Gone are the days where being “smart” consisted of just being good at solving math problems or writing essays. According to the research of Harvard Professor Howard Gardner, there are nine types of multiple intelligences that people can manifest. Did you know that soft-skills, like communication, aren’t just life-skills but also facets of intelligence?
The thing is, most classrooms are set up for linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. School systems tend to favor highly articulate and logical students instead of those who are blessed with gifts in music, nature, sports, and more. Instead of asking yourself, “How smart am I?” and limiting yourself into stereotypes based on how good you are academically, see where your strength lies. Here are the nine types of multiple intelligences you should look out for:
1. Naturalist Intelligence
The naturalist intelligence encompasses being empathetic towards living things and other parts of the natural world. This intelligence is prominent amongst people like botanists, florists, and chefs. Do you enjoy spending time outdoors and immersing yourself with nature? Then, you are a naturalist!
2. Musical Intelligence
Are you able to easily identify pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone? Those that manifest the musical intelligence are able to do so and are typically those that choose vocations like being a composer, conductor, vocalist, etc. People who are strong in this intelligence also tend to be aware of sounds that others may miss. If you’re constantly humming or drumming to yourself, it’s a sign that music is your specific intelligence.
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
While most students tend to dread solving equations, there are those skilled in logical-mathematical intelligence. Sound like you? Other characteristics include sequential reasoning, inductive and deductive thinking patterns, and more. This means, you can solve puzzles and you have a natural flair for the “hard sciences” like computer technology. (We’re jealous!) Scientists, detectives, and mathematicians are careers suited to those with strong logical-mathematical intelligence.
4. Existential Intelligence
Simply put, this intelligence deals with the ability to ask deep, probing questions about human existence. This includes asking ‘what is the meaning of life?’, “why do we die?”, and “how did we get in this world?”, to name a few. Philosophers are skilled at this specific intelligence. If you rely on your gut and use social systems to understand the world around you, chances are, you may be a philosopher in the making!
5. Interpersonal Intelligence
Yup, being “people smart” exists! Having interpersonal intelligence means that you can easily understand or interact with others. You’re social and you tend to adapt easily to any situation. Why? You’re able to consider multiple perspectives and be sensitive to people’s moods. Teachers, actors, politicians, and leaders tend to practice this intelligence regularly.
6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
If you are strong in this intelligence, you are able to exhibit a variety of physical skills. You can see this type of intelligence in most athletes. Most dancers who manifest the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence have great hand-eye coordination and a good sense of timing.
7. Linguistic Intelligence
People with high linguistic intelligence are highly articulate! Do you have a love for language? In your downtime, do you love to read dozens of novels or share well-crafted thought essays on social media? You’re one of ’em. This kind of intelligence is evident in poets, writers, and great public speakers.
8. Intra-personal Intelligence
Do you consider yourself self-aware? If so, you are likely showing your intra-personal intelligence, which includes being able to have a good understanding of yourself. Novelists and great public speakers both have this intelligence and use it to express themselves well.
9. Spatial Intelligence
Maybe you’re not too keen on words, and prefer to express yourself through drawings. If you excel in the arts, you probably have strong spatial intelligence. Painters, pilots, and graphic designers all use their visual skills of mental imagery and active imagination to apply this intelligence to their daily tasks.
The different types of intelligence can teach us that there are actually multiple ways to be smart. Being smart isn’t just about being good at math or science, but also other things like art or public speaking! When considering careers, keep this in mind. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t necessarily excel in conventional careers. Embrace your uniqueness and find a learning style that suits you best in the classroom.
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