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Profile of Spatial Intelligence - One of Gardner's Multiple Intelligences


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Spatial Intelligence Definition:

Spatial intelligence, one of Gardner's Nine Multiple Intelligences, involves how well an individual processes visual information. This includes the ability to visualize objects and rotate, transform, and otherwise manipulate them. It is a foundational intelligence upon which many of the other intelligences rely and interact. Engineers and scientists are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high spatial intelligence. An article by Scientific American on spatial intelligence provides important insights of how this intelligence is often neglected in traditional educational settings.

Individuals Who Typically Have High Spatial Inelligence:

The following individuals typically have high spatial intelligence:
  • Physicists
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Builders
  • Artists
  • Computer Science

Famous People Who Have High Spatial Intelligence:

  • Neils Bohr
  • I. M. Pei
  • Buckminster Fuller
  • Salvador Dali
  • Galileo Galilei

Traits of Those Who Have High Spatial Intelligence:

  • Thinks in three-dimensions
  • Excels at manipulating objects in his or her mind
  • Likes to make hypotheses
  • Likes orienteering
  • Often enjoys drawing or art
  • Likes to build things
  • Enjoys puzzles
  • Excels at mazes

Ways to Enhance Spatial Intelligence:

Following are ways that teachers and individuals can enhance and strengthen their current spatial intelligence:
  • Practicing visualization techniques
  • Include artwork, photography, or drawing in classes when possible
  • Give homework assignments in the form of puzzles
  • Have students provide hypotheses and make predictions about subjects you are teaching
  • Have students provide step-by-step instructions or directions
  • Have students pretend to be an individual and write about their experiences
  • Use mind maps to teach and review concepts
  • Use maps and visual aids where possible
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