Multiple Intelligence: Why not measure our children’s strengths?

We are all born with gifts that are true to the strengths of our own unique intelligence.  I am very gifted in being able to feel someone’s pain, sensitive in understanding the situations of others and can easily put myself in someone else’s shoes.  I am musically inclined hence I played piano from a very young age and am a strong creative writer.  However, I am terrible at math and geography and any jargon that comes along with those areas.  I flourished in a school of the arts in Manhattan called The High School of Performing Arts Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School.  I’m pretty sure that if I ended up somewhere else I would have been a miserable student.  I believe that when we teach to the learning styles of the children in our class, we are unlocking their potential to be uniquely gifted.  I also believe that when you learn to teach to that student’s learning style, you as an educator can then elevate their intelligence by presenting subjects and ideas uniquely to them in a way that will be best learned by the student.  When an educator knows how to play to a student’s strengths, then they can use that method to help them with their weaknesses thereby transferring knowledge through a more effective learning practice.

According to Berger (2016), Aptitude tests are not a full proof way of measuring the brain directly.  “Some scientists doubt whether any test can measure complexities of the human brain, especially if the test is designed to measure only one general aptitude” (p.359).  Gardner and Sternberg believed that humans have multiple intelligences.  Gardner stated that human beings have nine multiple intelligences: Linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential/spiritual.  In addition to those multiple intelligences, there is a social-emotional component called emotional intelligence within itself has 12 competencies which are: emotional awareness, emotional control, adaptability, achievement orientation, positive outlook, empathy, organizational awareness, influence, coach and mentor, conflict management, teamwork, and inspirational leadership (Boyatzis, 2017).Therefore it is important that as educators we are aware of the different ways in which we can engage, teach, and most importantly assess our children.  Standardized testing seems cruel to children who can do a better oral exam than one that is written and timed.

Assessments In Korea 

In Korea, parents believe that high academic achievement means excellent achievement in linguistics and mathematics. Children who have a weakness in these areas consider themselves helpless at school.  Korea is known as a competitive-oriented society with an examination orientated culture that continues to influence education today. According to Jung (2005), by tradition in Korea, pencils and cotton threads are displayed at a baby’s first birthday and they encourage the baby to grab a pencil in order to symbolize his great destiny of academic excellence.  Most children in Korea can read and write before they enter primary school and can memorize and recite the multiplication table before entering primary school, it is an honor for them and their family.  However, those who display academic weakness are left behind and could benefit from instruction geared to their multiple intelligences (Jung, 2017).  Currently, there are little to no schools in Korea who are assessing their children with multiple intelligences in mind.  In addition, although much research has surfaced in Korea with empirical evidences proving that teaching children who are struggling with multiple intelligences and learning styles in mind can significantly improve their academic success, they are still holding on to strong and strict traditions.

In conclusion, I have learned that although this research on multiple intelligences has empirical evidence that proves that teaching children with multiple intelligences in mind can better improve academic success. America needs to take heed and understand that these assessments like the common core and others only test a fraction of student strengths. We need educational reform.


Berger, K. S. (2016). The Developing Person Through Childhood. New York: Worth Publishers.

Boyatzis, D. G. (2017). Emotional Intelligences Has 12 Elements. Which Do You To Work On? Harvard Business Review, 2-5.

Jung, T. (2005). The Application of Multiple Intelligences: Theory in South Korea. School Psychological International.



2 thoughts on “Multiple Intelligence: Why not measure our children’s strengths?

  1. Hi Lilly,

    Thank you so much for sharing information about Korea. I never knew that most of their children can read and write before entering primary school. I am curious to find out what curriculum they use to teach children to read and write so early.


  2. Curious to know if you would know my brother? He went to that school as well.

    It was always sound blowing to hear about the Asian culture. I’ve heard stories of how strict they are. They take school very seriously. But I never knew it was that extreme.
    Thank you for sharing.


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