My nephew is a high school student who is a gifted pianist, composer and singer. He’s also autistic. While I have no idea how he might score on an IQ (intelligence quotient) test, he has earned a spot in the state chorus and performs publicly. Luckily for him, his parents ensured that he was exposed to experiences where his musical talents emerged and have provided opportunities to nurture his gifts.
Everyone is intelligent, just maybe not the kind of intelligence that generates high scores as measured by an IQ test, college admissions tests like the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), or even school grades. Those tests evaluate how intelligent someone is on a narrow range. Likewise, many schools tend to focus on certain skills, such as writing, reading, and numbers. What happens if your dominant intelligence type doesn’t match a school’s emphasis? You may end up thinking that you’re not that smart. Not so fast. Harvard professor Howard Gardner has proposed that humans exhibit multiple intelligences, a theory that identifies various ways that people process information and interact with the world.
The eight intelligences include:
- Verbal-linguistic: the ability to analyze information and produce work using oral and written language
- Logical-mathematical: ability to understand numbers, develop equations, make calculations, and solve abstract problems.
- Visual-spatial: being able to make sense of maps and other visual information
- Musical: enables individuals to produce and make meaning of different types of sound
- Naturalistic: being drawn to plants and animals and able to identify elements found in nature
- Bodily-kinesthetic: dexterity with using one’s body
- Interpersonal: the ability to recognize and understand other people’s moods, motivations, and intentions
- Intrapersonal: the ability to recognize and assess those mood, motivation and intention within themselves.
You may already know what your dominant intelligence type is, but you can take a Multiple Intelligences assessment to validate your primary and discover your secondary types.
We all have reservoirs of life to draw upon of which we do not dream.” – William James, US psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910)
Standardized tests and schools lead to standardized students. Figure out how you learn best to expand your potential.
© Joan S Grey, 30 Dec 2016
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