I DIDN’T KNOW
there was so many options
PREVIOUS: Multiple Intelligences (Part 1)
SITE: Theory of multiple intelligences
Multiple Intelligences (M.I.) are mainly about our style of learning.
We may have a dominant one, a mixture, or use a different style for different situations. The most well-know ones are based on our senses (eyes, ears, gut, & less used are tongue & nose). Nor are they fixed – less dominant ones can be developed, & preferred ones enhanced.
• Research on learning has shown that ADULTS learn differently from younger students (MORE…)
Malcolm Knowles, Adult Educator & contributor to the ‘Humanist Learning Theory’, identified six assumptions about the needs of adults in earning/training situations. LEARNERS:
Need to know Why – what value does this info have to them, how is the knowledge of direct benefit
Self-Concept – most adults believe they’re responsible for their own lives, so they need to be seen & treated as capable & self-directed. They have a need for independence, but not enough to cause discomfort
Experience – individuals come with a wide variety of differences in background, goals, interests, learning style, motivation, needs
Readiness – they are ready to learn because they need or want to know how to effectively cope with real-life situations
Orientation – being mainly task-oriented & problem-centered, adults look for practical info which can be applied to everyday issues. They learn best with problem-based approaches & through actual experience
Motivation – they respond to some external motivators (better job, higher salaries….), but the strongest motivators are internal (desire for increased job satisfaction, self-esteem….)
• In the 1960‘s, Dr. Howard Gardner, a Harvard Professor of Cognition and Education, revolutionized our understanding of Intelligence (I.). Over the years he has authored over 20 books, holds 26 honorary degrees & is among the “100 most influential thinkers in the world”. H.G.
The inspiration for his theory of Multiple Intelligences (M.I.) came from his work with two distinct groups: stroke victims & children. “Both were clueing me into the same message: that the human mind is better thought of as a series of relatively separate faculties, with only loose & non-predictable relations with one another – rather than as a single, all-purpose machine that performs steadily at a certain horsepower, independent of content and context” (Theory development)
Dr. Gardner’s framework for M.I. offers a practical model for identifying the many paths to learning – regardless of content, skills or desired outcome. He believes that the current list is not exhaustive, since he’s added to them since he first started with 7. He believes that I. is much more than IQ, because it requires useful action to be valid. “Intelligence is a bio-psychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture”.
These 9 Is are expanded in following posts:
Kinesthetic: interacting with one’s environment
Inter-personal: connecting with others
Intra-personal: self-awareness, values & attitudes
Linguistic: expression thru the spoken & written word
Logical: problem solving through reasoning
Naturalist: classifying and categorizing data
Rhythmic: identifying and extending patterns
Spiritual: using contexts & connections before understanding
Visual: the ability to see, envision & imagine
NOTE: Only Linguistic & Logical are measured by old-fashioned IQ tests.
• This list is a way to categorize how humans natively become aware of, understand & process our environment. It helps to figure out where our weaknesses come from, but mainly to pinpoint natural strengths – seen in our preferred learning, behavioral & working styles – so we can make the best use of inborn preferences. Sadly, out of ignorance or necessity, many people are in jobs that go counter to those preferences.
EXP: A highly Body-Kinesthetic person may be stuck in a Logic desk-job, instead of being able to move around, such as a forest ranger, recreational leader, physical therapist, gym teacher…..
— or a Visual / Artistic person in a Linguistic position, instead of being able to dance, paint, act….
• Although each of us can access all 9 styles, no two people have the same amount of each.
— Some people are Mono-endowed, like being able to speak 4 languages – but it takes them awhile to calculate a tip, or like someone who’s a whiz with numbers – but can’t carry a conversation. If their single talent is honed & monetized, such people can become celebrated for incredible accomplishments
— A few are at the other end of the spectrum, ‘Renaissance’ men or women who can cross-access several Intelligences & are superior at almost everything they do
— The rest of us have one or two dominant talents, which serve us well if we have the opportunity to freely express them
• Dr. Gardner tells us that I. involves problem solving – creating ‘products’ when expressed in a context-rich & natural setting. What other scientists used to think were just soft-skills, such as the Inter- or Intra-personal ones, Gardener realized were actually types of Intelligences.
EXP: Being a math whiz gives the ability to quantify the world, but so does being people-smart, just from a different perspective. So someone with Intra-Personal talent may not be able to calculate the rate at which the universe is expanding, but will be able to find someone who can!
These 9 categories also give a way to recognize & own potentials many of us left behind in childhood (love for art, computers…), & can now take the opportunity to develop.
Since different areas of Is are related to each other it’s possible to increase it in one area by developing another, because many problems can be dealt with in more than one way.
— One third-grade teacher found her students’ scores on a math test (logical) nearly doubled after giving them training in visual (spatial) skills with a microcomputer program
— “Early music training (for 3-year olds) prepares young brains for spatial & abstract reasoning skills crucial to engineers, scientists & mathematicians.” ~ study from U of Cal. Irvine
— “An enriched environment that helps very young children develop each area of talent or intelligence is one of the best possible investments in their future” ~ Ron Fitzgerald, D.Ed.
NEXT: Multiple Intelligences (Part 3)