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Military Spouses and Multiple Intelligences

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By: Craig Gilman

American Military University

As a military spouse, you are both capable of and often expected to be master of all things, especially when your service member is deployed or otherwise away from home and family for extended periods of time.  Do you realize that the same ability to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to keep things running smoothly on the home front can contribute to your success in the classroom?

Multiple Intelligences: How Many Do You Have?

Many adults come to understand that they possess a unique combination of learning styles or ways that they receive and processes information through their senses. According to the VARK model, the four common learning styles are visual, aural, reading/writing, and kinesthetic/tactile.  Whether figuring out how to complete a home project or homework assignment, understanding one’s learning style enables you to select ways in which to learn the things that will help you to accomplish a new task.

Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory concentrates on the cognitive processes that take place once information arrives to the brain. In the 1980s, Howard Gardner introduced the theory of Multiple Intelligences. He initially defined seven separate intelligences and then added two more.

The nine intelligences are:

  • Verbal/Linguistic
  • Logical/Mathematical
  • Visual/Spatial
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic
  • Musical
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal
  • Naturalistic
  • Existential

According to Gardner’s theory, intelligence encompasses the ability to create and solve problems and to create products or provide services that are valued within a real-world context, such as the home, work, community, and society at large.

Gardner concluded that all human beings possess all nine intelligences in varying degrees, each individual has a different intelligence profile, each intelligence occupies a different area of the brain, and the nine intelligences may operate in concert or independently from one another.

Individuals will possess unique combinations of learning styles and intelligences. The advantage to you at home or school is that learning can be improved by understanding your intelligence profile and designing activities accordingly. In order to determine your profile, take a self-assessment created by Literacy.org.

Multiple Intelligences: Strategies for Success at Home and in the Classroom

Understating your MI profile, allows you to use the right tactics to find solutions to situations you face in your everyday life.

  • Verbal/linguistic: You prefer to read, write, listen, memorize, try word problems, and case studies. You learn best through hearing, reading, writing and speaking. Your needs include books, audio presentations, debate, discussion, and journals.
  • Mathematical/Logical: You prefer to ponder, work with numbers, conduct experiments, and solve problems. You learn best through working with relationships and patterns, classifying, categorizing, exploration, manipulation, observation, and abstract concepts.
  • Visual/Spatial: You prefer to build, draw, create, design, and observe. You learn best through pictures, diagrams, pictures, colors, modeling, illustrating, videos, maps, charts, graphs, and observation.
  • Bodily/Kinesthetic: You prefer to move, touch, question, and observe. You learn best by participating, deconstructing, building, role-play, simulations, and practice.
  • Musical: You prefer to sing, play an instrument, and to listen to music and poems. You learn best through audio, hearing music and songs, rhythm, and signing, reading aloud and attending performances.
  • Interpersonal: You prefer to discuss and participate in group work. You learn best through sharing, relating, debating, collaboration, comparison, networking and attending events.
  • Intrapersonal: You prefer choice, to work alone, reflect, and pursue interests that you have a specific interest in. You learn best through independent work, reflection, and self-paced projects in your own personal space.
  • Naturalistic: You prefer to be in the outdoors and to work with nature. You learn best through exploring natural habitats, make connections to real-life, and science experimentation.
  • Existential: You prefer choice, contemplation and comparison. You learn best through interaction, comparison, discussion, and self-expression.

Understanding your intelligences and how to tap into them should give you the confidence to be successful at home and in the classroom.

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