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  • Kathryn Patterson

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?

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