Do you think you’re smart? What does it mean to be smart? Many people think that being smart is all about getting good grades in school or having high test scores. Others believe that being smart is being good at memorization, or just being well-behaved and following all the rules. So, what does it really mean to be smart?
Being smart isn’t only about grades and being able to regurgitate stuff that you memorized for a test. In fact, there are lots of other ways to show your smarts. Some people are good at school and academics, but others are good at art, music, or athletics. In fact, they might be brilliant in these areas! Maybe someone is smart in dealing with nature, emotions, or getting along with others. There are so many ways in which to be smart.
For many years, the IQ test was used to determine a person’s Intelligence Quotient. This kind of a test was really good at measuring how well the person did on the test. Usually, the tests would have you solve math problems, define words, create designs, repeat numbers from memory, and other similar tasks. But, did it really measure the subject’s true intelligence? Could it predict success for a child? Did it really tell teachers how to teach a particular child?
Harvard professor, Dr. Howard Gardner, challenged the concept of intelligence by looking at being smart in a whole new way. According to his theories, most children learn in one or more specific ways. He called his idea the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (or MI theory for short). He talked about eight different kinds of intelligence:
- Linguistic Intelligence
- Musical Intelligence
- Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
- Spatial Intelligence
- Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
- Interpersonal Intelligence
- Intrapersonal Intelligence
- Naturalist Intelligence
As you can see, these categories studied by Gardner are broad because he believed that children develop skills and characteristics by many different modes and processes. This has a significant impact on how students should be taught in classrooms today. Teachers must look for ways to identify each child’s strengths and weaknesses and then use those to meet specific needs. What works for one child may not work for the next.
Gardner’s eight intelligences are found across all cultures and in all countries and age groups. Most people find they have some form of all the different intelligences. Guided by parents and teachers, students should begin to identify their own unique abilities and potential. Because it’s not about how smart you are, it’s about how you are smart. You’re smarter than you think!
Find your Intelligence type here.
Click here for some great MI activities!