Multiple Intelligences, part 1

        Howard Gardner, a Harvard professor, researcher, and author, proposes that there are eight main areas in which all people have special skills; he calls them intelligences. Every one of us possesses all the intelligences to various degrees of development, from highly developed to fairly underdeveloped.

        Schools and standardized testing typically teach to and test for only two of the intelligences: linguistic and logical-mathematical. This is a shortcoming of the educational system, as many children with other abilities are overlooked in the process.

        In this series, I give some information about each intelligence, with the hopes that parents will recognize themselves and their children.

  • Linguistic Intelligence: using words, either orally or written, in an effective manner. This intelligence is associated with storytellers, politicians, comedians, and writers.

These questions can determine if an adult has a strength in Linguistic Intelligence:

  • Have you always enjoyed books and given them importance?
  • Do you hear words in your head before you speak or write them?
  • Do you enjoy talk shows more than television or movies?
  • Do you enjoy word games, puns, rhymes, tongue-twisters, and poetry?
  • Do you have a highly developed vocabulary and enjoy knowing words that other people do not know?
  • In your own education, did you enjoy subjects related to words and ideas, such as English and social studies, more than math and science?
  • Have you enjoyed learning to read or speak other languages?
  • In your speech, do you refer to information that you have read or heard about?
  • Have you been praised, recognized, or paid for your writing?

        These are some questions to determine if children may be exhibiting a well-developing Linguistic Intelligence. Does your child:

  • write better than average for her age?
  • enjoy telling stories and jokes?
  • have a good memory for names, places, dates, and other information?
  • enjoy word games, either visually or auditorally?
  • enjoy reading books?
  • spell better than other children the same age?
  • appreciate rhymes, puns, tongue twisters?
  • enjoy books on tape without needing to see the book itself?
  • enjoy hearing stories without seeing the book?
  • have an excellent vocabulary for his age?
  • communicate thoughts, feelings, and ideas well?



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