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This module covers Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, including a chart describing each intelligence and discussing their relevance to teaching and their prevalence among students.

For nearly a century, educators and psychologists have debated the nature of intelligence, and more specifically whether intelligence is just one broad ability or can take more than one form. Many classical definitions of the concept have tended to define intelligence as a single broad ability that allows a person to solve or complete many sorts of tasks, or at least many academic tasks like reading, knowledge of vocabulary, and the solving of logical problems (Garlick, 2002). There is research evidence of such a global ability, and the idea of general intelligence often fits with society’s everyday beliefs about intelligence. Partly for these reasons, an entire mini-industry has grown up around publishing tests of intelligence, academic ability, and academic achievement. Since these tests affect the work of teachers, I return to discussing them later in this book.

But there are also problems with defining intelligence as one general ability. One way of summing up the problems is to say that conceiving of intelligence as something general tends to put it beyond teachers’ influence. When viewed as a single, all-purpose ability, students either have a lot of intelligence or they do not, and strengthening their intelligence becomes a major challenge, or perhaps even an impossible one (Gottfredson, 2004; Lubinski, 2004). This conclusion is troubling to some educators, especially in recent years as testing school achievements have become more common and as students have become more diverse.

But alternate views of intelligence also exist that portray intelligence as having multiple forms, whether the forms are subparts of a single broader ability or are multiple “intelligences” in their own right. For various reasons such this perspective has gained in popularity among teachers in recent years, probably because it reflects many teachers’ beliefs that students cannot simply be rated along a single scale of ability, but are fundamentally diverse (Kohn, 2004).

One of the most prominent of these models is Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983, 2003). Gardner proposes that there are eight different forms of intelligence, each of which functions independently of the others. (The eight intelligences are summarized in [link] . Each person has a mix of all eight abilities—more of one and less of another—that helps to constitute that person’s individual cognitive profile. Since most tasks—including most tasks in classrooms—require several forms of intelligence and can be completed in more than one way, it is possible for people with various profiles of talents to succeed on a task equally well. In writing an essay, for example, a student with high interpersonal intelligence but rather average verbal intelligence might use his or her interpersonal strength to get a lot of help and advice from classmates and the teacher. A student with the opposite profile might work well alone, but without the benefit of help from others. Both students might end up with essays that are good, but good for different reasons.

Source : Gardner, 1983, 2003
Multiple intelligences according to howard gardner
Form of intelligence Examples of activities using the intelligence
Linguistic: verbal skill; ability to use language well
  • verbal persuasion
  • writing a term paper skillfully
Musical: ability to create and understand music
  • singing, playing a musical instrument
  • composing a tune
Logical: Mathematical: logical skill; ability to reason, often using mathematics
  • solving mathematical problems easily and accurately
  • developing and testing hypotheses
Spatial: ability to imagine and manipulate the arrangement of objects in the environment
  • completing a difficult jigsaw puzzle
  • assembling a complex appliance (e.g. a bicycle)
Bodily: kinesthetic: sense of balance; coordination in use of one's body
  • Dancing
  • gymnastics
Interpersonal: ability to discern others' nonverbal feelings and thoughts
  • sensing when to be tactful
  • sensing a “subtext” or implied message in a person's statements
Intrapersonal: sensitivity to one's own thoughts and feelings
  • noticing complex of ambivalent feelings in oneself
  • identifying true motives for an action in oneself
Naturalist: sensitivity to subtle differences and patterns found in the natural environment
  • identifying examples of species of plants or animals
  • noticing relationships among species and natural processes in the environment

As evidence for the possibility of multiple intelligences, Gardner cites descriptions of individuals with exceptional talent in one form of intelligence (for example, in playing the piano) but who are neither above nor below average in other areas. He also cites descriptions of individuals with brain damage, some of whom lose one particular form of intelligence (like the ability to talk) but retain other forms. In the opinion of many psychologists, however, the evidence for multiple intelligences is not strong enough to give up the “classical” view of general intelligence. Part of the problem is that the evidence for multiple intelligences relies primarily on anecdotes—examples or descriptions of particular individuals who illustrate the model—rather than on more widespread information or data (Eisner, 2004).

Nonetheless, whatever the status of the research evidence, the model itself can be useful as a way for teachers to think about their work. Multiple intelligences suggest the importance of diversifying instruction in order to honor and to respond to diversity in students’ talents and abilities. Viewed like this, whether Gardner’s classification scheme is actually accurate is probably less important than the fact there is (or may be) more than one way to be “smart”. In the end, as with cognitive and learning styles, it may not be important to label students’ talents or intellectual strengths. It may be more important simply to provide important learning and knowledge in several modes or styles, ways that draw on more than one possible form of intelligence or skill. A good example of this principle is your own development in learning to teach. It is well and good to read books about teaching (like this one, perhaps), but it is even better to read books and talk with classmates and educators about teaching and getting actual experience in classrooms. The combination both invites and requires a wide range of your talents and usually proves more effective than any single type of activity, whatever your profile of cognitive styles or intellectual abilities happens to be.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
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Source:  OpenStax, Educational psychology. OpenStax CNX. May 11, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11302/1.2
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