13 August 2016.
The day when Singaporeans held their breath for about one minute as they had their eyes transfixed on the television and watched Joseph Schooling bring home our first-ever Olympics gold medal in 50.39 seconds.
Oh, how we celebrated and cheered.
And in typical Singaporean fashion, more than just a handful of parents signed their kids up for swimming lessons the next day.
Of course, no two children are the same. But what Joseph had done is to show that determination and passion in doing what you love pays off - and kudos to their parents too, who have supported their son in every bit of his journey.
That is what we all parents strive to do, no? To nurture that potential and give our kids the best springboard possible to chase their passions.
But to do that, we must first identify what they are good at. It is no secret that different kids have different intelligences - and I do not mean just the academic or sporting bits.
The MIDAS™ (Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales) is an aptitude assessment tool to helps parents discover the type of intelligence their child may have and gain a deeper appreciation of what his/her capabilities may be.
Created by Dr Branton Shearer, Ph.D. in 1987, based on Dr Howard Garner’s (Hobbs professor of cognition and education, Harvard Graduate School of Education) theory of multiple intelligences,
the MIDAS™ was used as a means to help enhance a person’s intellectual performance, career development and personal satisfaction.
The tool comprises of multiple intelligence tests for children which measure far more than an IQ test measures, and it encompasses eight areas:
Ability to think in words and to use language to express and understand complex meanings. A child with strengths in linguistic intelligence will:
- Remember words and meanings
- Write poetry
- Enjoy reading
- Play word games
- Put words easily into orders and patterns
Ability to think in movement and to use the body in skilled and meaningful ways for expressive and goal-directed activities. Children with kinesthetic intelligence will:
- Work with their hands
- Like movement
- Act things out
- Learn by doing
- Like touch
Ability to think of cause and effect connections, and to understand relationships of actions, objects or ideas. A child who is strong in logical-mathematical will:
- Create mathematical sequences
- Solve puzzles
- Conduct experiments
- Have an inquisitive nature
- See patterns and relationships
Ability to think in sounds, rhythms, melodies and rhymes. Children with this ability will:
- Learn through music or rhythms
- Create music
- Identify with music
- Play a musical instrument
- Be sensitive to sounds around them
Ability to understand the natural world, including plants, animals and scientific studies. Children with naturalist intelligence will:
- Recognize and classify things in nature
- Show an interest in Earth sciences
- Enjoy being outdoors
- Describe relationships in nature
- Show concern for the environment
Ability to think about and understand others. Children with interpersonal intelligence are:
- Able to read other people and their emotions
- Typically leaders
- Surrounded with friends
- Learning through groups and interaction
Ability to think in pictures and to perceive the visual world accurately. Children with this skill:
- Have a visual memory
- Like to draw
- Are more likely to be artists and designers
- Learn from charts and graphs
- Like visual puzzles
Ability to think about and understand oneself. Children with intrapersonal intelligence:
- Prefer to work alone
- Are usually quiet
- Are deep thinkers
- Like to reflect
- Have a strong will and strong opinions
Does any of the above SMARTS relate to your child? There is only one way to find out - and that is to let your child do the MIDAS™ assessment online. The assessment is usually chargeable but great news - United Overseas Bank (UOB) will be offering MIDAS™ to parents AT NO COST as part of its new KidSmart Programme. So now, kids can do the short quiz online for FREE!
Which was just what the monkies did.
The quiz is an abridged version, with just 27 questions for the monkies to answer.
Questions cover a broad range of interests, and I reckon they are easy enough for kids aged 8 and above to answer independently.
For kids who are younger, like Ale, I sat beside her to explain certain questions to her.
I have to emphasize though, that this is not a diagnostic assessment. The MIDAS™ tool simply provides a richer interpretation of your child’s smarts beyond academic pursuits. It also gives an indication of a child’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to nurture those strengths or improve on aspects that can help your child.
Simply because uncovering your child’s unique combination of smarts is the first step you can take to develop his or her true potential.
I have to say that the results reinforced some of the 'Smart' traits that I thought were present in each of the monkies... and threw up certain interesting aspects that I never knew before too.
Yup, the above three results are what the monkies obtained. Can you guess which profile belongs to which monkie? :)
For a more in-depth insight to your child's strengths and weaknesses, I recommend doing the full MIDAS™ questionnaire. The cost of questionnaire is $90, but UOB will give it out for free upon receipt of the guide through UOB's bankers.
Each smart type has a main scale which represents each of the eight intelligence as general categories of abilities that influence a child’s behaviour; as well as additional subscales that describe more specific skill sets and behavioural patterns.
I only had time to let Ayd do the full version online and results-wise, I was surprised some of the Smarts than featured strongly in the initial quiz ended up being weaker in the more detailed version. I think it had to do with the more in-depth questions being asked.
For example, in the initial quiz, Ayd got a moderate score for Music Smart, but in the full version, his Music Smart score ranked at 75%. This was because out of the 4 sub-scales under Music Smart, he scored higher for Musicality (Awareness of music and rhythm) and Appreciation (Enjoy music). With this information, I will now be able to customise his learning strategies when it comes to his studies, like making up songs with the information and using music appropriately while studying. Very useful stuff!
At the end of the day. the MIDAS™ tool is not a test with absolute results. It is up to you to decide if the results are a good description of your child’s skills and abilities. Because each child is unique and develops at a different pace.
While one child may be Word Smart, another is Music Smart. The tool will help determine areas of natural ability and potential and can then be used to focus on those subjects in school or to build up weak areas or potential problems.
20 years ago, parents would have laughed their heads off if their child were to say his/her ambition was to be a programme coder, or a game app developer or.... *gasp* a blogger. Today, these jobs are a reality. The point is, the jobs our children will hold will not be the traditional ones that we know of today in the next 10 or 20 years. But what we can do now is to understand their Smarts so that they can better focus on their strengths and build on it.
Kids will no doubt continue to astound us, simply because there are more Smarts to them than we may know. With the innovative, multi-dimensional MIDAS™ tool, I had gained a deeper understanding of my monkies' unique gifts and potential and in the process, hopefully be able to nurture them based on their Smarts.
Discover the type of intelligence that you child has by completing the abridged FREE version of the MIDAS™ profile on uob.com.sg/kidsmart.