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What is Multiple Intelligence? Smarter Now

Multiple Intelligence. Which Intelligence Are You? Theory of Multiple Intelligence. Dr. Howard Gardiner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences is often referred to as the ‘Seven Ways of Learning’. Below is a brief summary of Gardiner’s intelligence theory.

 The Seven Ways of Learning: Theory of Multiple Intelligence

Author of “Tips and Tidbits for Parents and Teachers – celebrating 50 years in the classroom and sharing what I have learned,’ Pat Kozyra, writes a follow-up to her article “Get Yourself Truly Motivated’ for Keep Climbing the NQF.

multiple intelligence essay by pat kozyra

The views expressed below are from Pat Kozyra

When students begin to understand how they are intelligent, they begin to manage their own learning and value their strengths. This article unpacks why the Theory of Multiple Intelligence is Valuable to Learning.

In recent years, more intelligences have come to light, such as the naturalist and the existential intelligence. It’s interesting to note that Gardiner did interviews and brain research on hundreds of people. Including stroke victims, prodigies, autistic individuals, and so-called “idiot savants”.

What are Gardiner’s Multiple Intelligences?

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The 9 Ways to be Smart: Intelligence Explained by Pat Kozyra

9. Verbal /Linguistic Intelligence:

These students learn best by verbalizing or hearing and seeing words. They have well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words.

8. Logical/ Mathematical:

These students explore patterns, categories and relationships by actively manipulating things in a controlled and orderly way. They have the ability to think conceptually and abstractly and can discern logical or numerical patterns well.

7. Visual/Spatial:

These students think in images and pictures. They spend free time drawing, designing things, or simply daydreaming. They can visualize accurately and abstractly (e.g. lying on the grass watching clouds?).

6. Bodily/Kinaesthetic:

These students communicate very effectively through gestures and other forms of body language. They need opportunities to learn by moving, or acting things out. They can control their body movements and handle objects skillfully.

5. Musical/Rhythmic:

These students respond to music, both instruments and environmental (waves on the sand), and to tonal patterns, rhythms, pitch, and timber.

4. Interpersonal:

These students understand people. They organize, communicate and mediate. They can detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others.

3. Intrapersonal:

These students have a deep awareness of their own inner feelings, dreams, ideas and desires. They are in tune with values, beliefs and thinking processes.

2. Naturalist:

These students have the ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals, and other objects in nature.

1. Existential:

These students have the ability to discuss deep questions about human existence. For example, such as the meaning of life, why we die, and how we get here.

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Multiple Intelligence: Which One Are You?

According to Dr. Gardiner, everyone has all the intelligence but in different proportions. You can strengthen, improve and increase intelligence.

Each person has a different intellectual composition. He believes that these intelligences are located in different areas of the brain and can either work independently or together. This is quite a departure from the traditional views which are that people are born with a fixed amount of intelligence and that it does not change over a lifetime.

Does Your IQ Stay the Same?

In other words, your IQ will always be the same. Note also, that some critics maintain that Bodily-Kinaesthetic and Musical Ability are only talents or aptitudes rather than real intelligences. They also feel it is impractical or utopian for teachers in overcrowded classrooms with a lack of multiple resources to adapt this theory and implement it.

Take a Test Designed by Pat Kozyra

My book “Tips and Tidbits For Parents and Teachers – celebrating 50 years in the classroom and sharing what I have learned ” provides a Multiple Intelligence Survey that anyone can take – parents, teachers and students. You can quickly complete and score it to determine their areas of strength and competency.

Another way to take this survey is by computer where websites offer many similar opportunities to learn what your strongest intelligence is. Students always enjoy when a teacher shares personal anecdotes with them, so teachers, by taking this survey themselves, can share their own strengths with their students. This can result in good teacher-pupil report and communication.

Proponents of the “Multiple Intelligence Theory” believe that knowing this information can foster learning and problem-solving in students. Teachers can structure learning activities around an issue or a question and connect subjects. They can develop strategies that allow the students to show many ways of understanding and thus value their own uniqueness. Students can build on their strengths, demonstrate and share their strengths and even become a “specialist”.

Building Self-Esteem: Be Proud of Your Intelligence

Think what this can do for self-esteem! Experts say that when you “teach for understanding” your students accumulate positive educational experiences and the capability for creating solutions to problems in life.  Some teachers say that students who perform poorly on traditional tests and exams can be “turned on” to learning when classroom experiences incorporate artistic, athletic and musical activities. Then the learning is based on students’ needs, interests, and talents. Students enjoy approaching understanding from different angles. One example cited is the following: The problem “What is sand?” has scientific, poetic, artistic, musical, and geographic points of entry for students.

Why Bother With Intelligence? Take it from Pat!

Dr. Gardiner believes that when students begin to understand how they are intelligent they begin to manage their own learning and value their strengths.

Pat Kozyra

They can be nurtured and strengthened, or even ignored and weakened, but he believes that each individual has all nine intelligences.

Note that Multiple Intelligences is not intended to label a student. “It is helpful for teachers to understand how students are intelligent, as well as how intelligent they are.” They can help create opportunities for the student and foster their abilities and strengths.

For all of the above reasons, I feel it is important for both teachers and students to have an appreciative awareness of “Multiple Intelligences” and how this awareness can work to their advantage in their education.

Pat Kozyra

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Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

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