As an educator, I really appreciate Dr. Howard Gardner’s ideas regarding different types of intelligences. Why? Because it has helped to validate different types of learners, and dispels the idea that only people who are good at ____ (fill in the blank) are smart.

In his book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, he identifies different categories of intelligence. They are:

  • Linguistic Intelligence
  • Musical Intelligence
  • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
  • Spatial Intelligence
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
  • Interpersonal Intelligence
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence

When a student shines in one area, it is a great idea to validate that. It may not be, “You are really good at math,” rather, “You were just so kind and caring to ___” (Interpersonal Intelligence). I think students know a genuine compliment when they hear it.

More on the intelligences in Part II.