Multiple Intelligence Theory

Howard Gardner's framework for human intelligence offers a practical, empirical model for addressing all the paths to learning, regardless of the content, skills, or desired outcomes.

Gardner believes that human cognitive competence is better described in terms of a set of abilities, talents or mental skills, which he calls intelligences. As per Gardner all normal individuals possess each of these skills to some extent; individuals differ in the degree of skill and in the nature of the combination.

Howard Gardner defined the first seven intelligences in FRAMES OF MIND (1983). He added the last two in INTELLIGENCE REFRAMED (1999). Gardner is a psychologist and Professor at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, as well as Co-Director of Harvard Project Zero.

Based on his study of many people from many different walks of life in everyday circumstances and professions, Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences. He performed interviews with and brain research on hundreds of people, including stroke victims, prodigies, autistic individuals, and so-called "idiot savants."

According to Gardner

  • All human beings possess all nine intelligences in varying amounts.
  • Each person has a different intellectual composition.
  • We can improve education by addressing the multiple intelligences of our students.
  • These intelligences are located in different areas of the brain and can either work independently or together.

What are the Multiple Intelligences identified through MIART

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:

  1. Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence – well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words
  2. Mathematical-Logical Intelligence – ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical or numerical patterns
  3. Musical Intelligence – ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber
  4. Visual-Spatial Intelligence – capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly
  5. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence – ability to control one's body movements and to handle objects skillfully
  6. Interpersonal Intelligence – capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others.
  7. Interpersonal Intelligence – capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes
  8. Naturalist Intelligence – ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature
  9. 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.

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