Discover What Awakens Your Child: Multiple Intelligences 

Karla LysakSelah0 Comments

 

 

What awakens your child? When they want to share something with you, how do they best represent themselves?  Is it through a picture on a canvas or do they spin a web of words?  Perhaps they like to create with Lego, re-enact their day, or sing a song about their favorite stuffy.

 

We are all unique in the way that we like to express our thoughts, how we internalize our experiences, the way we recall facts, and how we process new information. To better understand the way our children learn it’s important to remember that each child has a unique personality and a unique way in which they learn best. The type of learner your child is can be identified by looking at Gardner’s multiple intelligences: linguistic, logical/mathematical, spatial/visual, musical, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.  Each child learns best by using their dominant intelligences.

 

Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard University, studied multiple intelligences – a theory based on brain development.  The way that we learn is not something that is a fixed trait at birth, nor is it the same for everyone.  We are each unique!  Each person’s brain develops differently; some parts may develop more (or less) than other areas.  But ALL parts are interconnected and must work together in varying degrees depending on the circumstances and environment we find ourselves in.

 

Dr. Gardner’s research led him to define eight multiple intelligences that influence the way we learn. Everybody has varying degrees of all eight intelligences. Children are often dominant in more than one of these intelligences. Therefore, it is important to expose children to multiple ways of learning, because they may not know what their preferred way of learning is until they have been exposed to it.

 

Gardner’s Eight Multiple Intelligences

Douglass Fliess, Sue. “Multiple Intelligences: Understanding Your Child’s Learning Style.” Learning and Your Child.  Education.com, 5 March 2009. 10 April 2017.

 

  1. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

This child focuses on words, enjoys reading, is articulate, has an extensive vocabulary, is a good speller and writer, likes rhymes and puns, communicates their thoughts well, and has excellent memory for names and places.

How to encourage your child’s growth in this area:

Encourage your child to talk about the books they are reading, have them join a drama team, play word or board games with them, write stories or speeches.

 

2.   Logical / Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

This child is very curious about how things work, they love numbers, math and figuring out patterns, enjoys strategy games/brain teasers, likes performing experiments, interested in natural history museums, and likes computers.

How to encourage your child’s growth in this area:

Encourage your child to solve a variety of number puzzles, play strategizing board games with them, allow them to ask questions and investigate the answers on their own.

 

3.  Spatial / Visual Intelligence (Picture Smart)

This child understands maps and charts, they like to create 3D sculptures, often daydreams, is skilled at drawing, tends to memorize through images, videos and pictures, enjoys movies and likes to take things apart and put them back together.

How to encourage your child’s growth in this area:

Encourage your child to creatively manipulate and create with different mediums (craft, sew, paint, draw, construct, etc.), encourage them to design, provide opportunities to solve 3D activities and mazes.

4.  Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

This child can tell you when music is off key, can easily recall melodies, has a pleasant singing voice, can learn musical instruments with ease, speaks or moves in a rhythmical way, hums or whistles, and may show sensitivity to surrounding noises.

How to encourage your child’s growth in this area:

Encourage your child to play an instrument, sing or write songs, join a choir or band, learn to dance.

5.  Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

This child is good at many sports, may have a hard time sitting still, can easily mimic other’s body movements/gestures, likes to touch objects, enjoys physical activities, learns by doing, enjoys creating things with their hands, and has good fine-motor coordination.

How to encourage your child’s growth in this area:

Encourage your child to participate in a variety of sports, teams, a dance class. Encourage the development of their fine motor skills (knitting, building, create origami, etc.)

6.   Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

This child enjoys the company of others, is a natural leader who is caring and empathic, helps others solve problems, often has good street smarts, and understands feelings from facial expressions, gestures and voice.

How to encourage your child’s growth in this area:

Encourage your child to role play, teach them how to negotiate and share. As well, encourage collaborative activities with friends, exposing them to multicultural experiences.

7.   Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

This child is independent, knows what they are good at and when they need to ask for help, has a high self-esteem, learns from their failures and successes, and does not like to talk about their interests or hobbies.

How to encourage your child’s growth in this area:

Encourage your child to set realistic goals, help them plan out how they are going to achieve them. This child enjoys working on independent projects and works best when they have a quiet place for them to play or study in.

8.   Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

This child enjoys animals, enjoys the outdoors, likes to visit nature preserves and the zoo, has a natural connection to the outdoors, likes to play outside, collects bugs, flowers, leaves and is interested in biology, astronomy, meteorology and zoology.

How to encourage your child’s growth in this area:

Encourage your child to create an observation notebook of their leaf collections. Allow them to be involved in caring for gardens and pets. Provide the opportunity to visit science museums, exhibits, farms, a zoo. If possible give them an opportunity to use binoculars and telescopes.

 

Each child has varying degrees of these intelligences; one intelligence is not more important or more valuable than another.  Children need exposure and practice using each of their intelligences; by engaging multiple parts of their brain they will remember more of what they learn, be easier to teach, and acquire confidence in their ability to learn new things. (Once you identify what type of leaner your child is you can begin to identify different learning styles and learning strategies best for your child.)

 

When considering what intelligences your child may be dominant in, remember that each child has been uniquely created in God’s image. By learning to identify the strengths of your child, you will be better equipped to teach them and to help them develop learning strategies that are best suited for them.  All intelligences are needed to participate in a productive, functioning society. So, let your child dream, let your child explore and have fun.  They may not set foot on the moon or cure cancer, but who knows, maybe they will discover a new purpose for a peanut butter sandwich.

 

 

 

Word of Caution:  There are many Multiple Intelligence and Learning Style assessments available on the Internet.  Check them out, have fun, but remember these assessments are not an official evaluation. They are limited in their ability to truly assess one’s strengths. This article was written to give you a basic level of understanding the different ways that your child may learn best (intelligences they may be dominant in). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources
Brudaldi, Amy C. “Multiple Intelligences: Garner’s Theory.” Digest Series EDO-TM-96-01. Ericar.net Clearinghouse on
Assessment and Evaluation, September 1996. 10 April 2017.
Douglass Fliess, Sue. “Multiple Intelligences: Understanding Your Child’s Learning Style.” Learning and Your Child. 
Education.com, 5 March 2009. 10 April 2017.
Frazier, Karen. “8 Multiple INtelligences.” Child Education. Love to know, 1 November 2016. 10 April 2017.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *