The Artist Is Just as Smart as the Athlete Is Just as Smart as the Mathematician

Summer Crown Many of us know the awful feeling of “basically failing” a science test and then hearing about how the “smartest” kid in your class aced it. Latin’s competitive standards of intelligence are defined by test scores, quarterly grades, and the number of honors classes you are taking. Those who aced the science test and took Honors Pre-Calc freshman year are known as geniuses and cause other students to degrade the value of their intelligence in other areas. Students believe that having an incredible understanding of art and drawing doesn’t make them as smart as their “genius” classmates. Inaccurately, we often place ourselves on a scale of intellect based heavily on numbers and logic. According to the study of Harvard Graduate School Professor and developmental psychologist, Howard Gardner, there are nine distinct types of human intelligence. He found that humans can be Naturalist, Musical, Logical-mathematical, Existential, Interpersonal, Bodily-kinesthetic, Linguistic, Intra-personal, or Spatial. While the words themselves seem large and complicated, at least one of them describes each of our own abilities. Naturalist is being nature smart. This kind of intelligence is prominent in those who have an awareness of plants, animals, and the natural world around us. For example, botanists and chefs often have incredible naturalist intelligence. Musical intelligence is found in those who can sense pitches, rhythms, and tones, in addition to having the ability to recognize, understand, and create music. Gardner also argues that the musically intelligent often connect sounds to emotions, an argument that is clearly supported by every single one of Beyoncé’s songs. Humans that are Logically and Mathematically intelligent are our stereotypical “geniuses” whom I referenced earlier. They have the natural capability to calculate and understand numbers, propositions, hypotheses, and patterns. They have incredible sequential reasoning skills and are also probably great at Sudoku. Those who have Existential Intelligence are often contemplating and looking for answers about the meaning of life, our human purpose, and other heavy philosophical concepts. Interpersonal Intelligence, or having a high EQ, is the ability to connect with others and understand their emotions. They can easily put themselves in others’ shoes and empathize with them. They are often the natural leaders of a group. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence is the natural capacity to use physical skill and hand-eye coordination, as well as a precise sense of timing. Unsurprisingly, this intelligence is commonly seen in athletes and dancers. The capacity to manipulate words and language in a powerful way is Linguistic Intelligence. Writers, poets, and public speakers with this type of intelligence can effectively arrange their words to create certain types of emotions. Not to be confused with Interpersonal Intelligence, Intra-personal Intelligence is one’s natural skill of comprehending and being aware of their own thoughts, ideas, plans, and life in general. Sometimes, this type of intelligence is seen in introverts, but it can also be seen in psychologists and philosophers. Finally, Spatial Intelligence is the capability to visualize dimensions, images, and graphic designs. Spatially intelligent people have an extremely active imagination and are drawn to art, sculpture, and architecture. At Latin, we often find ourselves valuing certain kinds of intelligences over others. Perhaps this is true because we are not generally aware of the diversity of skills and intelligences; regardless, Gardner’s study proves the inaccuracy of this perception. Every human understands the world differently through their unique abilities. Because our school environment does not always equally reward each of these abilities, we must remember not to degrade ourselves for not being able to understand calculus. Each of us has our strengths and can become a brilliant, capable, “genius” in our own field of intelligence. ]]>