What is Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence?
By Andrew Loh
One of the six basic Multiple Intelligences(MI), bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is a
special concept as proposed by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University.
The word "kinesthetic" derives
its meaning from another technical term called "Kinesthesia" which means
a sense for any movement. In other words, it also refers to a keen
awareness for perceptible changes in our body momentum, balance, position and
stationary presence. With this sense, we can easily know how our bodies
and their components are moving in a perfect balance. Three of the most
significant aspects of kinesthetic intelligence include:
Invisible control of motions within the body.
A capability to handle objects and things with good skills.
An ability to use the entire body to get required motions
Just watch a child who is always on the move. That child may even move his body while studying or watching
TV programs. In fact, such a child looks tremendously energetic and
exciting. For this child, moving around is a primary objective. If not moving, the next best thing
he or she does is to fiddle around
seats by moving arms and feet. In fact, these activities help children
Gardner, in his treatise on this type of
intelligence, opines that children who possess this intelligence have a
beautiful sense of timing, a great inkling to achieve meaningful
physical action and an impeccable ability to maneuver their responses to
convert them into immediate reflexes. In other words, children who
possess such intelligence have a very high degree of motor control and
an ability to use body motions to generate energy and concentration. In
our culture, people believe that such intelligence does not exist as
they think those children who are physically active and agile as public
nuisance. However, Gardner believes that bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is a
hidden gift for many children because it helps them in learning in a
Gardner also believes that this intelligence
has its origin in the body itself. Some of the examples he mentions are
A dancer attributes her ability to perform, to the
actions, which generate from within the body. She has the ability to do
this without looking at written words or images.
engineers feel a sense of movement within their bodies for mass, volume
shape, size and patterns.
A young gymnast like Nadia Comaneci gets
perfect 10 out of 10 for her amazing abilities to perform a series of
unbelievable skills. Such great gymnasts possess an innate ability to
generate movements and actions from within their bodies.
fact, all human emotions take their origin from a hidden kinesthetic
experience. Just think of all those emotions and experience that arise
when you read an excellent novel. It could be emotions like a sense of being
"touched", "gripped", "scared",
"guided", "held", "saddened" or "chilled".
When you read tragedy, you feel as if you are
so "sad". Alternately, when you watch a horror movie, you may feel
"scared" or "gripped". The feelings and emotions that we generate from
within our bodies could be anything and all of them are kinesthetic in
nature. In fact, almost all children, who are below the age of 10 years,
display an ability to sense their body movements and functions. However,
some children have a heightened response to their inner body movements.
Such children are very agile active and energetic.
The major advantage of possessing this intelligence is the ability to display
excellent hand-eye coordination and a skill to show a character of
dexterity. The prominent characteristics of bodily-kinesthetic
Very good at dancing and sports and
activities that involve movements of bodies.
An excellent physical coordination - children are very active and agile with their bodily
They are very good in doing things
rather than hearing or seeing.
Very adept at achieving their goals
by using their body and mind.
Very good motor control, hand-eye
coordination and muscle coordination.
Possess an ability to create
things and patterns with their hands.
Excellent physical shape and
Note: Great dancers, engineers, gymnasts, builders,
sculptors and actors of the past possessed this intelligence.
Identifying children with this intelligence is rather quite easy.
Such children enjoy moving around. They usually excel in sports,
swimming and physical activities. In addition, they could be very good
architects and engineers. In all, they could be very good in those
activities that demand action and movements.
There are lot
differences among children, who possess this intelligence and those who
do not. These children just love evaluating how things work and they do
not like others telling them what they should or perform. They follow their
instincts and gut feelings. They cannot stay at a place for longer time and
they move around a lot. They also love outdoors and nature. In effect,
they know their bodies and inner movements. Movements and dynamism come
naturally to them.
Just look at a child when he utters the
"I can work better when I do something like running
"I love spending time to ride on my bicycle"
"I enjoy building castles in sand"
Note: These are perfect examples of bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is a special ability that many children
possess and display. At times, they might not be studious and
academically intelligent. However, they can excel in many other areas
where others find it very difficult to display their intelligence and
talent. Continue to read
Bodily Kinesthetic Learning Style - Teaching Physically Active Learners