Why the Theory of Multiple Intelligences in Children is Vital to Development
The theory of multiple intelligences was first developed in 1983 suggesting that only one type of intelligence was much too streamlined. Instead, it was proposed that multiple intelligences in children were a better way to study the broader range of potential in them.
While not all schools or their teachers are equipped to identify multiple intelligences in children, it will be remiss of us not to try and so we must look outward if we are to recognise these potential gifts. One way is to find an alternate program outside of school for children to participate in activities that can improve areas of dominant intelligence.
How to Identify Multiple Intelligences in Children
- Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence expresses ideas and feelings as well as problem-solving through the use of the body. Children who excel in sports or are good at creating things with their hands can be defined as possessing this type of intelligence.
- Interpersonal intelligence relates to the ability to perceive moods, feelings and the needs of people. If your child is able to empathise and advise others or is a natural leader, they might embody interpersonal intelligence.
- Intrapersonal intelligence is to have a heightened self-awareness and use that knowledge to apply it in your daily life. Children with this intelligence typically march to the beat of their drum and are realistic in their abilities.
- Linguistic intelligence predominantly uses words as self-expression, be it verbal or written. Children that are great storytellers or have an uncanny memory for information that most people find hard to retain, might be inclined linguistically.
- Logical-Mathematical intelligence found in children have amazing reasoning skills, understand numbers and are able to use them effectively. They tend to have an innate sense of curiosity and do exceptionally well in strategy games like chess.
- Music intelligence can range from remembering songs with ease to responding to music through emotions. Some ways to investigate this intelligence is if the child is able to tell if the music is not in key, can pick up an instrument fairly well or are very rhythmic in their behaviour.
- Naturalist intelligence proves existent if the child excels at classifying plants and animals as well as understanding natural phenomenon. They are usually animal lovers and take to nature well. They show sensitivity to climate or animal concerns and tend to speak out or about these topics.
- Spatial intelligence is the way children perceive things visually. They remember the finer details in things that most of us miss and enjoy television, movies and videos as well as have a keen interest in performing arts. Children with spatial intelligence unconsciously doodle can absorb information through illustrations.
How to Develop Multiple Intelligences in Children
It is imperative that we provide children with opportunities to access information as well as give them an outlet to showcase their skills. Only then will they be able to deep-dive and cultivate different topics of interest which may develop multiple intelligences.
You might want to try various activities that focus on honing all 9 multiple intelligences This will help guide the child into discovering which intelligence they would like to develop upon.
Let us look at some examples of activities below for each intelligence:
- Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
- Acting or drama classes
- Playing with building blocks or Legos
- Designing props or creating costumes
- Interpersonal intelligence
- Working in groups on a project
- Teaching or mentoring other students
- Playing with puppets to express themselves
- Intrapersonal intelligence
- Journalling or blogging
- Creating scrapbooks
- Setting out goals and ways to achieve them
- Linguistic intelligence
- Poetry reciting
- Joining a debate team
- Logical-Mathematical intelligence
- Math games like Monopoly
- Conducting experiments
- Music intelligence
- Penning own lyrics
- Listening to different genres of music
- Taking up an instrument
- Naturalist intelligence
- Caring for a plant or animal
- Participating in recycling, beach clean-ups or climate awareness drives
- Researching plants or animals
- Spatial intelligence
- Photo taking
- Using virtual reality software
- Studying maps to connect a location
Why Multiple Intelligence Can be Useful in Children
Discovering multiple intelligences in children from an early age allows parents to encourage their children into taking a path that comes naturally to them thus letting them lead happier and more meaningful lives. They might discover their career path and even excel at it from a young age rather than make the mistake of going through trials and error in their professional lives causing them to waste time and lose focus.
Self-esteem and confidence can be boosted when they are exposed to various activities relating to multiple intelligences. Different children have their unique strengths and discovering and nurturing children based on their core strengths will improve their confidence, understand where they fit in the world and maxmise their potential.
By understanding what multiple intelligences are in and out of the classrooms, teachers and parents can quickly identify the unique way in which children learn. Now, instead of reprimanding a child for doodling, we can encourage their spatial intelligence and come to terms that he is simply mapping out a lesson plan!
We have tried to understand that there are different ways in which a child can learn and the better we educate ourselves with multiple intelligences in children, the more stimulating and enjoyable the process can be once we zero in on which bits of intelligence to focus on.
Teachers should also focus on different techniques and methodologies in coaxing our young ones to engage more efficiently rather than using the cookie-cutter method of one size fits all because each child is individualistic.
Lastly, the environment in which children learn plays a huge part in exposing them to more well-rounded experiences and narrowing down multiple intelligences in children.
- Singapore Preschool – PRS Newsletter
- The Importance of Developing Social Skills for Children
- 5 Tips on the Importance of Nature in Kids’ Childhood Development
- How to Develop EQ and IQ in Children?
- The Power of Enrichment Classes for Preschoolers
- Why the Theory of Multiple Intelligences in Children is Vital to Development
- The Importance of Arts and Crafts for Kids in Early Childhood Education
- Outdoor Learning for Children
- How Parents Can Nurture Early Learning in Singapore
- How a Preschool is Essential for Early Childhood Development in Singapore