The Concept of Multiple Intelligences

The Concept of Multiple Intelligences

Published on: February 18, 2023 Mrs. Jyothy Elizabeth Martin | ECARE Parent | Kuwait

Do we really know what our children are capable of?

As parents and teachers, there are times when we have over-expectations of our children and our students. What is your understanding of your children's capabilities and limitations as parents? Do you really know what they are capable of? Teachers, are you truly aware of the competences and limitations of your students? There is an artist among your students who does not require an understanding of mathematics. An astrophysicist does not require a background in economics. An excellent singer does not require a high level of proficiency in chemistry. There is a cricketer whose physical fitness and health are more important than his grades in Physics. Are we aware of these realities?


How we respond to our children's exam performance.

A high grade for our children is wonderful. Make sure they don't lose their self-esteem and confidence if they don't get it. Be calm and explain that this is only a test and that there are more important and beautiful things in life. Let them know that you love them and will not judge them solely based on their exam results. Be sure to reassure them. Understand their abilities, intelligences, talents, strengths and weaknesses. Encourage them to pursue their dreams, motivate them to use their talents and guide them in their lives.

“The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” ( Proverbs 1:7)

Educate children to have faith in God and to understand that their lives and talents are God's gifts. Be thankful for God's blessings at all times.


Are exam results the most important aspect of one's life?

One exam and a poor grade should not deprive our children of their happiness, peace of mind and dreams. Millionaires, business owners, engineers and doctors are not the happiest people on earth. Everyone has a place and successful people excel in their profession.

In what sense is intelligence defined?

Taking this context into consideration, let's try to understand what intelligence is. It is often said that intelligence can be defined as our ability to develop our intellectual potential. Intelligence comes in many forms.

Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

There is a theory called the Theory of Multiple Intelligences that has been around for quite some time. It is because of the work of Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist, that parents and teachers gained a deeper understanding of intelligence and how children learn. We learned about the Multiple Intelligences Theory from him. Before Gardner's research, educators believed that children were born with a fixed intelligence that could be measured using an IQ test in order to determine their intelligence level. It isn't so, said Gardner, there are many ways to be smart.

Nine Types of Intelligence

It is believed that there are nine different intelligences. It is important to realize that people have more than one kind of intellectual capacity, including musical, interpersonal, spatial-visual and linguistic intelligences. We should never limit our children to a single type of intelligence because we all have all nine intelligences - at varying levels - within us.

What are the benefits of this theory?

As we learn more about multiple intelligences, we will be able to better understand our own strengths and preferences and those of our children. When we identify our children's dominant intelligences, we can then develop and direct them towards their full potential. We will be able to identify our children's non-dominant intelligences as well as their aptitudes, learning styles and career options. We can assist our children in developing their non-dominant intelligences once we have identified them.

Linguistic-Verbal Intelligence

People who are strong in linguistic-verbal intelligence are able to use words well, both when writing and speaking. These individuals are typically very good at writing stories, memorizing information, and reading.


Words, language, and writing

People with linguistic-verbal intelligence:

  • Remember written and spoken information
  • Enjoy reading and writing
  • Debate or give persuasive speeches
  • Are able to explain things well
  • Use humor when telling stories

Potential Career Choices

If you are strong in linguistic-verbal intelligence, it makes you an ideal candidate for the following careers:

  • Writer/journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Teacher

Visual-Spatial Intelligence

A person with a high level of visual-spatial intelligence is good at visualizing things. Maps, charts, videos, and pictures are often good resources for these individuals.


Visual and spatial judgment

People with visual-spatial intelligence:

  • Read and write for enjoyment
  • Are good at putting puzzles together
  • Interpret pictures, graphs, and charts well
  • Enjoy drawing, painting, and the visual arts
  • Recognize patterns easily

Potential Career Choices

If you're strong in visual-spatial intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Engineer

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

The ability to reason, recognize patterns, and analyze problems logically is a sign of logical-mathematical intelligence. It is common for these individuals to think conceptually about numbers, relationships, and patterns.


Analyzing problems and mathematical operations

People with logical-mathematical intelligence:

  • Have excellent problem-solving skills
  • Enjoy thinking about abstract ideas
  • Like conducting scientific experiments
  • Can solve complex computations

Potential Career Choices

If you're strong in logical-mathematical intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Scientist
  • Mathematician
  • Computer programmer
  • Engineer
  • Accountant


Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

It is said that those with high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are good at moving their bodies, performing actions, and controlling their bodies. A strong hand-eye coordination and dexterity are characteristics of those who excel in this area.


Physical movement, motor control

People with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence:

  • Are skilled at dancing and sports
  • Enjoy creating things with his or her hands
  • Have excellent physical coordination
  • Remember by doing, rather than hearing or seeing

Potential Career Choices

If you are strong in bodily-kinesthetic intelligence makes you a good candidate for the following careers:

  • Craftsperson
  • Dancer
  • Builder
  • Surgeon
  • Sculptor
  • Actor

Musical Intelligence

People with strong musical intelligence think in patterns, rhythms, and sounds. It is common for them to be skilled at composing and performing music, as well as having a strong appreciation for music.


Rhythm and music

People with musical intelligence:

  • Enjoy singing and playing musical instruments
  • Recognize musical patterns and tones easily
  • Remember songs and melodies
  • Have a rich understanding of musical structure, rhythm, and notes

Potential Career Choices

If you're strong in musical intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Musician
  • Composer
  • Singer
  • Music teacher
  • Conductor


 Interpersonal Intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence refers to the ability to understand and interact well with others. People with this skill are adept at assessing others' emotions, motivations, desires, and intentions.


Understanding and relating to other people

People with interpersonal intelligence:

  • Communicate well verbally
  • Are skilled at non-verbal communication
  • See situations from different perspectives
  • Create positive relationships with others
  • Resolve conflicts in group settings

Potential Career Choices

If you have a strong sense of interpersonal intelligence, you may find the following careers to be a good fit:

  • Psychologist
  • Philosopher
  • Counselor
  • Salesperson
  • Politician


Intrapersonal Intelligence

Individuals who are strong in intrapersonal intelligence are good at being aware of their own emotional states, feelings, and motivations. They tend to enjoy self-reflection and analysis, including daydreaming, exploring relationships with others, and assessing their personal strengths.


Introspection and self-reflection

People with intrapersonal intelligence:

  • Analyze their strengths and weaknesses well
  • Enjoy analyzing theories and ideas
  • Have excellent self-awareness
  • Understand the basis for his or her own motivations and feelings

Potential Career Choices

If you're strong in intrapersonal intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Philosopher
  • Writer
  • Theorist
  • Scientist

Naturalistic Intelligence

In general, people who are high in this type of intelligence tend to be more in tune with nature and have a keen interest in nurturing, exploring the environment, and learning about other species because they have a higher level of this type of intelligence.


Finding patterns and relationships to nature

People with naturalistic intelligence:

  • Are interested in subjects such as botany, biology, and zoology
  • Categorize and catalog information easily
  • Enjoy camping, gardening, hiking, and exploring the outdoors
  • Dislikes learning unfamiliar topics that have no connection to nature

Potential Career Choices

If you're strong in naturalistic intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Biologist
  • Conservationist
  • Gardener
  • Farmer


Existential Intelligence

An ability to explore deeper questions about life and existence in order to gain a deeper understanding of them. Those who possess this type of intelligence are capable of considering the "big" questions related to topics such as the meaning of life and how actions can serve a greater good.


An ability to see the big picture

People with existential intelligence:

  • Have a long-term outlook
  • Consider how current actions influence future outcomes
  • Interest in questions about the meaning of life and death
  • Strong interest and concern for others
  • The ability to see situations from an outside perspective

Potential Career Choices

If you have a strong sense of existential intelligence, you might enjoy a career as a:

  • Philosopher
  • Theologian
  • Pastoral counselor
  • Pastor


I would summarize by saying that intelligence should never be measured by a single metric. Our children are all intelligent in their own unique way and perhaps if we can learn to stop holding all children to the same standard, we will be able to truly meet their needs and let them flourish in whatever they are passionate about.

Mrs. Jyothy Elizabeth Martin
ECARE Parent | Kuwait