Logical-Mathematical Learning Style

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The logical-mathematical learning style is one of eight types of learning styles, or intelligences, defined in developmental psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences. It refers to your child's ability to reason, solve problems, and learn using numbers, abstract visual information, and analysis of cause-and-effect relationships.

Gardner, a developmental psychologist and professor, published a book in the 1980s titled, "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences." In it, he suggested that people are not born with a fixed intelligence. Rather, they are born with nine areas of intelligence and vary in the degree to which they excel at each one. Additionally, proficiency in these areas may change over time.

The multiple intelligences Gardner proposed are:

  1. Bodily-kinesthetic
  2. Existential
  3. Interpersonal (awareness of others)
  4. Intrapersonal (self-awareness)
  5. Logical-mathematical
  6. Musical
  7. Naturalist
  8. Spatial-visual
  9. Verbal-linguistic

Why is it useful to think in terms of multiple intelligences as opposed to one type of stagnant intelligence? First, it allows for flexibility, which means your child can develop and grow in various areas of intelligence as they age. Second, it enables educators and parents to cater to a child's strengths, which can help the learning process.

Kids with increased logical-mathematical intelligence are typically methodical and think in logical or linear order. A child with this learning style strength may be adept at solving math problems in their head and drawn to logic puzzles and games.

Characteristics of Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Logical-mathematical learners may use reasoning and sequencing to absorb information. Your youngster may like to explore math, work with numbers, and find logical methods to answer questions.

Some areas of strength may include:

  • Abstract concepts
  • Categorization
  • Classification
  • Memory
  • Pattern recognition
  • Problem-solving
  • Visual analysis

In school, children who excel in logical-mathematical intelligence often enjoy subjects such as math, computer science, technology, drafting, design, chemistry, and other "hard sciences." You may notice that they prefer logical order in instruction and often work best in structured, organized environments.

Natural tinkerers and builders, logical-mathematical learners enjoy bringing mathematical and conceptual ideas into reality via hands-on projects. For example, your child may like to spend time creating computer-assisted designs, building electronic devices, using computer applications, or programming computers.

Logical-mathematical learners would find a statistical study more appealing than reading fictional literature or keeping a journal. Your child may also like to create graphs, charts, and timelines, as well as analyze data. They could be drawn to games like chess or science kits that encourage experimentation.

There are also a few blind spots of which you may want to be aware when it comes to your logical-mathematical learner. For example, they may not be tolerant when others don't follow logical sequences, rules, or procedures.

Career Options for Logical-Mathematical Learners

It's natural to wonder where your child's learning style may take them in life. The mathematically and logically talented student may be drawn to careers such as:

  • Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Auditor
  • Bookkeeper
  • Chemical engineer
  • Computer programmer
  • Computer technician
  • Database designer
  • Electronic engineer
  • Financial consultant
  • Mathematician
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Network analyst
  • Statistician
  • Systems analyst

Professions that primarily deal with numbers are likely to appeal to your child, but also consider them in roles that involve drafting, architecture, physics, astronomy, or other areas of science. In the field of medicine, for example, they may want to work with medical technology, pharmaceuticals, or as a physician.

How Logical-Mathematical Kids Learn Best

Children with logical-mathematical learning styles best process information when they're taught using visual materials, computers, statistical and analytical programs, and hands-on projects. You'll find they prefer structured, goal-oriented activities that are based on mathematical reasoning and logic rather than unstructured, creative activities with inexact learning goals. Think building a specific Lego model versus drawing without a prompt.

As part of a group project, the mathematical logical learner may want to contribute by making an agenda or list, setting numerical goals, ranking ideas, putting steps into a sequence, keeping track of progress, or constructing data reports. Additionally, your student may like to troubleshoot problems using logic, analysis, and their adeptness at math.

Support Kids With Logical Learning Styles

There are several ways you can support your logical-mathematical learner. Engage them in strategy games and logic puzzles during family time, provide them with planners for the classroom, and give them clear rules at home. Wherever possible, ask your child to solve math problems. For example, while shopping, have your child try to tally up the bill before you even get to the register. If they're older and know about percentages, have them calculate a discount for one or two items.

Your logical-mathematical child may have difficulty seeing the bigger picture. Encourage them to employ tools like graphs, charts, timelines, or outlines to understand abstract concepts.

Whether you're dealing with education or entertainment, you can spark your child's penchant for critical thinking by asking them to explain the reasoning behind their decision making. It can be fascinating to see your child solve problems with creative solutions that may not have even occurred to you.

Additionally, you may find it helpful to touch base with your child's teacher. Make them aware that their student has a high logical-mathematical intelligence and could benefit from being taught in a way that appeals to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you test logical-mathematical intelligence?

There are no official ways to test or measure Gardner's multiple intelligences, but there are a number of unofficial online exercises and quizzes that aim to highlight high logical-mathematical intelligence or a propensity for numbers and logical reasoning. The reliability of these resources, however, is debatable and often subject to criticism, much like Gardner's theory itself.

How do you strengthen logical-mathematical intelligence?

If your child shows a proclivity for logical-mathematical intelligence, you can help them strengthen their skills through memory or logic games, math puzzles, hands-on projects, computer programs, pattern recognition, analyzing data, and more.

What classes will be difficult for people with logical-mathematical intelligence?

Logical-mathematical learners may find certain concepts difficult. For example, topics or projects that lack step-by-step instructions or situations that don't have clear rules could be irksome for logical-mathematical learners. Even so, it's important to remember that the multiple intelligences theory allows for growth and change in the types of intelligence your child may excel in at any given time. They may also be prolific in multiple areas of intelligence simultaneously.

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Article Sources
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  2. Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. 2021.

  3. Niroo M, Nejhad GHH, Haghani M. The effect of Gardner theory application on mathematical/logical intelligence and student's mathematical functioning relationship. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2012;47:2169-2175. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.967

  4. Pehlivan A, Durgut M. The effect of logical-mathematical intelligence on financial accounting achievement according to multiple intelligence theory. Journal of Education and Social Policy. 2017;4(3):132-139.

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