Scott Schimmel (00:07.455)
Hey, welcome to an episode of the U School Podcast. My name is Scott Schimmel. I'm your one and only host and today we're still going through this series that we've been calling Future Mistakes. And right now in our house, this is more important than ever. We have two teenagers, one son who's a junior and a daughter is a freshman. And this week is course selection time.
And we start having these conversations that kind of pop up and spike during these moments, these few days, where all of a sudden it sneaks up on us, and we need to help guide our kids to make appropriate choices in light of what? So here's today's topic. How do you help a kid understand their own intelligence? Now, okay, here we go, IQ.
That's what we traditionally think of as intelligence. What is his or her IQ? You meet someone who's really smart and wise and you might comment about them, wow, their IQ seems really high. But what is IQ? What is intelligence? What is that measure? That's been around since the early 1900s. It's probably the most, the quickest shorthand that we have today in our culture still to communicate and designate somebody who's really smart. He or she has a high
IQ. But did you know that there are much, much more, many more other ways to look at a kid's intelligence. So school specifically, if you want to be good in school, it's probably helpful for you to have a really high IQ. But what do you do with people like musicians, artists, creators, people good with their hands?
People who can create amazing things out of nothing. People with fantastical ideas that actually synthesize and integrate big concepts. Where does that fit in school? And maybe as you're listening to this, you can reflect on yourself and your own journey as you went through school and the ways in which you did or didn't fit. Maybe you're caring for a kid or have students or kids your own family.
Scott Schimmel (02:27.17)
who you know the traditional sense of intelligence is not a scale that's useful. In fact, it's actually harmful. One of our kids is diagnosed with dyslexia, has been on this journey for the past three and a half years. We've been guiding her to get what she needs in terms of the right ways for her to learn how to read and process linguistic concepts. Now, what we're telling her...
And I'm confirming this by doing a deep research into the science of reading. What we are telling her is having dyslexia, where for her the challenges to read based on the ways in which she's received instruction since kindergarten, don't jive. So does dyslexia mean that I have a lower intelligence lower IQ? Now we tell her and now I know for a fact
that the answer is no. In fact, this science, I mean, go check out more than a story, or sold a story podcast, all about the science of reading, if you wanna do a deep dive into that. But the ways in which our kids today, most of them are taught how to read is not helpful. So her struggling through kindergarten, first grade, second, third, fourth, now fifth, to read and be on pace with the rest of the class has actually...
very little to do with her natural intelligence. And what we're learning is to share with her the other types of intelligences that can help her have some self-awareness and confidence about who she is. And what I wanna introduce you to you today is a concept from a guy named Howard Gardner. And you may or may not be familiar with his name. You're probably familiar with this concept, but he came out in 1983 doing a ton of research.
on this concept of multiple intelligences. And it was born out of a similar frustration for him. He grew up playing piano and yet all through school, high school, undergrad, then graduate school, the only way that he was measured against was a very specific type of intelligence. And he ended up doing this research that later on in recent years, neuroscientists have affirmed and kind of confirmed that his
Scott Schimmel (04:52.342)
findings and approaches right. He came out originally with seven different types of intelligences, and he's added two more over the recent years that really broadens the playing field for what it means to be and have intelligence. What I'm going to do in this episode is walk you through a bunch of them, how it relates to your kid, because the mistake that I see kids making it we make with our kids.
is that we narrowly look through their potential through the lens of IQ. And coming back to my kids and course selection, what's the goal? What's the priority? Is my priority as a parent to guide my kid down a track, down an academic path that would be consistent with who they are and how they're wired? A challenging curriculum that would help them develop and grow, or am I trying to catch them up?
so that they look most appropriate on a college admissions perspective. In other words, IQ. Am I trying to build their IQ or am I trying to help them understand their unique shape and path and go down that? I don't know. Here's the future mistake. Number 10, misunderstanding your own intelligence. So let's dig into Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences theory. These first two are gonna sounds pretty like a comment.
This is what he would say, the first two one is linguistic intelligence. The second one would be a logical or mathematical intelligence. Those two are what we probably kind of encapsulate in our minds as IQ. Linguistic intelligence, someone who has that or high degree are people that have a natural affinity for words and languages. They might find it easy to express themselves verbally or in writing and or in writing. They might enjoy reading and writing and are skilled perhaps at learning new languages.
They might be people who excel in storytelling, explaining, teaching, and persuading using language. Me, I highly relate to linguistic intelligence. In fact, when I took the test, which I'll share with you at the end of this episode, and in the show notes, I score pretty high on that. Academically, I wanted to, if I could have gone back in time, this is what I would have pursued had I really been affirmed in this, this was something that was a part of my self-concept.
Scott Schimmel (07:15.494)
if this was something that I'd listen to, literature, languages, journalism, creative writing, those types of academic pursuits. And in career paths, writer, journalist, teacher, lawyer, maybe a translator, and a bunch more. The second one, logical mathematical intelligence. These are people who are naturally good at reasoning, recognizing patterns, and logically analyzing problems.
It's not just math. So you look at your math score, your report cards, not just people who are high in math in terms of their grades and test scores, but as people who can also logically analyze problems. They're comfortable with numbers, abstract visual information, and conducting scientific experiments. They enjoy puzzles, experiments, and strategic games. Academic pursuits then, math, logic, computer science, physics, and chemistry. You might have a high intelligence.
in logical mathematical intelligence and end up going into career paths like a scientist, mathematician, computer programmer, engineer, maybe even an accountant. So I have personally some decent level of intelligence in this logical intelligence kind of realm. And yet in some ways, I don't. There's many things I don't recognize. Patterns per se, abstract visual information,
Scott Schimmel (08:38.066)
So, you know, you do your own little kind of self report there. Musical intelligence. This is so I mean, it's common sense, but rarely do we think of somebody who can excel at playing a musical instrument, composing music sensitive to sounds in their environment. They find it easy to remember songs and melodies. We rarely, I think, call this out as an intelligence. We would say maybe a talent.
Maybe they're musical, artsy, but I think it actually helps to actually say to somebody, you have high musical intelligence that actually bolsters somebody's self-concept and confidence or ought to. These types of people might pursue something in music, music theory, performance, composition. I know of a friend that pursued sampling in a sound engineer. There's plenty of career paths.
In addition to what you typically think of a performer or composer, musical therapist, music teacher, there's a bunch. Fourth, the technical term would be kinesthetic intelligence or body intelligence. These are people that have excellent physical coordination and dexterity. They learn best through doing and moving. They're naturally good at sports, dance, and other physical activities. They tend to use body language effectively.
These are people you might think of as Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, these people that have you and again would Steph Curry, would you call it a an intelligence or athletic ability or talent? I think it's actually helpful to say you have high kinesthetic body intelligence. Academic pursuits, physical education, dance, acting, sports science, career paths, obviously being an athlete, physical
Scott Schimmel (10:36.406)
I was watching my 14 year old, just a freshman in the dance team at school and this kind of Christmas holiday celebration thing the other night, there must have been 150 dancers in different teams coming up to perform. And man, I mean, most of them, not all of them, but most of them have a high degree of body intelligence. And I was sitting there thinking like, man, would it be so cool not just to give them flowers and say, oh, you're so talented. Now let's get back to the real work of school, but to say, and really bless and affirm
You have body intelligence. What you're able to do and think spatially is fantastic, which leads to the next one, spatial intelligence. These are people who have a high natural ability to think in three dimensions. They're good at visualizing and mentally manipulating objects and enjoy puzzles, drawing, creating 3D models. They have a keen eye for aesthetics and design. My mom has this in spades. She's able to, whether it's design, interior design,
I can't tell you how many times I've gone to like, construction site with homes that are being developed and she can literally see what this will look like, where the furniture will go, what the aesthetic ought to be. And I'm sitting there like, I don't even know what room we're in. This looks like nothing. This looks like four walls or four plywood. I do not have high spatial intelligence, academic pursuits for someone with high spatial intelligence, architecture, graphic design, photography, art.
Career pass, architect, hello money, graphic designer, hello making money, pilot, sculptor, urban planner. I mean, it's just extraordinary. And most people, I mean, how do you, where's the test for this in school? You have a high spatial intelligence. We wanna cultivate that. We want to encourage you down that path. We want you to explore the opportunities with someone like that. We wanna challenge you to grow those abilities. I mean, this is, I don't know.
I'm getting fired up. Next one, interpersonal intelligence, AKA I call it social intelligence. These are people perhaps with high empathy. They excel in understanding others and interacting with them. They can read social cues and emotions and are effective communicators. They often excel in group settings and are good at resolving conflicts and negotiating. This is, I mean, this is my top one, interpersonal intelligence.
Scott Schimmel (13:03.006)
Academic pursuits, again, I had no idea that this was something I should pursue. Psychology, sociology, counseling, therapy, sales, political science. He's a people person. She's a really good with people. Those are nice things to say as add-ons, but what if they were the primary lens that we look through when we saw the potential and the pathways for kids to explore career paths, therapists, counselors, salesperson, teacher, human resources manager.
amongst many, many others. Here's another one. This was a new one to me, studying Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences theory. Intra-personal intelligence, or you might call it introspective intelligence. People with this intelligence have a deep understanding of themselves. They're self-aware, able to analyze their own feelings, motivations, goals. They're often reflective.
and enjoys self-exploration and introspective activities. You might know somebody, I know of a friend named Charlie, is incredibly intelligent when it comes to being introspective and understanding himself. Academic pursuits that someone would want to go down to get tools, skills, frameworks, broader understanding, philosophy, psychology, theology, career path. Psychologists, spiritual leader.
coach, life coach, writer. Next one, naturalist intelligence. People who are sensitive to and appreciate nature, animals, recognizing categorizing plants, other parts of the natural world. They enjoy outdoor activities, and are interested in subjects like biology, environmentalism, cooking, being a chef, putting different ingredients together, understanding why they would fit together. Academic pursuits.
anything in the food industry, biology, environmental science, geography, agriculture, farmer, landscaper, landscape architect, biologist. And then last one, this is one of the most recent ones proposed by Howard Gardner. He calls it an existential intelligence. People who are naturally inclined to ponder deep questions about human existence. They're curious about issues like the meaning of life, ethics, and the human condition. And they enjoy discussing and exploring philosophical
Scott Schimmel (15:28.182)
and existential topics. I love that this is called intelligence. You're not just flighty, you're not just a big thinker, big dreamer. You have existential intelligence. That's fantastic. You might wanna pursue philosophy, theology, psychology, existential psychology. Didn't know that was a thing. Career paths, philosopher, theologian, teacher, writer. I mean, there's so many different ways to go with this. I have found there's not a...
as far as I have found a validated test assessment that you can go on like an app for Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theory and framework. I did find one that's all I have in the show notes that seems to be better than the others, quick, easy to understand, can do with kids. So I highly recommend that. Again, how do we help young people process their strengths, how they're wired?
Howard Gardner is pretty clear to say that this is not necessarily to be used Like we consider learning styles, even though there's similar words like kinesthetic he says this is really primarily a tool to grow in self-awareness and I'm just fascinated if I can go back in time to myself if I had been affirmed and Had mentors or peers spot in me linguistic intelligence
interpersonal intelligence, existential intelligence, the three that I score the highest on. And then through those things, looked at the opportunities by which I could explore being my authentic self. I mean, just imagine, imagine what this can do. So back to my kids choosing their classes. It feels nutty sometimes to say, we wanna be parents who help our kid go down a path.
that is different perhaps than the status quo. The status quo in our culture, in our town is do really, really well academically, flex your linguistic and logical intelligences, push as hard as you can to be well-rounded in school, to demonstrate that you have a high IQ and aptitude for IQ, and then go off to a great university and find yourself.
Scott Schimmel (17:54.862)
there perhaps and if not worst case scenario get a good paying job put your head down and maybe you'll get zapped someday existentially with the reason why you're here. Rather than doing that we want to be the kinds of parents who at 17 and 14 and 10 years old look to our kids and constantly be looking for evidence of their true intelligences of the ways in which they're wired and then help them find and connect to opportunities pathways for them.
to go and express this. We have a full article on this on the blog. I'd encourage you to buy Howard Gardner's book that we also have linked here. You can listen to him on podcasts. I mean, I just think it's fascinating. And I don't want any kid to make a mistake on their future by disregarding how they're actually wired and what their real intelligence. I believe that every single kid has genius in them. And that's not just an Instagram quote poster, it's the truth.
And we need to help kids understand and recognize their own genius and go and express it through academics, through their career, to live a life that's well lived, authentic to them.
Thanks for stopping by.