How To Make A Better Student: Seven Kinds Of Smart

A hot concept aims to identify your child's hidden talents. Is it valid? We look at what's solid--and what's shaky

Did you know that you are smart in all sorts of different ways?" Niki Mitchell is addressing her class of kindergartners on one of their first days at Coyote Creek Elementary School in Highland Ranch, Colo., a spanking-new middle-class suburb of Denver. A dozen neatly dressed five-year-olds sit on the floor in front of Mitchell as she points to a chart on the wall that lists different kinds of "smart." She describes each of them. "Maybe you like to draw pictures. That means you're picture-smart," she offers, then explains what it means to be word-smart, number-smart, body-smart, people-smart and music-smart... "We're...

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