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Types of Intelligence-Part III

Howard Gardner’s seven types of intelligence guide us in selecting child specific teaching methods and career. There are other types of intelligence which parents and teachers should develop in children, to prepare them to face the world independently. Earlier psychologists termed this as “Social intelligence”- the ability to get along with other people.

Usually we feel that a child with a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient- measurement of intelligence) will have a bright future. But there are many examples in the real world where we find that people who had been average students are more succesful and happy with their life and career. This is because when a person enters the professional world independently, she/he is faced with myriad situations and people dealing which is not taught in regular school syllabus. Technical knowledge alone cannot guarantee success and happiness. Along with IQ, children should be taught about three other types of Intelligece- Emotional intelligence (EQ), Moral intelligence (MQ) and Bodily intelligence (BQ).

What is Intelligence?

Intelligence is the capacity of a person to understand, learn and apply knowledge. It helps one logically reason out a problem and solve it.

When we talk of IQ, we generally consider technical intelligence or the logical reasoning skills, where no emotions are involved. In a society we have to work as a team whether in personal relations or professional ones. Everywhere emotions are involved. So real intelligence includes knowledge of ones technical subject as well as an understanding of one’s own and other’s feelings and behaviour. A combination of IQ, EQ, MQ and BQ,children should be made aware of these from a young age.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and analyze one’s own as well as other’s feelings and emotions. This understanding should guide one’s thinking and actions.

Talk and explain to the child the different types of emotions we feel. Tell him that what we feel others too have the same type of emotions. There are four main features of emotional intelligence.

Perception of emotion- This is the ability to notice the different forms of expressing emotions. People do not always express their feelings ina direct and verbal form. We have to be aware of the non verbal expressions of emotions too like, body language and facial expressions. The ability to catch the right emotion helps us to deal with the situation in an appropriate way.

Reasoning with emotion- We feel strongly for certain things and not so strongly for others. The level of our emotions helps us to prioritize our work or decisions.

Understanding emotions- This means exploring, extracting the meaning of the perceived emotions. Why that emotion has occurred? How can I find a solution to the cause of that emotion?

Managing emotions- This is an important teaching for life. Once the children know the types and causes of different emotions, they must be taught to manage their emotions and channelize them towards constructive purposes. A person who understands and can control his emotions will be in a better situation to respond to difficult situations.

A child or person with a developed emotional intelligence will get along with others easily, due to her capability to understand herself and others and act accordingly.

Moral Intelligence

Moral intelligence is the ability to distinguish between the right and wrong and stick to the universal moral values. The main points of Moral Intelligence are:

Empathy- The ability to understand other person’s situation or being considerate.

Conscience- The ability to listen to the conscience and do that is morally right.

Self-control- The ability to check one’s overflowing emotions, temptations, reactions etc.

Respect for others- The child should know that everyone has value in this world. He or she should not look down on anyone and respect not just elders but friends, siblings, juniors, helpers everyone. Respect includes respect for other’s faith and beliefs too. Those who respect others get always get respect in return.

Kindness- Never hurt anybody physically or verbally. Try to understand other’s feeling and help them out.

Tolerance- The child should learn that he/she is not always right. They should be taught to consider other’s viewpoint too. He should respect the dignity and rights of all and not condemn or force his own viewpoints on others.

Fairness- Always stand for the truth. Be honest.

A morally upright person is respected by all and such a person can lead a guilt free, satisfied life.

Bodily Intelligence

Life on earth depends a lot on how we take care of our body. It is the basic source of all our energy to work and also the home for our emotions. Our success and happines depends a lot on our health, both mental and physical. The child should know the importance of healthy diet, regular exercise, cleanliness, rest etc. When we are physically healthy, we are energetic about our work too. Good, healthy food and exercise keep us mentally fit too. Bodily intelligence affects our work by affecting our feelings, thoughts, self confidence and energy levels.

All these above intelligences are inborn to some extent and can also be developed through practise. For example, some of us are naturally, genetically fit, while others may need regular exercise to keep fit. Emotion control and management can be learnt through practice. Moral intelligence depends a lot on the environment, particularly that of the family, in which the child lives. Children are born innocent. They pick up right and wrong habits/attitudes by observing the people around them. All these intelligence should be developed in children so that they can grow up to become productive members of the society.


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