You’ve probably heard of multiple intelligences, but weren’t sure how they might apply to your child. The old saying that everyone has their own special gift may be trite, but it’s really true. Identifying your child’s strongest talents and unique talents can lead to a feeling of liberation and a lifetime of success.
Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory is a refreshing and innovative approach to behavioral studies. Unlike the traditional IQ and EQ tests, this one is much more subtle and can yield far more useful results for parents who are trying to understand their kids. Additionally, it’s also great for kids who are trying to know themselves.
Over the course of this article, we will be looking at how you can test your child to see which intelligence is most developed. However, before that, let’s talk a bit about the multiple intelligences theory itself:
Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences
In 1983, Howard Gardner published the book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. There, he proposed what specialists now call the model of multiple intelligences. In this model, he proposed eight types of behavior-based intelligences, each matching a single personal trait.
The initial categories were:
- musical and rhythmic
- verbal and linguistic
- visual and spatial
- logical and mathematical
- bodily and kinesthetic
These eight intelligences would later be amended by two others, the existential and the moral types of intelligence. However, the last two are used only in certain multiple intelligences tests.
In addition, we will break down each of these intelligences and their traits. Most importantly, try to notice if your child exhibits any of these attributes!
Musical and Rhythmic Intelligence
This type of intelligence can be seen in child’s natural love for music. Furthermore, if she likes listening to music, hums along to tunes, or has learned an instrument, it’s a clear sign of musical intelligence. Here are the clear signs:
- Likes to learn by using music to concentrate or rhythms to remember numbers.
- Enjoys makin music, no matter how crude.
- Becomes emotionally attached to a song.
- Can play or wants to play an instrument.
- Child is easily annoyed by noise and moved by sounds.
Visual and Spatial Intelligence
The second type in the multiple intelligences theory, this one tests how children relate to their surroundings. Therefore, kids that have this strength will often have the following traits:
- Easily remembers images, places, and people.
- Likes to draw, paint, or take pictures.
- Shows high enthusiasm when around art.
- Likes to use graphs, pie charts, or tables for learning.
- Enjoys the challenge of a puzzle.
Verbal and Linguistic Intelligence
The third type in the multiple intelligences test can show whether your child has any gift for language and writing. Therefore, to check if they will be a famous poet, look for the following:
- Has no problem remembering words and their meanings.
- Likes to write poetry – a clear sign.
- Enjoys reading books, magazines, newspapers.
- Likes to play games with words (such as Scrabble).
- Can arrange words in patterns.
Logical and Mathematical Intelligence
If during the multiple intelligences test the child shows some of the following traits, logical thinking may be his strongest suit.
- Enjoys solving complex puzzles, no matter the type.
- Likes to experiment, however unsuccessfully.
- Likes to enumerate numbers in a sequence.
- Often goes about investigating things in a deductive manner.
- Observes the relationships between people, animals, and can draw conclusions.
Kinesthetic and Bodily Intelligence
Children that show these traits have strong chances of becoming athletes and dancers. Most importantly, this particular set of multiple intelligences controls motion and dexterity.
- Often likes to work with his/her hands.
- Likes to move (run around, play, or practice a sport).
- Complements his explanations with visual representations.
- Often learns from experience (doing stuff).
- Child is literally clingy and sticks to his mother/father a lot.
Basically, this part of the multiple intelligences test shows if the child can do well in social situations. In addition, look for these signs:
- Easily understands other people and how they feel.
- Is really charismatic and always steals the scene.
- Likes to be in charge and lead the way.
- Is popular at home, at the school, and at family gatherings.
- Likes to work in groups and is often part of teams.
This type of multiple intelligence test can tell how much a child is myself-smart. Subsequently, these kids will be self-centered, reflective, and prefer solitude.
- Inclined towards working by himself.
- Generally exhibits long periods of silence.
- Shows examples of deep thinking and thought processes.
- Typically dwells on past events and speaks about them a lot.
- Is very stubborn and shows powerful opinions.
A child with a naturalist type of thinking will be sensitive toward nature and all living creatures. Also, they’ll have the following traits:
- Is interested in nature’s classifications.
- Likes to go to biology and Earth science classes.
- Likes to spend a lot of time outside.
- Describes human relationships by referring to nature.
- Concerned with climate change and the environment.
Testing your child for any of these traits is easy. Parents can find countless tests online for Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory, and many focus specifically on children. Most importantly, parents should remember that these tests are not necessarily definitive.
One of the truly fascinating things about kids is that they can develop traits as they learn and evolve into a fully functioning adult. So, a multiple intelligences test is good but only if it’s taken several times throughout the kid’s childhood. Finally, remember that most kids develop a strong interest in music, for example, during their teenage years.
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