Multiple Intelligence: The different ways a child learns

Aug 02 , 2021


Ankur Tandon

Multiple Intelligence: The different ways a child learns

Multiple intelligences is a theory first posited by Harvard developmental psychologist Howard Gardner in 1983 that suggests human intelligence can be differentiated into eight modalities.

Multiple intelligences refers to a theory describing the different ways students learn and acquire information. These multiple intelligences range from the use of words, numbers, pictures and music, to the importance of social interactions, introspection, physical movement and being in tune with nature. Accordingly, an understanding of which type(s) of intelligence a student may possess can help teachers adjust learning styles, and suggest certain career paths for learners.

There are eight types of Multiple Intelligences:

1. Visual-Spatial Intelligence- picture smart

People with visual-spatial intelligence are good at visualizing things. These individuals   are often good with directions as well as maps, charts, videos, and pictures.

2. Linguistic-Verbal Intelligence- word smart

People with linguistic-verbal intelligence are able to use words well both when writing and speaking. These individuals are very good at writing stories, memorizing information, and reading.

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence- number/reasoning smart

People with logical-mathematical intelligence are good at reasoning, recognizing patterns, and logically analysing problems. These individuals think conceptually about numbers, relationships, and patterns.

4. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence- body smart

People with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are said to be good at body movement, performing actions, and physical control. People who tend to have excellent hand-eye coordination and dexterity.

5. Musical Intelligence- music smart

People with musical intelligence are good at thinking in rhymes and sounds. They are strong in the musical sense and are good at musical compositions and performance.

6. Interpersonal Intelligence- people smart

People with interpersonal intelligence are good at understanding and interacting with other people. These individuals are skilled at assessing the emotions, motivations, desires, and intentions of those around them.

7. Intrapersonal Intelligence- self smart

People with intrapersonal intelligence are good at being aware of their own feelings and emotions. They do self-reflection analysis.

8. Naturalistic Intelligence- nature smart

People with naturalistic intelligence are tune with nature and are often interested in nurturing, exploring the environment, and learning about other species.

Why and How to identify Multiple intelligences in a child?

Each child is different and so is their intelligence and the way they learn. If a teacher uses only one or few ways of teaching without knowing the learning style of the children, he/she might not be able to cater to all. But if a teacher uses various teaching and learning ways then all the children will be able to grasp the lessons, contents etc. If a teacher incorporates all eight intelligences while planning and executing curriculum and activities, children will be able to learn and grasp. 
As a teacher and parent if we are aware of Multiple Intelligence Theory, we can do much better in teaching, caring and nurturing our children. We can observe and understand more about the child and his/her learning style.
One can identify MI in a child by exposing a child to different types of activities like story time, hand on activities, physical activities, song and music, maths activities, art and craft etc. Let the child take his/her own time to explore and experiment. Observe him/her and see which activities the child enjoys doing the most. For how long the child interacts with toys and does the activity. If a child enjoys song and rhymes and responds to the music. He/she has musical intelligence. Any child or individual has more than one intelligence.  It is always good to expose children to various types of activities.

At wonderLearn, we incorporate multiple intelligence in our curriculum and activities. Each activity caters to one or more intelligences. Toys and materials are also designed in a way that each toy caters to various intelligences.  Interactions, rhymes and music, hand on activities, story time etc. are well incorporated in lesson plans.  

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