Whereas talent wins matches, trophies and medals; intelligence wins championships. Kenya’s new competence-based curriculum is here and several parents are confused about what it entails. Worth noting is the fact that CBC is not a strange phenomenon. It only goes a step further and fully exploits your child’s potential. It focuses on various intelligence modalities instead of academics only.
CBC thus is closely associated with Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983) which seeks to sub-divide intelligence into various modalities. Gardner proposes that human intelligence should be evaluated based on multiple dimensions as opposed to a single general ability.
Just like Gardner, proponents of the competence-based curriculum in Kenya hold on to the idea that our children are gifted differently. Consequently, we have to grade them based on their areas of strengths. Therefore if the teacher advises your child to chat the path of music or sports, do not feel like you are wasting time and resources. Neither should you feel like your child is damn or daft. You need to appreciate the fact that s/he is endowed with musical or fine motor intelligence skills.
WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE?
This refers to the ability to learn and apply knowledge and skills aimed at manipulating your environment. Intelligence also enables an individual to make the right choices and resolve conflicts amicably.
TYPES OF INTELLIGENCE
Gardner (1983), a psychologist in his text entitled “Frames of Mind” proposes the following categories of intelligence. They include:
Musical rhythmic or musicality
If your child is gifted in music, then s/he has got what Gardner popularly refers to as Musical rhythmic intelligence. Therefore, your child will tend to exhibit the following characteristics:
1. A perfect pitch-degree of voice
2. Ability to sing well
3. Ability to compose songs and play musical instruments such as the violin, guitar, drum-sets among others
Children with musical rhythmic intelligence are likely to make great musicians, vocalists, songwriters or instrumentalists.
Verbal- linguistic or linguistic intelligence
This means that your child can creatively exploit language. Such children demonstrate the following features:
- Ability to read.
- Ability to tell stories – good orators.
- Ability to memorize words (for instance bible verses, poems, songs) and dates.
These children will become great orators, linguists, language teachers, journalists, lawyers and news anchors.
Logical-mathematical intelligence (reason)
Refers to the ability to think critically, manipulate numbers and understand underlying principles of a concept.
Such children are likely to pursue STEM courses and careers such as engineering, medicine, accounting and statistics.
This form of intelligence is related to gross and fine motor skills. A child with Bodily- kinetic intelligence has perfect control over his/ her body movements and can skillfully handle objects.
Such kids excel in sports such as athletics, dancing, acting/ film industry and can make good soldiers.
Visual-spatial intelligence (spatial)
This is the ability to see using the mind’s eye. A child with visual¬- spatial intelligence can see objects from various angles or space and note fine details.
This skill is essential in careers like medicine and investigative occupations e.g. criminology.
Inter-personal or social intelligence
This is the ability to identify with other people’s moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations. A kid with social intelligence easily cooperates with others besides embracing teamwork. Moreover, s/he communicates well and emphasizes with other’s difficult situations.
Careers associated with this ability are sales and marketing, teaching, social workers and professional counsellors.
This refers to the ability to identify with plants and animals. Kids who are endowed with naturalistic intelligence can relate to their immediate environment, classify animal/plant species and creatively reproduce them.
They fit well in careers such as animal husbandry, veterinary courses or farming.
Word from the author: You need to know your child’s intelligence modality early enough to effectively guide him/her on careers.