Research has shown that every individual carries a unique level of intelligence. Multiple intelligence (MI) is a concept that allows an assessment of the brain process of individuals. Identifying the multiple intelligence of school-going children can help teachers better understand their students.
Identifying multiple intelligence has several benefits for instructors and students, such as tailoring instructions to meet students’ needs and preferences and incorporating activities that align with a student’s multiple intelligence, which helps them enhance their performance.
Moreover, determining students’ multiple intelligence can foster self-awareness by understanding their strengths and weaknesses, encouraging collaboration between students, and assisting students in identifying potential career paths that best align with their multiple intelligence.
5 Tips to Identify Students’ Multiple Intelligences
Now that we know about the benefits of identifying multiple intelligence, let’s narrow down ways to identify students’ multiple intelligence. Identifying multiple intelligence can be tricky. However, a few ways can help identify students’ multiple intelligence, some of which we’ve discussed below.
1) Assess Students Performance through Different Activities
Assessing students’ performance in different activities is one way to identify their multiple intelligences. A few ways you can analyze a student’s performance include observing a student’s performance in physical activities such as sports, dance, or theater. Students who excel in these activities may have robust bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
Pay attention to a student’s performance in tasks that involve reading, writing, or public speaking to outline students with excellent linguistic intelligence. Moreover, observe a student’s math or science-related performance and problem-solving abilities to identify high logical-mathematical intelligence.
There are many effective techniques and methods you can use to assess performance. However, you must understand how to pick the activities which best align with students’ different bits of intelligence. You might want to consider completing an online TESOL master’s degree to learn how to use differentiated instruction to meet the needs of students with different bits of intelligence.
What’s best is that an online TESOL degree can help educators understand how cultural factors may influence the intelligence of English Language Learners (ELL).
2) Observe their behavior and interests
Observing a student’s behavior and interests can be a good way to identify their multiple intelligences. It would be helpful to take note of a student’s interests as you see how they act in different situations.
An individual may have great visual-spatial intelligence if they enjoy drawing or painting. They could possess musical intelligence if they like listening to and making music.
Students who possess high intrapersonal intelligence tend to show an interest in self-reflection and are capable of earning respect, giving respect, and regulating their own emotions effectively. They keep a positive mindset to counter setbacks and challenges, prefer to work independently, and enjoy spending time alone.
Similarly, students with robust naturalistic intelligence may show interest in the environment, animals, and other aspects of the natural world. They could like being outside and be adept at monitoring and classifying environmental occurrences.
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3) Conduct interviews to Assess Students’ Multiple Intelligences
A more direct way to identify students’ multiple intelligence is through interviews and discussions. Teachers can learn more about their student’s interests, preferences, and skills by interviewing and chatting with them, which can help identify their many bits of intelligence.
By adjusting instruction to each student’s abilities and interests, teachers may create a more individualized and meaningful learning environment.
For instance, a student with high emotional intelligence may be able to recognize and comprehend the feelings of others during an interview or debate. Additionally, they could be well aware of themselves and adept at controlling their emotions.
Similarly, a student with a high degree of kinesthetic intelligence may exhibit interest in physical pursuits like athletics, dancing, or acting during an interview or discussion. Plus, their coordination and fine motor abilities may be robust.
4) Assess Cultural Background of Students
It is crucial to realize and recognize that a student’s cultural background can significantly affect their intelligence and strengths. Different cultures may value certain types of intelligence more than others. For example, some cultures might highly value musical or artistic ability, while others prioritize logical-mathematical or linguistic skills.
By understanding cultural preferences, teachers can identify the types of intelligence that may be particularly valued by their students and incorporate them into instruction planning.
Furthermore, cultural expectations and standards also influence how students display their intellect. For instance, certain cultures may prioritize individual success, while others may place a more significant premium on teamwork and collaboration. By recognizing these norms, teachers can create learning settings that enable students to exhibit their intellect in ways suitable to their culture.
Language barriers can also have a crucial impact on how children show their intelligence. For example, a student who is still learning the language of instruction may struggle to demonstrate their linguistic intelligence.
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5) Use Multiple Sources of Information
It’s crucial to use multiple sources of information to identify multiple intelligence in students. Formal assessments, such as IQ testing, standardized examinations, and academic evaluations, are helpful instruments for determining a student’s multiple intelligences.
These tests can assist teachers in understanding a student’s strengths and weak points, which they can utilize to develop an instructional plan tailored to their unique requirements.
Students work samples can be an excellent source of information. Looking at the work that students produce helps teachers understand their multiple intelligences better. For example, students who are good at creating intricate and imaginative artwork have high visual-spatial intelligence.
On the other hand, if they’re good at crafting persuasive and insightful essays, it could indicate a talent for linguistic intelligence. Further, you can also look into getting feedback from parents and other teachers to learn more about a student’s multiple intelligences.
They may recognize the student’s talents and interests in different contexts and can give significant insights into their learning style and preferences.
Multiple intelligence is a vital concept in education that emphasizes individuals’ broad range of talents and capabilities. The approach recognizes that intelligence is a complex combination of talent and aptitudes that vary in every individual rather than a single thing that one can assess by a standardized test.
Identifying a student’s multiple intelligences can help instructors create personalized teaching strategies that adapt to each student’s unique abilities and learning preferences. Understanding a student’s chosen learning style allows teachers to create an environment that fosters success and enables them to reach their highest potential.
As mentioned, identifying students’ multiple intelligence can be challenging. However, you can narrow down where your students excel most with the right framework and techniques.