Student Article / Academic

The Human Mind and Omnifarious Intelligence

 The Human Mind and Omnifarious Intelligence

Madhuchanda Saxena

16 Jul, 2018

How good are schools or the system of education for our children? We can have a good debate on this subject for hours. Have you noticed how on the onset many children fight not to go to school? A child's first experience of going to school can be profoundly alienating, not because the teachers aren’t nice but because of the way the system has been developed. This system tends to asses us for a particular kind of intelligence. A student can pass or fail on ridiculously narrow criteria. Mostly students who do well in school are often the ones who have all the boxes of the system ticked, they are the ones who are linear, analytical and hyperlexic.

However, are all the so called bright students able to make it in life? Not really. I have examples of really bright students of my class who haven’t been able to do anything brilliant in life. Yet some of the back benchers are the ones spearheading big financial and engineering firms. Another has set a bench mark setting up organic farming in places trying to make a difference not just in his life but lives of others as well. While some of the most promising students lead a very normal and mundane life. 

If we look around us we will find there are people with different kinds of intelligence. As a society to be successful we need different set of intelligent people. The trouble starts when we try to place everybody at the same place. That’s when we start feeling and getting alienated.

According to some study it has been found that children are biologically predisposed to take responsibility of their own education. They play and explore the physical and the social world around them. They think about their future and think about how to prepare them for life ahead. Most often we keep nagging our children saying, whatever the school curriculum suggests to do is the best way to success, these kinds of set rules actually stops a person from taking up responsibility. When everything is tailor made why get creative?

It is time we changed the system. We need to delve deeper into the realm of human intelligence. The Topic of intelligence is a matter of hot debate in Psychology. Traditionally intelligence is defined in terms of IQ which measures a very narrow range of verbal/linguistically and logical/mathematical abilities of a person. However, studies have proven that human intelligence is like a box with several compartments. We all have the different compartments of intelligence however, not all compartments are filled to the brim. Every individual has some special ability about him/her. Ms. Arti Ahluwalia, Behavioural Expert also said in a live webinar that children need to identify your goal if you want to know about future. To remove various career confusions, one needs to identify the other intelligences also. It helps to give goal clarity. (Know more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7CE2jHckqc and http://fairgaze.com/FGWebbinar.html)

The whole subject of Intelligence has been best addressed by Howard Gardener, a psychologist and a professor of neuroscience at Harvard University. It’s his research that led to the conclusion that people don’t just have one type of intelligence but the human mind is a combination of nine different types of intelligence that can be observed and actually measured in our day to day life.

What are the eight types of intelligence?

1. Linguistic Intelligence: People with linguistic intelligence have the ability to use language to express their thoughts and ideas better. These kinds of people do very well in occupations like, writer, lawyer, orator, or translator.

2. Logical –Mathematical: A person strong in logical-mathematical intelligence always has the tendency to look deep into the underlying principles of cause and effect. These people are very good at math, logical analysis, problem solving. These people do very well as scientist, mathematician, accounting etc.

3. Musical Intelligence: People with musical intelligence have a keen ear for sound and can very easily pick up rhythm, differentiate between different patterns and tones. These people are best at being a musician, composer, music teacher or a singer.

4. Bodily- Kinesthetic: People with Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence use their bodies to perform and accomplish a task. These people are very confident about accomplishing a task using their body. These people make good athletes, gymnasts, dancers, law enforcement and military.

5. Spatial Intelligence: People with this intelligence are very good at visualizing, dreaming using the minds eyes. They can in their mind imagine things of massive scale, good at reading maps and solving puzzles. These kinds of people are good at occupations like architecture, designers, creative art.

6. Interpersonal- Learner:  People with this intelligence are very social. They are able to reach out, understand other people, good at communication, organizing. They perform best in occupations like Administrator, Manager, School Principal, Arbitrator, Sociologist etc.

7. Intrapersonal- Learner: People with this kind of intelligence like to work alone. They like to self-recognize and analyze, understand weakness and set goals. People with this type of intelligence are good at Clergy, Counselor, therapist, Programme Planner, Entrepreneur etc.

8. Naturalist: People with naturalist intelligent like to work around nature, exploring, learning about fauna and flora. They are very grounded and simple. These people are best suited for occupations like Park Naturalist, Wildlife rehabilitation, Zoo specialist, Environmentalist etc.

Keeping these facets of human intelligence in mind we need to create a system where children can explore and harness into their dominant intelligence, grow and take responsibilities of their own lives. A child should have all of these eight options so that they are able to better chose what their instinct naturally guides them to. Dr. Bhavna Chadha, Neuro Clinical Psychologist and Founder of “adhyapann”- The Skills Hub also said that being a teacher for 21 years she tried to be a student every day (know more at http://fairgaze.com/TeacherWorkshop.html) . When you have student like approach, then the possibility to explore the powers within oneself increases.  Mostly children lose interest as they are forced to do things that their minds are not naturally inclined to. This results in either mediocre results or absolute loss of interest in the subject. 

Lot of changes need to be made not just in the system of education but the way society perceives education. We cannot live with just doctors and engineers. We all have part of these eight intelligence within each of us and we need not just doctors and engineers, but artist, singers, counselor, lawyers, writers, athletes, naturalist, agriculturist to make our lives complete. We need an intelligent system.