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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Sternberg's Practical Intelligence in Children's Everday Life

By Andrew Loh

Almost all children can learn in an effective manner, if you teach them in a manner that matches their learning abilities. Successful teaching methods for successful intelligence can provide you a practical way to design and create a suitable match. Successful teaching also involves creating a teaching method that can effectively capitalize on the innate strengths and weaknesses of your children. It also helps you to manage or smoke out all weaknesses with better skills and intelligence patterns. A solid and practical strategy always involve a well-balanced learning approach involving such things as enhancing memory, analytical, creative and practical thinking skills.

Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence is a well-tested learning approach that involves using different intelligences to enhance learning abilities. According this learning model, one can ensure successful learning by using an integrated box of abilities, so that your children can attain unqualified success in life. In life, you may not be able to define intelligence in a definite term. Different children have different intelligences and some of them may gain learning skills and intelligence by virtue of identifying their strengths and weaknesses; in fact, success in life may come, when your children nullify their perceived weaknesses by using a range of different strategies.

However, both weaknesses and strengths are quite important to your child’s success. In a way, your children will need to identify all weaknesses and correct/rectify issues of their performance, where they are currently underperforming or under-achieving. An honest analysis will also help them understand they can never be good at all types of academic performance. Parents and teachers can help children to identify strengths and weaknesses, so that they strike a balance between them. Your children can find own way of becoming intelligent. In fact, successful children can adapt to immediate environment, shape it or even select own environment.

Fact: According to Dr. Sternberg, children can find solutions to problems by striking a balance in their usage of analytical, creative and practical abilities.

Using Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence depends on you as well as the teachers, who teach your children in a formal classroom. Traditional methods always rely on memory and analytical instructions. While using this intelligence, you can use a number of ideas and methods.

The basic aspects of using this theory are:

  1. Help children use the benefits of perceived strengths and skills and use them to enhance learning abilities.

  2. At the same time, assist them correct, rectify or compensate for all those weaknesses that hinder learning process.

Here are some simple yet effective methods that parents and teachers can use to train their children to learn in a productive manner:

Teaching children in an analytical manner

This mode of teaching will help children in a number of ways like:

  • Encourage and nudge children to analyze.

  • Encourage and nudge children to critique.

  • Encourage and nudge children to judge.

  • Encourage and nudge children to compare and contrast.

  • Encourage and nudge children to evaluate and

  • Encourage and nudge children to assess

Here are some examples of using analytical methods to teach your children:

  • Analyze and evaluate the progression of different characters of a famous children novel. You can give a pictorial children’s novel like Alice in Wonderland and ask them to develop the characters involved in the story.

  • Ask your children, why some plants grow and flower well in certain environment than others. Nudge them to list the reasons point by point and later analyze on them.

  • Provide them two eventful anecdotes of history to your children and ask them to compare both of them by evaluating the sequence of events.

Teaching children in a creative manner

This method will help your children in different ways like:

  • Assist children to create something.

  • Help them invent something.

  • Encourage them to discover something.

  • Nudge them imagine something

Tip: To teach something about creativity, you will need to be creative yourself by showing the practical side of doing things.

Here are some simple examples of teaching your children in a creative manner:

  • Give your children a small story, ask them to read it and later find an alternative ending to the main plot.

  • Play dialogue or conversation games by inventing a round of conversation between two children. For example, emulate a scene at the bus station to ask for directions to a particular place.

  • Ask your children to listen to a piece of music and later find out different types of musical instruments in that piece.

Teaching children in a practical manner

Here, you will be encouraging your children to learn the practical side of doing things and performing tasks by actually doing things. This mode of learning will help your children to:

  • Apply learning in a practical manner

  • Use available materials to use in a practical manner

  • Put theoretical lessons into practice

  • Implement the available solutions

  • Employ the most feasible and flexible techniques to solve problems

Here are some simple examples of teaching your children in a practical manner:

  • Work on math formulae to find out solutions. Show them how to work interest rates for a unit of deposit. Ask your children to work out the interest for three or four years.

  • If you have younger children, show them how you can use the building blocks to construct a small building.

  • Draw a picture of an animal on a sheet of paper and give your children some amount of colored clay to create a workable model of the animal. Instruct them to paint it to match the actual color of the animal.

In the end, it is the delicate combinations of all three intelligences that make your children learn their lessons in an optimal way. Parents and teachers may need to understand more about the weaknesses and strengths of their children, before applying Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence.


Featured Resource

Teaching for Successful Intelligence: To Increase Student Learning and Achievement
By Dr. Robert J. Sternberg and Elena L. Grigorenko

Robert J. Sternberg is currently the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, where he is also professor of psychology. Prior to that, he was IBM Professor of Psychology and Education at Yale University. Sternberg received his PhD from Stanford and is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates.

In addition, he has won more than two dozen awards for his work. He is a former president of the American Psychological Association and is the author of over 1100 books, articles, and book chapters. This book provides 40 research-based, illustrated lessons and demonstrates how to design units that help students apply analytical, creative, and practical thinking skills to solve problems and make decisions.


Featured Resource


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