Today we are going beyond the basic learning styles of Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic/Tactile (VARK). Most of us don’t fall strictly into one of those categories – and neither do our children. There are also several other factors that are not taken into account with the VARK learning styles – art, music, nature being a few. Enter “Multiple Intelligences” developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. They are:
- Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)
- Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)
- Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)
- Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)
- Musical intelligence (“music smart”)
- Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)
- Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)
- Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)
The theory behind Multiple Intelligences is not to find a category that your child “fits” into but rather recognize which types of intelligences are more prominent in how your child not only learns but is – their personality. My favorite Multiple Intelligences test to take online in Edutopia: What’s Your Learning Style. The questions are clear and so far the results have been spot on for me and my children. I like that they provide a chart at the end of the test showing your results. Here are my results:
Pretty well rounded don’t you think? I loved reading growing up (still do) but hated English. I also loved math but music has always been my first love.
Here are a few of my children’s results:
As you can see both Abby (above) and Debbie (below) are very similar. They both love nature but in different ways. Abby loves animals, Debbie loves plants. They both enjoy a good book and music.
Laura’s has changed slightly since she did this test years ago. When she was little she was very musical but then she learned to read. Those two learning styles – linguistic and musical – help her concentrate the best.
If your child is too little to take the test the following chart is also useful in understanding the basic premise behind each intelligence. Just reading through it I bet you’ll be able to see what intelligences your children envelope more than others.
Did you have any “Aha!” moments reading the chart? Good! Understanding how your child’s brain works and what makes them enjoy learning will help you as a parent help them to love learning.
Here are the links to all the posts I’ve written about each intelligence: