Is the theory of multiple intelligences just one these new ideas which will join the forgotten parade soon?
I would answer that with “no”. Often people judge new theories or breakthroughs without having enough knowledge of them. Or tried them out.
So knowing your special talents and intelligences is of great importance. Understanding yourself may save you thousands of hours and energy in the future.
Following the theory of Harvard professor of education, Howard Gardner, there are seven different intelligence types (nowadays even two more intelligences are discussed).
These intelligence types are:
1. Linguistic: good in reading, writing, listening and talking, spells easily
2. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence: good in abstract thinking, counting, performing calculations
3. Spatial Intelligence: thinking in pictures, good in reading map, likes arts, uses metaphors
4. Musical Intelligence: sensitive to rhythm, the composing and singing
5. Kinesthetic Intelligence: good in control of one’s body, good timing,learns good by moving
6. Intrapersonal Intelligence: good negotiator, empathy, enjoys company, good self-understanding
7. Interpersonal functioning: good understanding of others and one’s relations to others, intuitives.
Once it is realized that people have very different kinds of minds, different kinds of talents, then education, which treats everybody the same way, is recognized as the most unfair education.
Some people are good in thinking spatially, some in thinking in pictures, others are very logical and next are people who need to be hands on and explore.
Why can`t these people use their preferred learning style? At least some times.
So knowing about your special talents and intelligences is a giant step towards more effective learning. Maybe you are not in control of your learning environment always, but your goal should be to cut down on “the learning channels” which do not support your preferred intelligences.
Let me tell you the great little story of George Reavis, called “The animal school”:
Many years ago, the animals in the Great Forest decided that they wanted to start a school for all their children. Once upon a time the animals had a school. They had four subjects: running, climbing, flying, and swimming. All animals took all subjects because it was very important to them that no child be left behind.
The duck was good at swimming, better than the teacher, in fact. He made passing grades in running and flying, but he was almost hopeless in climbing. So they made him drop swimming to practice more climbing. Soon he was only average in swimming. But average is okay, and nobody worried much about it – except the duck.
The eagle was considered a problem case. In his climbing class he beat everybody to the top of the tree, but he had his own way of getting there, which was against the rules. He always had to stay after school and write, „You have to follow the rules “ five hundred times. This kept him from soaring, which he loved. But schoolwork comes first. The bear flunked because they said he was lazy, especially in winter. His best time was summer, but school wasn’t open then.
The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.
The squirrel got A’s in climbing, but his flying teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. His legs got so sore practicing take-offs that he began getting C’s and D’s in running.
But the bee was the biggest problem of all, so the teacher sent him to a doctor for testing. The doctor said that the bee’s wings were just too small for flying and besides they were in the wrong place. But the bee never saw this report, so he just went ahead and flew anyway…..
Does this story have a message about learning styles? Well, it was written in the 1940s already!
Once we understand that people have very different kinds of talents we can really improve the way we learn. But do not way until this is common knowledge. Better take control of your learning and find out yourself about your true talents. How do you find your own learning style?
On this site you can take a free test of your style!
From then on improvements depend on self-awareness.
To your Learning success,