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How to know if your child might be a lawyer, a scientist or an artist?

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Not too long ago, in 1983, renowned psychologist Howard Gardner proposed his theory of multiple intelligences in his book, “Frames of Mind”. Based on his research Gardner outlined 8 distinct types of intelligence which he believes people have to varying degrees. Gardner’s theory challenges the traditional belief that intelligence is general and is best measured based on cognitive abilities. As we now embrace the fact that we all have unique types of geniuses, the theory of multiple intelligences has since become one of the most fundamental principles upon which curricula, assessment, teaching and learning strategies are built.

So why is knowledge of Multiple Intelligences equally important for parents as it is for educators? Well, your child has unique types of intelligence and it’s your job to find out what they are. It is important to know what are your child’s natural gifts so that you can tailor their experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, to leverage those unique skills and abilities. Understanding your child’s natural strengths and interests can act as your compass in helping them to find their place in the world.

Let’s discuss the 8 types of intelligence as proposed by Dr. Howard Gardner.

  1. Linguistic Intelligence - characteristic of people who have a knack for words, both spoken and written. Children with linguistic intelligence tend to thrive in subjects like Literature, Foreign Languages, Grammar, Vocabulary, Creative Writing and Spelling. Possible Career paths: Attorney, Author, Journalist, Speaker/Host.

  2. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence - characteristic of people who have a knack for problem-solving, analysing abstract concepts through logical reasoning, and scientific research. Children with Logical-Mathematical Intelligence tend to thrive in subjects like Advanced Mathematics, Probability and Statistics, Natural Sciences and Economics. Possible Career paths: Accountant, Mathematician, Statistician, Scientist, Computer Analyst.

  3. Spatial Intelligence - characteristic of people who have a knack for interpreting and manipulating space and patterns. Children with spatial intelligence naturally have great spatial awareness and tend to thrive in subjects such as Geometry, Art, Technical Drawing and Geography. Possible Career paths: Pilot, Surgeon, Architect, Artist, Interior Decorator.

  4. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence - characteristic of people who have good mind and body connections and can use their body parts to solve problems, perform skills or make products. Children with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are typically very good in sports and subjects such as dance and theatre. They also learn easier when they can move or interact with learning tools. Possible Career paths: Dancer, Athlete, Carpenter, Physical Therapist

  5. Musical Intelligence - characteristic of people who have musical skills such as performance and composition of music. Children with musical intelligence tend to be better at rote learning because they can easily make up rhythmic patterns that help with memorisation of concepts. They typically thrive in subjects like Music, Poetry and Theatre Arts. Possible Career paths: Singers, Actors/Actresses, Composers, DJ, Musician

  6. Interpersonal Intelligence - characteristic of people who have great people skills. They understand, communicate and cooperate well with others. Children with interpersonal intelligence are natural leaders and they tend to thrive in group settings. They’re the popular pick for class prefects and sports captains.Possible Career Paths: Teacher, Coach, Psychologist, Managers, Salespeople.

  7. Intrapersonal Intelligence - characteristic of people who have high levels of self awareness. Children who have intrapersonal intelligence are able to understand themselves and tend to self regulate quite well. This makes them great students and generally obedient to their parents and elders. Potential Career Paths: Therapist, Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, Counselor

  8. Naturalist Intelligence - characteristic of people who can recognise and classify species in their environment. Children with naturalist intelligence have a keen interest in animals, the environment and they enjoy being outdoors. They tend to thrive in subjects like Biology, Environmental Science, Agricultural Science, Geology and Geography. Potential Career Paths: Botanist, Biologist, Geologist, Environmental Scientist.

It is important to note that an individual’s learning style may not always relate to their dominant type of intelligence. This is why we must try to deliver content and assess students using varied approaches. Doing so allows students to develop more holistically and allow them to demonstrate their skills in different ways.

You can read more about Multiple Intelligences here:

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