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Adult Learning Styles

Page history last edited by Carol Buse 14 years, 1 month ago


I. Multiple Intelligences


1. Developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard.


2. The traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited.  Dr. Gardner proposes 8 different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in both children and adults:


1. Linguistic Intelligence - the intelligence of words - "word smart"

Implications for the teacher - "How can I use the spoken or written word"


2. Logical-mathematical Intelligence - the intelligence of numbers and reasons

Implications for the teacher - "How can I bring in numbers, calculations, logic, classifications or critical thinking?"


3. Spatial Intelligence - "picture smart" - the intelligence of pictures/images

Implications for the teacher - "How can I use visual aids, visualization, color, art, metaphor, or visual organizers?"


4. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence - the intelligence of the whole body and the hands.

Implications for the teacher - "How can I include hands-on or whole body experiments?"


5. Musical Intelligence - the intelligence of tone, rhythm, and timbre

 Implications for the teacher - "How can I bring music or environmental sounds, or set key points in a rhythm or melody?"


6. Interpersonal Intelligence - "people smart"  the intelligence of social interactions

Implications for the teacher - "How can I engage students in peer or cross-age sharing,  cooperative learning or large-group simulation?"


7. Intrapersonal Intelligence - "self smart" the intelligence of self-knowledge

Implications for the teacher - "How can I evoke personal feelings or memories, or give students choices?"


8. Naturalistic Intelligence - "nature smart"

Implications for the teacher - "How can I relate the material to laws in the natural world that students can see everyday?"



The traditional ways of teaching and learning are Linguistic and Logical/Mathematical. When this is the only method used, students who have other intelligences are left at a disadvantage. 


Challenge for teachers - incorporate as many intelligences as you can.

To get started, place a topic in a sheet of paper with 8 spokes, then brainstorm the ways you can present it:



For example:  Law of Supply and Demand in economics:


1. Linguistic - read about it

2. Logical-mathematical - study math formulas that express it

3. Spatial - examine charts

4. Naturalist - observe the law in the natural world

5. Interpersonal - examine the law in the world of commerce

6. Body/Kinesthetic/Intrapersonal - examine the law in own body - Hungry, full

7. Music - find a song or write one that demonstrates the law.






Use the technique above to brainstorm ways to present a concept or topic of your choice with Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.


II. Learning Styles


Here is something I found from the FDIC ADR.  If we use it, we may want to redo it. But I thought the content was good and the examples were good.



Here is a link to a learning styles inventory questionnaire.  





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