I heard from a friend this week that he’s observed some of the most successful people he knows are dyslexic. I’ve met a number of musicians over the years who can remember hundreds of songs – chords, lyrics, arrangements, etc. – but find it very difficult to recall much of what they learned in high school. This supports the learning theory of Multiple Intelligences -the idea that each of us have strengths and weaknesses across at least eight different types of intelligences.
According to American psychologist Howard Gardner, the eight intelligences are:
- Linguistic – The word player
- Logical / Mathematical – The questioner
- Visual / Spatial – The visualiser
- Musical – The music lover
- Bodily / Kinaesthetic – The mover
- Interpersonal – The socialiser
- Intrapersonal – The loner
- Naturalistic – The nature lover (added by Gardner at a later date)
Of course, each of us tend to be stronger or weaker in a variety of these. I suspect we can also develop intelligences in some of these areas with focused learning.
I plan to keep this list handy for upcoming classes – the more I can recognize and appeal to each student’s strength, the more likely I can help them learn the material.