How To Promote Naturalistic Intelligence

If you have researched intelligence before, you probably came across Howard Gardner’s Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. He suggests that there are nine different types, each one related to a particular sphere in life.

Naturalistic intelligence is in direct relation to increased empathy towards plants and animals. According to Howard Gardner, those who opt for careers related to zookeeping, gardening, and veterinary fields have increased naturalistic intelligence.

Sensitivity towards the world that surrounds us doesn’t have to be limited to nurturing and caring, though. It can also be applied to classes and learning experiences.

Howard Gardner’s Theory

From the beginning, Gardner was a strict advocate that conventional IQ tests weren’t much good at measuring intelligence because you can’t put all the reasoning methods and different approaches together. His theory motivated educators and students worldwide to start experimenting with the classification of intelligence through practical means without having to do a test with a pencil and paper.

Through two of his books, Howard Gardner tried to explain the naturalistic theory with a couple of famous examples. He listed Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species, who was revolutionary considering the dogmas present in the 19th century. Another naturalist that he discussed was Alexander von Humboldt, who was the first person to openly speak about the negative effect that humans have on nature.

Can Naturalistic Intelligence Be Used In Classrooms?

According to William Wordsworth, yes. He wrote several poems intending to stimulate educators and students to transfer their classroom outside to enjoy everything that nature has to offer. The common traits of someone who excels in this type of intelligence are increased interest in different organisms, observation, enthusiasm when outside, and recognizing weather changes.

Additionally, the ability to distinguish between seemingly the same plants is one of the signs that you possess a high level of naturalistic intelligence.

How To Enhance Naturalistic Intelligence

As an educator, your best move to enhance students’ naturalistic intelligence is to give them more time outside during your class. You can also implement different learning methods and give them exciting homework, such as writing a journal or a description of the plants/animals they have seen over the past couple of days.

It is always good to invest some extra time into discussing nature, weather, and related occurrences to get a better idea of which students can be considered highly naturalistic intelligent.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether you agree with Howard’s theory or not, one thing is for sure – some individuals enjoy being in nature more than others. This trait shouldn’t be wasted but rather enhanced, as it can be implemented in everyday tasks and make conventional education much more fun.

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