability to visualize with the mind's eye. Your child may lean toward reading and understanding maps and charts. He may also enjoys taking things apart and then putting them back together, love movies and be skilled at drawling or creating 3-D sculptures.
Tip: Encourage him to paint things and design buildings or clothing. Give him puzzles and 3-D activities such as solving mazes that challenge his creativity.
8. Naturalist Intelligence
With the intelligence of the naturalist, this child usually enjoys nature preserves, the zoo, and talks more about favorite pets or outdoor spots, which showing that he has a strong connection to the outside world.
Tip: Take her to zoos, exhibits and museums in order for her to observe and create her own bug homes, ant farms, or leaf collections.
9. Intrapersonal Intelligence
Once your child is self-smart, he shows a sense of independence. He does well when left alone to play or study, and always knows his abilities as well as weaknesses. In theory, he does not like talking too much. He has high self-esteem, is self-directed, and can learn from failures and successes.
Tip: Encourage him with independent projects and journal writing, help him set goals and figure out the steps to get there, appreciate his differences and help him find quiet places for reflection.
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