Thursday, January 19, 2012

Children and Multiple Intelligences, Part 1

Lately I've been contemplating and researching the various types of intelligence.  In case you are wondering, "What are types of intelligence?", I made a list of the nine generally accepted types of intelligence:

  1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”) 
  2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”) 
  3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart) 
  4. Existential Intelligence 
  5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”) 
  6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”) 
  7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart) 
  8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)
  9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)
(For more information about the types of intelligence, see

I actually knew about the various types of intelligence when my kids were invited into the elementary school target program.  The Target teachers explained that all children have these types of intelligence, and that the Target program works to engage the children in more that linguistic or logical-mathematical intelligences.

Of course, my first thought was, "Why aren't regular teacher attempting to use this information in their teaching?" 

The answer is quite simple - teachers are given the materials they use to teach.  Teachers are not allowed to deviate from the script, figuratively speaking, because that might lead to lower test scores.  And the school systems practically worship test scores at the moment, thanks to No Child Left Behind.  

But I wonder if the children would learn better if the school system allowed the schools and teachers to explore various teaching techniques that utilized all nine type of intelligence.   Or what would happen if we allowed students to explore their strengths and weaknesses instead of expecting all students to fit into a mold?


  1. Hi, K ~ Great topic. I think a lot depends on the school district and their philosophy. I live in a big city where some districts within the city (and private schools, for that matter) adhere to bland, cold definitions of how to teach. And then there are other school districts that promote the TAG lessons, approaches and exercises to all students. I just listened to my kids' principal explain that in kinder and first grade, at least, all students in the classroom have the opportunity to explore TAG curriculum, regardless of whether they meet TAG criteria as defined by the state. Personally, I think that's great.

    Keep up your great blog!

  2. Hi, Laurie!

    I agree - a lot does depend both on the school district and the individual school. I like how your school handles kindergarten and first graders. All kids can use the creativity and variety offered by TAG lessons. If only we could get more people to see that...


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