Designing Effective Projects : Thinking Skills Frameworks
Learning Styles

Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences
In the last decade, more and more educators have warmed to Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences.  Logical/mathematical and linguistic intelligences, the two ways of thinking most valued in school are only two of eight intelligences described by Gardner based on biological and cultural research. In addition, he found spatial, musical, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist intelligences.

Multiple Intelligences

Logical-Mathematical The ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.
Linguistic Mastery of language. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively manipulate language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically. It also allows one to use language as a means to remember information .
Spatial The ability to manipulate and create mental images in order to solve problems. This intelligence is not limited to visual domains.
Musical The capability to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms.
Bodily-Kinesthetic  The ability to use one's mental abilities to coordinate one's own bodily movements. This intelligence challenges the popular belief that mental and physical activity are unrelated (ERIC, 1996, p. 2).
Interpersonal A core capacity to notice distinctions among others; in particular contrasts in their moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions (Gardner, 1993, p. 42).
Intrapersonal  Access to one’s own feeling life, one’s range of emotions, the capacity to effect discriminations among these emotions and eventually to label them and to draw upon them as a means of understanding and guiding one’s own behaviour (p. 44).
Naturalist  Expertise in the recognition and classification of plants and animals. These same skills of observing, collecting, and categorizing might also be applied in the "human" environment. (Campbell, 2003, p. 84).

Learning Styles and Thinking Skills
A learner who relies on hunches, feelings, and intuition to make decisions may have difficulty recognizing the value of a thinking process that prizes the careful analysis of assumptions and weighing of evidence. On the other hand, a learner who is comfortable with linear thinking and the rational dissection of arguments, may find global, connected thinking extremely challenging. In any case, individuals can exhibit different learning and thinking styles in different contexts, and adding on a new credible way of processing information can only enhance a person’s ability to make smart decisions in life. In order to help all learners become the best thinkers they can be, may require not only expanding our ideas of what good thinking is, but also finding ways to persuade learners of the value of using thinking strategies that may, at first, feel strange and uncomfortable.

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