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Understanding Gardner's Multiple Intelligence in Children

By Andrew Loh


"Intelligence is the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings."- Howard Gardner Frames of Mind, 1993.

What type of intelligence do you expect from your child? How do you like him or her to develop his or her intellect and talent? Is it one of those number crunching abilities? Do you want your child to develop a number of verbal and language skills? Do you wish your child to be an extraordinary athlete? In the past, experts defined intelligence as something that can deal effectively with the environment that includes an inherent ability to reason and sole most common problems that occur on a consistent basis. However, there were doubts raised on how one can define and describe intelligence and smartness in people, especially in growing children.

In 1983, Harvard scholar and psychologist, Howard Gardner proposed a new and fresh theory on intelligence in people that contained much more than just simple definitions of intelligence and smartness. According to Howard Gardner, the words multiple intelligence are new and fresh look at identifying, explaining and defining the word ¡°intelligence¡±. A growing child will have a range of abilities and skills that relate to a particular area of activity and performance.

Howard Gardner suggested the following descriptions of the multiple intelligence domains. Instead of having or owning just one type of intelligence, it is claimed that children possess several different intelligences.

Kinesthetic (Body Smart): Your child is body smart! He or she is very versatile in acting, mimicking or even moving from one place to the other. You child may like to make a number of things and enjoy activities like sports, dancing and drama. Your child can learn through the movements of their body structure and he or she may possess very fine motor control of muscle and bones. Your child may be a quick learner as well. Children with this intelligence tend to learn things like swimming, field sports and gymnastics very quickly.

Logical (Number Smart): With this intelligence, your child will have a keen sense of logic and number (arithmetic). You child can easily solve simple problems, or she or he can decipher and decode simple challenges, perform science experiments, participate in complicated board games or even take part in complex problem solving scenarios. Your child is also number smart. He or she may be very good at doing mathematical subject and perform a variety of number activities.

Intrapersonal (Me Smart): With this intelligence, your kid may be very adept at socializing with other people. Your child may be too extrovert by showing a sense of friendliness to others. Your child may like to lead people and support other in the group. He or she may also be very good at communicating others. He or she will know about strengths and weakness and understand the limit at which they can perform a particular activity.

Visual/Spatial (Picture Smart): If your child has this intelligence, he or she may be good at visualizing things and events. Your child may like to draw and paint objects and figures. He or she may also like to design and solve complex pattern related problems. People with this intelligence tend to succeed in areas like visual memory, engineering and construction. Map reading, solving complex maze like problems and finding graphical solutions are the other areas where your child may excel.

Linguistic (Word Smart): With this amazing intelligence, you child could be excellent in written, spoken and composed words. Your child may be an expert in reading, telling stories, talking, writing stories and poems as well as hearing and reading. Your child is always a word smart person.

Interpersonal (People Smart): This type of intelligence signifies that your child could be very adept at working and socializing with his or her peers. Your child may also be a leader who wants to lead his or her friends and peers in the school. Children with this strength are versatile in communicating their mind and opinions with others. Your child can easily mix and gel with others.

Musical (Music Smart): Your child could excel in creating music and evaluating different kinds if sounds. Your child may also like to sig, play, participate in musical events, play musical instruments and compose songs and lyrics. Your child may be music smart with this intelligence.

Naturalistic (Nature Smart): This type of intelligence may make your child like working with living things like animals, pets, plants and other creatures. Your child may also like to be alone with the natural objects and things. This intelligence signifies that your child is nature smart and interested in world of plants, animals and enjoys learning more about them.



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