Tips for working and managing multiple intelligences in class
Taking multiple intelligences into account encourages and motivates students to develop the disciplines in which they are most talented.
The classic idea of intelligence used to value the ability of people to master logic, mathematics and linguistics but, with the passage of time and the evolution of knowledge of human beings and their virtues, the field of skills has expanded creating a much more realistic spectrum of the concept of ‘intelligence’ and recognizing their diversity.
The new model of multiple intelligences was created by the psychologist and North American professor Howard Gardner in 1983, and he explained that intelligence was not only reduced to the academic field, but that it was a combination of all the intelligences of the persons.
True to this new theory, he studied the development of skills in children to define each area of intelligence and proposed 8 different types: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, kinetic-bodily, intrapersonal, interpersonal and naturalistic.
But, what does each of these intelligences consist of and how can they work in the classroom? Taking multiple intelligences into account when evaluating students enriches the spectrum of values that are encouraged, motivating students to develop the disciplines in which they are most talented.
Linguistic intelligence is characterized by a mastery of language, reading and writing. It is typical of journalists, political leaders, poets, vendors and writers.
Musical intelligence manifests itself from birth, but needs to be stimulated to enhance its development with activities such as singing, creation and musical analysis or classes to learn to play instruments. It is typical of dancers, composers, musicians and music critics.
Logical-mathematical intelligence is the closest to the traditional concept of intelligence. It is characterized by having skills to develop the scientific method and inductive and deductive reasoning. It is typical of mathematicians, scientists, researchers, economists and engineers.
Spatial intelligence is presented as the ability to form a mental model of the world in three dimensions, and allows you to present ideas visually, perceive details, create works, draw or capture images. It is typical of photographers, artists, designers, architects or publicists.
Kinetic-body intelligence uses the body to perform activities and solve problems in activities that require coordination, balance, speed, strength, flexibility and precision. It is typical of athletes, dancers, actors, surgeons and sculptors.
Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability we have to form an accurate picture of ourselves, allowing us to understand our own needs and characteristics, with our virtues and defects. This ability is very useful for any aspect of our life and allows us to give our best. It is typical of politicians, vendors and teachers.
Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to master facial expressions, control the voice and express certain gestures on certain occasions. It also allows us to perceive emotions in other people and helps us to relate to them and understand them. It is typical of actors and psychologists.
Naturalistic intelligence is characterized by a special gift in the observation and study of nature and the surrounding environment. It allows us to observe models, identify and classify objects to establish patterns and understand natural systems in order to draw conclusions. It is typical of ecologists, biologists, botanists, farmers and landscapers.
How can these intelligences be developed in the classroom?
Analyze the intelligences of the students
To be able to work the different intelligences and to be able to adapt the educational methodologies to the abilities of each student, it is necessary to know which ones have more developed and which less. For this, there are different questionnaires and tests that you can perform to detect which intelligences are most active at that time, and repeat them from time to time to be able to evaluate the results and guide you through the process.
Diversify the contents and work on the issues from different points of view
Classical syllabuses focus too much on theory, giving priority to verbal and visual-spatial intelligence (which is based on learning through language and sight). However, for learning to take place using different intelligences, it is necessary to explore new disciplines and try new, more dynamic work methodologies. This will allow to focus the different contents from different points of view and evaluate them according to the abilities of each student (continuous evaluation is recommended, in order to assess more aspects of the development of their learning, always taking into account the student’s feedback and knowing how they are living this educational experience).
You can use methodologies such as gamification, project work or collaborative learning, which allow to develop intelligences in an integral way and for each student to build their own learning, adapting it to their needs.
Group work is very valuable, since each student will provide a different vision of the agenda we are learning at that time, enriching the perspectives and showing their classmates the different approaches to the same topic.
Use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
These new technologies give us the opportunity to use a whole world of resources, supports and tools to develop the different contents that we will give in class. They are able to adapt to different disciplines and cover the multiple approaches proposed by and for students in a very dynamic and interesting way.
Get out of the classroom to let students experience what has been studied in a real environment
Field trips and activities outside the class are always stored in the memory of students, who acquire certain knowledge in the first person thanks to empirical learning. In HiPlans there is a whole catalog of possibilities that are designed for the development of multiple intelligences. For example, a visit to Insect Park or the Museum of Natural Sciences will foster naturalistic intelligence, while the recreational activities of Amazonia Adventure will be more focused on body-kinetics. Taking a trip to The Robot Museum would focus more on fostering logical-mathematical intelligence, and the art workshops proposed by Arqueopinto will work on spatial intelligence.
Valuing multiple intelligences and fostering their development helps both young people and adults feel more fulfilled and become happier people.