It is said that everybody has different learning techniques that work best for them. I don’t doubt this. In fact, I’m quite certain it is true. But, at the same time I believe it is an over-simplification of the learning process and provides too narrow a view of how people can learn, remember, and improve through the information they obtain.
Multiple Intelligence test are based on a eight different types of intelligences:
- Bodily – Kinaesthetic: This intelligence is all about thinking in movements and having an ability to express oneself or achieve goal through physical movements. Kinaesthetic thinkers retain knowledge best when it is associated with activities such as dance, acting, or sport.
- Interpersonal – People: Interpersonal intelligence is about understanding the people around you and their motives, emotions, perspectives, and moods. This is understandably applicable to social situations and interactions.
- Intrapersonal – Self: This is said to be the road to achievement, learning, and personal satisfaction. It is largely about being connected t who you are, how you feel, and knowing your own limits and abilities.
- Logical – Math: Logical intelligence is about understanding complex problems and conceptualising relationships between symbols, processes, and actions. This type of intelligence asks questions, finds solutions, and reflects on the problem solving process.
- Musical: Musical intelligence is associated with enjoying music, making music, singing, and playing an instrument. It involves a sensitivity to sound and understanding the emotions that music conveys.
- Naturalistic: This thinking is about understanding living things and applying a scientific reasoning to the ways of the world. It is mostly applicable to those working with plants, animals, or science.
- Verbal – Linguistic: This relates to the ability to use words effectively for reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These people are generally capable of explain complex ideas through words and gaining understanding by asking questions.
- Visual – Spatial: Visual intelligence is attributed to seeing and modifying things in your mind. This kind of understanding is valuable in solving spatial problems, designing, and doing crafts.
These along with personality tests can provide valuable insight into the best ways we as individuals can interact with our environment. It is a good recommendation to find the intelligence that is strongest for you and utilize the abilities that particular type of intelligence identifies. But, it can be just as useful of a practice to identify the things you are weak in.
Myself, I am a dominantly Intrapersonal and Linguistic individual, which accounts for the large amount of reading and writing I like to do along with the habit of questioning almost everything. I was not always this way. These habits have built over time and become cemented as my most genuine style. But, just because these intelligences represent a large part of my personality it does not mean there is no value in testing the skills of the others.
I have, at times, utilized other skill sets in my learning and daily life. Even though it may not be my typical path I have found great use out of some of the techniques in the other intelligences. For example, musical is the lowest of my intelligences but I’ve often found it has been the best tool for me in learning languages. In both my French and Chinese studies I have found some of my best progress came when studied lyrics of songs and then sang along with them. There may be a slight sense of the linguistic intelligence still present in this activity, but I see no fault in balancing the weakness with a strength.
Working towards a goal of mastering weaker intelligences may be an intense struggle, but at least strengthening them would provide you with more balanced abilities and could even reveal new skills, What are your greatest intelligences, and what will you do to improve on your weaker ones?