Intrapersonal Intelligence: Everything You Need to Know
Psychologist Howard Gardner believes there are eight multiple intelligences and created the Multiple Intelligence Theory. One of those theories is intrapersonal intelligence. Gardner’s theory puts intelligence under the spotlight and dismisses the notion that IQ is the only form of intelligence. He believes there are different bits of intelligence, such as interpersonal, naturalist, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, and intrapersonal.
So, what do you need to know about intrapersonal intelligence?
Understanding the Notion of Intrapersonal Intelligence
This focuses on the understanding of oneself. Intrapersonal intelligence focus on the psychological side of the body, as well as creativity, such as writing. Intelligence isn’t limited to general knowledge, writers and artists have different forms of intelligence. For example, an artist can draw, paint, and sculpt a moving piece of art. Someone who doesn’t have these skills may not appreciate or understand the message it gives out. Some might not even be able to draw an apple. Writers do the same with their novels.
It might not, in some views, be intelligence on an IQ level; however, that doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent in what they do.
A Basic History of Intrapersonal Intelligence
Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato were philosophers and they encouraged people to analyze and contemplate ideas. These old-world philosophers helped to shape Western philosophy. Those ideas helped to influence many amazing writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Friedrich Nietzsche. It’s thought that renowned genius Albert Einstein had intrapersonal intelligence.
Einstein was intelligent in many ways. He was introverted but self-motivated and tended to work alone. Einstein was a unique character and was often too conventional for thinkers of his generation; today, however, he is adored and understood by many. His work has inspired millions around the world.
The Renowned Writer Joan Didion
Joan Didion created a book called The Year of Magical Thinking. It details Didion’s grief when her husband suddenly passed away and her daughter’s declining health. She expresses her thoughts in detail, but it’s very organized and methodical, to say the least. In her book, Joan Didion expresses how she was able to process her husband’s death. It’s moving and even though it’s such a personal topic to discuss, does so in a simplistic manner.
How Can Students Develop Intrapersonal Intelligence?
It is possible to develop intrapersonal intelligence through writing, mind maps, journaling, and introspection. While these activities might not appeal directly to everyone, they can be a useful way to explore the inner mind, emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Students can develop these skills in the classroom through writing.
There are lots of ways to do them, including:
- Reflection Exercises: Students should be given a thought or reflection exercise. This is when they must think about the topics they’ve been discussing. It can be a useful way to understand literature, even storybooks, and broadens the mind of the child.
- Writing Prompts: Students can be given a daily exercise. Their goal is to write one or two paragraphs on a certain subject. It gets the mind working and once the child writes, it unleashes their creativity. This can work for younger children and even teenagers.
Intrapersonal intelligence isn’t a fixed element in a person’s mind. It can be evolved, nurtured, and even developed through practice and skill. A student might not be gifted with intrapersonal intelligence; however, it can be learned. Teachers should create lessons to encourage and develop intrapersonal intelligence.