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7.1 The Multiple Intelligence Theory Copy

durenmgmail-com November 10, 2021

When someone speaks about intelligence, the thought of IQ testing may come to mind. Intelligence can be defined as our intellectual potential, something humans are born with and measured.

However, different views of intelligence have emerged in recent years, such as the theory of multiple intelligences proposed by Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner.

What is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences?

This theory suggests that outdated psychometric views of intelligence are too limited. Gardner first discussed his idea in his book in 1983, titled ‘Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.’ The book outlines how all people have different kinds of “intelligence.”

Gardner outlined eight types of intelligence and has proposed the possible addition of a ninth known as “existentialist intelligence.”

Teachers should familiarize themselves with these methods as it is a great way to contribute to the preferred learning styles and cultural differences in the classroom. These various types of intelligence can help teachers find a deep appreciation for the creativity of the world.

As mentioned above, when intelligence is brought up, many would associate it with IQ and a person’s cleverness. However, in this context, Gardner uses the term intelligence to express the different categories of how people learn. People are never just one of the eight types but rather an in-between mixture. However, each individual may have a greater affinity with a specific type.

Below is a summary of the Eight Types of Intelligence:

  1. Visual/Spatial Learners
  • These learners are highly imaginative and creative
  • These learners can understand visual pictures and are skilled in reading body language.
  • These learners will work best through sketching, drawing, and constructing visual diagrams.
  • Verbal / Linguistic Learners
  • These learners are excellent speakers and listeners.
  • These learners will understand the meanings behind the various tones and influxes of the human voice.
  • These learners work best through lectures, recordings, and discussions.
  • Mathematical/Logical Learners
  • These learners have elevated abilities for problem-solving.
  • These learners will understand complex formulations.
  • These learners work best through classifications and scientific thinking.
  • Bodily/Kinaesthetic Learners
  • These learners are oriented to physical touch
  • These learners will understand sensory material from hands-on experience
  • These learners work best through the expression of movement
  • Interpersonal Learners
  • These learners are sociable “people persons”.
  • These learners will understand the workings of group psychology and are often the leaders.
  • These learners work best through corroborating and organizing groups.
  • Intrapersonal Learners
  • These learners are reflective and independent thinkers.
  • These learners will understand their strengths and weaknesses.
  • These learners work best through self-evaluations and individually paced projects.
  • Musical/Rhythmic Learners
  • These learners are highly responsive to auditory stimuli.
  • These learners will understand the rhythm and structure of music.
  • These learners work best while listening to music.
  • Naturalist Learners
  • These learners recognize the power of nature.
  • These learners will understand biological studies.
  • These learners work best through “show and tell” and field trips.

The above tells us the different intelligence types and how individuals comprehend things, but how does that affect teachers? Understanding how students grasp things better allows teachers to provide and teach them with methods most suitable to their needs. This is discussed in our topic on the next page.