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Although it's true that each child possesses all eight intelligences and can develop all eight to a reasonable level of competence, children begin showing what Howard Gardner calls "proclivities" (or inclinations) toward specific intelligences from a very early age. By the time children begin school, they have probably established ways of learning that run more along the lines of some intelligences than others. In this chapter, we will examine how you can begin to describe students' most developed intelligences so that more of their learning in school can take place through their preferred intelligences.
Figure 3.1 provides brief descriptions of the capacities of children who display proclivities in specific intelligences. Keep in mind, however, that most students have strengths in several areas, so you should avoid pigeon-holing a child in only one intelligence. You will probably find each student pictured in two or more of these intelligence descriptions.