The forces of nature and nurture have combined to develop the Linguistic intelligence type as described by Gardner in my own life. Nature’s gift was a keen eye and a memory for the “shape” of words, and the nurturing aspect was provided by the encouragement my parents gave me in my love of reading. I have immersed myself in books since I was a young child, and from there has developed a n appetite for language and the way it is used to communicate. Nurture also was important from the way one particular teacher shared her own love for language and its origin when I was just eleven years of age, when we were drilled on Greek and Latin roots and propelled to the local eisteddfod. Regarding allocating numbers to nature and nurture, I agree with Howard Gardner who was reluctant to use test scores, asserting that a number could not accurately depict ability1
Subjects that develop multiple intelligences, such as music, art and gym, produce a number of beneficial outcomes2. Some of these outcomes include an increased understanding of student diversity, a more cohesive curriculum that is centred on the students, as well as lifting confidence levels in teachers3. Focussing on the diversity of the student population allows individual students to excel in the facets in which they are naturally gifted, and then a nurturing environment may assist students in developing and strengthening intelligences that they were not naturally endowed with. Some intelligences may assist in strengthening others, such as a musical intelligence allowing a student to correlate patterns in mathematics. Therefore, while it would require a change to the current approach to education in many institutions, embracing Gardner’s concept of multiple intelligences when planning curriculum would be of benefit to the students’ development and to the teachers’ job satisfaction.
Gardner, Howard, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. (2011: xxviii). Basic Books.
Scapens, Mennie (Mary-Ann), Implementing the theory of multiple intelligences in the junior secondary school. (2007: 1). Thesis: The University of Waikato.