Editor's Note (2015): Additional research is needed to understand the applications of Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences in educational settings. Furthermore, a clear distinction should be made between multiple intelligences (how people process information) and learning styles (how people approach tasks differently). Research, however, does suggest that providing students with multiple ways to learn content improves learning (Hattie, 2011). Read more about the research on multiple intelligences and learning styles.
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is about thinking in movements and includes the ability to use movements for either self-expression or precision to achieve a goal. It is crucial for surgeons, athletes, mimes, choreographers, and directors.
This type of intelligence helps you retain information when it is associated with an activity, such as dance, acting, and sports. Relating what you are trying to learn to one of these activities will help you retain information and gain understanding.
Perform a skit to show the action of the idea you are trying to learn.
Make a game out of the materials.
Apply what you are learning to hands-on models or in-practice examples.
Stay active when you are in a situation in which you need to concentrate. You can squeeze a stress ball when talking with someone or walk around while reading a book.
Interpersonal intelligence is about social interaction and understanding the people around you and their motives, emotions, perspectives, and moods.
This type of intelligence is important in managing relationships, understanding situations, and negotiating conflict. It is especially applicable in careers that require insight and a sensitivity to what someone else is thinking or feeling, such as teaching, psychology, or sales.
Give and receive feedback.
Talk out problems.
Work on large-group projects so you can use your social abilities to divide up tasks and understand all aspects of the project.
Be a part of active learning through mentoring, tutoring, or an apprenticeship. This activity will reinforce your own knowledge or abilities.
Intrapersonal intelligence has been said to be the road to achievement, learning, and personal satisfaction. It is about being connected to who you are and how you feel, and knowing your own limits and abilities.
Intrapersonal intelligence is involved in making decisions and setting goals for yourself, self-management, and self-reflection.
Study alone in a comfortable yet quiet environment.
Set goals for yourself, and monitor your progress regularly.
Reflect on what you have learned, and think through new material.
Create a connection between new material and subjects you already know, and gain understanding by finding their similarities.
Naturalistic learning is about understanding the patterns of living things and applying scientific reasoning to the world. Nature intelligence is particularly applicable in careers such as that of a farmer, naturalist, animal behaviorist, and scientist.
Recognize and classify different types of plants or animals.
Observe and record data.
Create a living system for the material you are trying to learn. Imagine the new material as an ecosystem or a pattern for you to figure out.
Write about nature, daily life, or people as a topic so you become engaged in your assignment.
Verbal-linguistic intelligence -- along with logical-mathematical intelligence -- is often associated with doing well in school. It involves the ability to use words effectively for reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The poet has been described as the epitome of verbal-linguistic intelligence.
Use words to explain complicated subjects.
Engage in the Socratic method, digesting information through a question-and-answer exchange.
Visual-spatial intelligence allows you to see and modify things in your mind. This kind of understanding of the visual world -- and its relation to physical items -- is valuable in solving spatial problems, designing, and doing crafts.
Use art projects to create representations of the content you are learning.
Draw related images next to your notes -- along with arrows between ideas -- to create connection and reference points.
Organize with color. Use different-colored highlighters, paper, index cards, folders, or tabs to create a visual system for finding things and grouping topics.
Visualize your topic. When you are learning something new, imagine what it looks like.