Thursday, April 7, 2011

G is for Gardner, as in Gardner's Mutliple Intelligences

My day job is teaching.  For a few years I was a home school facilitator and was really able to help home school parents fine tune lessons to their kids specific learning styles. 

There are 7 9 (they added a couple recently) learning styles:

1 Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence -- well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words
2 Mathematical-Logical Intelligence -- ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical or numerical patterns
3 Musical Intelligence -- ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber
4 Visual-Spatial Intelligence -- capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly
5 Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence -- ability to control one's body movements and to handle objects skillfully
6 Interpersonal Intelligence -- capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others.
7 Intrapersonal Intelligence -- capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes
8 Naturalist Intelligence -- ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature
9 Existential Intelligence -- sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

Personally, when I test I am a musical, verbal/linguistic, and intrapersonal learner.

You may wonder why I am talking about teaching and learning in a blog about writing romance.  Well, my current main character, Jane, is a bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, naturalist.  She thrives on movement and experiences and does better in groups than alone.  She craves companionship and is more at home in nature than in controlled society.  She learns by doing, does not care for reading.  In analyzing how she learns, it helps me consider how she behaves, interacts, and grows.

This is just one of the silly little devices I use to avoid archetypal characters.  I also have run astrological charts on Mary (Courtly Scandals) and Jane (my w.i.p. Courtly Abandon).  A fellow blogger, Nicole Ducleroir, commented that she uses the MBTI personality tests.  Do you have any interesting tricks you use to help flesh out your characters?

5 comments:

Laura M. Campbell said...

I took the MBTI test; I'm ENFJ. What a great way to learn about and develop your characters through their learning style. I will using this with my WIP. Thanks! Good luck with the challenge!

Manzanita said...

That is so interesting and how it will lead to romantic characters.
Happy G word day

Sarah Mäkelä said...

I've done astrological charts and MBTI for characters too. Usually, I just dive into the story and figure out the characters as I go.

Mojo said...

I enjoyed this post mucho.

Very clever approach, building your characters indirectly through personality measures and suchlike.

When I write, and I'm not published so I'm just tinkering, I'm often working backwards with characters - I tend to start with an unorthodox situation and forensically investigate why the character's in that situation and why he reacted the way he did.

People are infinitely surprising to me.

Susan Kane said...

I am very familiar with Gardner's, and really never thought about it in approaching main characters. Good use of all the education classes!

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