Wednesday, March 26, 2014

IQ is not the only barometer of your child's smartness. Here's 9 types...


For all you mums and dads out there, here are a few very important things you need to understand about your child’s intelligence. It’s not about IQ. There’s something called PQ, EQ…and so on and so forth. I wonder why this theory was not proposed when we were kids? We’d all have a bunch of thriving sports people, photographers, artists and what not.

Some years ago, I came across a very interesting article; I think it was in the Readers’ Digest, about different types of intelligence. Up until now, I had heard about IQ…but I was surprised to learn that there were different types of intelligences and that every person excelled in at least one type and every one had a modicum of each of this type. I googled a bit recently and learnt that this theory was presented by a scientist who went by the name of Howard Gardener and I present here his theory as written by him. If you want to learn more about it you can visit the Theory Of Multiple Intelligence page here…The portions in red are the ones as described by Howard Gardener. My comments are in black.

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations).  This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef.  It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like. 
SUNI SAYS: So I’m gathering from this is that abundance of this type of ability will allow your child to thrive as a naturalist, or a care giver or even a mother or a care giver.

2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.  This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.  Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves.  They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.

SUNI SAYS: Lata, Asha, Usha, Lady Gaga, RD Burman to name a few. So in case your child seems to look forward to music classes more than karate, that only means the she is pre-destined towards it.  

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)
Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations.  It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.  Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives.  Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships.  They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.

SUNI SAYS: And there is no Indian mother who would not want her child to excel in math, given that, ironically, it is so necessary to pass each and every entrance exam in this country. But it’s just one of the intelligences. How very very sad!

4. Existential Intelligence
Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

SUNI SAYS: Do I see a psychologist or a counselor, life coach…may be even a future Oprah Winfrey in kids who are so perceptive?

5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”)
Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others.  It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.  Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.
SUNI SAYS: I think this para is explained very well. So I don’t need to elucidate.

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)
Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills.  This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union.  Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

SUNI SAYS: So according to this type, a sportsperson and a surgeon have this similar type of intelligence! Who knew? Up until now, we always had the stereotype of the dumbbell wielding athlete who did sports because he was not really good at math. I am talking only in the Indian context where you have may be one or two periods of games in a week but math and science is taken almost everyday.

7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings.  Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language.  Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

SUNI SAYS: Again, this para more or less explains itself.

8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)
Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one’s life.  Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition.  It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.  These young adults may be shy.  They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

SUNI SAYS: Ever heard of Baba Ramdev or Rajneesh? Eh?

9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)
Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions.  Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination.  Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.

And, finally, If any one among you who is reading this is an educationist I’m asking, is it not time we took a very different look at our system of education and catered to the needs of each of our children in a very specific manner? Like is it ever possible to have an education system which is customized to suit the intelligence of each child? A child with good physical abilities could have more periods where he is trained for sport and similarly, a child with good linguistic skills should be allowed to participate in such activities which promote his or her skill. It’s only but fair to the person to excel in what he is meant to do…is it not?





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