Naturalist Intelligence:

The Key To Understanding The Living Environment

With your Naturalist Intelligence you interact closely with nature and all of the environment. You see subtle meanings and patterns in nature. You are able to see how things fit together in the larger picture of the world and understand your place in it all.


This intelligence has to do with how we relate to our surroundings and where we fit into it. People with Naturalist intelligence have a sensitivity to and appreciation for nature. They are gifted at nurturing and growing things as well as the ability to care for and interact with animals. They can easily distinguish patterns in nature.

multiple intelligences

Considering Multiple Intelligence as a whole:

Multiple Intelligences or Learning styles are points along a scale that help us to discover the different forms of mental representations; however, they are not good characterizations of what people are or are not like. We should not divide the population into a set of categories (i.e., visual and auditory learners).

Howard Gardner, and others of course, pointed out that managing people and organising a unique mixture of intelligence types is a hugely challenging affair.

It starts however with the recognition that people have abilities and potential that extend far beyond traditional methods of assessment, and actually far beyond Gardner's multiple intelligences, which after all are only a starting point.

Gardner was one of the first to teach us that we should not judge and develop people (especially children, young people, and people at the beginnings of their careers) according to an arbitrary and narrow definition of intelligence. We must instead rediscover and promote the vast range of capabilities that have a value in life and organizations, and then set about valuing people for who they are, what they can be, and helping them to grow and fulfil their potential.

Many very successful and fulfilled people in life were also judged to be failures at school - brilliant scientists, leaders, writers, entertainers, sports-people, soldiers, humanitarians, healers, religious and political leaders - all sorts of happy, fulfilled remarkable people - they too were judged according to a very narrow definition of what constitutes intelligence.

Each one of us has a unique and different mix of intelligence types, and commonly the people with the least 'conventional' intelligence (as measured using old-fashioned narrow criteria), actually possess enormous talent - often under-valued, unknown and under-developed.

Naturalist Intelligence: DESCRIPTION

• The ability to easily recognize and classify plants their required habitat and growing needs

• Knowing animals, their species, habits and environmental needs

naturalist intelligence

• Having a feeling about nature and the cycles thereof

• It is concerned about the environment and Earth’s inhabitants

• Using the aesthetic qualities of plants to create gardens

• Understanding the patterns in nature: mountains, rivers, forests

naturalist intelligence

• Interested in cosmology and planetary systems

• Enjoys having pets

• Likes to learn about nature and the cosmos

Naturalist Intelligence : RELATED TASKS OR ACTIVITIES

• Bird watching and identifying birds by either looking at their markings or by listening to their calls

• Studying trees, knowing their leaf, bark and growth patterns

naturalist intelligence

• A keen interest in wild life

• Interested in hoof, claw and dung markings of wild life

• Being aware of what local and national events will have an impact on the environment and Earth's inhabitants

• Growing herbs and utilizing them in food and medicine

• A keen interest in how biologists and anthropologists classify living things

naturalist intelligence Bothered by pollution

• Enjoys gardening

• Appreciates scenic places

• Feels alive when in contact with nature

• Likes to camp, hike, walk and climb

• Notices nature above all other things

• Conscious of changes in weather

Naturalist Intelligence : SOCIETAL ROLES

• Astronomer • Botanist • Wildlife illustrator • Meteorologist • Chef • Environmentalist • Geologist • Landscape architect • Conservationist • Gardener • Ornithologist • Healer • Oceanographer • Entomologist • Ethnologist • Zoologist • Herbalist • Veterinarian • Animal communicator • Biologist

naturalist intelligence naturalist intelligence


Inclusive Classroom: A practical Guide for Educators - S. Kalsa
Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom - T. Armstrong
Futures Thinking. Learning and Leading: Applying Mutliple Intelligences to Success and Innovation - I. Buchen
Higher Order Thinking The Multiple Intelligences Way

Learning /Teaching / Facilitation Strategies

People with naturalist Intelligence respond well to:

• Applying analysis & logic

• Thinking through ideas

• Forming theories

• Data base content

• Behaviour modification

• Taking initiative

• Exploring hidden possibilities

• Relying on intuition

• Self discovery

naturalist intelligence • Constructing concepts

• Synthesizing concepts

• Spontaneity

• Free flow

• Experimentation

• Playfulness

• Visual display

• Individuality

• Aesthetics

• Being involved

naturalist intelligence

• Organising & structuring content

• Sequencing content

• Evaluating & testing theories

• Acquiring skills through practice

• Implementing course content

• Case discussions

• Listening & sharing ideas

• Integrating experiences with self

• Moving & feeling

• Harmonising with the content

• Emotional involvement

• Experiential opportunities

• Sensory movement

• Enjoy field trips that involve observation and recording the world around them

• Involvement with plants and animals.


• Audio and video cameras - record natural world

• Digital cameras - record natural world, field trips

• Word processing - journaling, natural information

• Data organization and calculation (database, spreadsheet) - observations

• Desktop presentations (Powerpoint) - show tends and changes over time

• Use microscopes and probes - nature up close

• Geocaching - GPS

naturalist intelligence


Naturalist Intelligence allows you to:

• Gather facts

• Analyse issues

• Solve problems logically

• Argue rationally

• Measure precisely

• Understand technical elements

• Recognise new possibilities

• Tolerate ambiguity

• Read signs of coming change

• Integrate ideas and concepts

• Bend or challenge established policies

• Synthesize unlike elements into a new whole

• Solve problems intuitively

• Approach problems practically

• Maintain a standard of consistency

At the top of this page Naturalist Intelligences, we provided a graphic which illustrates how all the intelligences are connected with each other. They facilitate the learning and observation of our world and none of them can stand alone.

However, you may want to

test to find out what your own varied set of intelligences is. and from there decide which ones you would like to enhance. You definitely can teach an old dog new tricks!

You can also explore how all the thinking skills work.

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