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Multiple Intelligences and the Skilled Trades

Most of us are familiar with the concept of intelligence testing as it relates to our performance in school, but we often don’t stop to question how the results apply to our real-world success. What if you excel in other areas, or you simply aren’t interested in traditional academic approaches?

Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University first addressed this issue in the early 1980s with his theory of Multiple Intelligences. He believed that standard tests of intelligence didn’t tell the whole story of a person’s strengths, talents, and learning style.

Dr. Gardner identified the following eight areas as domains of Multiple Intelligence:

  • Spatial – People with spatial intelligence think in terms of three dimensions. They may be good at drawing, building models, and using video or graphics to present information in creative ways.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic – This type of intelligence relates to body awareness and movement. People who learn by doing or making things, or are highly gifted artists, dancers, or athletes would likely score highly in bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
  • Musical – Musical intelligence is related to an aptitude for identifying rhythm, pitch, tone, and other aspects of musical composition.
  • Linguistic – People who learn well by listening and use words effectively are said to be strong in linguistic intelligence.
  • Mathematical-logical – This type of intelligence comes with a strong ability to calculate and apply reason to problem solving. Mathematical-logical learners often like solving puzzles and participating in experiments.
  • Interpersonal – Often referred to as social intelligence, this type of MI is critical to interacting with others. People with interpersonal intelligence are usually known for their empathy, their street smarts, and their ability to make friends easily.
  • Intrapersonal – People with a high degree of intrapersonal intelligence are self-aware, focused, and confident in how they solve problems. (Dr. Gardner indicates that everyone should seek to enhance their own intrapersonal intelligence because it aids in healthy decision making.)
  • Naturalistic – This form of intelligence is sometimes called “nature smarts”, and involves the ability to observe and categorize the natural world in order to draw conclusions about how it works.

All of these forms of intelligence are valuable and critical to the work force, and knowing where your own strengths lie can lead you to a career that offers you more long-term success and enjoyment. For instance, someone who has a high degree of bodily-kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligence might feel frustrated and unhappy in a four-year university degree program, but fulfilled and motivated in a cosmetology career.

If you live in the Greater New Orleans or Northshore area and feel like you don’t quite “fit in” to the academic mold, Compass Career College can help you to embrace your strengths and to learn in the way that’s most effective and enjoyable for you. Your talents are needed and desired in the skilled trades, and the staff and administrators of CCC can help you utilize them for career success. Call (985) 419-2050 to speak to an Admissions Counselor about what CCC can offer you and your unique brand of intelligence.

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