‘The Theory of Multiple Intelligences’ that Every Parent Should Know

1 year(s) ago
‘The Theory of Multiple Intelligences’ that Every Parent Should Know

"Mamma! When will we go to the beach again for turtle walk'?" asked an eager Shivanshu, who is a five-year-old.

"We can go on a weekend now, it's only yesterday that we took you there? You are eager again so soon?" replied his mother.

"I want to visit again! And touch the turtle and its young ones," he pleaded.

"Since his childhood, Shivanshu loves being with animals," his mother clarified, after promising him for the next visit. "He likes touching them and feeding them with his own hands. Unlike many other children of his age, he is comfortable making a bird sit on his hand. He is eager to visit zoos, bird sanctuaries and feels compassionate about animals having been put in a cage."

This surprised most of us as very few of us are comfortable touching the animals or feeding them from our own hand.

Through his love for animals, Shivanshu clearly exhibits an intelligence that connects him well to nature.

What is Intelligence

According to the traditional theory of intelligence, a person who gives all correct answers to a given set of questions (based only on logic, memory and/or word power) is considered intelligent. This theory does not recognize a person who communicates well with others or a person who sings well, to be intelligent.

Thankfully, with more research on learning, the term ‘Intelligence' is not restricted to scoring marks in a given test. Logic, reasoning, memory is just a small part of intelligence, which some people excel at. There are other dimensions as well like being good at communicating with others, or having a good sense of music, or a person who takes care of animals. Such dimensions are also included in intelligence.

What are Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner, a great psychologist and an educationist, propounded the theory of Multiple Intelligences which said that there are eight dimensions of intelligence. Every child is gifted with all 8 kinds of intelligence. But, the predominant intelligence is usually one or two.

Howard's theory of Multiple Intelligences helps us in identifying the unique strength of the child, which, in turn, can help him achieve his potential if suitable strategies are employed.

The Eight Dimensions of Multiple Intelligences

Let's look at the main characteristics of the 8 kinds of intelligence that can help us to identify the predominant intelligence of our child.

  1. Visual-Spatial (picture-smart) - These children are high on imagination. They like to draw, interpret pictures, read maps and daydream. They enjoy designing and decorating.
  2. Bodily-Kinesthetic (body-smart) - These children show constant movement and like to get up and move around a lot. They enjoy dance and other similar activities and use their body to accomplish a task.
  3. Musical(music-smart)These children show a fondness towards rhyme and music. They are calmer with music playing in the background. These children can learn how to play a musical instrument more easily than others.
  4. Natural (nature-smart) - These children love and appreciate the beauty of nature. They love to stay in the surroundings of nature more than other people.
  5. Interpersonal (people-smart) - These children interact well with others, love to be in a group, are good at communicating, easily make friends and love to talk and influence.
  6. Intrapersonal (self-smart) - These children like to be on their own. They have a strong sense of their own needs and wants. They enjoy solitude and are a daydreamer.
  7. Linguistic (word-smart) - These children use the words effectively. They are good speakers, enjoy rhymes, and love listening to stories. They like making up stories or poems.
  8. Logical-Mathematical (logic-smart) - These children are good at reasoning and calculating and solving problems, puzzles and riddles. They investigate and analyze, look for reasons, patterns and connections more than other children.

Being aware of Multiple Intelligences does not mean we need to concentrate and enhance only one specific strength of the child. Instead, it means we can use that area to impact learning in other fields. Like if a child is good at words and loves speaking, then he can be guided to verbalize and convert math word problems into short stories and so on.

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Archana Prasad
Archana Prasad is a freelance Education Consultant working for the cause of education. Her passions revolve around reading books, travelling, writing creative content and everything that involves Math. She wishes to travel far and wide, up to Alaska and Antarctica. In her free time, she loves socializing and interacting with friends and family.

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