The definition of smart depends on the time and culture in which you live. During Socrates day, intelligent people were those who could memorize very large passages and then recite them. This was because there were hardly any written texts in 500 BC, however we now have books and Google to remember these passages for us so we don’t consider memorizing them of much value. Australian aborigines depend on their ability to read natural cues for survival. Many highly educated Europeans have died living in the Outback because they lacked nature intelligence.
Other forms of intelligence have been put forth by various theorists.
Howard Gardner theorizes that there are 9 intelligences:
- Language/verbal- auditory learner
- Bodily kinesthetic- tactile learner
- Visual/spatial- visual learner
Developmental psychologist Mel Levine categorizes intelligence according to:
- Temporal sequencing
- Task sequencing
- Synthesizing information
- Understanding main concepts
- Interpersonal skills
- Short Term Memory
- Long Term Memory
- Spatial skills
Even if a child has a propensity for a certain intelligence such as music, it is helpful to introduce the brain to information in lots of different ways.
Cognitive neuroscientist Bruce Perry says that the more varied the ways the brain receives information, the stronger the neural connections for that piece of information are. What is your brain going to remember more easily- reading a text about Italy- or going to Italy and seeing the ruins of ancient Romans, tasting Italian pizza and wine, feeling the black sands of Sicily between your toes, etc.