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Importance of Multiple Intelligences in Distance Education

Importance of Multiple Intelligences in Distance Education

Nowadays, we hear more often than not, that academic brilliance is not enough to be successful, that is, having a great academic record does not determine a person’s future or success.

During the process of changes to which we have had to adapt, we also had to learn new strategies such as the use of technology, and obtain new techniques in learning, in terms of emotional intelligence such as patience, adaptation, getting out of our comfort zone, opening ourselves to new experiences, and endless skills that we continue to acquire.

Until very recently, intelligence was considered something innate and immovable.  You were born smart or not, and education couldn’t change this fact.

Howard Gardner, a psychologist and researcher at Harvard University, defined intelligence as “the ability to solve problems or make products that are valuable in one or more cultures”, so when defined as a capacity, it means that it can be developed (without denying the genetic component that the human being has) through different means, whilst using different resources.

We know that we are all born with a determined potential marked by genetics, but these potentialities will develop in one way or another depending on the environment in which we develop, our experiences and the formal education we receive.

Just as there are many kinds of problems to solve in the so-called new reality, there are also many types of intelligences and abilities that help us solve these problems.  To date, Howard Gardner and his team at Harvard University have identified eight different types:

Logical-Mathematical intelligence, which we use to solve problems in logic and mathematics.  It is the intelligence scientists have.  It corresponds with the way of thinking of the logical hemisphere and with what our culture always considered the only intelligence, but as we analyze it, we all, throughout each day, put into practice many concepts such as: calculation, measurement of time, of distance, of amounts, percentages, just to mention a few.

Linguistic Intelligence, this intelligence refers to that of writers, poets, good editors, speakers, communicators, etc.  It uses both hemispheres, and is essential for effective and assertive communication. This intelligence might be in native language and also give us the ease to learn and understand other languages.

Spatial Intelligence, this consists in forming a mental model of the world in three dimensions, it is the intelligence that sailors, engineers, surgeons, sculptors, architects, pilots, or decorators have.

Musical Intelligence is, naturally, that of singers, composers, and musicians.

Body – kinesthetic Intelligence, or the ability to use one’s own body to perform activities or solve problems.  This is the intelligence of athletes, artisans, surgeons and dancers.

Intrapersonal Intelligence is what allows us to understand ourselves.  It is not associated with any specific activity, but psychiatrists, life coaches, psychologists, philosophers, and people with great inner wealth and self-knowledge are a good example.

Interpersonal Intelligence, which allows us to understand others, is usually found in good salespeople, politicians, teachers, or therapists.

Intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence make up emotional intelligence and together they pave the way for us to run our own life in a satisfactory way.

Naturalistic Intelligence, which we use when we observe and study nature.  It is what biologists or herbalists display, and of course; people who are dedicated to ecology issues.

Naturally, we all have the eight intelligences to a greater or lesser extent, abilities, and preferences; as with learning styles, there are no pure types, and if there were, it would be impossible for them to function.

Both learning styles and intelligences are equally important, and the challenge to this day for the school system, whether in a classroom, hybrid system, or online classes, is to treat all intelligences equally and stop enthroning the first two on the list, (the logical-mathematical intelligence and the linguistic intelligence) and further promote the stimulation and knowledge of other, equally valuable types by paying attention and emphasis on their development and stimulation.

For this reason, and based on this premise, ITJ ZE has founded several of its programs, projects, and activities, such as specialized classes that promote the development of “intelligence” in our students from the first years of life.  A concrete example is the famous “Flow Room”, a space where students stimulate these intelligences in favor of their own learning; our music, art, technology, sustainability and physical education classes are essential to cover and develop all these intelligences.

As of this school year, in Elementary Flow we will be concentrating on mathematical logical intelligence and its integration into daily life, in first, third, and fifth grades; we will be stimulating this intelligence through games inside this class.

The ITJ student, based on their abilities and taking advantage of their strengths, interests, and desires to continue learning, assimilates and works with these multiple intelligences that human beings have; which contribute to the development of integral, happy, successful human beings and positive leaders, with a  desire to investigate and learn throughout their lives; knowing their interests, abilities and strengths, counting on our teachers with the utmost expertise in each of their respective areas and in these intelligences, through their different classes.

Miss Adriana Acuña

Flow Room Teacher

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