Multiple IntelligenceIntelligence is defined as the capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding. It is a person’s aptitude in grasping facts, meanings, relationships, and truths. Intelligence is a person’s ability to learn and retain information. In the year 1983, a gentleman named Howard Gardner proposed a theory to better analyze and describe the concept of intelligence. He called this the theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner’s theory was established to challenge the idea that intelligence could be measured as a single entity. How can a solitary intelligence quotient (IQ) test really be a fair measurement of a person’s intelligence? How can intelligence be referred to as a singular trait? At any one time, a person may be at different stages within his or her learning development. Proving this, Gardner found it impossible to have one final summation of intelligence. Thus, his theory of multiple intelligences was created.
The theory currently encompasses eight different intelligences:
- Linguistic intelligence
- Logical-mathematical intelligence
- Spatial intelligence
- Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
- Musical intelligence
- Interpersonal intelligence
- Intrapersonal intelligence
- Naturalistic intelligence
The eight intelligences include a wide range of smarts, ranging from a traditional schooling sense, the arts, and an additional grouping of which Gardner named ‘personal intelligences.’ Linguistic and logical-mathematical are both customary intelligences of which modern day schools
seem to expend the most energy on. Logical-mathematical intelligence includes the ability to find answers to mathematical equations, and logically solve problems. It entails the ability to investigate issues scientifically, reason deductively, and detect patterns. Linguistic intelligence has to do with all things language, including spoken and written word. How effective is a person at learning and utilizing a language? How well can a person commit words to memory, while manipulating both structure and syntax of a language? People with a high linguistic intelligence will have a much easier time mastering foreign languages than those without. While it is important to focus on these two intelligences in school, it is equally as important to not neglect the remaining six.
The intelligences of the arts include: musical, bodily, and spatial. Musical intelligence derives from a person’s ability to hear musical patterns, intonations, rhythms, pitches, and tones. It also includes a person’s ability to compose and perform music as well. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence deals with the use of the body to learn and solve problems; it is using mental ability to coordinate physical reactions. High levels of this intelligence tend to be found in athletes and performers; all those who need to physically use their body to learn. Spatial intelligence deals with recognizing spatial patterns. What type of potential does this space have? What does one’s mind visualize in this space? Typically, designers, artists, and architects are people that tend to possess a very high spatial intelligence level.
Interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligences all deal with inner workings of the personal mind. Interpersonal intelligence involves how a person deals with others. A person with high interpersonal intelligence could typically be classified as an extrovert. How well can someone work with other people in a group? What is a person’s ability to relate to other people? A high level of interpersonal intelligence usually means a great capacity to understand other people’s motivations, wants, intentions, and feelings. Teachers, salesmen, and any type of group leaders need to have a high level of this intelligence. On the opposing side, intrapersonal intelligence is exactly the opposite. Intrapersonal deals with knowing oneself. It involves how well a person is able to self-reflect and understand oneself. People with high levels of intrapersonal intelligence typically tend to be introverts. They are people who often work alone, and have an in-depth understanding of their own feelings and emotions. Naturalistic intelligence involves relating oneself to all natural surroundings. It is similar to spatial intelligence, in a sense of being able to identify spatial potentials; however, naturalistic intelligence is nurturing a space, not simply altering it. Naturalistic intelligence is caring and growing in harmony with one’s natural surroundings. Gardening, farming, and naturalists are people who tend to have high naturalistic intelligence levels.
Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is still evolving today. The current eight intelligences rarely work completely independent of one another; they are most often used at the same time to complement each other as people solve problems and develop various skillsets. With that in mind, the theory has become an excellent way to devise new teaching patterns to better suit a wide array of people. While the theory has still not been accepted by all psychologists, it has gained much positive response from educators around the globe. Different intelligences can be identified to better assist and evaluate learning processes. Schools are starting to take into account the different learning styles and intelligence strengths of different students, thus allowing for more personalized curriculums, catered to students’ specific learning needs. The theory of multiple intelligences may be an effective answer and future to the outdated teaching methods that are currently still in use today.