Multiple Intelligence and Learning Styles in Education

For a long time it was believed that all people processed information and learned in the same way. Now, according to Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, we know that people differ in the ways that they learn. In fact, there are eight types of intelligence that Gardner has established. The following contains information about those eight types of intelligence as well as how teachers can incorporate the knowledge of multiple intelligences into the classroom.

Verbal intelligence is one type that belongs to Gardner's group of eight intelligences. A person with verbal intelligence learns best when material is presented in a spoken manner. Generally, reading and writing are also strengths of a verbal learner. A verbal learner fares best in a class where the instructor teaches by lecture and assigns a lot of reading. Teachers can enhance lessons for verbal learners by making sure there is class discussion and plenty of time re-writing notes.

Visual intelligence is another example from the group. Visual learners absorb information more effectively when it is presented by way of a visual aid such as a graph, map, or flip chart. A teacher can emphasize a lesson to these students by using visual productions. For example, if a class with many visual learners has just finished reading a novel, the teacher may want to show clips from a movie based on the book in order to highlight important points of the story.

The next type of intelligence to consider is known as logical. A logical learner absorbs information in linear steps. They think scientifically and use deduction. This type of learner has greater success in a class when an instructor moves in a logical way through material. A logical learner enjoys math challenges because of the exact way that one solution of the problem leads to the next.

Bodily intelligence is the next type to look at. A person with this type of intelligence moves around a lot in the learning process. For example, a person with this type of intelligence who is explaining an idea to a group may walk around and make a lot of gestures. A teacher can enhance the learning experience of a person with bodily intelligence by putting students in groups to share ideas about assignments.

Musical intelligence is another type that some people possess. Understanding notes, rhythms, and melodies are qualities of a person with musical intelligence. A teacher may make a lesson more interesting for musical learners by playing a piece of music as they are learning about a particular topic.

A person with naturalistic intelligence is especially interested in the workings of the environment. They are talented at recognizing the various categories of plants and species of animals. A teacher who wants to convey a lesson in an effective way to a naturalistic thinker may want to relate the material to nature in some way.

A person with interpersonal intelligence relates well with people. They have a particular ability to see things from the point of view of others. Cooperative activities and group lessons are two ideas for a teacher who instructs a lot of students with interpersonal intelligence.

Someone with intrapersonal intelligence is reflective in his or her thinking. The person is certainly aware of his or her own qualities. A teacher who assigns a lot of journal work would become a favorite of a person who possesses intrapersonal intelligence.

Finally, a person can possess the qualities of more than one type of intelligence. There are tests a person can take to determine how he or she learns best. In short, people can be more effective in taking in information if they recognize their particular type of intelligence as well as their preferred learning style.

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Written by Grace Ann Stanford

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