Learning about “How am I Smart?”

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Over the years of learning and passing information along to others I have come to know that I am a visual learner and learn/communicate best with pictures and word pictures as well as by example. I understand that people learn in different ways. Therefore I have been able to use my creativity and logic to invent different ways of teaching the same material.

Today while listening to Focus on the Family radio program I was pleased to learn of a wonderful resource for parents, teachers and even for everyone to gain better understanding of how we learn. Guest of the day, Dr. Kathy Koch (pronounced Cook), PhD explained many of the concepts found in her book “How Am I Smart: a parent’s guide to multiple intelligences.”

Basically she said what many of us have experienced; we do not all learn the same things, the same way! Different is not bad; it’s just different!
How many times have we heard or thought “WHY am I sooooo stupid?”. Instead of automatically countering with “You are NOT stupid”! How much better would it be to help explain why it only seems that way? We can use these questions as teachable moments.

Her very logical analysis of the ways in which we learn is a MUST read for teachers, parents and people who are often facing the frustration of “why is this so difficult for me to understand?” In particular, I think this would be of great benefit to people who have suffered a brain injury that necessitates employing a new way of learning and doing.
In a nutshell, Dr. Kuch introduces us to eight brain “smarts”; areas/methods of learning. She points out that God has created us in His image with all of these areas (unless damaged in some way), however we have strengths in some areas over others. Obviously, our areas of strength will yield easier learning and the areas in which we are weaker will be less comfortable or we find more difficult which can become frustrating.

By investigating all of these areas, we can better understand our strengths and work toward improving our ability to relate with those whose strengths are in a different area.
The Eight Smarts are:
1) word-smart
2) logic-smart
3) picture-smart
4) music-smart
5) body-smart
6) nature-smart
7) people-smart
8) self-smart

She went on to start describing characteristics of people whose primary method of learning was within some of the different areas. I say “start” because the radio interview went too quickly. However, the website Focusonthefamily.com made the following download available.

I highly recommend downloading this 4-page resource on how to encourage the best learning experience for all of our children, students and even for a better understanding of how we learn ourselves.

download of How Am I Smart Resource

I have ordered the book because of all the little nuggets of wisdom I heard during the interview. She gave very good examples of how not to crush a person’s spirit with statements that can paralyze them when it comes to utilizing their unique style of learning. We all need to strive to understand one another to be better able to encourage learning and exploring different areas of “smarts”.

I will write a review of the book when I have finished. How are YOU smart?


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