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Naturalistic intelligence and its dimensions

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Intelligence, its definition, and measurement are indeed one of the topics on which there exist a number of theories that remain in conflict even till this date.  Howard Gardner a professor of education at Harvard University proposed that there were at least 9 types of intelligence. He also stated that a person would possess these types of intelligence in varying degrees and would use it accordingly to learn, decipher and solve problems. Though, certain aspects which he considered as intelligence has been refuted by others stating that they are just skills, the debate just goes on till date. Naturalistic intelligence is one of the 9 types of intelligence put forth by Howard Gardner.

 Naturalistic intelligence- what is it?

A person with a green thumb can easily be considered as a person with a high level of naturalistic intelligence.  It may also be considered as the ability of a person to feel one with nature. It refers to the biological computational ability of a person to focus his relations with the surroundings around him. They are likely to feel at home when they are outdoors and are able to appreciate the various elements of nature in a better way than others.

Characteristics of persons with high naturalistic intelligence

Charles Darwin and many other famous explorers and mountain climbers are considered to be people with high naturalistic intelligence. The most important characteristic that the people with naturalistic intelligence exhibit include

  • Feeling at home when outdoors and enjoy outdoor activities
  • Prefer to learn through hands-on learning in order to absorb information
  • They notice patterns and things that exist in nature quickly and love to collect flowers, rocks, etc.
  • They are keen and quick in learning about the plants and animals and their names and characteristics.
  • They are excellent pathfinders who can navigate their way around when they are outdoors.
  • They love nature and are eco-friendly
  • They love to spend more time outdoors

In short, for them, learning is by doing and they do not consider learning as a spectator sport but as a chance, they get to interact with the environment.

How can the naturalistic intelligence be developed

There is indeed scope for developing or enhancing your naturalistic intelligence by

  • Engaging in a nature walk– This is one of the best ways to develop naturalistic intelligence. When you go out, even if it is for a walk, it would help you be aware of and appreciate natural beauty.
  • Visiting new and unfamiliar places– Visiting unfamiliar places could well be a great way to get you to notice the world that surrounds you and awaken you enough to pay attention to its various features.
  • Start a garden – You can try to exercise your naturalistic skill by starting a garden. You could start with a herb garden on your window sill and move on to developing a large garden area when you have got a hang over it.
  • Having classes/study times outdoors– This is one of the best ways to develop the naturalistic intelligence of your child. giving lessons outdoors would help them appreciate the changes in the weather and enjoy nature while they still do their work.
  • Reading- You can read about nature and environment or read out to your children articles about nature and the environment which would be a great way to develop an interest in the children to learn about the natural environment around them.

Developing naturalistic intelligence involves a lot of fruitful experiences that you should not miss out on.

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