Hello Exam Seekers,
Have you ever wondered why you used to struggle so much to learn things while in school? Have you ever felt frustrated with finding something hard while others found it easy? How about your performance in tests? Was it something that was somehow upsetting when you could not achieve a good mark on them?
Well, let me break the news to you: the problem was (is) not you.
Ok, let me explain it better. Schools have a system. And, in general, it works pretty well for most students. However, as we all know, there aren’t two equal people in the world. That is also true when talking about education. Not two people will learn things the same way.
That leads to an issue that has been around for a while already: (traditional) school systems tend to be designed for only one type of learner, which is the one who can learn without any further difficulties under some conditions. They may include sitting down for too long just listening to a lecture, not speaking a single word throughout the class, not taking part into its learning process, and being told to do a significant number of exercises.
That, in fact, works for some. But it can be incredibly tiresome for others, who struggle to make sense of what is going on. Some people do learn by making movements or listening to songs or looking at pictures, or while drawing, and that is ok. Different from what used to be taught before, it doesn’t make you less intelligent than others. It just means that the way you process things does not apply to the system you are currently at. When sitting for an exam, you will mostly be tested on your linguistic-verbal intelligence and logical-mathematical one. This is one of the reasons why some people simply do not fit the system, they are not being tested according to their intelligences.
Nevertheless, it was only back in the 1980s that the discussion about different types of intelligence started. Howard Gardner introduced us seven different ones back then, which are known as linguistic-verbal, visual-spatial, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. Later on, he also presented a new one named as naturalistic intelligence.
Now I ask you, does it mean that we can only have one type of intelligence? It definitely doesn’t. It mostly means that some of these intelligences may be more developed than others, making learning and understanding happen more easily when the environment we are gives us the opportunity to make use of these already developed skills.
By being aware of these results, students – and teachers – can make better decisions related to learning. New approaches may be chosen, different studying styles may be used, and learning will more and more take place. Knowing and understanding our differences and skills is of great importance, especially to ourselves, since we are offered the chance to broaden our horizon and to better understand ourselves in the process of learning and many other life aspects.
As you can see in the picture below, my strongest intelligences are intrapersonal and linguistic. However, I also have the other intelligences, but they are simply less developed than the first two.
Test taken here.
So, we have already named and showed the intelligences. However, how are they different? What does it mean to have an intrapersonal intelligence?
Bodily-kinesthetic: if you learn through movements or by hands-on activities, chances are your bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is more developed. That means that you learn a lot by doing things rather than merely listening to them. You have good physical control, and you are good at doing things that involve moving your body, such as dancing or doing sports.
Interpersonal: by having this intelligence more developed, you probably understand people well and are good at dealing with them. Your speech skills are excellent, and you communicate effectively with others. In general, you are a more empathic person and understands different points of view and analyzes different perspectives by seeing it from an outside position. You can deal well with problems, and you are quite aware of others emotions and intentions.
Intrapersonal: if you have this intelligence as a strong one, you are probably aware of what goes on with you. You are continually analyzing your attitude and are very immersed on what happens within you. You know a lot about your self and knows your strengths and weaknesses, generally. You are probably good at analyzing ideas and likes theories.
Linguistic-verbal: it is how well you deal with language, that is, if you can communicate appropriately, convince others, engage in conversation, use language objectively, be it in spoken or written form. Besides that you also enjoy reading, remembering things and writing. If this is one of your strongest intelligences, you work well with words in an overall context.
Logical-mathematical: talks about how well you perform in problem-solving, patterns, deduction, logical thinking and all. If this is your strongest intelligence, chances are you excel in solving complex problems, and you think are good at analyzing numbers, understanding things more conceptually.
Musical: when you grasp rhythm, tones, and remember song-related things quickly, this means your musical intelligence is more developed. Chances are you can play an instrument, enjoy music in general, and you will remember things better when you can connect it to music anyhow. Be it by writing a song with the concepts you need for a test or creating the melody for some information you have learned.
Naturalist: if you enjoy exploring nature and understands things better when you relate them to nature, you have a high naturalist intelligence. You are sensitive to small changes and are highly connected to the environment around you. You enjoy nature as a whole and being in touch with it is probably a necessity for you. You can categorize and catalogue things more easily, and things that are not related to nature tend to be of less interest to you.
Visual-spatial: if you have this intelligence more developed, you are probably good at visualizing things. You deal well with maps, directions, pictures and other visual arts.
One of the aspects to be taken into account while studying the multiple intelligences is that by knowing all them and what they mean, one can even learn ways to develop the intelligences which are weaker. We say so because different activities can be done to sharpen different skills, which will lead to a development in different types of intelligence. This way you will broaden even more your abilities and will be more open to different ways of learning, which is always something to be considered as positive.
Even though there are some school systems which are still taken as traditional, more and more schools are considering the different ways students learn and implementing different methodologies to reach those who don’t work well solely with the linguistic-verbal and logical-mathematical intelligence. Therefore, there is already a change in the learning scenario and being able to offer a variety of activities which can include different skilled people is more and more necessary nowadays.
Have a nice week,
Eve and Patty