Over the last year we have been focused on Multiple Intelligence. This is the theory by Dr. Howard Gardner which speaks of what engages our brains. This theory speaks of each of us using certain activities to engage our brains to activate. What better gift can a parent give than to give their child a life long gift of finding out what can get their brain to engage on a regular basis and allow them to do better in learning and thinking in general. Here are the basics. Below is a link to our gift giving guide for your use.
Multiple Intelligence (Nine Frames of Mind)
Dr. Howard Gardner a Harvard psychologist is the person who is best known for this theory. Dr. Gardner in an article by Kathy Checkley had this to say regarding intelligence.
“Intelligence refers to the human being ability to solve problems or to make something that is valued in one or more culture.” (ASCD, 1997)
In his opinion all people are intelligent. Tendency for intelligence can be seen early in life. Children tend to show how the intellect is sparked instinctively. Does child in your class talk endlessly; are they constantly trying to figure out how things work, are they alrways doing some form of physical activity? They are showing you their propensity for intelligence. In our culture the tendency is to value only those who have a head for language or logical intelligence.
Dr. Gardner believes the school systems in the US is set up to value these types of intellect leaving out the others. This can be a dangerous attitude for our children. Many children do just fine in school. However, we need to recognize that not everyone has the ability to engage their brain’s to engage through the word or puzzling it out. Educators of all types especially those in a Children’s Ministry Classroom can provide a richer learning environment by providing a variety of activities which will spark children’s brains into learning. We need to encourage all intellectual bents. Providing these experiences will help us to begin to recognize the true gifts and callings of the children we teach. This recognition can be the catalyst to helping children find the purpose the Lord sent them here to accomplish. Each person mentioned above is a human being sent here to Earth to accomplish a task. Each person had the primary intellectual bent which helped guide them along the path to completing their mission. This is also true of each one of us and the children in our care.
According Dr. Gardner there are nine forms of Intelligence they are as follows:
Linguistic - Word
Logical/Mathematical - Numerical/Measuring
Interpersonal- People Knowledge/Talking
Intrapersonal - Self Knowledge/Introspective
Existentialist-Asks the big questions
Each of these intelligences is important to various career and personal goals or ambitions. However, all of us are gifted with some of each. The idea is to see and use the predominate form of intelligence in each of us. The way to do this is to focus on the strength of each area. The following information gives some examples.
Linguistic uses words or language to spark the brain. The process of growth involves lots of words both spoken and written.
A person with linguistic intelligence might be a voracious reader.
Logical-Mathematical uses logic or numbers to spark the intellect. These people primarily need to find the logic or numeral use. A logical-mathematical person may like puzzles or to discover why something works.
Spatial involves being able to see a vision or to create one in the mind. These people use design, pictures, and other artistic means. A person with spatial intelligence may get inspired by drawing an image of their understanding of the information.
Body-Kinesthetic mainly through hands-on and concrete methods.
This person needs to see, taste, hear, smell and interact with concepts to spark them. A person with body kinesthetic intelligence benefits from doing activities they can be involved in a physical way.
Musical involves using sounds, patterns, or rhythms to spark the intellect.
These folks use the creation of music, sounds, and rhythmic patterns. A person with this kind of intellectual bent may need to place information into song or rhythmic pattern to get an understanding.
Intrapersonal involves relating the information through self-reflection.
This person may need quiet time to reflect on how this information fits into his or her own personal world.
Interpersonal involves interaction with others.
This person may need to discuss the information with others or be involved in a group project.
Naturalist involves outdoor or nature involved activities. This person may need to be involved in an outdoor activity or an environmental project to fully understand the information.
Existentialist this person’s intellect is sparked through providing a variety of learning activities geared toward each asking the big questions and want thing to understand the answers. This person might pick a field like archology because the want to learn more and study how the pyramids were built.
Each of these intellectual bents can be effectively used in a classroom setting. When teachers a variety of activities, use open-ended questions, which allow all the children to think outside the box, and use a variety of learning styles; children get an opportunity to allow their intellect to enhance their learning.
Creating an activity based classroom, where children get to choose the order in which they do them. Children will automatically gravitate to their favorite and most comfortable form of activities. While also allowing them to find others they like. Creating these 9 intellectually bent classrooms give kids more independence, stretches their thinking, and makes learning more engaging.
After reading this I suggest you use Scholastic's printable Multiple Intelligence Questionnaire. Use this to help determine your child's intellectual bent. Then use our MIGuide to think about gifts which will support that bent. We here at PT&A hope your holidays are filled with love, laughter, and fun. Most of all we hope as you enter into the new year you will focus on and continue to:
Believe in Parenting