Multiple Intelligences and Diana Waring

Brain research has been producing some fascinating findings. Diana Waring has been sharing some of those findings in her interviews on BlogTalkRadio.com and in other talks that she has done. See her website at DianaWaring.com and visit her radio shows at Blog Talk Radio – WATCHTalk with Diana, especially the May 5, 2009 episode with Dr. Terry Small.

I’ve embedded it here if you would like to hear it now:

Listen to internet radio with WATCHTalk on Blog Talk Radio

Also listen to her own channel on BlogTalkRadio “Diana Waring Presents”.

Here is the most recent program at this time:

Listen to internet radio with DianaWaringPresents on Blog Talk Radio

Diana has written many books. She wrote a History curriculum in which she helps teachers understand how to teach to different learning styles – how to accommodate them and capitalize on them.

She goes a step further in her book, Reaping the Harvest. in it she explains that not only are there different learning styles, there are different ways of being intelligent. I took a class on this subject years ago, and I was intrigued by this idea. I believe that it is true that we each have strengths that God has given us. And none of them are better than any other. The one that is valued by schools is the one called “Linguistic”. This one is measured by IQ tests and standardized tests. People with this type of intelligence do well in academics. The people who possess the other types of intelligence may not do well on tests or in school, but they do well in life. Some of them succeed better than the ones who made good grades.

In this post, I will summarize the different types of intelligence that have been identified. I will use Diana’s book,

Reaping the Harvest,

as my guide.

She lists the eight multiple intelligences in the chapter that starts on page 111.

1. Intrapersonal – Knowing Yourself

Some of the characteristics are:

    -one who pursues hobbies or projects
    -an entrepreneurial attitude – willing to risk
    -able to assess and learn from the past
    -accurate understanding of personal strong and weak points
    -can verbalize emotions
    -holds strong opinions even on issues with strong disagreement
    -studies independently
    -needs some solitude for reflection
    -known as one who “marches to the beat of a different drummer”
    -good at setting goals and being goal directed
    -a pioneer spirit – displaying a healthy independence

2. Naturalist – Loves the Outdoors

Some of the characteristics are:

    -loves to bring home critters or plants to display and care for
    -one who enjoys pets
    -enjoys being outdoors
    -enjoys studying subjects such as biology, zoology, botany, etc.
    -one who shows awareness of geologic formations
    -prefers to be outdoors hiking or collecting rocks over being cooped up
    -one who displays a concern for ecology
    -loves to visit the zoo
    -on their own, they might keep a journal about or a collection of plants or creatures

3. Musical – Working with Rhythm and Sound

Some of the characteristics are:

    -has strong opinions about different styles of music
    -one who enjoys singing whether alone or in company
    -often has the desire to play a musical instrument
    -one who is sensitive to sounds
    -studies more effectively with background music
    -has a library of musical recordings
    -rhythmically astute
    -one who remembers melodies more firmly than lyrics
    -may be unaware that they are rhythmically rocking or quietly humming, and may be frustrated if asked to stop

4. Math/Logical – Working with Sequences

Some of the characteristics are:

    -uses logic to think through issues
    -strong in computer logic and easily able to learn computer programming
    -enjoys grouping and sorting
    -experiments with various possibilities to better understand how systems work
    -loves to ponder (for instance, “What causes black holes in the universe?”)
    -comfortable doing calculations without paper and pencil
    -likes to see the sequence, the order

5. Bodily-Kinesthetic – Working with Movement

Some of the characteristics are:

    -needs to move in order to listen
    -a kinesthetic or tactile learner
    -physically in motion, even while standing still
    -develops abilities in handcrafts and other small motor skill activities
    -experiences a physical sensation which directs in problem solving
    -learns from fiddling with stuff, i.e. disassemble, reassemble
    -enjoys athletic competition
    -loves activities that engage the large muscle groups, like running, etc.

6. Interpersonal – Knowing Others

Some of the characteristics are:

    -one who understands people
    -one who enjoys making friends
    -enjoys studying with other people
    -sensitive to the emotions of others
    -a natural teacher or leader
    -loves to get together in social settings
    -involved in activities with others
    -enjoys friendly games that involve people rather than logic
    -lends a listening ear and gives advice
    -able to understand both sides of a disagreement and help both parties reconcile

7. Linguistic – Working with Language

Some of the characteristics are:

    -enjoys reading
    -strong command of the language
    -enjoys creative writing
    -plays with the language – puns, jokes, rhymes
    -fluent memory for specific data in words (such as names)
    -enjoys making up yarns
    -thought patterns are verbal rather than pictures
    -enjoys puzzles and games that focus on words (such as Catch Phrase or Taboo)
    -likes to listen to read-aloud stories, as well as sermons, lectures, etc.
    -good speller

8. Spatial – Working with Space and Images

Some of the characteristics are:

    -thinks in pictures rather than words
    -learns more from the picture than the caption underneath
    -draws random images on paper while learning
    -enjoys learning how to paint, sculpt, draw, etc.
    -able to learn and utilize the information from maps and charts
    -can easily picture the location of items in his environment
    -finds lost items that have been overlooked by others
    -has a natural ability to draw in perspective
    -appreciates receiving information from visual sources such as photos
    -enjoys visual games and picture puzzles

Why do we need to know about these different types of intelligence? We can use this understanding to teach each of our children according to their strength and we can help them to strengthen their weaknesses. We should teach them utilizing the intelligences where they are strong. It is frustrating to them and to us when we try to teach them through their weak areas instead of their strengths.

Study your children and discover their strengths and ask the Lord to help you figure out how to utilize their type of intelligence so that they can learn the best and really process the information you are trying to convey to them.

When I took the class about Multiple Intelligences years ago, I wrote a paper that I called “Question: How Smart is Shawn?, Better Question: How Is Shawn Smart?”

Get it?

I highly recommend that you read this book. What I’ve shared here is a small part of what Diana writes about in this important book that will help you to keep on homeschooling even through high school. If you don’t faint you will “reap the harvest.” (Gal. 6:9)

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