Howard Gardner claims that
all human beings have multiple intelligences.
These multiple intelligences can be nurtured and
strengthened, or ignored and weakened. He
believes each individual has nine intelligences:
Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence --
well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to
the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words
Mathematical-Logical Intelligence --
ability to think conceptually and abstractly,
and capacity to discern logical or numerical
Musical Intelligence -- ability to
produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber
Visual-Spatial Intelligence -- capacity
to think in images and pictures, to visualize
accurately and abstractly
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence --
ability to control one's body movements and to
handle objects skillfully
Interpersonal Intelligence -- capacity to
detect and respond appropriately to the moods,
motivations and desires of others.
Intrapersonal Intelligence -- capacity to be
self-aware and in tune with inner feelings,
values, beliefs and thinking processes
Naturalist Intelligence -- ability to
recognize and categorize plants, animals and
other objects in nature
Existential Intelligence -- sensitivity
and capacity to tackle deep questions about
human existence, such as the meaning of life,
why do we die, and how did we get here.
Gardner is a psychologist and
Professor at Harvard University's Graduate
School of Education, as well as Co-Director of
Harvard Project Zero.
be measured by
Assessment of an
answer tests are
not used because
they do not
mastery or deep
skills and one's
ability to do
well on short
Some states have
process over the
such as PAM
Math) and PAL
People are born
with a fixed
have all of the
but each person
has a unique
level does not
change over a
We can all
improve each of
readily in one
area than in
ability in logic
There are many
more types of
with the world
Teachers teach a
around an issue
or question and
multiple ways of
and value their
What are some benefits of using the multiple intelligences approach in my school?
You may come to regard intellectual ability more broadly. Drawing a picture, composing, or listening to music, watching a performance -- these activities can be a vital door to learning -- as important as writing and mathematics. Studies show that many students who perform poorly on traditional tests are turned on to learning when classroom experiences incorporate artistic, athletic, and musical activities.
Take music, for example. As educator, David Thornburg of the Thornburg Institute notes,
"The mood of a piece of music might communicate, clearer than words, the feeling of an era being studied in history. The exploration of rhythm can help some students understand fractions. The exploration of the sounds of an organ can lead to an understanding of vibrational modes in physics. What caused the great scientist Kepler to think of the motions of planets in musical terms? Astronomy students could program a synthesizer to play Kepler's 'music of the spheres' and explore history, science, math and music all at once."
You will provide opportunities for authentic learning based on your students' needs, interests and talents. The multiple intelligence classroom acts like the "real" world: the author and the illustrator of a book are equally valuable creators. Students become more active, involved learners.
Parent and community involvement in your school may increase. This happens as students demonstrate work before panels and audiences. Activities involving apprenticeship learning bring members of the community into the learning process.
Students will be able to demonstrate and share their strengths. Building strengths gives a student the motivation to be a "specialist." This can in turn lead to increased self-esteem.
When you "teach for understanding," your students accumulate positive educational experiences and the capability for creating solutions to problems in life.
How can applying M.I. theory help students learn better?
Students begin to understand how they are intelligent. In Gardner's view, learning is both a social and psychological process. When students understand the balance of their own multiple intelligences they begin
Teachers understand how students are intelligent as well as how intelligent they are. Knowing which students have the potential for strong interpersonal intelligence, for example, will help you create opportunities where the strength can be fostered in others. However, multiple intelligence theory is not intended to provide teachers with new IQ-like labels for their students.
understanding from different angles. The
problem, "What is sand?" has scientific, poetic,
artistic, musical, and geographic points of
exhibit comprehension through
demonstrations come to have an authentic
understanding of achievement. The accomplishment
of the lawyer is in winning her case through
research and persuasive argument, more than in
having passed the bar exam
Tapping Into Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved
May 30, 2006, from Concept to Classroom Web