1983, Howard Gardner challenged conventional views of teaching and learning styles with his book, Frames of Mind. Gardner hypothesized that the skill-sets of different people are directly correlated to their learning styles. It was from this that he developed the theory of multiple intelligences. Within this theory there are seven intelligences, linguistic intelligence, musical intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, and what are known as intra and inter-personnel forms of the personal intelligences.
The following paper is an assessment of the intelligence which represents my personal learning style. It is clear this style is best represented by the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
This intelligence is related to physical movement and the knowing/wisdom of the body. Including the brain's motor cortex, which controls body motion. Body/kinesthetic intelligence is awakened through physical movement such as in various sports, dance, physical exercises as well as by the expression of oneself through the body, such as inventing, drama, body language, and creative/interpretive dance. (Learning Styles: A Multiple Intelligence Approach, Pg. 1)
Generally those who have a kinesthetic learning style have a strong understanding of their body and their ability to move. There are six capacities involved with the kinesthetic learner.
1) Kinesthetic learners have control of their voluntary movements. In other words, the kinesthetic learner has a good understanding of both their fine motor movements such as in the fingers as well as in the larger bodily movements. This is partially why one might find some kinesthetic learners in the operating room working as surgeons and others on the sports field playing professional sports.
2) Kinesthetic learners have a strong understanding of "preprogrammed" movement. This is instinctual movement, the flinching if something is scary or putting one's hand out to protect from a fall.
3) Kinesthetic learners have an expanding awareness of their body. As the kinesthetic learner grows so does his or her awareness of how to move effectively. Just because one is a kinesthetic learner does not mean that he or she will suddenly be able to dance in the ballet. The expanding awareness refers to the fact that the kinesthetic learner continues to grow in their understanding. The fact that they think this way does not give them any advantage in sports or any other kinesthetic field without proper training and rehearsal of the movements.
4) Kinesthetic learners have a strong mind body connection. In other words, seeing the basketball hoop and putting the ball into it are two different things. The connection between the minds desire to do something and the body's reaction to this desire is strong in the kinesthetic learner.
5) Kinesthetic learners have strong mimetic abilities. When the kinesthetic learner sees somebody else perform a particular feat, whether this is a dance move or the stroke of a paintbrush, they tend to have the ability to imitate these bodily movements.
6) If kinesthetic learners use their bodily skills, they will tend to have better functioning of this element. In other words they may be more flexible or fit.
Each of the preceding characteristics may exist in some kinesthetic learners and may not exist in others. It is important to remember that the vast majority of those who have this particular learning style compliment it with some elements of the other learning styles.
The kinesthetic learner requires an understanding of their needs from instructors. Many kinesthetic learners have a hard time focusing and this learning style has been confused with learning disorders such as ADHD in children.
The following is a list of tactics that the kinesthetic learner may perform to increase his or her ability to retain information and to learn new skills:
Connect body motions with learning.
Be sure that there is physical comfort and calm when learning new skills.
When reading notes, use the body to express different areas of the work.
Try to experience what is being learned. In other words if learning about an artist, try to go to a museum and see that artist's work.
Kinesthetic Learning Style, Pg 1)
One website for children (www.girlsite.org) indicated a list of items that the kinesthetic learner might do to enhance their skills. This list included the following items: