Multiple Intelligences


Definition: This learning therory suggests that there are at least seven ways that people have of understanding the world. This theory was suggested by psychologist Howard Gardner, who labels each of these ways of learning as distinct "intelligences".
  1. Verbal-Linguistic--The ability to use words and language
  2. Logical-Mathematical--The capacity for inductive and deductive thinking and reasoning, as well as the use of numbers and the recognition of abstract patterns
  3. Visual-Spatial--The ability to visualize objects and spatial dimensions, and create internal images and pictures
  4. Body-Kinesthetic--The wisdom of the body and the ability to control physical motion
  5. Musical-Rhythmic--The ability to recognize tonal patterns and sounds, as well as a sensitivity to rhythms and beats
  6. Interpersonal--The capacity for person-to-person communications and relationships
  7. Intrapersonal--The spiritual, inner states of being, self-reflection, and awareness

How Multiple Intelligences Impact Learning:

Curriculum--"Traditional schooling heavily favors the verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences. Gardner suggests a more balanced curriculum that incorporates the arts, self-awareness, communication, and physical education." Curriculum in schools today is focused towards students of a particular learning style, leaving some students at a disadvantage.

Instruction--"Gardner advocates instructional methods that appeal to all the intelligences, including role playing, musical performance, cooperative learning, reflection, visualization, story telling, and so on." If a teacher hits all of Gardner's intelligences through classroom instruction, every student will find their niche and learn most effectively.

Assessment--"This theory calls for assessment methods that take into account the diversity of intelligences, as well as self-assessment tools that help students understand their intelligences." It is important to create assessments that are fair to students of all learning styles.

Additional Sources of Information:

Armstrong, Thomas. [[ Intelligences in the Classroom|Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom]]. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1994.
Armstrong, Thomas. [[ Kinds of Smart|7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Many Intelligences]], New York: Plume, 1993.
Armstrong, Thomas. [[ Their Own Way|In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Personal Learning Style]], New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1987.
Armstrong, Thomas, "Utopian Schools," Mothering, Winter, 1996.
Armstrong, Thomas. "Multiple Intelligences: Seven Ways to Approach Curriculum," Educational Leadership, November, 1994.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Multiple Intelliaences CD-ROM, and Multiple Intelligences Video Series; 1250 N. Pitt St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1453 (800-933-2723).
Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic,1983
Gardner, Howard. Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice. New York: Basic, 1993.
Gardner, Howard. Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century. New York: Basic, 2000.
National Professional Resources, 25 South Regent St., Port Chester, NY 10573, 914-937-8879. Producer of several videos on MI including, Howard Gardner, "How Are Kids Smart?" Jo Gusman, "MI and the Second Language Learner", and Thomas Armstrong, Multiple Intelligences: Discovering the Giftedness in All".
New City School, Celebrating Multiple Intelligences ( 5209 Waterman Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108).