Multiple Intelligences

Harvard Professor Howard Gardner measures intelligence in eight areas. These probably measure your smarts ability better than an I.Q. test. Read the description of each intelligence. As you read, consider how you would rate your skill in that area: Weak, moderate, or strong. Shade the line from 1 to the number that you assess yourself for each intelligence.
  1. Bodily - Kinesthetic Intelligence is the ability to use the whole body or parts of it to develop products and solve problems: Athletes, dancers, construction workers, actors, physical laborers, and surgeons have strong bodily - kinesthetic intelligence. (Famous examples: Jose Canseco, Roberto Clemente, Tom Hanks, Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan, Mark McGwire, Shaquille O'Neal, Julia Roberts, Tiger Woods)

    Intelligence Scale - 1 Weak, 5 Moderate, 10 Strong
  2. Interpersonal Intelligence is the ability to understand motivations and inner workings of other people and to work cooperatively with them. Teachers, mediators, negotiators, politicians, leaders, salespeople, and psychotherapists are good at this intelligence. (Famous examples: Cesar Chavez, Henry Cisneros, Bill Gates, Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Gold Meir, Ronald Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa)

    Intelligence Scale - 1 Weak, 5 Moderate, 10 Strong
  3. Intrapersonal Intelligence is the ability in knowing and understanding one's own inner mental processes reflecting on thought, dreams, spiritual life, and motivations. Philosophers, authors, artists, psychotherapists, and many solitary individuals in all vocations have this intelligence. (Famous examples: Teilhard de Chardin, Milton Ehrichson, Karen Horney, Carl Jung, Thomas Merton, Claude Monet)

    Intelligence Scale - 1 Weak, 5 Moderate, 10 Strong
  4. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence is the ability to think mathematically and logically, as well as to analyze and reason scientifically. Accountants, inventors, or repairment, teachers, and engineers all put information together symbolically or practically using this type of intelligence. (Famous examples: Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Isaac Newton, Emmy Noether, Chien-Shiung Wu)

    Intelligence Scale - 1 Weak, 5 Moderate, 10 Strong
  5. Musical Intelligence is the ability in interpreting, performing, and composing music using melody, rhythm, and harmony. Composers, conductors, jazz musicians, music teachers, rappers, and cheerleaders exercise this ability as they create or use music in their work. (Famous examples: The Beatles, Leonard Bernstein, Julio Iglesias, Beethoven, Mozart, Tito Puente, Linda Ronstadt, Poncho Sanchez, Barbara Streisand, Ritchie Valens, Irving Berlin, Ira and George Gershwin)

    Intelligence Scale - 1 Weak, 5 Moderate, 10 Strong
  6. Naturalist Intelligence is the ability to see patterns and relationships in the natural world, classifying and discovering order. Scientists, biologists, botanists, and environmentalists exemplify this intelligence. (Famous examples: Rachel Carson, Jacques Cousteau, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Rosalind Franklin, Barbara McClintock, Maria Mitchell)

    Intelligence Scale - 1 Weak, 5 Moderate, 10 Strong
  7. Spatial Intelligence is the ability to form an abstract model of the three dimensional world and then solve problems using that model. People who do this well include astronauts, sailors, muralists, engineers, architects, surgeons, sculptors, and painters. (Famous examples: Judith Baca, Franklin Chang-Diaz, Leonardo da Vinci, Sam Maloof, Michelangelo, Ellen Ochoa, Auguste Rodin, Helen Rodriguez, Vincent Van Gogh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Picasso)

    Intelligence Scale - 1 Weak, 5 Moderate, 10 Strong
  8. Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence is the ability with words in writing, story telling, discussing, interpreting, and talking. Poets, writers, lawyers, talk show hosts, teachers, secretaries, and editors who form thoughts and use words skillfully in their work are example of people strong in this intelligence. (Famous examples: Julia Alvarez, Maya Angelou, Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, Alex Haley, Edward Rivera, Oprah Winfrey)

    Intelligence Scale - 1 Weak, 5 Moderate, 10 Strong
Write down your top three intelligences:
  1. ____________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________

How to Use Your Smarts

  • If you are strong in Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, you should find movement in studying. Memory is triggered by location, so moving helps you learn and remember new concepts. This intelligence will help you as you lay out or act out problems physically using your muscles and movements. Try moving around randomly as you think over, discuss, and work on math problems, plan essays, or figure out assignments. Working on a large chalk or whiteboard will also help. Walking a large figure-eight shape as you go over notes, work out problems, study for tests will help you remember the content, because this movement changes your state of mind thus involving more functions in your brain.
  • If your Interpersonal Intelligence is strong, you do well organizing study groups and facilitating others, working together to discuss problems, assignments, or study for tests. Taking a leadership role, you will feel more comfortable and find that you will learn more. The teacher always learns the most. You may wish to volunteer to tutor students.
  • Strong Intrapersonal Intelligence means you may enjoy contemplating subjects on your own at least part of the time. If you are studying math, systems of thought and systems of social organization can be described in mathematical terms. Use your own thought processes to make notes, draw mind maps, anything that may help you remember the concepts you need to know.
  • If you are strong in Musical Intelligence, you may find the mathematical descriptions of what happens in music very fascinating and revealing. Putting formulas or important bits of information to music will help you remember. Some people can learn by listening to music. Be careful what you choose to listen to. It should be background music, and not something that takes away from your concentration.
  • Having strong Naturalist Intelligence means you notice patterns and relationships. Use this in what you are studying by noticing similarities, differences, and categories. Beginning with the whole and working down into the parts may benefit you. It will be extremely important for you to have a working knowledge of the "big picture."
  • If your Spatial Intelligence is strong, you learn well by making models of problems - models that you can manipulate and move in order to understand symbolic meaning. Use clay or plastic straws to create geometric shapes. Use model cars or airplanes to simulate the action in motion problems involving distance, rates, and times. Use models or pictures to help remember history analogies.
  • If you are strong in Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence, use the ability to read a textbook to learn and understand the course you are studying. You may with to write symbols in words to make sense of them. If you are studying math you may want to write down the reasons for each step - so that you can see it in the language of words as well as the language of mathematics.
Use your intelligences! Find out how you learn, adapt if you need to, but make it work for you.

Adapted from Managing the Mean Math Blues by Cheryl Ooten