Multiple Intelligence: A New Kind of Smart
Do not then train youths to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each. –Plato
Nathan VanHoy had an amazing memory, an extensive vocabulary and strong verbal skills. To everyone’s surprise, Nathan struggled with reading in school and had to repeat the first grade. When his parents had him tested, they discovered that Nathan had a phonemic awareness problem — he couldn’t distinguish between similar sounding words like “fire” and “fear.” For Nathan, reading was such a chore, that by the time he made it to the end of a sentence, he couldn’t understand what he’d just read.
But by understanding his learning strength, his strong verbal skills, Nathan’s parents and teachers were able to design programs that used his verbal abilities to overcome his reading weaknesses. In fact, when he was given a state-mandated exam to move from the fourth grade to the fifth, Nathan was allowed to take it orally and was one of only four students in his school to achieve a perfect score.
Nathan’s teachers insist that if he had taken the normal fill-in-the-blank test, Nathan would have watched his peers advance while he languished in the fourth grade. A complete failure at standardized tests, is Nathan VanHoy dumb? On the contrary; according to the theory of Multiple Intelligences, he’s a brilliant child, whose outstanding Linguistic Intelligence is the foundation for future success as a public speaker, salesman, orator or public relations expert.
Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard University, first proposed the theory of Multiple Intelligences in his 1983 book Frames of Mind.
“There’s more than one, qualitatively different way to be intelligent,” explains Julie Viens, Gardner’s colleague and a researcher at Project Zero, an education research program at Harvard University. “According to MI theory, intelligence is manifested in what people can do, not how well they do on a test.”
The theory suggests that there are approximately eight mental faculties or “intelligences” that constitute a person’s intellect. They include:
|Musical Intelligence||Pitch, rhythm, timbre|
|Bodily- Kinesthetic Intelligence|| Control of one’s own body, control in
|Logical Mathematical Intelligence||Number, categorization, relations|
|Linguistic Intelligence||Syntax, phonology, semantics, pragmatics|
|Spatial Intelligence||Accurate mental visualization, mental
transformation of images
|Interpersonal Intelligence|| Awareness of others’ feelings, emotions,
|Intrapersonal Intelligence||Awareness of one’s own feelings, emotions,
Recognition and classification of objects in the environment
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