Training of trainers – NFL and interactive methods in Youth work – ACHIEVE

Lesson 7 – Multiple Intelligence Theory – text

multiple inteligence

Every parent dreams of a successful realization of their children and every teacher strives to convey their experience to their students so that they become independent, successful and excel in what they do.

For this to happen, however, we need to teach, develop and grow our children, taking into account their individual characteristics like: temperament, interests, natural talents and not least the type of intelligence. It is necessary to observe children, to analyze the observations and to understand what their strengths are.

People acquire knowledge in different ways and everyone has their own unique mental abilities and talents. We in the role of teachers or parents must comply with this.

In his book “Theory of Multiple Intelligence” (1983) the American psychologist Howard Gardner refutes the traditional understanding of the psychometric intelligence. According to him, there is no single intelligence that is able to be measured by standard IQ tests. Rather, there are multiple intelligences, which are independent of one another. According to the author all human beings possess all types of intelligence, but to varying degrees.

Gardner originally stated seven types of intelligences and later on added two more:

Linguistic – includes the ability to operate with words verbally (storytellers, speakers, politicians) as well as in writing (poets, writers, playwrights, journalists, editors). The established nowadays pedagogical practice requires above all the development of this type of intelligence. At school students listen, write, read and speak.

Children, who belong to this type from an early age, love order, they are systematic and feel better with rules and structure and are able to think logically. They love to listen, learn at early age to speak, write and read properly. They have good memory, so they remember easily and with pleasure. They don’t feel embarrassed in front of audience and willingly recite verses. They easily learn foreign languages and the best way to train them is through stories – for the youngest fairy tales and for the youths – stories, debates and discussions.

Logical-mathematical – this is the ability to operate with numbers (mathematicians, accountants, statisticians) and think rationally (scientists, computer programmers, logicians). This intelligence is also actively presented in school curricula.

If your child has this kind of intelligence, you will quickly notice that it loves above all accuracy, is amazingly organized, has abstract thinking and likes maths. Such children from an early age show interested in computers and easily do logical experiments to solve problems. They also deal successfully with physics and chemistry – subjects that require precision, logic and develope a special mindset. To attract their interest, you have to give them various tasks and to use visualised charts and tables, to offer them various experiments and mathematical games.

Musical – this is the ability to perceive and evaluate music (musical critic), to create and transform (composer) and to perform (actor, singer). One, who has developed musical intelligence, easily remembers melodies and is able to reproduce them. Such people are also very receptive to rhythm.

In children, this is manifested by their interest in the sounds. They are sensitive to sound tones, rhythm and tempo and perceive music very emotionally. Even from an early age they are able to understand complex musical forms. They are very emotional and have developed intuition, so in the learning process of this type of children is very good better to use their favorite music. Also pay attention to the rhythm of your speech. Good understanding and retention depend not only on what you say, but also on how exactly your words sound.

Body – kinaesthetic – It includes the ability to use one‘s body to express themselves, to communicate feelings and emotions through movement (athlete, dancer, actor) to use their hands to transform various objects (craftsman, sculptor, engineer, surgeon). Such people are very skilful and quick in their actions.

Children with this type of intelligence are characterized by good coordination – they have very accurate control of their body and feel the rhythm very well. They have quick reactions, well developed body reactions and quickly learn handling objects and tools. After all, such children love to act, to move, they are in a hurry to touch everything and best not through visualizations but by touching and even tasting. They remain indifferent to the pictures and visual images, and perceive the world through tactile sensations so they remember what they have done, not what they have heard or read. They learn better when they act and play with objects while listening to information. They quickly switch their attention as a result of which appear concentration problems that parents often take for laziness, forgetfulness and unwillingness to focus. It would be better for the children to receive the information by means of movements (as in rap), to use visual models that can be touched and played with. These children need frequent breaks during which to play, jog or do some exercise.

Visual – spatial – this is the gift to perceive the world visually and to analyze this information (hunter, scout, guide), as well as to transform space (architect, artist, inventor, interior designer). People with this type of intelligence are receptive to colors, shapes, lines and relationships between objects in space. They can graphically express their ideas.

If you notice that the child thinks in pictures, creates visual images, remembers better precisely with the help of pictures, so it is typical for this type of intelligence. Such children often use metaphors in their stories, easily read maps, tables and charts and are sensitive to the colors and shapes of the surrounding objects. They show interest in the visual arts, so to stimulate their interest is better to use illustrations of the studied material. Thanks to visual images children will more easily consolidate the knowledge and will remember what it otherwise difficult to perceive through logic

Interpersonal – the ability to detect moods, motivations, intentions and emotions of other people. This is also the ability to communicate, i.e. exchange information with other people in verbal and nonverbal way by sign language, music and speech (salespeople, politicians, managers, teachers, social workers). Children of this type of intelligence can talk and negotiate from an early age love being among people. When they grow up, they acquire the ability to recognize other people’s thoughts and planning, thus they often begin to manipulate people. Such children have many friends, show activity among people and prefer to mediate in disputes and conflicts.

Given joy of communicating with people, this type of child best perceives knowledge namely in the team, so do not try to keep it home with the hope that it will focus and learn lessons better. Teach them by involving them in group work, discussions, disputes and give them the opportunity to express their views. Encourage these children by giving them opportunity to take part in additional classes.

Intrapersonal – raised awareness and sensitivity about self, understanding one‘s own strengths and weaknesses, limiting beliefs, motivations, attitudes, desires and emotions. Such people also have high level of self-control, self-understanding and self-esteem (psychologist, psychiatrist and philosopher). This type of intelligence is manifested through other types defined by Gardner.

Children with this kind of intuitive intelligence are inclined to self-knowledge, even self-examination. These introverted by nature children deeply feel their strengths and weaknesses better understand their own mental turmoil. From an early age they have their own values and purpose in life. Their actions are guided by a strong intuition, self-motivation and desire to excel. Their inner harmony is sometimes disturbed by the constant running of deep analysis of personal experiences.

Educating them you have to provide these children with the opportunity for self-organized learning process. They do not need control, they are organized enough themselves. Such children should not be forced, because that will only strengthen their resistance and their desire to close even more in themselves and this will not lead to anything good.

Naturalistic – naturalists have the ability to understand nature and to detect regularities; navigate among many living organisms (botanist, veterinarian, forest). They are also sensitive and care abot certain features of the world around them (meteorologist, geologist, archaeologist).These children love to be outside and their learning process is most effective during trips, green schools and other forms where they will have the opportunity to explore things that excite them.

Existential – the ability and willingness to formulate questions about life, death, and other existential questions.


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The training program “Training of Trainers” is an educational product that is currently missing in the partner countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania. Due to the early stage of development of the youth sector and youth work in these countries the educational materials aimed at non-formal learning are still limited and insufficient. The lack of adequate educational framework for training of youth workers in the field of formal education leads to inefficient use of the capacity of professionals.

This course fills a gap in the youth sector, namely the need of methodologies for the preparation of trainers, who are able to train youth workers. This course will set the basis for the preparation of teams of trainers of youth workers. The course will serve the goal of development of youth work in the participating countries and other interested parties. A large number of youth workers can be trained according to the methodology at national and international level to use and promote non-formal learning as a tool to enhance the realization of young people in the labor market and increase their social cohesion.

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