Multiple Intelligences start with the premise that ‘every child is smart’….we just need to help them find out what they are smart in and capitalize on their preferred learning style(s). As an educator, the Multiple Intelligences (MI) Theory (developed by Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of Education at Harvard University 40 years ago) is not new to me. In fact, I enjoy using Multiple Intelligences strategies in my classrooms to engage my students in learning.
In a nutshell, there are at least 8 different types of intelligences (with each one having a corresponding area in the brain). Teachers and parents have always intuitively known that kids learn in different ways and Dr. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence (MI) Theory supported their own classroom / homeschooling observations.
Traditionally, school curriculums are biased towards students who are mathematically and linguistically inclined, while students who were artistic, musical, or kinesthetic learners were disadvantaged. Fortunately, educators now recognize that there are many paths to learning, and students learn best when they are able to engage in activities that involve their strengths.
As parents, the awareness and application of Multiple Intelligences is equally important. While young children have the potential to be intelligent in all areas, they will most likely show dominance in some and weakness in others. When we find our child’s preferred learning style(s), we should capitalize on it and give them many opportunities to express that in their work. But it is equally important to give them exposure to various kinds of styles because your child may not realize what his preferred learning style is until he is exposed to it.
What Intelligences does your child possess? The following are descriptions of Dr. Gardner’s 8 Multiple Intelligences, along with tips on how you can help your child stretch his or her areas of strength:
• Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart).
This child focuses in school, enjoys reading, has an extensive vocabulary, prefers English or Social Studies over math and science, learns a foreign language with ease, is a good speller and writer, likes rhymes and puns, and communicates his thoughts well.
Tip: Encourage him to discuss books he has read with you, play word or board games, prepare speeches or enroll in drama classes. Possible career paths: poet, journalist, teacher, or lawyer.
• Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart).
This child is curious about how things work, loves numbers and math (especially if he can do it in his head), enjoys strategy games like chess, checkers, brain teasers or logic puzzles, likes experiments, is interested in natural history museums, and likes computers.
Tip: Encourage her to solve various kinds of puzzles, provide her with games like checkers, chess or backgammon, let her figure things out and encourage her to ask questions. Possible career paths: scientist, engineer, researcher, or accountant.
• Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart).
This child easily leans to read and understands charts and maps, daydreams often, is skilled at drawing, doodling and creating 3-D sculptures, enjoys movies, and likes taking things apart and putting them back together.
Tip: Provide opportunities to paint, color, design. Give him puzzles and 3-D activities like solving mazes, challenge his creativity, and encourage him to design buildings or clothing. Possible career paths: sculptor, mechanic, architect, or interior designer.
• Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart).
This child excels in more than one sport, taps or moves when required to sit still, can mimic other’s body movements/gestures, likes to touch objects, enjoys physical activities and has excellent fine-motor coordination.
Tip: Encourage participation in school and extracurricular sports/teams. Encourage fine-motor ability (teach her to build paper airplanes, create origami, or try knitting). Enroll her in dance class. Possible career paths: dancer, firefighter, surgeon, actor, or athlete.
• Musical Intelligence (Music Smart).
This child can tell you when music is off-key and easily remember melodies. He has a pleasant singing voice, shows aptitude with musical instruments, speaks or moves in a rhythmical way, hums or whistles to himself, and may show sensitivity to surrounding noises.
Tip: Encourage him to play an instrument, write songs, join school bands or choirs, or study folk dancing from other countries. Possible career paths: musician, singer, or composer.
• Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart).
This child enjoys socializing with friends, is a natural leader, is caring, helps friends solve problems, is street-smart and understands feelings from facial expressions, gestures and voice.
Tip: Encourage collaborative activities with friends inside and outside of school, expose her to multi-cultural books and experiences, encourage dramatic activities and role playing, help her learn to negotiate and share. Possible career paths: counselor, therapist, politician, salesman, or teacher.
• Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self-Smart).
This child shows a sense of independence, knows his abilities and weaknesses, and does well when left alone to play or study. He has a hobby or interest he doesn’t talk about much, is self-directed, has high self-esteem, and learns from failures and successes.
Tip: Help him set goals and realize the steps to get there, encourage independent projects and journal writing, help him find quiet places for reflection and appreciate his differences. Possible career paths: philosopher, professor, teacher, or researcher.
• Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart).
This child talks about favorite pets or outdoor spots, enjoys nature preserves and the zoo, and has a strong connection to the outside world. She likes to play outdoors, collects bugs, flowers and leaves, and is interested in biology, astronomy, meteorology or zoology.
Tip: Take her to science museums, exhibits and zoos. Encourage her to create observation notebooks, ant farms, bug homes, and leaf collections. Involve her in the care of pets, wildlife, and gardens. Make binoculars and telescopes available to her. Possible career paths: animal activist, biologist, astronomer, or veterinarian.
Through this workshop, you will:
1. Learn how to develop your children’s literacy skills by linking words to images, music, logic, emotions, physical expression, social context, oral language, and nature
2. Acquire practical tips and suggestions for teaching everything from phonics to reading comprehension using whole brain strategies
This workshop is for parents with children from 3 to 12 years old who want to lay strong foundation in their kids in reading and writing using the concept of multiple intelligences.
Date: 28 September 2013. Time: 2.30pm to 4pm . At the Rise & Shine Expo. Suntec Convention Hall 401.
Through this workshop, you will:
1. Explore your own multiple intelligences
2. Acquire specific tips for identifying multiple intelligences in your children
3. Learn how to use all eight intelligences to teach your children!
This is a must attend workshop for parents (f children of from 2 years and above) who want to develop their children beyond academic success and learning how to best teach their children according to their individual uniqueness.
Date: 28 September 2013. Time: 4.30pm to 6pm. At the Rise & Shine Expo. Suntec Convention Hall 401.
Participate in the giveaway here:
This giveaway ends 17 September 2013. Winners will be notified by email. All the best!