Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences

Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences
Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences

One of the most common misunderstandings people have about learning styles is that they all operate on the same spectrum.


But that couldn’t be further from the truth! There are multiple scales for different types of skills and intelligences, so even if you just happen to understand one type of intelligence well, there’s still a huge amount more to learn!


To help make sense of it all, we’ve put together this post with an overview of how these systems actually work. It can seem a little confusing, but we’re here to try and make some sense out of it all!

Developed in the late 1960s by educators Howard Gardner and T. Rosalind Cartwright, these terms have been used by psychologists and educators for decades.


These various types of intelligence are said to have been classified by a psychologist called Jensen who established the idea that there are varying amounts of latent talent that can be accessed depending on an individual’s specific experience.


It’s based on this idea that intelligence is not just about performance but instead what you are able to access once you’ve learned something.


Anyway, in 1983 Gardner introduced the idea of multiple intelligences. This is where it all started, and it was a big deal at the time! When this idea was first introduced, it made quite a stir!


These intelligences were further broken down by theorist Robert Sternberg. He focused on two areas in particular: how people process information and how they apply that information to solve problems. The following is his breakdown of the different types of intelligence we can have:


Intelligence Type 1: Verbal-Linguistic – using words to learn concepts, ideas and facts. This includes reading, writing, verbal reasoning and the ability to solve problems with words.


Intelligence Type 2: Logical-Mathematical – using numbers, symbols and problem-solving methods to learn. This includes perceiving, calculating and problem solving with numbers and patterns.


Intelligence Type 3: Spatial – using objects to understand how they relate to one another or how they function in the world. This includes motor ability (sports), music and design skills.


These three types of intelligence are sometimes referred as three steps on a ladder of learning/knowledge (1) , but these are based around your level of experience rather than your natural aptitude for something.


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