Many students agree that school can get pretty boring at times, except when they become perplexed that the kid next to them who flunked his third period Language Arts class can glide through Algebra I without cracking a book. Scholars and researchers have pondered this same question under different scenarios. In 1983, a young gentleman by the name of Howard Gardner developed a theory that would explain this mystery. Gardner proposed that everybody has multiple intelligences, including spatial, linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. The kid who flunked his Language Arts class demonstrated an understanding of linguistics, while his effortless attempts at passing Algebra I hints at his above-average logical/mathematical intelligence.
Logical/mathematical intelligence involves the mental capacity to understand numbers, scientific processes, logic, and reasoning. Many professions use logical intelligence to perform their daily tasks, such as accountants, engineers, computer programmers, and mathematicians. Even ordinary people use their logical intelligence to accomplish their everyday activities, such as balancing a checkbook, solving word problems, number puzzles, and comprehending the latest scientific discovery in their monthly magazine. Students strong in logical intelligence can think in numerical terms, mathematical patterns, and logical sequences. Students who lack mathematical intelligence can work on developing this mental faculty through a series of exercises. Students who engage in regular logical/mathematical intelligence activities will learn how to manipulate their environment by experimenting with objects in an orderly fashion. Parents who challenge their children to participate in logical/mathematical intelligence activities will witness their children demonstrating higher forms of abstract thought and reasoning. Many of these kids will grow to love computers, video games, chemistry sets, and anything remotely related to a mathematical equation. Students can engage in a variety of logical/mathematical intelligence activities in the classroom, including brain teasers, strategical games, logical puzzles, and any games that challenge the student to plan ahead accordingly.
Students use logical/mathematical intelligence in more than math-related courses. In fact, many students use their mathematical intelligence in a variety of scientific disciplines. The majority of students will demonstrate their mathematical intelligence in laboratories, observatories, or by crafting science fair projects. Many teachers question students who perform well on math tests without showing their work, oftentimes failing the student for not following instructions. However, many of these students can compute the answers in their heads without using scratch paper. Other students can excel in drafting classes that require them to use a ruler to make creations; however, these same students may fail in art classes that challenge their creativity.
Parents can challenge their kids to develop and enjoy their logical/mathematical intelligence by participating in a variety of at-home activities, such as playing chess, cribbage, and backgammon. Children can also work on brain teasers and number puzzles that challenge their logical faculties. Other children can work on becoming proficient at keyboarding and understanding computer dynamics. Other logical/mathematical intelligence activities include working with chemistry sets, solving word problems without a calculator, pretending to own a business, building structures with Legos or K-Nex, reading science magazines, watching scientific television shows, visiting a science museum or planetarium, playing with a rubrics cube, setting up a telescope or microscope, help with family finances, and learning to play a musical instrument. Children who immerse themselves in logical/mathematical activities will soon find themselves performing well on their mathematical and science tests. In addition, they will start solving real-life situations without asking for guidance.
Follow these links to learn more about Logical/Mathematical Intelligence:
- The Logical/Mathematical Ways of Thinking (PDF)
- Multiple Intelligences: Logical-Mathematical Understanding
- A Closer Look At Each Intelligence: Logical/Mathematical
- A Definition of Intelligence (PDF)
- An Informative Website for Educators: Logical/Mathematical
- Multiple Intelligence Lesson Plans
- Multiple Mathematical Intelligences
- Multiple Intelligences: Logical/Mathematical