Friday, September 26, 2008

Finally, What Makes a Person Intelligent?

What Makes a Person Intelligent?

In this, our final installment of "What Makes a Person Intelligent?", we conclude with the Naturalist Intelligence, although the Spiritual and Emotional Intelligences are now in open discussion and research. The idea is to develop insight into how our English as a foreign language learners acquire, categorize and retain new knowledge. Thus we have a unique pathway into the minds of our learners - and ourselves.

Naturalist Intelligence:

Environmental knowledge and the ability to identify and categorize plants, animals and nature on the basis of that knowledge. The Naturalist Intelligence can include having an accurate picture of the ambient environment, awareness of the interrelationship of natural elements, and the capacity for self-analysis of these elements. It is found most highly developed in archeologists, animal handlers, animal trainers, veterinarians, biologists, racehorse jockeys, zoologists, environmentalists, wilderness guides and naturalists. Students who have a high degree of the naturalist intelligence seem to be nature-oriented, seek to be outdoors or in the elements and learn more easily with nature-related study and environmental projects and activities. They like to collect items from nature, study them, and group them. They tend to be aware of subtleties in appearance, texture, and sounds that those weaker in this intelligence may not grasp. Charles Darwin, Jacques Cousteau (pictured above), and John James Audubon were strong in this intelligence.

A Pathway Into the Mind

One of the great promises of Multiple Intelligences theory in education is that it will help us to find individual pathways into and out of our students’ minds. Recent advances in educational psychology and research in applied MI theory offer educators a real possibility of developing the potential of all students. Both educators and students should derive from Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory that all people are different and learn differently, and that we should respect, value, and nurture that diversity.

For more extensive information on this and related topics, there are a slew of websites, but you might want to start off with some of these.

Reference Websites:

Reference website for multiple intelligences links and activities:

Exploring Multiple Intelligences: New Dimensions of Learning

Multiple Intelligences Resources

Basic MI Theory

Multiple Intelligence Theory: Principles

Multiple Intelligences: Theory and Practice in the K-12 Class

Task Card Overview/Multiple Intelligences

Association for the Promotion and Advancement of Science Education activities website -

Naturalist Intelligence – Sea World / Busch Gardens website for students

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, prolific writer, author and public speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, "If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

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