Multiple Intelligences, part 4

        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.

Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence: using one's body to solve problems and express ideas and feelings. Actors, athletes, and dancers use their whole bodies in this way, much the same way that craftspeople, sculptors, and mechanics use their hands.

        These questions can determine if an adult has a strength in Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence:

  • Do you regularly participate in a sport or some physical activity?
  • Is it difficult to sit still for long periods of time?
  • Do you enjoy working with your hands in creating things?
  • Do you find that ideas and solutions to problems come to you while you are exercising or doing some sort of physical activity?
  • Do you enjoy spending your free time outdoors?
  • Do you speak with your hands or other body gestures?
  • Do you learn more about things by touching them?
  • Do you enjoy thrilling amusement park rides such as the roller coaster and other activities like this?
  • Do you think of yourself as being well-coordinated?
  • In order to learn a new skill, do you have to practice it to learn it, rather than read about it or see it in a video?

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

  • excel in more than one sport?
  • move various body parts when required to sit still for long periods of time?
  • have the ability to mimic others’ body movements?
  • enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together?
  • have a hard time keeping hands off objects?
  • enjoy running, jumping, or other physical activities?
  • show skill in activities that require fine-motor coordination, such as origami, making paper airplanes, building models, finger-painting, clay, or knitting?
  • use his body well to express himself?

All columns are copyright © Jay Davidson.  Permission is hereby granted for individuals to download and copy them for individual use.  There is a modest charge for printing these columns in any publication.  To receive that permission, contact   Jay Davidson