Gardner, a Harvard professor, researcher, and author, proposes that there are
eight main areas in which all people have special skills; he calls them
intelligences. Every one of us possesses all the intelligences to various
degrees of development, from highly developed to fairly underdeveloped.
Schools and standardized testing typically teach to and
test for only two of the intelligences: linguistic and logical-mathematical.
This is a shortcoming of the educational system, as many children with other
abilities are overlooked in the process.
In this series, I give some information about each
intelligence, with the hopes that parents will recognize themselves and their
- Spatial Intelligence: perceiving the visual-spatial world
in an accurate way, so as to be able to work in it effectively. The people who
do this cover a wide range of fields that, upon first glance, do not seem to
have much in common. Compare, for example, hunters, sailors, engineers,
inventors, and surgeons to interior decorators, architects, painters, and
These questions can determine if an adult has a
strength in Spatial Intelligence:
- Have you always been able to reproduce clear images in your
mind, even when your eyes are closed or the objects are not in front of you?
- Are you sensitive to color?
- Do you take a lot of photographs or home movies?
- Do you enjoy jigsaw and other visual puzzles?
- Do you have vivid dreams?
- Do you usually have an easy time getting around, even if
itís your first time in a new place?
- Do you enjoy drawing or doodling?
- Was geometry easier for you than algebra?
- Do you have an easy time reading maps and translating their
information into reality?
- Do you enjoy books and magazines with many illustrations,
photos, and design elements?
These are some questions to determine if children may
be exhibiting a well-developing Spatial Intelligence. Does your child:
- recall visual details in objects?
- have an easy time learning to read and understand maps and
charts in books?
- daydream a lot?
- enjoy the visual arts?
- demonstrate ability in using art materials and creating
drawings, sculptures, or other three-dimensional objects?
- enjoy visual presentations such as videos, television, and
- get a lot of information from illustrations in books she
- scribble, doodle, or draw on all available surfaces?
All columns are copyright © Jay Davidson.
Permission is hereby granted for individuals to download and copy them for
individual use. There is a modest charge for printing these columns in
any publication. To receive that permission, contact Jay