Friday, May 02, 2008

Multiple Intelligences, Lateral Thinking, Learning Styles

· How do multiple intelligences relate to Learning Styles?
· Is one Learning Style ‘nature smart’ while another may be ‘music smart’?
· What information processing style finds lateral thinking natural?

To answer these questions, we’d best define the concepts of multiple intelligences and lateral thinking.

(For a definition of a learning style, please click here.)

Intelligence is our ability to understand the world around us. Some of us are better at understanding numbers, some know how to win friends (and influence people), others learn cartwheels by simply watching people do cartwheels. Following this reasoning, Howard Gardner identified 8 types of intelligences:
· Linguistic
· Mathematical
· Spatial (pictures)
· Kinesthetic
· Musical
· Interpersonal
· Intrapersonal (about oneself)
· Naturalist

There is a strong statistical correlation between having a kinesthetic component of your learning style and having a kinesthetic intelligence. A similar correlation exists between an externally visual learning style and a special intelligence. A musical intelligence, however, relies on a number of factors, and no single element of your learning style can predict it.

(What is your Learning Style? Click here to find out.)

It is tempting to attempt a similar correlation between a thinker with simultaneous information processing and lateral thinking. However, it is not as simple as that.
Edward de Bono’s definition of lateral thinking makes it clear that it’s all about changing the direction of your thinking: “With logic you start out with certain ingredients just as in playing chess you start out with given pieces. Lateral thinking is concerned not with playing with the existing pieces but with seeking to change them.”
So, while there is a component of thinking outside the box, there is also a component of wanting a change, as well as a degree of nonconformity to rules.
Can your Learning Style predict whether you’d make a good lateral thinker? Email us to find out (quote your user name so that we can find your learning style report).

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