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
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
- Intrapersonal Intelligence: turning inward with a
well-developed self-knowledge and using it successfully to navigate oneself
through the world.
These questions can determine if an adult has a
strength in Intrapersonal Intelligence:
- Do you regularly spend time alone meditating, reflecting,
or thinking about important life questions?
- Have you attended counseling sessions or personal growth
seminars to learn more about yourself?
- Do you have a hobby or interest that you keep to yourself?
- Have you set goals for yourself regularly?
- Do you have a realistic view of your strengths and
- Would you prefer spending time by yourself rather than with
many people around you?
- Do you keep a diary or journal to record the events of your
- Are you either self-employed or have you given serious
consideration to starting your own business?
These are some questions to determine if children may
be exhibiting a well-developing Intrapersonal Intelligence. Does your child:
- show a sense or independence or a strong will?
- have a realistic sense of her abilities and weaknesses?
- do well when left alone to play or study?
- "march to the beat of a different drummer" in living and
- have a hobby or interest she doesn’t talk about much?
- have a good sense of self-direction?
- prefer working alone to working with others?
- accurately express how he is feeling?
- learn from failures and successes?
- have good self-esteem?